Registration & Payment Information

Registration for all Professional Development courses is handled through the Northwestern University registration system, CAESAR. Find information regarding registration policies and troubleshooting registration issues for Professional Development courses.

Registration Policies


Students can register for a course up to and including the first day of class. However, we highly recommend that you register as early as possible, at least one week before the course begins. If a course has reached enrollment capacity, we reserve the right to to refuse your registration. Some courses have firm registration deadlines due to pre-class tasks, and last-minute registration will not be allowed.

Dropping Courses and Refunds

Registered students who choose to cancel their enrollment in a course may do so by dropping their course registration in CAESAR (Northwestern University’s registration system). In order to receive a full tuition refund, students must have dropped their registration in CAESAR prior to the end of the registration period, generally the day before the course begins. All refunded tuition fees will be credited to the student’s Northwestern student account and may be applied toward registration for any future course at Northwestern University.  

Students who wish to request a refund to their original form of payment can may do so through CAESAR or by sending an email with their name, Northwestern student ID number, and refund request to Student Accounts Chicago. 

Please note that no refunds will be issued after a course begins. 

Course Cancellation

The University reserves the right to cancel programs and/or class sessions when necessary, including due to insufficient enrollment, instructor illness, severe weather, or natural disaster. In the event of program cancellation, registrants will be notified immediately, and all tuition fees will be credited to their Northwestern student account. The University is not responsible for any travel or other related expenses accrued by registrants.  

Northwestern University classes are rarely cancelled due to snow or other weather-related emergencies. However, should such an event force the cancellation of on-campus classes and/or closure of the University, students should contact their course instructor or the Office of Professional Development Programs for information, or check the Northwestern University homepage for alerts. Weather-related course cancellations for the Chicago and Evanston campuses do not apply to SPS online or remote courses.  

Auditing Courses

Professional Development courses cannot be audited. 

Payment Policies

Tuition and Fees

100% of tuition is due at the time of registration. If your payment is returned for any reason, a $35 service fee will be charged.

Financial Aid

Students in non-degree seeking programs are not eligible for federal loans, but may qualify for a private loan to offset tuition charges. Private loan eligibility may vary by lender and student.

Northwestern is an approved institution for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, so eligible students may use that scholarship program for Professional Development coursework. Professional Development programs do not qualify for benefits under Workforce Development, the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Defense.

Students who intend to use tuition reimbursement benefits provided through their employer should contact their employer directly to determine eligibility for non-credit-bearing, non-degree coursework before beginning the payment and registration process with Professional Development Programs. (Students whose employers provide a check or letter of credit toward tuition will need to register via registration form and should send payment together with the form to the SPS Registrar's Office. For details, please contact the SPS Registrar's Office or the Office of Professional Development.)

Please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid for any questions regarding financial aid available to non-degree seeking students and for details on the application process.

Northwestern University employees

Benefits-eligible full-time Northwestern employees may use Employee Reduced Tuition Benefits for School of Professional Studies non-credit professional development certificate programs, upon approval of their Tuition Reimbursement Application.

Northwestern University employees are responsible for (1) confirming their eligibility for Northwestern employee tuition benefits, (2) submitting the correct Tuition Benefit Application and (3) confirming that the benefit has been applied to their student account in CAESAR. Per Northwestern University HR policy, employees must submit a completed application no later than December 15 in the same calendar year for which the benefit is being requested. Employees who do not submit a Tuition Benefit Application by the stated deadline will be responsible for paying the full cost of tuition.

For further assistance, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Certificate Process

Students may request a Certificate of Completion from the SPS Registrar's Office once all required program courses have been successfully completed. For instructions, please visit our FAQ page.


Questions about registration can be directed to the School of Professional Studies Registrar's Office:
phone: 312-503-6951

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