Information Design and Strategy Online

Admission

Below is a list of requirements for acceptance to the online IDS program. For specific questions regarding the admissions process, contact an adviser at 312-503-2579.

Admission

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or its foreign equivalent. A competitive undergraduate record that indicates strong academic ability is required, though applicants need not have extensive academic experience in information design. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, but strong scores bolster chances for admission. GRE scores and/or new, relevant course work at the undergraduate level are recommended for applicants whose previous academic performance was below a B average.

Duration

The IDS program is designed to be completed in two to three years of uninterrupted part-time study (one to two classes per quarter), although students are allowed five years to finish the program.

Application Checklist

Supplemental Materials

Supplemental materials, with the exception of transcripts, must be uploaded to the online application. Official transcripts may be sent to our Admissions office at spsadmissions@northwestern.edu 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 official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges and universities. 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 spsadmissions@northwestern.edu. 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.
  • Two letters of recommendation focusing on academic achievement and ability
  • Statement of purpose
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae

Transcript mailing address:
IDS Graduate Admissions
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Wieboldt Hall, Sixth floor
339 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008

Statement of Purpose

Applicants must submit a 300-word statement of purpose explaining how the degree program will help them meet their academic and professional goals. Applicants who did not major in information design or a related field should explain how other academic and nonacademic experiences have prepared them to undertake graduate study in this program.

Application Tips

Your application will be evaluated by the IDS Admissions Committee. The following considerations will guide the Admissions Committee in reviewing your application:

  • The Statement of Purpose demonstrates if a student's academic and professional goals are appropriate for this degree. This statement will also aid the committee in determining if the prospective student possesses the necessary writing skills and intellectual maturity for succeeding in this program.
  • The Letters of Recommendation serve to underscore the applicant's commitment to graduate education and ability to succeed in graduate level work.
  • The Résumé is used to provide evidence of a student's continuing commitment to and/or understanding of the information design field. While we prefer candidates to possess 3-5 years of work and/or research experience in a related area, recent college graduates and career changers are also encouraged to apply. These applicants must demonstrate to the committee their commitment to the IDS program by detailing previous internships, academic or volunteer work.