Graduate Program Area

Graduate Admissions

The SPS Admissions Office is here to help you through the application process. Submit your online application as early as possible so we may create your application file and help you track additional materials as they arrive. Contact us if you have any questions along the way.

Please note that courses completed in the certificate program cannot be transferred to the corresponding graduate degree.

How to Apply

The online application system will allow you to upload your statement of purpose and resume/curriculum vitae. The system will also allow your recommenders to submit their recommendations online.

Supplemental Documents

Documents such as transcripts and writing samples (MA/MFA-CW, MALS, MALit, MPPA, MSA) may be sent to:

Attn: (program of interest)
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Wieboldt Hall, Sixth Floor
339 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611


Application Deadlines

Fall Quarter:
July 15
Winter Quarter:
October 15
Spring Quarter:
January 15
Summer Quarter:
April 15

Applications are accepted year round and are reviewed by the faculty admissions committee once a quarter.

Applicants will be notified of their admission status approximately four weeks after the deadline.

An offer of admission is valid for four quarters. Students who do not enroll in any classes during the first four quarters following admissions (including the quarter of admission) will be discontinued from their program and will need to submit a new application before returning as a degree seeking student.

International Transcripts

Applicants with international transcripts must request an official course-by-course evaluation of those transcripts from a NACES member. A course-by-course evaluation will translate courses, degrees and grades to U.S. equivalencies. The evaluations must be prepared for Northwestern University School of Professional Studies and must arrive in our office in a sealed envelope issued by the evaluator.

Application Documents Required

Please review specific application requirements for your graduate program. All programs require the online application, official transcripts from ALL previous colleges/universities where credit was attempted or earned, a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation. SPS Admissions reserves the right to request additional verification of submitted credentials.

Official Transcripts

Submit official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges and universities. Official transcripts must arrive in the admissions 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 part of a secure e-delivery network. All electronic transcripts should be sent to Please note transcripts are not accepted by fax or personal email.

Test Scores

The GRE or GMAT is only recommended for applicants with a gpa less than 3.00 from their previous institution. TOEFL scores are required for foreign applicants that did not complete a degree in which the courses were taught in English (see International Student Application below). Test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL) should be sent directly from the testing agency to Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. Our Institutional code for the GRE is 6256 and our Institutional Code for the TOEFL is 9019.

Admissions Contact Information

SPS Admissions Office
phone: 312-503-2579
phone: 877-664-3347
fax: 312-503-4942

International Students

SPS welcomes international students to apply to our graduate degree 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 or

English Proficiency

All applicants to SPS programs whose first language is not English must demonstrate language proficiency in one of the following three ways:

  • Provide official scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The test must be taken no more than two years before the intended quarter of entry. For the TOEFL, applicants must score 600 or higher on the paper-based test or 100 or higher on the internet based test. SPS's institutional code for the TOEFL is 9019. For the IELTS exam, applicants must receive a score of 7.0 or higher.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution or equivalent, where the language of instruction is English.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English.

Please contact the admissions office for more information on TOEFL, IELTS and transcripts for international applicants.