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Special Programs

U.S. Non-degree Special Students

U.S. Non-degree Special Students

Application Policies

  • Non-degree Special Students are held to the same admissions standards as regular degree candidates. Therefore, a well-conceived statement of purpose and official transcripts of prior study are required as part of the application.
  • Applications will be reviewed only after the Office of Special Students (OSS) has received a completed application and all supplemental application materials.
  • A formal letter of acceptance or rejection and registration materials (if applicable) will be sent approximately two weeks after receipt of the completed application.

Application Materials

  • Non-degree Special Student Application (PDF Format)
  • Statement of purpose stating clearly why you wish to attend Northwestern as a NDSS (maximum one page typed, double-spaced, please include your name on all attached sheets)
  • Official transcripts of all work completed at institutions of higher learning
    $50 non-refundable application fee (check or money order only, payable to Northwestern University)

Send application and supplemental materials to:

Office of Special Students
Summer Session and Special Programs
Northwestern University
405 Church Street
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3443

Application Deadlines for the 2019-20 Academic Year

Quarter Application Deadline
Fall (classes begin Tuesday, September 24, 2019) August 21, 2019
Winter (classes begin Monday, January 6, 2020) November 15, 2019
Spring (classes begin Tuesday, March 31, 2020) February 14, 2020

  • All materials must be received by the respective deadline in order to be considered.
  • Applications received after the deadline will be considered for the following term, if the applicant so requests.

Tuition and Fees

All tuition and fees for non-degree special students are charged at the undergraduate day-school rate.  

Tuition for the 2019–20 academic year is: 

  • Part-time tuition: $6,668/unit (one course = one unit), for enrollment in 1 or 2 courses/credit units
  • Full-time tuition: $18,744/quarter for enrollment in 3 to 5.5 courses/credit units
  • Certain courses that are worth more or less than one credit unit are indicated as such in the quarterly class schedule. Students may also be responsible for applicable student and lab fees.
  • Rates are subject to change without notice, and increases should be expected in subsequent years. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for updated tuition and fee rates.


The quarterly class schedule and course descriptions are available on the Office of the Registrar's website.

Students may also wish to visit the website of the department offering the course(s) in which they are interested in enrolling. Contact information is available from the Northwestern University department directory.

Admitted Students

Admitted NDSS will receive a detailed information packet and registration information via email. Relevant information for admitted NDSS is also available online.

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