Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary from program to program. Please consult your specific program directly to verify your deadline. See the Program Contact List for your program’s contact information.

The timely submission of your application is your responsibility. Meeting a deadline requires that all materials be received by the program to which you applied, on or before the application deadline.

Departments vary in their willingness to consider late applications. Applications that are incomplete at the time of the deadline may not be considered for admission. As a general rule, the earlier your materials are received, the better your chances for full consideration.  However, no admission materials will be accepted more than one year prior to your anticipated quarter of entry.

Please note, not all programs accept new students for terms other than fall, nor are fellowships or scholarships readily available for such enrollees.

FAQs – Application Deadlines

Q: What will happen to my application if I miss the deadline?

A: Programs vary in their willingness to consider late applications. Some programs adhere strictly to the stated deadlines and will not look at those that arrive late. Others continue to review applications until all spaces have been filled. In all cases, it is better to complete your application several weeks ahead of the deadline to assure your chances for full consideration. 

Please note that Northwestern University does not accept responsibility for postal or courier service delays.  

Q: If I meet the required deadlines, when can I expect to receive a decision?

A: Programs have different application review schedules. Some programs wait and rank all of their applications against each other; others make individual determinations on a case-by-case basis. In general, program decisions are rendered from early January through the middle of April.

To reduce your wait time, The Graduate School (TGS) communicates admission decisions via the online application portal. You may access the online application as many times as you wish to check if a decision has been rendered on your file. If a decision has been rendered on your file a "View Decision" link will appear. If no decision has been rendered, no link will be present.