Advanced Studies in Biology for the Health Professions

Acceptance Criteria

Students enrolled in the advanced studies in biology for health professions program come from a wide range of backgrounds. This certificate program is designed for those who wish to extend their study of biology as a means of furthering their preparation for the health professions.


We recommend applicants have a minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.0. Please note that this is not a record-enhancing program, and thus students are not allowed to retake courses as part of the certificate program that were previously completed at another university. Students applying to this program should select courses that they have not previously attempted.

Application Checklist

The following materials are required to apply:

  • A completed online application
  • Official transcript showing a bachelor's degree conferred from a regionally accredited institution or its foreign equivalent
  • Statement of purpose
  • Current resume or CV
  • Optional, but highly recommended: one letter of recommendation

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.

Post-baccalaureate Certificate Admissions
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Wieboldt Hall, 6th floor
339 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008
Phone: 312-503-2579
Fax: 312-503-4942
Email: spsadmissions@northwestern.edu

Application Deadlines

Fall quarter: August 1
Winter quarter: November 1
Spring quarter: February 1
Summer quarter: May 1

Preparatory Coursework

While there are no mandatory prerequisites for the advanced studies in biology for health professions program, students should have completed the introductory science courses required for their intended graduate program. If students need to complete the introductory course sequences, the Professional Health Careers program may be a better fit. 

International Applicants

SPS welcomes international students to apply to our post-baccalaureate programs. SPS does not process I-20 or DS-2019 forms for full-time student or exchange visas. Our programs are designed as part-time programs for working professionals and cannot be used to maintain legal status in the United States. Please reach out to the International Office with any questions.

International Transcripts

Applicants with international transcripts must request an official course-by-course evaluation of those transcripts from a NACES member. A course-by-course evaluation will translate courses, degrees and grades to U.S. equivalencies. The evaluations must be prepared for Northwestern University School of Professional Studies and must arrive in our office in a sealed envelope issued by the evaluator.

English Proficiency

All applicants to SPS programs whose first language is not English must demonstrate language proficiency in one of the following three ways:

  • Provide official scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The test must be taken no more than two years before the intended quarter of entry. For the TOEFL, applicants must score 600 or higher on the paper-based test, 250 or higher on the computer-based test, or 100 or higher on the internet based test. SPS's institutional code for the TOEFL is 9019. For the IELTS exam, applicants must receive a score of 7.0 or higher.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution or equivalent, where the language of instruction is English.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English.

Please contact the admissions office for more information on TOEFL, IELTS, and transcripts for international applicants.