Courses for Students Impacted by Coronavirus

Northwestern welcomes students from other institutions.

Northwestern University offers undergraduate course options for students whose studies have been disrupted by the coronavirus/COVID-19.

Spring Quarter, 2020

Online courses may be an option for students who have been impacted by coronavirus. The student-at-large option at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies (SPS) allows non-admitted students to enroll in SPS courses for credit.



Please contact Peter Kaye, SPS Assistant Dean, Undergraduate and Post-baccalaureate Programs, if you are an administrator looking for options for your students or if you have questions about course prerequisites.


If you are a student and are interested in taking courses at SPS, please follow these steps:

  • Contact your school’s registrar to determine the ability to transfer courses from Northwestern to your institution.
  • Once you have confirmed transferability, please complete this form.

Spring 2020 Online Courses

Undergraduate Courses Available to Students-at-large

Please note that registration is based on space available and is not guaranteed. Northwestern students have first priority in course registration.

ACCOUNT 201-DL: Introduction to Financial Accounting

The content of the course is designed to provide students with a firm understanding of the financial accounting process, and to include identifying, recording and communicating accounting information to external users. The course will discuss Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and explain how their framework fosters the relevance and reliability of financial statements. Students can expect an introduction to the techniques of accounting and the accounting profession with an emphasis on organizing information for decision making and the information needs of creditors and equity holders. Topics include financial statements, transaction analysis, accrual accounting, cash management, inventories, receivables, long-term and intangible assets, liabilities, stockholders' equity, cash flow statements, and financial statement analysis.

Prerequisites: None

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ACCOUNT 202-DL: Introduction to Managerial Accounting

A continuation of the introduction to accounting, with emphasis on providing relevant and timely accounting information and analysis to managers for use in planning, decision making, and controlling strategic operational objectives. Topics include the classifications of costs and different ways of reporting and analyzing those costs; the operating budgeting process; capital budgeting; and job-order, standard, process, and activity-based costing systems. To enhance the overall understanding of the textbook material, practical business references will be made through the use of videos and selected article reading.

Prerequisite: ACCOUNT 201 Introduction to Financial Accounting or similar knowledge is expected.

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ACCOUNT 211-DL: Intermediate Accounting II

This course covers the accounting problems of a corporation's valuation, cost allocation, stockholder equity, and long-term debt; leases, pension plans, and income tax allocations; financial statement construction, effect of errors, cash and other funds, and issues relating to the analysis of financial statements; the present-value concept.

Prerequisite: ACCOUNT 210.

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ACCOUNT 308-DL: Income Tax II

This course is a continuation in the field of taxation with particular attention to the field of corporate and business taxation at the Federal level. Corporate formation and capital structure, corporate income tax, other corporate levies, consolidated tax returns, partnerships, and S-corporations are among the topics covered. Some IRS forms will be used, but the emphasis will be upon a deeper understanding of federal tax law.

Prerequisite: ACCOUNT 208 (Income Tax I).

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ACCOUNT 360-DL: Auditing II

Auditing II builds on foundational audit concepts and applies them to real-life situations including the understanding and analysis of company financial statements. The course also introduces a number of internal control frameworks and standards, explores alternatives to the traditional financial statement audit, compares and contrasts the roles of the external and internal auditor, and considers whether auditors can be truly independent. By the end of this course, students will be proficient in analyzing financial statements, including understanding a company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as whether a company presents a good investment opportunity. Students will also be able to design audit procedures to prevent or detect fraud and will have an understanding of the differences between IT controls and manual controls. Students will join group discussions, complete online homework assignments, research and write papers on various topics, participate in group projects and complete online quizzes and examinations. Students are highly encouraged to share articles and their own experiences related to auditing and auditors as part of their assignments.

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CSD 301-DL: Anatomy and Physiology of the Vocal Mechanism

This course covers anatomical and physiological mechanisms of breathing, phonation and articulation. Laboratories include dissection and participation in physiological research. The course is conducted completely online. It will be asynchronous; students can participate in discussions and complete assignments by working at their own pace, as long as deadlines are met.

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CSD 305-DL: Phonetics

This course is an introduction to phonological analysis, dynamics of articulation and dialect variations, focusing on training in transcription of English speech sounds. The course is conducted completely online. It will be asynchronous; students can participate in discussions and complete assignments by working at their own pace, as long as deadlines are met.

