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How to enter in Nazarbayev University? Printable version

Last update: 08.07.2020

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Being founded in 2010, Nazarbayev University was to become world-class research institution in Kazakhstan.  The University operates in accordance with international academic standards and applies the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Nazarbayev University is preparing a four-year student in 2018.

Today, seven schools operate in Nazarbayev University, offering bachelor degrees, master degrees and doctorate programs in strategic cooperation with international top universities. Besides, the university comprises scientific centers under the auspices of National Laboratory Astana and Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System; technological park and other organizations within Nazarbayev University`s Innovation Cluster, and also four clinics under University Medical Center corporate fund.  

Nazarbayev University`s objective is to create a new paradigm of research-type higher education organizations in Kazakhstan and contribute to Astana becoming the international education hub as well as innovation and knowledge center.  Nazarbayev University is focused on training of the leading researches; introducing innovations to technologies and industry and supporting Kazakhstani educational system in transit period to address challenges of rapidly changing and integrating global economy.

How is the training organized in Nazarbayev University? 

Nazarbayev University has very high requirements for those who enroll. According to statistics, annually, about 1000 school leavers enter the university. Training in the University is in English.

The model for the strategic development of Nazarbayev University (NU) is primarily based on partnership with the top-ranking universities in the world. Each of the NU Schools and Research Centers is being developed in cooperation with the following leading universities and research institutions (in alphabetical order):

Strategic Partners that have contributed to the development of NU:

7 schools and 1 center operate at Nazarbayev University:

The following training programs are available at the University:

  • foundation program;
  • bachelor degree program;
  • master degree/ doctorate programs;
  • advanced training program.

 

How to apply to the Foundation Program of Nazarbayev University?

NUFYP (Nazarbayev University Foundation Year Program) – a one year intensive program at the Centre for Preparatory Studies of Nazarbayev University. The program provides intensive academic, scientific and language proficiency preparation to the undergraduate programs of Nazarbayev University. Education under “Nazarbayev University” state grant, as well as tuition based education are available for this program. Following the results of study at NUFYP, Nazarbayev University Schools accept students for further education at the undergraduate programs.

In order to apply to the Nazarbayev University Foundation Year Program at the Center for Preparatory Studies applicants must complete the following steps:

1)      Register on the admissions.nu.edu.kz portal to create a Personal Account;

2)      Fill out the application form and to attach the required documents:

a)      scanned copy of national identity card or passport,

b)      scanned copy of secondary or higher education institution certificate (Attestat/Diploma) with final academic performance or certificate from the school (Spravka, according to the template with photo).

3)      Valid copies of IELTS/Toefl and/or SAT/ACT certificates. The results of standardized tests (IELTS/TOEFL, SAT, ACT) must be sent to the University through test Administrators;

4)      Pay online application fee,

5)      Press the SUBMIT APPLICATION button.

After completion of the online registration, the registered applicants will be invited to participate in the three stages of the entrance examinations (from January to April). Every stage of the entry examinations is administered by the partners of the Nazarbayev University.

Information about access to entry examinations is placed in Applicant’s Personal account. Applicants are informed about examination date and venue, as well as the required documents and Rules of conduct during the examination via email 5 days prior to the exam. Examination Schedule can be found here (Important dates section).

Test results are placed in a Personal account and sent to personal email. There is no appeal procedure available. Entry examinations for NUFYP applicants are free of charge.

Stage 1: APTIS

Stage 2:  Nazarbayev University Foundation Year Program Entrance Test

Stage 3: Academic IELTS

This test assesses general English language skills.

The number of questions – 75.

Duration of the test – 55 minutes.

Question type – multiple-choice questions.

Minimum passing score – 38.

To learn more about APTIS click here.

The applicants, who have successfully passed APTIS or exempted from it according to the above-mentioned reason, will be invited to take the Nazarbayev University Foundation Year Program Entrance Test - NUFYP Entrance Test that evaluates academic readiness by two subjects: Mathematics and Critical Thinking & Problem Solving.

