Frequently Asked Questions


Here is helpful information for prospective students.

What can I study at NCC?  

NCC has over 100 programs of study leading to associate degrees, certificates and specialized diplomas. Read more about our programs and majors. 

Does NCC offer an intensive English as a Second Language program?

Yes. We offer a full-semester English as a Second Language program and an intensive Summer ESL Institute. Find out more about our ESL program.  

Does the College require TOEFL, IELTS, or any other exams? 

NCC does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or other exams for students to be accepted to the college.

However, all non-native speakers of English are required to pass an English proficiency exam in order to enroll in English 101 and other academic classes. Students may take the exams before they arrive through online proctoring, or they can take the exams when they arrive on campus. NCC can arrange for online testing in advance, if requested.

Students who are not able to pass the required proficiency exams may be required to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses or other courses to support their language development and writing skills.

Students who successfully complete Level 4 of the ESL program can enroll in English 101 and other academic classes.

Information about the ACCUPLACER tests can be found here.

Students can be exempt from English placement testing and ESL courses if they can submit proof of proficiency through other standardized tests:

A minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT and a minimum score of 100 on the Duolingo English Test


A minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS and a minimum score of 100 on the Duolingo English Test.

The Duolingo English Test provides the college with a video interview of the student as well as additional verification of English proficiency.

The Duolingo English Test can be taken online at any time. The exam requires a supported browser and your computer's self-facing camera and microphone. The testing session is recorded and verified by a Duolingo proctor, and the results are available within 48 hours. Click here to take the test.

Students who speak English as a native or primary language do not have to submit proof of English proficiency or take a proficiency exam. However, all new students must still complete their ACCUPLACER tests of college-level Reading and Writing as well as placement testing for Mathematics.

What type of housing is available?

NCC has residence halls on campus, as well as an on-campus apartment building. Click here to find out more about our housing options.  You may also choose to live off campus.

Can I participate in sports while I study at NCC?

NCC has an excellent, nationally ranked athletics program. Interested international athletes should visit NCC's athletics website. Additionally, students can participate in any of the many intramural sports programs on campus and can use the free campus fitness center. 

I want to join a student club or organization. What can I join?

NCC has over 60 student clubs and organizations - there is truly something for everyone! Read more about our student clubs  here.  

How can I learn more about campus life at NCC? 

Check out NCC's virtual tour to learn more!  

Does NCC offer scholarships for international students? 

Currently, NCC does not offer scholarships for international students. Continuing international students are eligible to apply for an NCC Global Ambassador Assistantship. For more information, please email:  

Is financial aid available to international students? 

International students do not qualify for state or federal financial aid. We highly encourage students to visit an Education USA advising center to learn more about financing your education at NCC.

Can I work while I study at NCC?

As a student with an F-1 visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week on NCC's campus. Available positions, however, are very limited. Generally, F-1 visa students cannot accept off-campus employment at any time. Under very limited circumstances, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services may grant permission to accept off-campus employment after one year of study. 

Can I study part-time? 

No. As a student with an F-1 student visa, you need to enroll full-time with at least 12 credits in order to maintain status. You can enroll in either 12 credits of ESL classes or 12 credits of academic classes.

How can I transfer from another U.S. college to NCC? 

If you are already studying in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa, your SEVIS record can be transferred to NCC. First you must apply to NCC. When you are accepted at NCC, complete NCC's Transfer In form. Give the form and your NCC acceptance letter to your current institution so they can transfer your SEVIS record to NCC. You must continue to attend class at your current institution while your transfer is being processed. Your current institution and NCC will notify you of the transfer release date. You should contact NCC soon after the transfer release date and ensure that the DSO has the biographical and financial data needed to update the student's SEVIS record. You must also report to NCC within 15 days of the program start date and enroll full-time in the first required session or term at NCC.

I am already in the U.S. on another type of visa, how can I change my status and apply to become a student?  

If you are already in the U.S. on another type of nonimmigrant visa, first you must apply to NCC. You will need to indicate your type of visa and provide a copy of it with your NCC application. When you are accepted by NCC, we will send your Form I-20 and SEVIS Remittance Form I-901 to you. Complete the Form I-901 and pay the SEVIS fee. Then you can apply for your change of status by filing a Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Click here to download the Form I-539 and filing instructions. Please note that some classes of nonimmigrants must wait for their change of status application to be approved before they can begin taking classes.

Can my spouse and children come to the U.S. with me?

Yes. As an international student, you will apply for an F-1 student visa, and your dependents (spouse and/or children) will apply for F-2 visas. When completing your Certification of Finance as part of your NCC application, you will need to provide proof of an additional $2,000.00 for each dependent. 

What is the weather like in the Lehigh Valley? 

Bethlehem is beautiful! When you arrive in August, temperatures will likely range from 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit (26-35 degrees Celsius). From November until March, temperatures can drop to freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius) and usually well below freezing later in the winter. The winter months are usually accompanied by snow and ice. As springtime approaches in late March to early April, temperatures begin to rise again to about 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit (7-15 degrees Celsius) followed by a warmer spring semester.