Test Scores

Depending on your admitting program’s requirements, you may need to take one of the following tests. Please review the information below to see which, if any, applies to you.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Most departments require the results of the GRE test. Please visit your program’s website to determine their requirements. See the Academic Programs page for a list of all programs and their websites.

  • Official scores must be taken no more than five years before the intended quarter of entry and must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). For example, to be considered valid for Fall 2015 admission, GRE scores must be no older than September 2010.
  • Please request that ETS send your GRE scores to The Graduate School (TGS) using our ETS institution code of 1565. This includes applicants that are applying to doctoral programs in Kellogg. Please do not use the Kellogg code. That code is specific to the MBA.
  • You will also be asked to scan and upload a copy of your score report (if you have it available) while submitting your online application. This uploaded version is not considered “official” and will only be used for preliminary review purposes, until your official scores have been received from ETS.  

See the GRE website for more information.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

If you are applying for a doctoral program in the Kellogg School of Management, you may substitute results of the GMAT for the GRE results. The institutional code for this test, which transmits your results directly to Kellogg, is 6WZ-3J-54. Please use this code, and only this code, for the GMAT. If your results are not sent to this code, Kellogg will not receive them. 

You will also be asked to scan and upload a copy of your score report (if you have it available) while submitting your online application. This uploaded version is not considered “official” and will only be used for preliminary review purposes, until your official scores have been received from GMAT.  

See the GMAT website for more information.

TOEFL or IELTS

TOEFL or IELTS test scores are required of most international applicants. Please visit your program's website to determine their specific requirements. See the Academic Programs page for a list of all programs and their websites.

TOEFL:

  • Official scores must be taken no more than two years before the intended quarter of entry and must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). For example, to be considered valid for Fall 2015 admission, TOEFL scores must be no older than September 2013.
  • The TGS's school code for TOEFL is 1565.
  • Test takers may be asked by ETS to choose the "department" to which they want their scores sent. While you should choose the department most closely aligned to the program to which you are applying, we do not use this information to distribute scores. ALL scores sent to school code 1565 are made available to our programs, regardless of the "departments" selected on the ETS form.

IELTS:

  • Copies of your IELTS scores must be sent directly from IELTS to your admitting department.
  • You will also be asked to scan and upload a copy of your score report (if you have it available) while submitting your online application. This uploaded version is not considered “official” and will only be used for preliminary review purposes, until your official scores have been received from ETS or IELTS.

See the TOEFL website or the IELTS website for more information.


FAQs - GRE

Q. I am applying for admission to Fall quarter 2015. What is the cut-off date for my GRE scores?

A. GRE test scores for applicants applying to Fall Quarter 2015 may not be older than September 2010.

Q: If I take the GRE in November, will my scores arrive in time for fellowship/scholarship competition?

A: The only answer we can give is "maybe". There have been years when the scoring by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) was delayed and the score reports were received too long after the deadline for files to be considered for financial aid. It is best to take the test three to four months before the application deadline.

Q: I sent my GRE score to Northwestern University, but the institution code I used was not 1565. Can you retrieve my scores from the other school?

A: No. We will only receive your scores if they are sent to the appropriate code.

Q: My name has changed since taking a required test for admission. What should I do?

A: It is extremely important that the name used on your application exactly matches the name used on your test score reports. If the name on your application and test score reports are not exactly the same, we will not receive your test scores. If your name has changed since taking a required admission test, be sure to indicate your original surname in the space provided on the online application.

Q: What are TGS's school and department code for the submission of GRE scores?

A: TGS's school code is 1565. You may use any department code.

FAQs - English Language Tests

Q: I am a foreign student. My TOEFL/IELTS score is more than two years old, so the Educational Testing Service will not send official scores to you. Will you accept a photocopy?

A: No. TOEFL and IELTS tests must be taken no more than two years before the desired quarter of entry. TOEFL test scores for applicants applying to Fall quarter 2015, may not be older than September 2013. Photocopies are not acceptable evidence of your TOEFL or IELTS score. 

Q: I am a foreign student who completed a bachelor’s level program in the U.S. Will the TOEFL or IELTS score requirement be waived?

A: TGS does not require English language testing scores from those who have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English. Be sure to confirm the English proficiency requirements for your program. See the Academic Programs page for a list of all programs and their websites.

Q: I am a foreign student who completed a master’s level program in the U.S. although my undergraduate work was taken at a non-English speaking institution abroad. Because I have a U.S. master’s degree, will the TOEFL or IELTS score requirement be waived?

A: TGS does not require English language testing scores from those who have earned a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English. Be sure to confirm the English proficiency requirements for your program. See the Academic Programs page for a list of all programs and their websites.

Q: I am in the process of completing my degree from an English speaking institution. Do I need to submit a TOEFL score?

A: If you are in the process of earning a degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction is English, you do not need to submit a TOEFL score. However, you must earn the degree BEFORE you enroll in classes at Northwestern. If you do not earn your degree, you will not be permitted to register.

Q: What are TGS's school and department codes for the submission of TOEFL scores?

A: TGS's school code is 1565. The Graduate School's department code is 01.