Number of questions – 60.

Test duration – 120 minutes.

Question type – multiple-choice questions.

Minimum common passing score – 120 in total for 2 subjects, while passing level for each of the subjects shall not be less than 50. For example, 50 + 70 = 120 – is a minimum passing score.

To learn more about the NUFYP Entrance Test click here.

The applicants who successfully passed the 2nd stage of the entrance exams are invited to the 3rd stage of the exam - Academic IELTS, an international standardized academic English proficiency test.

It assesses Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking skills.

Test duration – 2 hours and 54 minutes.

Test format – written and oral parts.

Applicants who send an official electronic test report form of Academic IELTS/TOEFL from the Test Administrator directly to Nazarbayev University and upload its scanned copy and insert the data to their personal account by the deadline indicated by the University are exempted from participation in the 1st and 3rd entry examination stages. The deadline can be found here.

Code for IELTS: Nazarbayev University

Code for TOEFL: 6762

 

  Academic IELTS and TOEFL minimum passing scores

 

IELTS

TOEFL iBT

TOEFL PDT*

6.0

(5.0 in each section)

60

(at least:

4 in Reading section;

4 in Listening section;

14 in Speaking section;

14 in Writing section)

550

(50 in Reading, Listening sections;

2 in Writing section;

Speaking section is evaluated by the Admission Committee)

*TOEFL PDT is accepted only from Applicants of the countries where IELTS and TOEFL iBT are unavailable.

Upon completion of the three stages of the selection process, the Admission Committee recommends applicants for admission. The main admission criteria are as follows:

1. NUFYP Entrance Test results

2. IELTS results.

Based on the competition results and evaluation of Applicants’ documents, the Admission Committee recommends successful Applicants for admission to the Centre for Preparatory Studies of Nazarbayev University. Successful completion of the three stages does not guarantee admission to the Centre for Preparatory Studies of the University.

The Applicants not included in the enrollment list under “Nazarbayev University” state grant but meeting the admission requirements shall be put in a waiting list. In case of a vacant place in the list of Applicants recommended for admission, Applicants from the waiting list may be recommended by the Admission Committee for admission to study at the University Centre for Preparatory Studies. Applicants in the waiting list can also be offered an opportunity to participate in competition for admission on a tuition fee basis.

The recommended applicants will receive an emailed Notification letter with the Offer of admission, the Instructions on Documents Submission, and the attachments with indication of deadlines and terms. They should pay the Guarantee Fee in the amount of 30 000 tenge and submit required documents within the dates indicated in the notification letter. The Guarantee Fee will be returned to the Applicant after he or she starts the classes at NU.

How to apply to the Foundation Program on a fee-paying basis?

Following applicants can participate in the selection process for the enrollment for a fee-paying education:

  1. those who took part in the selection process of the current year for state educational grants and met minimum admission requirements for NUFYP ET and IELTS (TOEFL) examinations; however, they were included in the waiting list without receiving a grant;
  2. those who  register on the admissions.nu.edu.kz portal and who independently passed IELTS or TOEFL, SAT or ACT with results and met the minimum admission requirements indicated below:

Minimum requirements for test results:

  1. SAT Reasoning Test with essay – 1100. Writing part is required with no minimum score.

or

ACT with writing part – 22. Writing part is required with no minimum score.

 

  1. Academic IELTS – 6.0 (5.0 in each section)

or

TOEFL iBT – 60 (4 in Reading section; 4 in Listening section; 14 in Speaking section; 14 in Writing section)

or

TOEFL PDT* – 550 (50 in Reading, Listening sections; 2 in Writing section; Speaking section evaluated by the Admission Committee).

