Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Questions

What is the minimum GPA/GRE/GMAT score to be admitted to the IMC program?

The Medill Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid does not have a stated minimum score. We pursue a holistic review of applicants and consider many items including your work experience, academic background, essays, recommendations and demonstration of success. 

What if I need to take the GRE or GMAT close to or after the admissions deadline?

You will probably receive your unofficial test scores (test-taker copy) before we receive your official scores. Your official scores 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 a copy to 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.

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

  • 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.

You can request a waiver either in the IMC Test Information section of  your application or via email to Director Julie Collins at If you request a waiver, we 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 if you have questions about your eligibility for a waiver.

Does Medill accept transfer credits?

No, we do not accept transfer credits. 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.

Does Medill allow students to defer their enrollment?

Deferrals are intended to assist you if you encounter unexpected changes in your life or work situations that make it difficult or impossible to start at Medill in the quarter for which you were admitted. To defer enrollment, you should send a written request via email to the Medill Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid at Your request should include your reasons for seeking the deferral.

If the deferral is approved, you will need to submit a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit. This deposit will hold your place in a future class. If you do not make the deposit, your spot will not be held for you. This tuition deposit will not be refunded if you do not ultimately enroll at Medill.

Program Questions

How long is the Integrated Marketing Communications Professional program?

IMC Professional students must complete 13 units to earn their degree. You can complete the program in less than two years by taking two classes (one unit each) per quarter. You have up to five years to complete the program.

When can I begin the IMC Professional program?

IMC Professional students may apply to begin in the fall quarter, with classes starting at the end of September.

Is the Medill IMC degree STEM certified?

Yes, Medill IMC is a STEM degree. For eligibility and additional details on the STEM OPT extension for F-1 International Students, please visit Northwestern’s Office of International Student Services. Medill’s CIP code is 09.0702.

How many hours a week can I expect to spend on each class?

This depends on a few factors, including your familiarity with the course content and your individual study habits. In a typical week, a student might put in about five to seven hours of work per class. However, that may increase to around 10 hours a week per class when larger assignments are due.

What does an online IMC class look like?

Canvas, our course management system, is user-friendly, cross-platform and easy to navigate. Students have 24-7 access from computers, tablets or phones to course materials such as syllabi, assignments, emails, discussion boards, faculty-provided multimedia and video-conferencing tools. Many classes provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning. The curriculum and faculty for online courses are the same as our in-person courses.

How are group projects handled for an online class?

Group projects are required for many classes. Students can connect with their groups via phone, email and our course video conferencing tools as well as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc. We understand students will likely be in many time zones and have different schedules, so group projects are designed with those considerations in mind.

Are the same services (Career Services, networking, events, etc.) available to me if I take all my classes online?

Yes. Many of our resources are available online and, importantly, this includes our Career Services team. They offer one-on-one career coaching as well as access to Handshake, the jobs and career system for students and alumni. You are also invited to all program webinars and in-person events, and have access to Medill’s facilities and resources.

Is it harder to network in an online class compared with in-person campus classes?

Our faculty understand networking is an important component to a professional master's program. Online students discover and build relationships with each other, just as they would as students taking in-person courses.

Furthermore, faculty actively connect students with professional contacts. So while students may not be face-to-face with their classmates or professors, there are certainly many opportunities to interact and get to know each other. In addition, Medill’s optional week-long domestic and international immersive courses offer a great opportunity to interact face-to-face with fellow students, faculty, alumni and industry leaders.

Are the MOOCs part of the IMC Professional program?

Medill has created several non-credit Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We offer courses in social media marketing, leadership, content strategy and sports marketing. These courses do not count toward our degree programs, though students are welcome to complete these to supplement their knowledge in the graduate program. For more information, visit our Medill’s MOOC page.

Whom do I talk to about receiving accommodations?

AccessibleNU serves, supports and empowers Northwestern students with disabilities by ensuring equal access to fully participate in academic programming and all other facets of university life. Visit the AccessibleNU website for more information about receiving accommodations.