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Program Overview

Pregraduate Study

Pregraduate Specialized Studies

Create a custom course of study to prepare for graduate school, professional school and PhD programs. Students develop a specialized academic plan of four to eight courses that capitalizes on their backgrounds and perfectly suits their academic goals, guided by the admissions requirements of their graduate programs of interest. Courses within this specialized studies program can be grouped within a single subject or built across subject areas for interdisciplinary study. Students will have the opportunity to strengthen their academic transcript, show recent academic success and secure current letters of recommendation from NU faculty. This certificate is a credential that will enable students to stand out in their application for advanced study.


Students interested in pursuing specialized study for professional or career advancement should explore the Specialized Studies for Career Advancement post-baccalaureate program.


Pregraduate Study Program Details and Areas of Study

Program Details

Time to Completion

  • Two quarters to two years, based on your goals and number of courses


  • Courses are available on Northwestern's Evanston and Chicago campuses


  • Evening and Saturday courses


  • When applying, choose Specialized Studies as Certificate Program


Areas of Study

Collaborate with an adviser to create a specialized program of study comprised of SPS undergraduate courses to meet specific academic goals. Academic subjects include:

  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chinese
  • Communication Studies
  • Economics
  • English 
  • French
  • History
  • Information Systems
  • Journalism
  • Mathematics
  • Organization Behavior
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Radio/TV/Film
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

View Courses

Law and Education Preparation

Specialized studies can also be an ideal means of preparation for law school and master’s programs in education.

Pregraduate Study Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students at Northwestern's School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

Admission for Pregraduate Study

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found on the Admission page.

Pregraduate Study Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records systems. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

Find out more about the Pregraduate Study

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