 

*TOEFL PDT is accepted only from the applicants of the countries where neither IELTS nor TOEFL iBT is available

The tests should be sent to the University address via test administrator using the Nazarbayev University code (Institutional Code):

●       Nazarbayev University – for IELTS

●       6762 – for TOEFL

●       7915 – for SAT

●       5521 – for ACT with Writing Part

Upon completion of the selection process, the Admission Committee recommends applicants for admission on a fee-paying basis. The above-mentioned applicants will receive an emailed Notification letter with the Offer of admission, the Instructions on Documents Submission, and the attachments with indication of deadlines and terms.

In case of offer acceptance, the Applicants shall pay the Guarantee Fee in the amount of 30 000 tenge and submit required documents within the dates indicated in the Notification letter. The Guarantee Fee will be returned to the Applicant after he or she starts the classes at NU.

Any documents submitted in foreign languages shall be translated into Kazakh or Russian and notarized. Failure to provide the required documents in time will result in Applicant’s disqualification from further participation in the competition.

All documents submitted to NU are not subject to return. But after completion of studies an original of a nationally recognized certificate stating completion of a secondary school (or any other depending on previously submitted document) will be returned to you.  

How to enroll to Undergraduate programs without completion of the Nazarbayev University Foundation Year Program?

Currently, the university offers 22 programs with the degree of "Bachelor". Admission to the undergraduate program is carried out on a competitive basis. Study takes place over 4 years, depending on the chosen specialty. An exception is the specialty “Bachelor in Nursing”, which provides a 2-year program for nurses.

In order to apply to Undergraduate programs applicants must complete the following steps:

1)      Register on the admissions.nu.edu.kz portal to create a Personal Account;

2)      Fill out the application form and to attach the required documents:

a)      scanned copy of national identity card or passport,

b)      scanned copy of secondary or higher education institution certificate (Attestat/Diploma) with final academic performance or certificate from the school (Spravka, according to the template with photo);

c)      personal statement.

3)      Valid copies of IELTS/Toefl and/or SAT/ACT certificates. The results of standardized tests (IELTS/TOEFL, SAT, ACT) must be sent to the University through test Administrators;

4)      Pay online application fee,

5)      Press the SUBMIT APPLICATION button.

Note: a full list of documents can be found on the official website nu.edu.kz.

An application for participation in the competition to the undergraduate program is considered completed after it is submitted online with the required electronic copies of documents in “My personal Account”.

According to the results of the competition and on the basis of decisions, the Admissions Committee of the University Schools recommend candidates for admission in accordance with the rating approved by the Admissions Committee. An official letter of notification of the Admissions Committee’s decision is sent to these candidates by e-mail. Candidates can also see their status in the “My personal Account”.

Minimum requirements.

1. Minimum requirements for graduates or students of the final year of secondary school, colleges, UK Foundation program and  graduates of A-level program and transfer students

Schools

Minimum requirements for SAT Subject Test

Minimum requirements for SAT Reasoning Test и ACT

Minimum requirements for IELTS or TOEFL

 

School of Sciences and Humanities

Not required for BA majors

SAT Subject Test – 600 Math and 600 Physics  for applicants who selected Math, Physics majors

OR

 

SAT Subject Test – 600 Chemistry and 600 Biology for applicants who selected Chemistry or Biology majors

 SAT Reasoning Test – 1240 Essay is required, no minimum score

 

 

OR

 

 

ACT – 27 composite score. Writing part is required, no minimum score

 

 IELTS – 6.5 overall (6.0 in each sub-score)

 

 

OR

 

 

TOEFL iBT – 79 (Reading – 13, Listening – 12, Speaking  – 18, Writing – 21)

 

 

OR

 

 

TOEFL PDT* – 574

 

School of Engineering and Digital sciences

 

 

SAT Subject Test – 600 Math and 600 Physics

 

 

School of Mining and Geosciences

 

School of Medicine**

Not required

 

 

Note: For transfer students, a GPA at least 3.0 out of 4.0 is required.

