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Application Requirements

We attract a diverse and highly accomplished applicant pool, representing a wide range of academic and life experiences. Candidates with strong scholastic achievement, excellent communication skills, curiosity, adaptability, demonstrated ability to work in teams and willingness to learn are encouraged to apply.

Updates due to COVID-19

Northwestern University Medill is working with prospective students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your health and well-being, along with that of the Medill community, are our top priority. Due to COVID-19, we have updated our application requirements as noted below in boldIf due to COVID-19 restrictions you are unable to take the GRE/GMAT and/or TOEFL/IELTS, please reach out to Assistant Director Ryan Hays at ryan.hays@northwestern.edu for information on waiver options.

Bachelor's Degree

You must have a four-year bachelor's degree.

Academic transcripts

You must submit academic transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended. You are not required to submit a transcript for non-degree coursework for certificates or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Please list non-degree coursework on your resume. If you have transfer credit of three or more courses from a single institution, you must submit a transcript from the original grade-granting institution even if the transfer credit appears 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.

You can also send final, official transcripts via a secure e-transcript provider to MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu 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 final, official copies of all of your transcripts 30 days prior to enrollment, including an undergraduate transcript with proof of your degree and the date it was conferred. Medill reserves the right to withdraw an admissions offer if we do not receive these official transcripts by this deadline. It is your responsibility to request an official transcript from the registrar of each institution and to ensure transcripts are sent to Medill.

Applicants with international transcripts must provide an English translation if the transcripts were not originally issued in English. To expedite the application review process, we strongly suggest that applicants with international transcripts submit an independent course-by-course credential evaluation and degree verification from a NACES provider (see www.naces.org for a list) at the time they submit their applications. This will allow the admissions committee to have an accurate assessment of your academic history.

Admitted students with international transcripts 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). If you did not already provide these with your application, the credential evaluation and degree evaluation form are due 30 days prior to enrollment.

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

Admissions Interview

All Integrated Marketing Communications Professional applicants are required to participate in an admissions interview. You can schedule an interview at any time during the application process. However, we highly encourage you to schedule your interview prior to submitting your application. Interviews can be held in-person at both our downtown Chicago and Evanston campuses or in select cities that our admissions officers visit. You may also opt to meet virtually and conduct your interview via Skype. If none of the listed interview times are convenient for you or if no interview slots are currently posted, please contact Assistant Director Ryan Hays at ryan.hays@northwestern.edu to schedule one.

GRE or GMAT Test Scores (waiver available)

Note: If you are unable to take the GRE/GMAT test due to COVID-19, you can still apply for the 2020-2021 school year. Please reach out to Ryan Hays at ryan.hays@northwestern.edu for information on test score waiver options.

We require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores; the test must have been taken within five years of your application submission date.

You can self report your test scores on your application. 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 unable to take the GRE/GMAT test due to COVID-19
  • You have a final, cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • You have earned a master’s or doctorate degree.
  • You have 5 or more years of relevant full-time professional work experience.
  • You are a Northwestern University degree-holding alumnus/a.

If you are requesting a waiver based on any of the above criteria, you should check the GRE/GMAT waiver box in the “Test Information” section of the application. If you request a waiver based on work experience, you are required to submit a written waiver request with your current resume and transcript to MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu. Please note: If you request a waiver, we may still require that you take the GRE or GMAT if we feel the scores are necessary to review your application.

If you would like verification of your waiver prior to submitting your application, you may email MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu. Please attach relevant documents to your email request (e.g., resume, undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts).

Please email MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu if you have questions about your eligibility for a waiver. 

TOEFL or IELTS Test Scores for international applicants (waiver available)

Note: If you are unable to take the TOEFL/IELTS test due to COVID-19, you can still apply for the 2020-2021 school year. Please reach out to Assistant Director Ryan Hays at ryan.hays@northwestern.edu for information on test score waiver options.

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 are submitting IELTS scores, you can provide your TRF number on the application instead of sending an official report.

If you earned your entire bachelor's degree from a non-U.S. institution where the primary language of instruction was English, you do not need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Instead, please check the appropriate box requesting a waiver from this requirement. You will also need to provide official documentation from your college or university that the primary language of instruction was English.

If you completed your bachelor's degree at an institution (U.S. or non-U.S.) where the primary language of instruction was English, but you did not study at this institution for four years , you will need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to complete your application.

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, you must send us your official scores at least 30 days prior to enrollment. 

Resume

Submit your current resume, which should highlight your professional and academic experiences, including non-degree coursework and MOOCs.

Essay

Professional Statement: In your essay, describe your interest in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program in 1,250 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 a graduate degree? What is it about the Medill IMC program that particularly attracts you?
  3. What professional experiences and values will help you co-create an enriching learning experience with your classmates and faculty in the IMC program?
  4. Pursuing a Northwestern University Medill IMC degree is a catalyst for professional growth. How will this program help you to achieve your future professional goals?
  5. Describe one setback you faced in your professional life (for example, in a class or job). How did you respond and what did you learn from the experience?

Diversity Statement (optional): If you wish, you can provide a statement of 300 words or fewer describing how your background and identities would contribute to the diversity of our class.

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 in 300 words or fewer.

Recommendations

We require two letters of recommendation. You may submit a third letter of recommendation if you wish. Recommendations should be from someone who can assess your academic and professional abilities (e.g., employers, supervisors or 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 MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu. 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 print the payment voucher from your online application and mail the voucher and payment to:

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 at collinsj@northwestern.edu 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 at collinsj@northwestern.edu.

Download a PDF copy of the application instructions.

Financial Aid

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. Financial aid available for IMC Professional students includes a small number of scholarships, private loans and, for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, federal student loans. Learn more about financial aid options.


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

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 MedillGraduateAdmissions@northwestern.edu.

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


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 the Office of the Provost's website.

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