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International Students

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NOVA Welcomes International Students!

Thank you for your interest in Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). A US community college is a great way for international students to find a more accessible and economical route into the US higher education system.

You will be able to transfer your NOVA two-year associate degree credits to any four-year university in the United States, which means you will only need two additional years at a university to complete your bachelor’s degree.

Did You Know...

  • Nearly 45% of US undergraduate students start their higher education experience at a community college.
  • Nearly 100,000 international students are enrolled in community colleges across the US.
  • NOVA enrolls close to 2,000 international students annually and represents 180 nationalities on our campuses.
  • NOVA students are offered guaranteed admissions to top four-year universities with junior level standing after completing their first two-years of study at NOVA. 
  • NOVA is the second largest community college in the United States and one of the most culturally diverse.

NOVA international students hard at work

About NOVA

NOVA Location

NOVA campuses are located just outside of Washington, DC, and are accessible by car, train and bus depending on which campus you are near. Our close vicinity to the nation’s capital offers many opportunities for our students and faculty.

NOVA Campuses and Centers

University Transfer Program

Thousands of students graduate from NOVA each year to transfer to universities all over the US as third-year (junior) students.

NOVA students are offered Guaranteed Admissions to a variety of four-year colleges and universities when they meet the requirements of the written agreement between NOVA and that college.

Click here to see the current list of four-year colleges and universities that NOVA has Guaranteed Admission Agreements.

Low Tuition

An education is one of the most important investments you will make in your lifetime. NOVA students receive a high quality US education at a significantly affordable cost. Tuition must be paid at the start of each semester. Once you arrive in the US, you can register for classes and pay your tuition.

Estimated Costs for 2011/2012 Academic Year


Degree Program

Intensive English Program




Living Expenses**

Degree Program

Intensive English Program

Living Expenses**



Additional Expenses***

Degree Program

Intensive English Program

Additional Expenses***



International students must register for at least 12 credits per semester to maintain F-1 status.

* Tuition rates are subject to change each semester.

** Living expenses are estimated for off-campus housing options.

*** Health insurance, books, etc.

Excellent Quality
NOVA's degrees are highly respected by universities and employers alike. We also have an Honors Program for students seeking a special academic experience.
Intensive English Program

NOVA's English Language Programs concentrate on writing, reading, speaking and listening and prepare students for success in their academic study.

Although a standardized English language test score (such as TOEFL or IELTS) is NOT required to be admitted as an international student to NOVA, you will be required to take NOVA’s English language placement test (ACCUPLACER) upon your arrival to campus.

It will determine which English language track you will enter before beginning your degree coursework.

If you score 225 or higher on the ACCUPLACER, you will enter the College ESL program.

If you score less than 225 on the ACCUPLACER, you will enter our ACLI ESL program.

NOVA's Higher Education Certification and Relevant Affiliations


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

NOVA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees since 1968. NOVA was last reaffirmed in 2002 and is scheduled for its next reaffirmation review in 2012.

The accrediting standards used by the Commission on Colleges are contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement.

American Association of Community Colleges

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for U.S. community colleges, representing nearly 1,200 regionally accredited two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 11 million students and more than 91,000 international students.

Headquartered in the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C., AACC is a member of "The Big Six" large, presidentially based U.S. higher education associations.

AACC collaborates with a wide range of entities within the higher education community to monitor and influence federal policy and to collaborate on issues of common interest.


American Council on Education

American Council on Education (ACE) is the only higher education organization that represents presidents and chancellors of all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: community colleges and four-year institutions, private and public universities, and nonprofit and for-profit colleges.

ACE represents the interests of more than 1,600 campus executives, as well as 200 leaders of higher education-related associations and organizations. Together, ACE member institutions serve 80 percent of today's college students.


Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges

The Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges is dedicated to increasing global knowledge and understanding of U.S. community colleges, bridging cultures through awareness, serving as a resource, advancing institutional internationalization efforts, and partnering with national and international entities to expand and enhance educational opportunities.