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Complete your degree at Northwestern

Earn your bachelor's degree online or on campus

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Bachelor's Degree Completion Programs


Advance your career with a degree from Northwestern — online and on campus

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Earn your bachelor's degree in a part-time program tailored for the busy schedules of professionals. Choose from fully online bachelor’s degrees or on-campus undergraduate majors. Online courses are designed to ensure robust and engaging learning experiences. Students in on-campus majors attend evening classes on Northwestern's beautiful Chicago and Evanston campuses. All undergraduate courses are led by Northwestern faculty members and prominent industry professionals and offer the high level of academic rigor that Northwestern is known for. 

Online Bachelor's Degree Majors


Five career-focused, online majors are designed to help build pathways to high-demand careers. As part of your degree, you'll also choose from a range of specializations to broaden your expertise, perspective, and marketability.

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On-Campus Bachelor's Degree Majors


Choose from a range of on-campus majors to meet your professional and personal goals. Courses are scheduled on weekday evenings and Saturdays on Northwestern’s Evanston and Chicago campuses. Each program carries its own set of requirements, so you can select an academic path that suits your needs.

The School of Professional Studies has amazing programs tailored to you with professors who truly want you to grow and want to understand what your goals are. ”

Daniel Mojica, Executive Director, Vertiport Chicago

I knew my classes would be taught by industry professionals who knew exactly what they were talking about. I am thrilled that I earned my degree at SPS. ”

Susanne Tedrick, Client Technical Specialist, IBM


Quarterly application deadlines are (fall) August 1, (winter) November 1, (spring) February 1, and (summer) May 1. Apply now and receive an admission decision in four to six weeks.

Learn more about admission

Going to SPS allowed me to work and make money to pay back my loans while I was in school and it also allowed me to take on a lot of internships. ”

Stephanie Fox, English major, Journalism minor

Schedule Information


Start planning your schedule

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Use these tools to see course offerings and locations, important deadlines, and academic calendar dates.

Featured Faculty


Jen Baker
"Life happens. I suggest always talking with your professors. Let them know what’s going on or what your fears are. Most of the time we can be flexible. Remember that there is no single route to success—set your own pace, and we’ll help you get there."
Jennifer Baker, communication studies instructor
Read more
Karl Muth
"Taking part-time coursework at SPS isn’t as radical a change in lifestyle or in how one spends his or her day as one could envision it being from the outside… SPS allows students to take courses at their own pace."
Karl Muth, economics, organizational behavior, public policy, and statistics instructor
Elena Lanza
"The professors at SPS are on your side. There may be some sacrifices, but they’ll be temporary. SPS gives you a chance to meet new personal and professional goals, and we are here to help you achieve them."
Elena Lanza, Spanish instructor

Student-at-Large Courses


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Students who enroll in SPS undergraduate courses and are not seeking a certificate or degree at SPS are considered students-at-large. Enrolling in SPS undergraduate courses as a student-at-large is an excellent way to experience what returning to school is like before committing or applying to a program. Students-at-large may enroll in SPS undergraduate on-campus and online courses for credit, or may audit SPS undergraduate courses that allow auditing.

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Why Northwestern


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With so many colleges and universities offering online bachelor’s degrees, it can be difficult to choose the school that’s best for you. But when you complete your degree at Northwestern, you can be confident that you are receiving the best possible education and experience. Here are just a few of the things that make our online undergraduate degree program stand out from the rest:

  • Quality education – Northwestern’s online undergraduate degree programs combine the convenience of distance learning with the academic excellence of a top university. SPS courses, whether remote or in-person, hold all students to the same high standards while still being manageable additions to your routine. Choose from majors in relevant topics such as enterprise leadership, health sciences, information systems, and more to help you get ahead in your current career or pivot to a new one.
  • Exceptional faculty - Learn from esteemed faculty on the cutting-edge of their fields as well as industry professionals with invaluable real-world experience. Unlike other schools’ online bachelor’s degrees, Northwestern’s online program shares faculty with the day school to give remote students access to the same world-class professors as full-time students.
  • Noteworthy name – Distinguish yourself from other job candidates by adding a Northwestern degree to your resume. Ranked #9 nationally by U.S. News and World Report, the Northwestern name is synonymous with academic excellence and innovation, giving your resume the competitive edge when applying to coveted positions.
  • Multiple pathways to graduationFor those feeling unsure about earning a bachelor’s degree online, we offer stackable undergraduate certificates so you can quickly build credentials as you get to know the program. With relevant topics such as artificial intelligence, leadership, programming, and human resources, you can build valuable skills, add stand-alone certificates to your resume, and earn credit to apply to your online bachelor’s degree progress. For select majors, students located in the Chicago area can also opt to take evening classes in person at the downtown and Evanston campuses.

