Applicants to this certificate program must hold a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college, university or its foreign equivalent. A competitive graduate record that indicates strong academic ability is required. Work, internship, or research experience is highly desirable, but not a requirement.
Please note that courses completed in the certificate program cannot be transferred to the corresponding graduate degree.
- Fall quarter: July 15
- Winter quarter: October 15
- Spring quarter: January 15
- Summer quarter: April 15
If an application deadline falls on a weekend, supplemental materials will be due the next business day. Applications are accepted year round and are reviewed by the faculty admissions committee once a quarter. Applicants will be notified of their admission status approximately four weeks after the deadline.
- Meet application deadlines
- Complete the
- Include all supplemental materials
- Submit nonrefundable application fee of $50
Statement of Purpose and Writing Sample
Applicants must submit a 300-word statement of purpose explaining how the certificate program will help them meet their academic and professional goals. Applicants who do not have a graduate degree in liberal arts or a related field should explain how other academic and nonacademic experiences have prepared them to undertake graduate-level study in the field.
The writing sample allows the applicant to demonstrate the ability to present ideas and arguments in a manner appropriate to a graduate-level program. The sample should be a critical analysis paper or essay not exceeding 10 pages, and should consist of the following:
- A clearly articulated thesis.
- An argument that persuasively supports the thesis and demonstrates an awareness of contrary arguments.
- Documentation of quoted material and acknowledgement of ideas taken from the works of others using an accepted academic style guide.
Supplemental materials, with the exception of transcripts, must be uploaded to the online application. Official transcripts may be sent to our Admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to our Chicago office. Please be sure to include the name of your intended program when addressing transcripts. Applicants will be notified once all materials have been received and the application is complete.
- One sealed copy of an official transcript from a previously attended college and/or university showing a completed graduate degree. Official transcripts must arrive in our office in the original sealed envelope issued by the institution. Northwestern University School of Professional Studies accepts electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions via secure electronic transcript providers. Consult with your institution to see if they are part of a secure e-delivery network. All electronic transcripts should be sent to email@example.com. Please note transcripts are not accepted by fax or email. If you are currently enrolled, please submit an official transcript showing courses in-progress. Applicants with international transcripts must request an official course-by-course evaluation of transcripts from a NACES member such as WES or ECE. A course-by-course evaluation will translate courses, degrees and grades to U.S. equivalency.
- One letter of recommendation focusing on academic and professional achievement and ability. Ideally, this recommendation would be from a faculty member in the applicant's graduate program.
- Statement of purpose
- A writing sample
- Current résumé or curriculum vitae
MALS Graduate Admissions
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Wieboldt Hall, Sixth floor
339 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008
Your application will be evaluated by the MALS Admissions Committee. The following considerations will guide the Committee in their review:
- Letter of recommendation helps build a case for your academic qualifications. A strong letter that provides detailed information about your academic ability will have a positive effect on your candidacy. The more specific the letter, the better. You should brief recommenders about the program and your objectives before requesting a letter.
- The statement of purpose demonstrates whether or not your academic goals are appropriate to the MALS program. This statement also helps the committee determine whether you possess the necessary writing skills and intellectual maturity to succeed in the program.
- The writing sample is used to evaluate your ability to engage in the academic study of the humanities. We recommend that the sample be a paper written for a previously completed course that focuses on a critical discussion of a topic within the humanities. The paper should have a strong thesis and make use of close textual study to advance that thesis. The paper should follow academic conventions when citing sources and should be clearly organized and written. If you do not have such a paper to submit, you may consider taking an advanced-level undergraduate humanities course that will require such a paper.