Application Fee

To apply for admission, you must submit an application fee by credit card only. The application fee is $95 and is not refundable. ($150 for McCormick PhD applicants selecting an optional secondary PhD application.)

Application Fee Waivers 

The Graduate School (TGS) provides fee waivers on a first-come, first serve basis to eligible applicants who meet the following criteria:

  1. Intent to apply for a TGS PhD or MFA program
  2. US citizenship or permanent residency
  3. An overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0
  4. Identification as at least one of the following:
    1. A first-generation college student (neither your parents nor your grandparents has obtained a four-year degree)
    2. A low-income individual as defined by the US Department of Education
    3. Participation in any of the following programs:
      1. Big Ten Alliance (SROP Program)
      2. Fisk to Vanderbilt Bridge Program
      3. National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Sciences (GEM)
      4. HSI Pathways Fellows
      5. Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
      6. Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MMUF)
      7. Northwestern Introduction to Graduate Education (IGEN)
      8. Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
      9. Ronald E. McNair Scholars
      10. The PhD Project
    4. A veteran or current member of the US Armed Forces

How to Request a Fee Waiver

  1. Finalize your application.
  2. On the Additional Information page of the application, click on the Submit button. This will bring you to the Payment Processing page.
  3. Please select “Request a Fee Waiver”. Click on Continue. This will bring you to a page entitled “Application for Graduate Admission”
  4. Complete the form and click on the “Apply for Waiver” button

You will be notified via email within three business days if your request was approved or denied. If your fee waiver request is denied, you will be required to return to the application to submit payment information.

FAQs - Application Fee Waivers

Q. May I request an application fee waiver code? 


Fee waiver codes are not available by request.

A handful of our Northwestern campus partners provide application fee waiver codes to applicants as part of an arrangement made with The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Recruitment before the start of the application season. If you have not already been provided with an application fee waiver code, you should proceed with the application process. The option to request a waiver will appear after submission but before providing payment information.

Q. Why don't I see the option to request a waiver when I get to the Payment Processing Page?


Eligible applicants have the option to request a waiver using an online form that appears as part of the online application submission process. This step becomes available based on minimum eligibility and cannot be completed until after indicating that an application is ready for submission. 

Q. Are DACA participants or undocumented applicants living in the United States eligible for fee waivers?


Yes, we do provide exceptions to our citizenship requirement for DACA and undocumented applicants as long as all other criteria are met. Please contact our office directly at for more information.


If you have any additional questions, please contact TGS Admission.