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Application Requirements:

Note: Northwestern Medill is working with prospective IMC students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your health and well-being, along with that of the Medill community, are our top priority. If due to COVID-19 restrictions you are unable to take the GRE/GMAT and/or TOEFL/IELTS, please reach out to Julie Collins, Admissions and Financial Aid Director, for information on waiver options.

Please apply in the Round that fits your schedule. The same application review process is applied during each Round, and all admitted students will be considered for merit-based scholarships regardless of the Round they choose to apply.

Each deadline has a corresponding decision notification date. Decisions are not released on a rolling basis; instead, applicants who have submitted completed applications by the deadline can expect a decision by the notification date above. A completed application means that all transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation and required essays have been received by our office. Applicants can view whether their application is complete by checking their application portal. Applications that are submitted but missing required documents, such as a letter of recommendation, will not be reviewed until all materials have been received. As a result, applications that are incomplete are not guaranteed a decision by their corresponding notification date.

Late applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis once all the application materials have been received in our office.

Bachelor's Degree

You must have earned a four-year bachelor's degree before starting the IMC program. You may apply prior to completing your degree. Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree outside of the United States must submit a course-by-course evaluation and degree verification from a NACES provider (see the NACES website for a list) indicating their bachelor’s degree is the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree in the United States.

Academic Transcripts

When you apply, you must submit academic transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended. You are not required to submit a transcript for non-degree course work for certificates or MOOCs. Please list non-degree coursework on your resume.

Transfer credit: In addition to the transcript from your home institution, you must submit a transcript from any other institution where you received credit for at least three courses that transferred to your home institution. This includes credit earned on study abroad programs hosted by an institution other than your home institution. You must submit a separate transcript from the institution where you received transfer credit even if the grades for your transfer courses appear on your home institution transcript.

For application review, you can submit either official or unofficial transcripts. You can upload unofficial transcripts in the "Academic Experience" section of the application. Please make sure that uploaded unofficial transcripts are complete and legible; if they are not, the processing of your application could be delayed. To be official, a transcript must be sent directly from your institution to medill, either via secure e-transcript provider to Medill Graduate Admissions or via mail directly from the institution to: 

Medill Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid
Northwestern University
1845 Sheridan Road
Suite 104
Evanston, IL 60208-2101

If you are admitted, you will be required to submit official and final copies of all transcripts 30 days prior to enrollment (start of classes), 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 transcript from each institution you have attended and to ensure transcripts are sent to Medill.

Applicants with international transcripts
Applicants with international transcripts must also submit an independent course-by-course credential evaluation and degree verification from a NACES provider (see for a list) at the time they submit their admissions application.

Please note: The Northwestern University Medill Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid is a separate office from Northwestern University’s The Graduate School. Transcripts must be routed directly to the Medill’s Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid.

Full-time IMC Admissions Interview

Admissions interviews will be conducted by invitation only after we have received your completed admissions application. An invitation to interview means that your application has advanced in the process but does not imply admission to the program.

GRE or GMAT Test Scores (waiver available)

Medill requires GRE or GMAT testscores. The test must have been taken within five years of your application submission date. Medill accepts scores from at-home versions of these tests.

Medill allows you the option to self-report your test scores, with percentages, on your application. This allows you to manually type in your scores and percentages without ordering the scores to be sent to Medill. 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 (start of classes).

The official copy of 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 meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are unable to take the GRE/GMAT test due to COVID-19 restrictions (please note Medill does accept the at-home versions of these tests)
  • You have a final, cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale or you are a senior with a current GPA of 3.5 or above;
  • You have earned a master’s or doctorate degree;
  • You have 3 or more years of relevant full-time post-graduate professional work experience;
  • You are a current degree-seeking Northwestern University student or degree-holding alum.

If you are requesting a waiver based on any of the above criteria you are required to submit a written waiver request with your current resume and undergraduate transcript to Medill Graduate Admissions for approval.

Please note, if you request a waiver, we may still require that you take the GRE or GMAT if we think it will allow us to give better consideration to your application.

If you would like verification of your waiver prior to submitting your application, you may email Medill Graduate Admissions. Please attach relevant documents to your email request (e.g. resume, undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts) and a short explanation of why you are requesting a waiver.

If we approve your request, you can view the waiver approval by logging into your online application portal.

Please email Medill Graduate Admissions if you have questions about your eligibility for a waiver.

Tests for English language for International Applicants (waiver available)

If you are an international student, and English is not your first language, you must submit English language test scores. Medill will accept Duolingo, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. Medill will accept at-home versions of these English language tests. The Duolingo, TOEFL or IELTS test 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 are submitting IELTS scores you can provide the TRF number on your application instead of sending an official report. Please send Duolingo scores to Medill Graduate Admissions.

Medill allows you the option to self-report your test scores in your application, or to manually type in your scores without ordering an official score report to be sent to Medill. 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 (or the start of classes).

Please email Medill Graduate Admissions if you have questions about your eligibility for a waiver. We will consider waivers for applicants with significant English language skills from years of study in the United States (college-level, high school, and/or relevant post-graduate work experience).


Submit your current resume, which should highlight your professional and academic experiences, including non-degree course work, certificates, and MOOCs. We encourage applicants to include all positions recently held on their resume, including non-marketing/communications jobs, internships, or volunteer experience. This includes federal work-study and other positions held during college.

Professional Statement

Please describe your interest in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program in 1,500 words or fewer. Be sure to address the following questions:

  1. If you had to explain to someone what Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) means, how would you describe it?
  2. What experiences in your life have led you to pursue an IMC degree? What is it about Medill's IMC graduate program that particularly attracts you? How will this program help you to achieve your future professional goals?
  3. How will your background, identity and professional experiences help you co-create an inclusive and enriching learning experience with your classmates and faculty in the IMC program?
  4. Describe one setback you faced in your professional life (for example, in a job or class). How did you respond and what did you learn from the experience?

Additional Information (optional): If there is anything in your application that you would like to address (e.g., GRE or GMAT scores, GPA, lack of marketing or other work experience) or any additional information you would like to include, please do so here in 300 words or fewer.


Medill requires two letters of recommendation for applicants to our graduate programs. You may submit a third recommendation if you wish. Recommendations should be from someone who can assess your academic and professional abilities (e.g., employers, supervisors, current or former professors). 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. If your recommender has trouble submitting their letter, please contact Medill Graduate Admissions.

Please note: We cannot accept letters of recommendation submitted by applicants; they must come directly from the recommender.

Application fee

There is a $100 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 include the payment voucher that you can print from your online application and mail your payment to the:

Medill Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid
Northwestern University
1845 Sheridan Road
Suite 104
Evanston, IL 60208-2101

If you are a current or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, AmeriCorps, Teach for America or the Peace Corps, you may request a fee waiver by sending an email to Director of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Julie Collins prior to submitting your application.

We also offer a limited number of application fee waivers based on financial need; requests of this nature must be requested in writing prior to submitting your application. Send your request to Director Julie Collins.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

All admitted students, including international students, are considered for merit-based scholarships. There is no separate application for applicants to be considered for scholarships; merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the content of your admissions application. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and would like to apply for federal financial aid, you may do so after you are admitted. Instructions for how to apply for federal financial aid will be included in your admit packet.

Mailing application materials

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

Medill Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid
Northwestern University
1845 Sheridan Road
Suite 104
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. You can also email materials to Medill Graduate Admissions.

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, Office of Equity - Northwestern University.

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