The Graduate School at Northwestern University sets minimum application requirements for applicants to our PhD and master's programs. Each program may also set additional application requirements beyond what is listed on this webpage. As a result, when preparing your application materials, we highly recommend reviewing the website of the program to which you are applying to find information regarding their requirements and application deadline.
Individuals admitted to programs at The Graduate School must hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree — or an equivalent non-U.S. degree — from a regionally accredited institution. You may be considered for admission before you finish your undergraduate degree, but you must complete that degree before you enroll at Northwestern.
In general, to apply to The Graduate School (TGS), you will be required to:
- Submit an application online.
- Pay an online application fee by credit card.
- Submit your essays.
- Upload your transcript(s) or academic record(s).
- Submit your test scores (international applicants are required to submit English language test scores; programs may also require scores from additional tests such as the GRE or GMAT)
- Upload two Letters of Recommendation.
TGS only accepts online applications during each application cycle, beginning in September. You do not, however, need to complete the online application in one sitting. You can access your application and change your answers as many times as you like. Keep in mind, once you have submitted your online application, you cannot make changes to it.
Once you have created an account with the online application tool, please be sure to read the application instructions thoroughly and check with your program department for additional information before submitting.
- TGS only allows applicants to submit one application to one program per year. For example, if you submit an application for Fall Quarter 2024, the earliest you may submit an application again is for Fall Quarter 2025. Duplicate applications will not be reviewed and duplicate application fees cannot be refunded.
- Your application will not be submitted until you have answered all of the required questions and paid the application fee (by credit or debit card only).
- Many departments accept students for the fall quarter only.
- All materials submitted in support of your application become the property of the University and will not be returned or forwarded.
- To expedite the admission process, admission decisions will be conveyed via the online application. You may access the online application as many times as you like to check if a decision has been made on your file. If a decision is available, a "View Decision" link will appear. If a decision has not yet been made, no link will be present.
- TGS also reserves the right to admit or deny admission whenever it believes that it has sufficient evidence to do so.