* TOEFL PDT is admitted only from the international applicants from the countries where an official IELTS and TOEFL IBT are not available

** Applicants of the School of Medicine will be interviewed by the Admissions Committee members

 2. Minimum requirements for graduates and holders of NIS Grade 12 Certificate and IB Diploma Programme

Schools

Minimum requirements for NIS Grade 12  Certificate 

Minimum requirements for IB DP

Minimum requirements for IELTS or TOEFL

School of Sciences and Humanities

not less than ABB for any subjects

30 total score and

4, 4, 5 for  3 subjects of HL

 

IELTS – 6.5 overall (6.0 in each sub-score)

 

OR

 

TOEFL iBT – 79 (Reading – 13, Listening – 12, Speaking  – 18, Writing – 21)

 

OR

 

TOEFL PDT* – 574

School of Engineering and Digital

sciences

 

 

 

School of Mining and Geosciences

School of Medicine**

 

3. Minimum requirements for the winners of the International or/and Republican Subject Olympiads

Type of Olympiad

Medal type

Minimum requirements for IELTS or TOEFL

Interview

Republic Olympiad

gold and silver medals (I,II place)  for the current academic year

IELTS/TOEFL is required, no minimum score

Interview with Admissions Committee is required

International Olympiad

gold, silver and bronze medals   (I, II, III place) for the last three years

 

* The full list of Olympiads available on the official website nu.edu.kz

How to apply for “ Nazarbayev University Zero Year Program”?

 The aim of the Program is to give students the support needed to acquire English language proficiency and academic skills required to successfully begin Master’s level studies.

Satisfactory completion of the Program will permit the students to progress to the Master’s programs of the University to which they applied and for which they were interviewed.

  

The main requirements

In order to apply an applicant must:

1) Meet the minimum entry requirements of the chosen Master’s program, except the English language requirements:

– have a valid overall IELTS test score of 5.5 (with no more than one sub-score of 5.0, or the equivalent TOEFL scores as posted on the ETS website);

– have a valid overall IELTS test score of 6.0 (with no more than one sub-score of 5.5, or the equivalent TOEFL scores as posted on the ETS website) – for Master of Arts in Political Science and International Relations and Master of Arts in Eurasian Studies programs;

2) indicate Zero Year of Master’s Programs in the Application Form. Keep in mind that the Admissions Committee may recommend for NUZYP those candidates who did not indicate it during registration.

Study

Full time

Duration

1 academic year

 

How to apply for the Master and Doctorate (PhD) Programs?

The main admission requirements:

●             An undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent). During the application period, final year students may submit the official current transcript for consideration;

●             CGPA

●             High level of English proficiency, demonstrated by IELTS or TOEFL test results;

●             Strong reading, analytical, and mathematical skills as demonstrated by GRE test (optional). Although an official GRE score is not an essential requirement, an applicant can enhance her/his application with a competitive GRE score

●             High motivation and a strong interest in the program as outlined in a statement of purpose

Application package checklist:

●       Complete Application form;

●       National ID (for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan) and passport (for international applicants);

●       Official document confirming name change (if applicable);

●       Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree diploma with transcript; During the application period final year students may upload official current transcript for consideration;

●       IELTS or TOEFL certificate valid as of the date of online documents submission;

●       Document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for applicants who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS or TOEFL). Applicants should provide a detailed certificate/reference from the university indicating the number and list of subjects completed in English;

●             Curriculum vitae (up to 2 pages);

●             GRE certificate valid as of the date of online documents submission (if applicable);

●             Statement of purpose (up to 1 page);

●       Two confidential letters of recommendation (at least one academic reference) written within the last 12 months (to be provided by referees electronically or in hard copy after receiving an email request).

 More detailed requirements for each School can be found on the website of the Nazarbayev University

Admissions Department:

Тел.: + 7 (7172) 64 25 84

E-mail: info_admissions@nu.edu.kz

Kabanbay Batyr Ave., 53, office 1111

Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan

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