Graduate Journalism Application Requirements and Instructions

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Deadlines and Notification Dates

Medill reviews applications submitted by the application deadline on an expedited basis. If you submit your completed application by the deadline, you will receive your admissions decision by the date listed below:

Program Deadline Notification Date
MSJ program – Summer start December 1 February 15
MSJ program – Fall start January 15 March 15

Late applications are reviewed on a space-available basis. If you miss the deadline, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Please note that if you are applying for a MSJ specialization, these start in the following quarters:

Business, Money & Markets: Fall
Health, Environment & Science: Summer
Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Summer
Media Strategy & Leadership: Fall
Politics & National Security: Summer
Social Justice & Investigative: Summer
Sports Media: Fall


Application Requirements

1. Bachelor's Degree
You must have a bachelor's degree or expect to earn one before enrollment.


2. Academic Transcripts

When you apply, you should submit academic transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, excluding institutions where you took non-credit coursework, such as a certificate program. If you have transfer credit or study abroad credit, submit a transcript from the original grade-granting institution even if the transfer credit appears on your final degree transcript. Applicants can submit either official or unofficial transcripts; you can upload unofficial transcripts into your online application in the Academic Experience section. Applicants with international transcripts should provide an English translation if the transcripts were not originally issued in English.

If you are admitted, you will be required to submit official copies of all of your transcripts 30 days prior to enrollment, including your final undergraduate transcript with proof of your degree and the date it was conferred. Medill reserves the right to withdraw an admission offer if we do not receive these official transcripts by this deadline. It is your responsibility to request an official, sealed transcript from the registrar of each institution and to ensure transcripts are sent to Medill. The registrar should send transcripts to the Medill Office of Graduate Admissions at 1845 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2101 or electronically to MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu.

Admitted students with an international transcript (except Fulbright candidates) must submit an independent course-by-course credential evaluation and degree verification from a NACES provider (see www.naces.org for a list) and an official English translation of the transcripts (if they were not originally issued in English). The credential evaluation and degree evaluation form is due 30 days prior to enrollment.


3. Admissions Interview

Interviews are strongly encouraged for MSJ applicants. You can schedule an interview at any time during the application process. We encourage you to schedule your interview prior to submitting your application or no later than two weeks afterwards. Interviews are held in person at Medill or off campus in locations that our admissions officers visit. For applicants unable to meet in person, interviews may be held via Skype or similar service. If none of the listed interview times are convenient for you or if no interview slots are currently posted, contact Melissa Sersland at melissa.sersland@northwestern.edu or Julie Collins at collinsj@northwestern.edu to schedule one.


4. GRE or GMAT Test Scores

Medill requires GRE or GMAT scores. The test must have been taken within five years of your application submission date.

Medill allows you the option to self-report your test scores on your application. Once you submit your application, we will review these unofficial scores along with the rest of your file. If we decide to offer you admission based on these unofficial scores, it will be on the condition that you send us your official scores at least 30 days prior to enrollment.

The official copy of the test scores should be sent directly to Medill from ETS or GMAC. Our GRE code is 1699. Our GMAT code is 6WZ-XH-66. Allow four weeks for our office to receive your scores.

You may request a waiver of the GRE and GMAT requirement if:

  • You are a current degree-seeking Northwestern University student or degree-holding Northwestern University alumnus/a;
  • You have earned a master's or doctorate degree;
  • You have 5 or more years of full-time professional work experience in journalism or a closely related field;
  • Your final undergraduate GPA was 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale or you are a senior with a current GPA of 3.5 or above;
  • You are an approved dual degree applicant currently attending Hong Kong Baptist University.

You can request this waiver in the Test Information section of the application. If you request a waiver, Medill may still recommend that you take the GRE or GMAT if we think it will allow us to give better consideration to your application. Please email MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu if you have questions about your eligibility for a waiver.


5. TOEFL or IELTS Test Scores (For International Applicants)

If you are an international student who earned an undergraduate degree at a college or university where the primary language of instruction was not English, submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. The TOEFL or IELTS must have been taken within two years of your application submission date. Send TOEFL scores to Medill using code 1699-18. The IELTS test must be the Academic version.

If you earned your entire bachelor's degree from a non-U.S. institution where the language of instruction was English, you do not need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Instead, please provide official documentation from your college or university that the language of instruction was English.