Resources for Online Students


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Students enrolled in the online bachelor’s degree program have access to a wealth of resources, helping you make the most of your Northwestern experience.

Student life resources
  • Online bachelor's degree program orientation: Once admitted, all Northwestern students completing their bachelor’s degree online are invited to participate in a virtual program orientation on Canvas, the learning management system used in SPS classes. This orientation will help students get familiar with all things Northwestern and e-learning, from activating student ID cards to enrolling in courses to navigating program requirements. Once you have activated your Canvas account, be sure to sign up for this non-credit introductory course. (For help accessing Canvas, please visit the Canvas resources page on the Northwestern IT site.)
  • Academic advising: The SPS academic advising team offers students help planning their degree, selecting courses, assessing their progress toward graduation, and understanding school policies and procedures. Appointments can be held via Zoom or by phone.
  • Career services: Plan for success post-graduation with the help of SPS career advisors, available to help with resume writing, networking, interview preparation, and other crucial professional skills. Handshake, Northwestern Career Advancement’s online platform, also helps students earning their bachelor’s degree online stay up to date with digital events and information sessions as well as internships and job openings.
  • Accessibility accommodations: Online bachelor’s degree students seeking disability accommodations should register with Accessible NU, which aims to empower students with disabilities by facilitating communication to other members of the Northwestern community and providing individualized arrangements.
  • Symposium: The annual School of Professional Studies Symposium is an optional, three-day in-person event. During Symposium, students will have the chance to connect with peers, faculty, and alumni, enjoy student-led presentations, explore the Evanston and Chicago campuses, and participate in an SPS tailgate before the Northwestern homecoming game.
Academic resources
  • The Writing Place: Get help writing papers and articles by scheduling an online appointment with a peer consultant. Whether you need help thinking of a topic, outlining, or reviewing a final draft, the Writing Place offers virtual appointments so that students can
  • The SPS Math Place: Need help in a math, science, or engineering course? SPS students currently enrolled in the online undergraduate programs have access to free tutoring via Zoom through the Math Place.
  • NU Libraries: Access Northwestern’s digital collection of books, scholarly articles, database subscriptions, and more through the library website. Students may also connect with subject librarians, who specialize in particular areas of study and can help you find the right sources to aid in project research.

Frequently Asked Questions


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How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree?

The amount of time it takes to complete your bachelor’s degree at Northwestern depends on several factors, including existing credits from other institutions and the amount of time you can dedicate to coursework.


Can I finish my bachelor’s degree online?

Yes; earn your bachelor’s degree online by choosing from one of three career-focused programs. Online degree options include information systems, enterprise leadership, strategic communications, social sciences, and health sciences (starting 2024). All of Northwestern’s online bachelor’s degree programs are imbued with the same rigor and innovation that characterize the university's on-campus courses.


How do I decide whether an online bachelor’s degree program is the right choice for me?

An online college degree program is often the best option for those balancing busy personal and professional lives with the desire to complete their education. By opting for virtual classes, you’ll have the flexibility to attend class and complete coursework at the time most convenient for you, allowing you to fulfill your other commitments. However, this flexibility also requires greater levels of self-motivation, organization, and time management.


If I am a virtual student, will my degree reflect that is online in any way?

No; the diploma you receive from your online bachelor’s degree program will not specify whether you completed the coursework virtually or on campus.


Can I take courses online and in person?

Yes; if the course is the same, students pursuing their bachelor’s degree online can register for either the online or on-campus format.


How many credits does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree?

The SPS Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Science in General Studies require a total of 45 units, including writing and distribution requirements, a major, and electives. The Bachelor of Philosophy in Communication degree that is earned by students majoring in communication studies, communication systems, or radio/television/film requires a total of 42 units, including a writing and distribution requirements, a major, and electives. See the requirements for these degrees for more details. The SPS online Bachelor of Science degrees in enterprise leadership, information systems, strategic communication, social sciences, and health sciences each require 45 units, including writing and distribution requirements, a major, a concentration, and electives.

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