Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

Course Planning

Graduate Programs

  • Creative Writing (MCW)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing program requires successful completion of ten courses to earn the degree. MA students must complete six core courses (three workshops in their genre specialization, one cross-genre course, and two graduate-level literature courses), three elective courses, and a thesis project course (MCW 590).

    The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program requires successful completion of eighteen courses to earn the degree. MFA students must complete ten core courses (seven workshops in their genre specialization, one cross-genre course, one seminar on teaching creative writing, and one practicum course in teaching or publishing), six elective courses (including at least three literature courses), and the two-course thesis project series (MCW 589 and MCW 590). The last four courses of the MFA are tuition-free for students in good-standing.

    Students from either degree program can take courses in any order (outside of the thesis project courses, which are taken at the end of the program). We recommend that new students begin with a workshop course or an elective in the program that is examines an especially interesting topic for them. The teaching seminar and practicum courses should be taken in later terms, once the student has completed at least half of their degree requirements.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Global Health (MSGH)

    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Science in Global Health program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MSGH students must complete eight core courses (including the Leadership 481 course), three elective courses, and the practicum course (MSGH 580).

    The MSGH program is designed to be completed in 2-3 years of part-time study, but students have up to five years to complete their program. Students who are planning to complete the program as quickly as possible must plan carefully to meet the prerequisites listed for the practicum. Students must meet the stated prerequisites prior to enrolling in the practicum course.

    In your first term, we recommend registering for MSGH 405 or MSGH 408.  For students who are planning on taking a full course load of two courses at a time, we recommend registering for MSGH 405 and MSGH 408.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.

  • Health Informatics (MHI)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Science in Health Informatics program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MHI student must complete five core courses (MHI 401, MHI 403, MHI 407, Leadership 481, and the Capstone or Thesis course), and seven courses within their chosen specialization (the four required specialization courses, and three elective courses in the specialization area). The three areas of specialization are Clinical Informatics, Health Administration Informatics, or Health Technology Informatics.

    The MHI program is designed to be completed in two to two and a half years (eight to ten academic quarters), but students have up to five years to complete their program (twenty academic quarters). If you have a more aggressive timeline to completion, please contact your adviser to discuss how and if the goal can be achieved.

    There is not a sequenced order to the courses (with the exception of the Capstone and/or Thesis course, which is taken in the final term of the program), and they do not need to be taken in numerical order. However, many MHI students do take them in roughly numerical order depending on the timing of course offerings

    In your first term, we recommend a core course for the program (e.g. MHI 401 or MHI 403, which are offered nearly every quarter, or MHI 407). After you have some of the core requirements completed, we encourage students to start pursing the classes required for your specialization. We recommend waiting to enroll in the Leadership course (LEADERS 481) for later in your program, as it adds the greatest degree of flexibility in your scheduling of your courses in your final terms.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Information Design and Strategy (MSIDS)

    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Science in Information Design and Strategy program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MSIDS students must complete eight core courses, three elective courses corresponding to the student’s declared specialization, and either the capstone project (498) or thesis (590) course.

    In your first term, it is best to begin the program with one of the following core courses: MS_IDS 403 Effective Communication, MS_IDS 405 User Research, or MS_IDS 411 Info Design and Architecture. If you are planning to take more than one course, enroll in a specialization course in addition to either MS_IDS 403, MS_IDS 405, or MS_IDS 411.

    We recommend waiting to enroll in the Leadership course (LEADERS 481) for later in your program, as it adds the greatest degree of flexibility in your scheduling of your courses in your final terms.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.

  • Information Systems (MSIS)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Science in Information Systems program requires eleven courses to earn the degree. MSIS students must complete three core courses (CIS 413, CIS 414, and CIS 417), one Leadership course (LEADERS 481), six courses within their area of specialization, and either the capstone project (498) or thesis (590) course.

    Students in the Analytics and Business Intelligence (ABI) specialization follow a slightly different course plan. MSIS: ABI students need to complete two (rather than three) core courses (CIS 414 and CIS 417), one Leadership course (LEADERS 481), seven (rather than six) within the ABI specialization, and either the capstone project (498) or thesis (590) course.

