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Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

About SPS


Thomas Gibbons

Dear Friends of SPS,

Congratulations graduates! As we look back on the 2021 School of Professional Studies Convocation and the 163rd Annual University-wide Commencement, I am filled with pride and admiration over the accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff in the face of a worldwide pandemic. Your dedication, innovation and spirit are truly impressive. 

We are very excited at the prospect of a return to in-person classes in Chicago and Evanston this fall. Although the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, we remain cautious. Previously scheduled summer quarter on-campus courses will be held in remote learning classrooms, except for a small number of lab courses and intensive course sequences. Please visit the University’s COVID-19 web pages for the latest updates and guidelines.

As we look toward brighter days ahead, our goal before, during and after these challenging times has remained the same — delivering the highest quality education in a dynamic, supportive learning environment. That is my promise, our promise, to each of our students.


Thomas F. Gibbons
Dean, School of Professional Studies
Northwestern University

A core part of Northwestern's mission since 1933

Northwestern University School of Professional Studies students are part of a unique and distinguished university community. They learn in a supportive, collaborative environment in courses — offered online and in the evenings on Northwestern's Chicago and Evanston campuses — that enable them to balance their personal and professional lives with the pursuit of learning. Classes in SPS degree and certificate programs are taught by some of the university's most respected and talented teachers — scholars and professionals who value the diversity, energy and creativity of our students.

One of the 12 colleges and schools of Northwestern University, SPS and adult learning have been a core part of Northwestern’s mission since 1933. SPS is enmeshed in many parts of the University — sharing faculty members, creating innovative programs and setting the standard for higher education for adults. SPS students become part of a university ranked among the nation’s best universities with top medical, law and business schools, and a faculty that has made pioneering contributions to materials science, nanotechnology, economics, the humanities, and more.

Our Mission

Providing innovative learning opportunities

The mission of the School of Professional Studies is to provide a superior Northwestern education to outstanding students whose academic pursuits must be balanced with professional or personal commitments. SPS strives to be a national leader in continuing and professional education by providing innovative learning opportunities that serve the lifelong learning needs of its students.

Meet some of our students and alums

Stephanie Kang

It was incredibly important for me to maintain my professional experience while I went to school. Northwestern gave me the most flexibility and the best-rounded coursework, so I knew Id be able to learn what I wanted to on a timeline that accommodated my busy schedule. ”

Stephanie Kang, MS in Global Health ('16)

My professors are running businesses, working for consulting firms and agencies, and navigating today’s workplace just like I am. Hearing about their experiences and creative solutions to work challenges many of us face is not only really interesting but also applicable. ”

Tori Bell, MS in Information Design and Strategy student
Tori Bell
Dennis Shea

Northwestern is a high-end research facility and I’m certain some of the more advanced concepts I learned here are going to help me fit in well at Yale. ”

Dennis Shea, Prephysician Assistant certificate program

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