Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

Online Learning

Northwestern SPS offers online master's degrees and online certificate programs covering a range of academic disciplines. Fully accredited, SPS' online graduate courses and online undergraduate courses marry the best aspects of online technology with the interactivity of the classroom in a format designed to work with students' busy schedules. Many students question if there is a difference between a degree earned online versus attending class on campus. At Northwestern, students will benefit from participating in a prestigious program with no distinctions made as to whether the degree was an online or on-campus format. Regardless if you're earning your graduate degree or graduate certificate online or in person, the degrees and curricula are equivalent, classes are taught by outstanding Northwestern SPS faculty and students must meet the same admissions standards. Northwestern currently has approval or is in the process of obtaining approval to offer courses in states that require authorization for programs that are taught entirely online.

Canvas Learning Management System at Northwestern

Northwestern University uses Canvas for its online learning management system (LMS). Canvas is a cloud-based LMS that emphasizes simplicity, ease-of-use and modern design. It is a powerful educational platform that supports a deep focus on teaching and learning. Canvas offers easy integration of web services such as Google Docs, Google Calendar, Twitter and RSS. Canvas also provides 24/7 support to all users. For more information on Canvas, please visit NUIT.

Online Offerings

Online Master's Degrees

Online Certificates

Undergraduate Courses

Center for Public Safety

Self-paced and instructor-led courses in select topics are available. Review the schedule of upcoming online CPS courses.

See hardware and software system requirements for SPS online master's degree programs.

Online Learning at Northwestern

Northwestern's online programs create opportunities for meaningful learning and engagement with instructors, classmates, and course material using many of the tools we're already using every day to communicate, gather information, and manage our lives.

Online Student Stories

Tori Bell

Like many young professionals, Tori Bell decided to return to grad school while holding down a full-time job. She was accepted into a traditional MBA program, but it didn’t take long for Tori to realize it wasn’t the right fit. As a senior communications specialist at the San Diego headquarters of global biotech company Illumina, she wanted coursework that more closely aligned with her long-term professional goals. Serendipitously, while attending a Digital Workplace conference in Chicago, she saw an ad for the Northwestern Master of Science in Information Design and Strategy (IDS) online program. Read more.


Stephanie Kang

Stephanie Kang considers herself a community-builder. Currently working toward her Master of Science in Global Health, Kang also serves as program director of two nonprofits associated with Harvard University. At the helm of MEDscience, run out of Harvard Medical School, she works to bring experiential STEM education to classrooms around Boston. “It's a fun, innovative program where we try to provide hands-on science-learning opportunities for underserved students,” explains Kang. “We're trying to level the playing field for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.” Read more.

Robert Caragher

After spending much of his career managing finances in higher education, Robert Caragher was ready to switch to a different sector within the not-for-profit world. That's when he decided to commit to one of his lifelong passions. "I've always been an avid museumgoer," Caragher said. "They're sort of a sanctuary." However, Caragher knew he'd have to reposition himself to make the transition. As a late career-changer, he was also concerned about age discrimination in the workplace. To gain a leg up, he enrolled in the Museum Studies Online Certificate Program at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. Read more.