Quick Facts and FAQs

Quick Facts

  • Medill enrolls approximately 350 incoming graduate students each year in journalism and integrated marketing communications.
  • Students come from all over the U.S. and 21 other countries.
  • Medill's 15,000+ alumni work in news media and marketing organizations around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers

When can I begin the MSJ program?

Graduate journalism students may apply for entry in the Summer (June start) or Fall (September start) quarter. Please note that if you are applying for a MSJ specialization, these start in specific quarters.

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How long is the MSJ program?

The graduate journalism program requires four quarters (12 months). Students who elect to do Medill's Global Residency program, Washington, D.C., program or a second capstone project are enrolled for five quarters.

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How long is the IMC program?

The full-time graduate IMC program is five quarters (15 months). Part-time IMC students can complete the program in two years but have up to five years to finish. IMC online students can complete the program in just under two years by taking two classes per quarter but have five years to finish.

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Is it preferable to have some relevant work experience before applying?

Work experience is not required. However, it is preferable to have some exposure to your chosen field. This can be accomplished through a combination of coursework, undergraduate activities, internships, and/or full-time or part-time work experience.

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When can I begin the IMC program?

Graduate full-time and part-time IMC students may apply to begin in the Fall quarter only. IMC Online students may apply for the Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall quarter.

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Does the Admissions Committee favor certain undergraduate majors?

No. We seek to admit students with a variety of majors. We consider both breadth of academic background and areas of specialization in your undergraduate program, as well as any prior graduate work. See the "What we look for in prospective students" pages for Journalism and IMC.

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What criteria are considered in making admission decisions?

Applicants are evaluated on an individual, holistic basis, not according to any formula or rating system. We consider applicants' commitment to their chosen field, writing ability and communication skill, prior academic performance, recommendations and test scores. See the "What we look for in prospective students" pages for Journalism and IMC.

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Are there any prerequisites to apply?

A bachelor's degree earned (or expected prior to enrollment) from an accredited college or university, regardless of major, is the only prerequisite to apply. See the Application Requirements for Journalism and IMC on the main admissions page. See "How does Medill handle three-year bachelor's degrees?" below if you are an international student with a three-year degree.

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How does Medill handle three-year bachelor's degrees?

Medill welcomes applications from international students, including those who hold three-year bachelor's degrees. It is not necessary to complete an additional year of study prior to applying. The Admissions Committee will review your transcripts to determine if your degree is considered adequate preparation for our program.

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Can I apply after the deadline?

Yes. Medill reviews late applications on a rolling schedule and a space-available basis.

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If I applied before and was denied admission, may I reapply?

Yes. If you applied to a graduate program at Medill within the past two years, you may reapply by submitting a new essay, an updated resume, an additional letter of recommendation from a person who did not previously write one for you, and any additional transcripts of academic work you completed since you last applied. An interview is required of all reapplicants.

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Is there a minimum GPA required?

No. However, this is not to say that GPA and test scores are not important. We review applications holistically to see if all elements in the file, taken together, indicate potential to succeed in our program.  See the "What we look for in prospective students" pages for Journalism and IMC.

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I haven't taken the GRE or GMAT yet and I'm afraid my scores won't reach Medill by the deadline. What should I do?

You will probably receive your unofficial test scores (test-taker copy) before we receive your official scores. These usually reach us around three weeks after you take the test. If you have received your test scores, indicate them in the space provided for self-reported scores in the online application. If you don't have your scores by the time you apply, email MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu a copy of them to us as soon as you receive them. Scores sent this way are unofficial, but they will enable us to start reviewing your file. We cannot complete reviewing a file without test scores.

Official test scores must be sent directly to Medill from ETS or GMAC. Our GRE code is 1699, and our GMAT code is 6WZ-XH-66.

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Does Medill allow students to defer their enrollment?

Yes. Deferral requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Deferrals are intended to assist admitted students who encounter unexpected changes in their life or work situations that make it difficult or impossible to matriculate at Medill in the quarter for which they were admitted. An admitted student seeking to defer enrollment must send a written request (email is OK) to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The request should include the reasons for seeking the deferral. If the deferral is approved, the student must submit a second $500 nonrefundable deferral deposit, in addition to the original $500 nonrefundable tuition deposit, in order to hold a place in a future class. Both deposits will be applied toward tuition upon enrollment; however, neither will be refunded if the student does not enroll. If you have a question about whether your situation would qualify for a deferral, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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Does Medill accept transfer credits?

No. In some cases entering students may be granted a waiver for a course that would substantially replicate prior graduate-level coursework or equivalent professional work experience. However, students granted such waivers must still complete the required number of credits at Medill for their degree program. Waivers do not shorten the time it takes to earn a degree.

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Does Northwestern provide any housing for graduate students?

Yes. NU's Graduate Housing Office has a facility in Evanston. Englehart Hall, the graduate-student residence, offers single studios and one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments located about four blocks from Fisk Hall. Off-campus housing is available throughout Evanston and Chicago. Graduate students seeking to live off campus are responsible for arranging their own housing.

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What kind of career assistance does Medill provide to its students and graduates?

Please contact Medill's Office of Career Services for information on resources available to Medill students and alumni.

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What kind of financial aid is available?

Medill offers scholarships and grants based on need and merit. All students are also encouraged to research and apply for outside scholarships. Please see our Financial Aid pages for additional information.

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What percentage of students receive financial aid?

Approximately 80 percent of all students enrolled at Medill receive some financial assistance in a combination of loans, grants, scholarships and/or federal work study if eligible. Medill admits students regardless of their ability to pay.

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Is there a minimum GRE or GMAT score required?

No. We review applications holistically and the GRE or GMAT score is just one of several criteria we consider for admission.

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Are international students eligible for financial aid?

International students are eligible for some Medill scholarships but are not eligible for federal financial aid. Medill does not have assistantships. All students are encouraged to research potential sources of outside funding. See Financial Aid Information for International Students.

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Will it hurt or help my chances by applying to start in one quarter over another?

No. We review applications and make a decision independent of which quarter you apply. Keep in mind that you can indicate only one quarter on your application.

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Is there a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required?

No. We review applications holistically and the TOEFL or IELTS score is just one of several criteria we consider for admission.

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