    For all MSIS students, we recommend that in your first term you begin with one of the program’s core courses: CIS 413, CIS 414, CIS 417, or CIS 494 (the last is required for 6 of the 7 possible specializations). If you are planning to take more than one course, core courses can be paired with a specialization course. We recommend waiting to enroll in the LEADERS 481 course until later in your time in program because it is offered every quarter, giving you more flexibility to schedule it around other requirements that are not offered as frequently.

    Please review your admissions letter to confirm your selected specialization. We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Liberal Studies (MALS)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program requires nine courses to earn the degree. MALS students must complete two core courses (IPLS 410 and IPLS 401), six elective courses (in subject areas such as philosophy, religion, history, art history and literature), and the Thesis project course (IPLS 590).

    MALS students have the option to structure their elective coursework to complete a specialization, if they choose. Students complete four thematically linked courses to earn a specialization within the MALS degree.

    Students can take courses in any order except for the thesis course, which must be taken as the final course in the program. We recommend taking IPLS 410: Introduction to Cultural Analysis early in your program, in the first quarter that it is offered.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Literature (MALit)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Arts in Literature program requires nine courses to earn the degree. MALit students must complete a core courses (Lit 410), seven elective Literature courses, and the Thesis project course (Lit 590).

    MALit students have the option to structure their elective coursework to complete a specialization, if they choose. Students complete four thematically linked courses to earn a specialization within the MALit degree.

    Students can take courses in any order except for the thesis course, which must be the final course in the program. We recommend taking LIT 410: Introduction to Graduate Study early in your program, in the first quarter that it is offered.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Predictive Analytics (MSPA)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Science in Predictive Analytics program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MSPA students must complete eight core courses, a business leadership or project management course, two elective courses, and a capstone (498) course or thesis (590) project.

    One Class Per Quarter Pace
    Students taking one class per term will finish the program in three years (twelve quarters). We recommend that students planning on taking one course per academic quarter adhere to the following course plan:

    • Quarter 1: PREDICT 400
    • Quarter 2: PREDICT 402
    • Quarter 3: PREDICT 401
    • Quarter 4: PREDICT 420
    • Quarter 5: PREDICT 410
    • Quarter 6: PREDICT 411
    • Quarter 7: PREDICT 413
    • Quarter 8: PREDICT 422
    • Quarter 9: PREDICT 475 or PREDICT 480
    • Quarter 10: Elective 1
    • Quarter 11: Elective 2
    • Quarter 12: PREDICT 498 or PREDICT 590

    Two Classes Per Quarter Pace
    Students taking two classes per term will finish the program in one and a half years (six quarters). We recommend that students planning on taking two courses per academic quarter adhere to the following course plan:

    • Quarter 1: PREDICT 400 and PREDICT 402
    • Quarter 2: PREDICT 401 and PREDICT 420
    • Quarter 3: PREDICT 410 and PREDICT 480 or PREDICT 475
    • Quarter 4: PREDICT 411 and an elective course
      • we recommend elective courses PREDICT 452, 453, 455, 456, 457, 470, 472, 491 as they do not require PREDICT 411 as a prerequisite
    • Quarter 5: PREDICT 413 and PREDICT 422
    • Quarter 6: PREDICT 498 or PREDICT 590 and Elective 2

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Public Policy and Administration (MPPA)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program requires thirteen courses to earn the degree. MPPA students must complete nine core courses, three specialization courses, and either a capstone course (MPPA 498) or individual thesis research project (MPPA 590).

    Courses can be taken in any order, with the exception of the final capstone course or individual thesis research project. We recommend begin taking specialization courses after completing two to three core courses, as specialization courses are offered on a yearly rotation.

    In your first term, it is best to begin with MPPA 403 or MPPA 407. If these two options are unavailable, MPPA 408 would be a good alternative. If you plan to take more than one course per term, you could pair either MPPA 401 with MPPA 403, or MPPA 402 with MPPA 407. MPPA 408 can also be paired with MPPA 401, MPPA 402 or MPPA 403.

