All applicants are required to submit an online application. Applicants can check the status of their application at any time by logging into the online Self Service Center portal. You can contact the admission advising team with questions about the application and admission process and for general program information.

Application Checklist

The following materials are required to apply: 

  • A completed online application
  • A statement of purpose
  • $50 application fee (nonrefundable)
  • Official high school transcripts and conferred date of completion (or GED report)
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities
  • A current resume or CV
  • Documentation of English Proficiency for students whose first language is not English. See "English Proficiency" below

Please list all colleges and universities attended. Official transcripts must arrive in our office in the original sealed envelope issued by the institution. Northwestern University School of Professional Studies accepts electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions via secure electronic transcript providers. Consult with your institution to see if they are a part of a secure e-delivery network.

Official electronic transcripts must be requested from the college or university and sent directly to

Official mailed transcripts can be sent to*:

Attn: Undergraduate Admissions
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Wieboldt Hall, Sixth floor
339 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008

* Please review the notice on the Admission page

Application Deadlines

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


International Students

SPS welcomes international students to apply and, if admitted, enroll in our undergraduate 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 at 847-491-5613.

International Transcripts

Official transcripts from institutions outside of the U.S. are required to be evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Applicants are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation completed. The course-by-course evaluation will serve as the official transcript for studies completed outside of the U.S. 

Northwestern University School of Professional Studies will only accept official course by course evaluations if the evaluation explicitly indicates that the individual’s course of study is the U.S. equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (or master’s degree).

Specifically, if the degree requirement for admission is a conferred bachelor’s degree, the course-by-course evaluation must read equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. If the degree requirement for admission is a conferred master’s degree, the course-by-course evaluation must read equivalent to a U.S. master’s degree. Additionally, an applicant that has earned a U.S. master’s degree and has a bachelor’s degree from outside of the U.S. must still submit an official course by course evaluation that indicates that the applicant has the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

Applicants are also required to ensure that the language of instruction is included in the course-by-course evaluation.

NACES approved evaluation companies, ECE and Educational Perspectives, are highly recommended by the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.

English Proficiency

Proof of English proficiency is a School of Professional Studies admission requirement for international applicants. 

International applicants can provide proof of English Proficiency by submitting one of the following:

  • Provide an official transcript demonstrating a Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university.
  • Provide an official course-by-course evaluation where the language of instruction is indicated as English.
  • Provide official scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam and achieved the required score (official scores must be provided)
    • TOEFL – 100 or higher on the iBT (internet based TOEFL)
      • TOEFL Institution Code: 9019
    • IELTS – 7.0 or higher on the Academic IELTS

Transfer Credit Policy

All transcripts from previous institutions must be submitted with the undergraduate application. Once admitted, students must petition to obtain pre-approval to transfer in coursework toward an SPS degree. Students offered performance-based or transfer admission will receive an evaluation of their transfer credit upon admission.

  • Undergraduate degree candidates may satisfy up to one-half of their graduation requirements with coursework completed at other institutions.
    Note: Any previous credit that was applied to a completed bachelor's degree cannot be applied to an SPS degree. Applicants who already possess a bachelor's degree are strongly encouraged to select from post-baccalaureate or master's level program offerings at the School of Professional Studies.
  • Transfer credit is awarded for courses taken at a regionally accredited institution, passed with a grade of C (2.0) or better, and similar in focus and classroom hours to courses at Northwestern.
  • All previously completed courses are evaluated, regardless of when they were completed.
  • SPS does not accept military or lifelong learning for credit. Independent studies, field experience, externships, seminars, etc. need to be petitioned for approval.
  • SPS does not award credit for data processing or Microsoft applications training. Nor do we evaluate graduate or professional coursework.
  • Students must complete English writing requirements at SPS. Composition courses taken elsewhere can be transferred in as elective credit.
  • Upper-level courses are more rigorous than lower-level courses. Therefore, lower-level classes taken at other institutions may not count as upper-level courses even if content and title appear to be similar.

SPS programs lead to one of three bachelor’s degrees: the bachelor of philosophy (BPhil); the bachelor of science in general studies (BSGS); the bachelor of philosophy in communication (BPhilCom).  

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