Medill allows you the option to self-report your test scores in your application. Once you submit your application, we will review these unofficial scores along with the rest of your file. If we decide to offer you admission based on these unofficial scores, it will be on the condition that you send us your official scores at least 30 days prior to enrollment.


6. Resume

Submit your current resume, which should highlight your professional and academic experiences.


7. Essays

Please provide a professional statement and a writing sample, as described in the MSJ Essays section of the application.


8. Scholarship Essays

If you would like to be considered for the Knight or Comer scholarships, please complete the required essays in the MSJ Essays section of the application.


9. Work Samples (Optional)

In the Work samples section, you may provide links to or upload up to three published clips, scripts or other writing samples, or video or interactive samples. If examples of your work do not exist online or you are unable to upload them, you may mail us hard copies or a DVD; these become the property of Northwestern University and cannot be returned. If you don't have any published samples, you are encouraged to submit an excerpt of your best work from a college class. All samples should be in English. Please do not submit large collections of work. Written samples should not exceed 5 pages and video samples should not be longer than 5 minutes. Additional clips or extremely long writing samples (e.g., a thesis) will not be reviewed.


10. Recommendations

Medill requires two letters of recommendation from persons who can assess your academic and professional abilities (e.g., employers, supervisors, current or former professors). You may submit a third recommendation if you wish. Recommendations from family members or from friends who do not have direct experience with your professional or academic work will not be accepted. Enter your recommenders' contact information in the online application. The system will then email your recommenders instructions on how to submit their letters online. You are responsible for reminding recommenders to submit their letters through the online system by the deadline.


11. Application Fee

There is a $75 non-refundable application fee. You may pay this online by credit card or indicate that you will be paying by check. If paying by check, please ensure your name and "application fee" appear on the check. If you have questions or would like to request a fee waiver, contact the Medill Office of Graduate Admissions at 847-491-2052 or MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu.


Application by Current Northwestern Undergraduates

If you are a current Northwestern undergraduate who is not a Medill student, you do not need to pay the application fee and may request a waiver of the GRE/GMAT test requirement.

If you are a current Medill undergraduate, you:

  • Do not need to pay the application fee and may request a waiver of the GRE/GMAT test requirement;
  • One of your letters of recommendation must be from a Medill instructor;
  • Should submit a published clip or something written for a Medill journalism class for your writing sample.


Financial Aid and Scholarships

Based on eligibility, you may be awarded merit and/or need-based scholarships, grants and federal loans. Merit scholarships are awarded based on the content of your application. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and would like to apply for Medill grant aid and federal financial aid, you may do so after you are admitted. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and the Medill Financial Aid Application included with your admissions packet. You can expect to receive a Provisional Financial Aid Award four to six business days after we have received all completed documents.

If you are an international student, you are not eligible for federal financial aid, but you may be considered for Medill grants or scholarships. Please visit www.medill.northwestern.edu/admissions/financial-aid/ for details.


Mailing Application Materials

Send materials that cannot be uploaded or entered into your online application account to:

Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid
Medill, Northwestern University
1845 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-2101


Please note that application materials become property of Northwestern University and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.

Medill reserves the right to revoke admission if new information is obtained that would warrant such action.

In exceptional circumstances, Medill reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to waive any documentation normally required for admission. Medill also reserves the right to admit or deny admission whenever it believes that it has sufficient evidence to do so.


Northwestern University reserves the right to change without notice any statement in this application or instructions concerning, but not limited to, rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses.

Northwestern University does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship or veteran status in matters of admission, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates.

Harassment, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination. This includes harassing conduct affecting tangible job benefits, interfering unreasonably with an individual's academic or work performance, or creating what a reasonable person would sense is an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

While Northwestern University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, discrimination and harassment identified in this policy are neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.

For advice or assistance regarding this policy, see www.northwestern.edu/provost/policies/civility-and-campus-safety/index.html.

©2016 Northwestern University. All rights reserved.

Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act

As provided by the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, now known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, you are entitled to request and receive a copy of Northwestern University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This Report includes statistics for the previous 3 years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Northwestern University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus. The Report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies on drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this Report by contacting the Northwestern University Police Department Deputy Chief at (847) 491-3256. The Report can also be accessed and printed from the University Police website

Questions?

Contact:
Melissa Sersland, Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid, 847-491-5042
Julie Collins, Associate Director, Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid, 847-491-5359


Access the online application | Download a print version of these instructions