    As you plan your coursework, it is important to note that enrollment in the capstone course requires the completion of 11 courses; the capstone must be taken in the final term of the program, and only one course may be taken concurrently. For students who must be enrolled in at least two courses for financial aid purposes, the odd number of courses in the program requires especially careful planning. If you have any questions, please contact your adviser.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Regulatory Compliance (MSRC)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Science in Regulatory Compliance program requires completion of eleven courses to earn the degree. MSRC students must complete four core courses (MSRC 401, MSRC 405, MSRC or MHI 409, and MSRC 435), four track (specialization area) courses, one cross-elective track course (any elective outside of your track/specialization area), a leadership course (LEADERS 481) and either the capstone course (498) or individual thesis research project (590)

    In your first term, we recommend beginning the program any of the MSRC core courses (MSRC 401, MSRC 405, MSRC 409, or MSRC 435). If you are planning on taking two classes in your first quarter, plan on taking a course in your track/specialization area in addition to the MSRC core course. We recommend waiting to enroll in the LEADERS 481 course until later in your time in program because it is offered every quarter, giving you more flexibility to schedule it around other requirements that are not offered as frequently.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.
  • Sports Administration (MSA)

    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The Master of Arts in Sports Administration program requires successful completion of eleven courses to earn the degree. Students must complete six core courses, three elective courses, a Leadership course (LEADERS 481), and a capstone class (498) or thesis project (590).

    MSA students can take courses in any order (outside of the Capstone or Thesis course, which is the final course in the program). Most students are encouraged to begin with MSA 401 Sports Research Methods or MSA 402 Sports Marketing. Students in the Sports Analytics specialization should start with PREDICT 400 Math for Modelers as one of their first courses.

    It is also recommended that students take the required Leadership course (LEADERS 481) towards the end of their academic careers. It is recommended that you visit the MSA Course Schedule page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. It is critical to plan your schedule, as many courses are offered on a rotation.

    We recommend waiting to enroll in the Leadership course (LEADERS 481) for later in your program, as it adds the greatest degree of flexibility in your scheduling of your courses in your final terms.

    We also recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.

Undergraduate & Post Baccalaureate Programs

  • Undergraduate Degree Programs
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    The courses you take to complete your degree will generally fall into three categories: distribution requirements, major/minor area of study, and electives. All undergraduate students are required to take an English Composition course (e.g. English 111 or 205). The Credit Evaluation included in your admissions packet outlines the requirements for your degree, and can serve as a road map toward completing your program.

    We recommend that you visit the Search Courses page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions about what courses to take, please contact your academic adviser.

    If you have been admitted under Performance-based Admission (PBA) guidelines, you are required to speak with your adviser before registering.
  • Professional Health Careers Post Baccalaureate Programs (ProHealth)
    New Student Course Planning Recommendations for the 2017-18 Academic Year

    New students starting in the fall are encouraged to take the following courses for each program, in order to meet prerequisite requirements for each sequence:
     
    Pre-Medicine
    • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
    • PHYSICS 130-A College Physics I (with lab, Physics 131-A)
    • PRO HLTH 396-A Professional Health Careers Proseminar I (a no-cost, non-credit course)
     

    Pre-Nursing
    • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
    • PSYCH 110 Introduction to Psychology
     

    Pre-Clinical Psychology
    • PSYCH 110 Introduction to Psychology
    • PSYCH 201 Statistical Methods in Psychology
     

    Pre-Physical Therapy
    • BIOL SCI 313 Human Anatomy
    • PHYSICS 130-A College Physics I (with lab, Physics 131-A)
     

    Pre-Physician Assistant
    • BIOL SCI 217 Physiology
    • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
    • PRO HLTH 396-A Professional Health Careers Proseminar I (a no-cost, non-credit course)



    Pre-Medicine Completion
    Remaining courses are dependent on previously completed coursework. If unsure of remaining requirements, contact your adviser for guidance.

    Pre-speech Pathology

    • CSD 318 Introduction to Audiology (also available in winter, but students needing to meet Financial Aid requirements should take it in fall)
    • CSD 392 Language Development and Usage
    • CSD 465 Hearing Impairment



    Recommended courses for the Pre-speech and Pre-med completion programs are variable based on what the student needs to complete. If you have any questions please contact an adviser with any questions about course planning.