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COMM_ST 205-DL: Theories of Persuasion

This course provides an overview of the role communication plays in the social influence process. The primary goal of this course is to help students understand the techniques and factors that lead to changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. To reach this goal, in the course, we will (1) define key terms used by social influence researchers and practitioners, (2) explain major classic and contemporary social influence theories and models, (3) identify common heuristics, or simple decision rules, that guide the decision making process, (4) review how various source, receiver, situation, and message characteristics impact the social influence process, (5) demonstrate how to use and defend against the various social influence techniques discussed in class, and (6) discuss the ethical implications involved in the social influence process.

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ENGLISH 111-DL: Writing Seminar II: Social Protest

From civil rights and black power movements to women’s liberation and gay rights activism, Americans have participated in social movements to protest precarious conditions and achieve a more livable life. In this course, students will study documents from The Declaration of Independence to the signs carried in the #MarchForOurLives. Students will choose their own topics for the three writing assignments and two presentations. This course will introduce students to the study of social movements from a rhetorical perspective. It will explore ways that social media has transformed American political participation by democratizing access to information, disrupting old models of power distribution, and allowing for rapid, broad coalition building and immediate moments of multimodal protest.

In this course students will read arguments critically, and write arguments that are persuasive. Students will build upon what they already know about rhetoric, call upon productive ideas from what they are learning about the world, and bring it together to frame a discussion about current topics. Students will also build upon their ability to enter the context of academic research and argumentation.

The course is conducted completely online. It will be asynchronous; students can participate in discussions and complete assignments by working at their own pace, as long as deadlines are met.

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FINANCE 202-DL: Introduction to Finance

The focus of this course will be on quantitative tools that are primarily used in the field of finance. In particular, we will put heavy emphasis on the mathematics of interest rates, including the tools used to value common stock and fixed rate bonds. We will discuss how rates of return for these instruments are measured. We will then look at the capital budgeting process and learn how managers determine in which projects to invest a firm’s limited resources. We will also study the probabilistic and statistical tools necessary to understand how investors and financial economists evaluate risk. Primary emphasis will be on an intuitive understanding of portfolio theory and its impact on estimating the expected return on an asset given its systematic risk through use of the Capital Asset Pricing Model. Prerequisite: While there is not a formal prerequisite for this course, it is helpful for students to have a basic understanding of algebra and statistics, especially concepts such as standard deviation, correlation, covariance and regression. Also, some knowledge of accounting is helpful, such as familiarity with balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements.

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MKTG 201-DL: Principles of Marketing

Marketing structure and processes whereby products proceed from the place of production to final use or consumption. Sales management, retailing, foreign trade, advertising, channels of distribution for marketing different types of products, activities of wholesale and retail middlemen and other important marketing institutions, cooperative marketing, market risk, sources of marketing information, price determination, governmental activity related to marketing, cost of marketing, and general critique of market structure.

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ORG_BEH 391-DL: Topics in Management: Global Leadership

Leadership of global organizations requires understanding, appreciating and managing the impact of culture and the interplay of cultural patterns in everyday interactions. To be successful, leaders must be able to interpret complex cultural contexts and develop intercultural competence, not only in themselves but in the people they lead and the other organizations they work with. This course is designed to help students identify and explore the essential elements of a global mindset. Students examine the leadership styles of 21st-century global leaders as they work collaboratively in teams to develop a unified construct of effective global leadership.

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PHIL 364-DL: Business and Professional Ethics

This course examines, from a philosophical perspective, a variety of ethical issues relating to contemporary business. Types of questions asked in the course include: Should corporations be viewed solely as profit making-entities? What are some of the major philosophical theories of ethics, and how might they apply to contemporary business? What obligations do corporations have when they market their products? Does the morality of corporate behavior change from country to country? How should we expect corporations to behave in the future?

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PHIL 269-DL: Bioethics

This course will consist of an analysis of the ethical issues that arise as a result of the developments in medicine and biotechnology. Topics considered will include the physician/patient relationship, the researcher/human subject relationship, issues at the beginning and end of life, children’s issues, the right to health care, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.

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SOCIOL 302-DL: Sociology of Organizations

Our contemporary lives are shaped by participation in a range of complex organizations. They dominate the social, political, and economic landscape of our world. Understanding how organizations shape our lives is crucial to gaining some control over the outcomes which affect us. Due to their ubiquity, organizations have been phenomena to which social science has devoted much research. Due to their complexity, definitive explanations of organizational structures, processes, and outcomes have been difficult to achieve. This course provides an overview of what is known about complex organizations. Students are introduced to various theoretical paradigms that explain different aspects of organizational life. They learn how to use theoretical models to analyze organizational problems. Solutions to problems are suggested by the various research studies that provide a knowledge base for this course. By the end of the course, students will be able to diagnose organizational problems and devise targeted remedies.

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