Skip to main content
SPS Logo

Graduate Programs


Resources for SPS Graduate Students

Explore this page for useful administrative and support information for Northwestern University School of Professional Studies master's degree students. If you do not find what you need here, you can browse the graduate program FAQ page for answers to commonly asked questions. The SPS Student Services web pages also offer helpful information as well as direct contact information for the advising team.



Important Dates


Academic Calendar

The academic calendar lists important dates such as application, registration, and drop deadlines, as well as thesis submissions and holidays.


Archived academic calendars from previous years can be found here.




Learning Studios

Skills-building online tutorials

SPS Learning Studios are self-paced, self-directed and individualized online tutorials to support SPS students and assist in student success. These Studios are optional, non-credit, and zero-tuition courses housed in Canvas, with no registration requirements in Caesar. Enrollment in such Studios will not be reflected on your transcript. While other students will be completing the studio at the same time as you, there are no required discussions or group activities. However, there will be an optional, web conference conducted weekly by an instructor for any students who have questions about the material.

As you begin the studio, use the pre-test to identify the areas where you need to improve your skills. You also have an option to select those lessons that address specific questions or gaps in your knowledge that you have already identified.

Your work in this studio will not be graded or evaluated by an instructor or teaching assistant. Instead, you will evaluate your understanding of the material by completing a set of recommended exercises followed by a quiz at the end of each lesson.


R Learning Studio

The online R Learning Studio covers beginner concepts and methods of R programming for incoming students enrolled in graduate and professional career programs at Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies.

At the end of the R Learning Studio, you will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of R Studio software, loading and installing R packages, data munging, handling strings and dates, statistical packages, and much more. 

Lessons and instruction are asynchronous and self-paced. There will be a live synchronous sessions for students who have questions. Each module includes reading materials, demonstration videos, R Code Tutorials, and a post-test for students to measure their progress in each topic, and identify areas of additional need, if any.



Statistics Learning Studio

The Statistics Learning Studio covers statistical concepts and methods as an introduction or refresher for incoming students enrolled in SPS programs.

At the end of this workshop, students will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of concepts and methods in areas of probability, normal distribution, confidence intervals, regression, chi-squares, and more. A comprehensive pre-test will identify areas of strength and weakness in each individual student’s knowledge of statistics.

You will be directed to the lessons that can address your needs. You may self-select additional modules within the course to review and practice concepts in advance of your program’s statistics-centered course(s). Lessons and instruction are asynchronous and self-paced. There will be a live weekly synchronous session for students who have questions. Each lesson includes a post-test for students to measure your progress in each topic, and identify areas of additional need, if any.

This workshop is designed to enhance your skill set and boost your proficiency to master statistical concepts through innovative, independent learning. Mastery of this self-paced workshop will provide you with the skills to help you succeed in your SPS statistics course. Concepts include basic algebra, exploring data, data to Inference (probability and sampling distributions) and statistical inference. This course is self-guided with TA-led weekly synch sessions to answer questions. 

ENROLL in Statistics


Excel Learning Studio

The online Excel Studio addresses the basic skills needed to use Microsoft Excel. The readings and exercises will serve as foundation for the advanced uses of Excel that will be required in your coursework, such as statistical analysis, modeling, forecasting, working with external data sources or macros.

Students who successfully complete this studio will be able to use the main features of Microsoft Excel; enter, edit, organize and generate data in Excel workbooks; create cell references to eliminate redundant data; automate calculations with functions and formulas; format data for improved clarity; create tables and ranges for data analysis; and produce graphs to summarize and present data visually. 




Student Handbook

The Graduate Student Handbook is your guide to your SPS graduate program of study and Northwestern University. It will provide you with information about various practical aspects of graduate life and is intended to help you navigate through your program and its administrative procedures. The handbook is your reference tool for a wide range of student concerns, from course registration to your culminating project. In many cases, it is the quickest path to an answer. If, after consulting the handbook, you still have questions or unresolved issues, please contact your Academic and Career Adviser.


In addition to the policies contained in the SPS Graduate Student Handbook, you are also expected to be familiar with University-enacted rules and regulations, which are found in the Northwestern University Student Handbook.




Curriculum Archive

Access archived curricula here.




For New Students

To help you get started at Northwestern University, the Student Services Department of Northwestern University School of Professional Studies has developed an Online Orientation for all new students. For program-specific tutorials (distance learning students), see the links below.

orientation screenshot

Technical Requirements for Online Students

Graduate students enrolled in Distance Learning programs should refer to the following page for the system requirements and technical information related to their academic program.

WildCARD: Northwestern Student ID

Once admitted, students are able to obtain a WildCARD student identification card, which provides access to computer labs, library facilities and University services.

  • On-campus students can visit the WildCARD offices in Evanston and Chicago to obtain a WildCARD.
  • Online students who are not in close proximity to the WildCARD offices may use the process below to obtain a WildCARD:

1. Upload a digital photograph of yourself (NetID required, Internet Explorer recommended)

2. Mail a notarized copy of your driver’s license, state ID or passport to:

Northwestern University
School of Professional Studies
339 E. Chicago Ave, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
attn: WildCARD


Back to top