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Online Learning

As an Integrated Marketing Communications Professional student, you may choose to take some or all of your courses online. We have been teaching IMC courses online since 2012. These courses are taught by the same expert faculty who teach on-premise. You earn the same prestigious IMC degree from Northwestern University Medill, regardless of the format in which you take courses.

We know you may have questions about online learning, and we're here to answer your questions.

Are all of the classes live?

Classes are asynchronous allowing you to choose where and when to complete your work. This gives you additional flexibility in your schedule.

Each class will have at least a few synchronous sessions. The instructor will host sessions at planned times where everyone will be together through video chat software. Sync sessions are recorded and provided to students who are unable to attend live based on work/life commitments or time zone conflicts. 

Zoom is free to all students in the IMC Professional program and is the software most instructors use. We follow Northwestern University's technology policy and approved systems to ensure safety and privacy

How do group projects work?

Students use a variety of video conferencing software tools, such as Skype, Google Hangout and Zoom, when working on group projects.

How will I know which technology to use for my courses?

We have created a robust online orientation for new students that breaks down everything you need to know when beginning the program, including the technology we use and how to get started. In addition, instructors will provide guidelines about technology they will use in their courses. You can also view Northwestern's hardware recommendations. We provide contact information for getting additional support for the technology we use in the program.

Are there on-campus opportunities for networking or events if I happen to be in Chicago?

Yes, if you are in the Chicago area, you may participate in any on-campus events and opportunities that are offered for Northwestern University, Medill and IMC students. In addition, we record or live-stream some of our in-person events so you can watch from outside of the Chicagoland area.

Can I still network with my peers and faculty members if I take courses online?

We often hear from our students how surprised they are that they build lasting and meaningful relationships and friendships while taking their courses remotely. We have intentionally designed classes and events to help all of our students get to know faculty and one another, regardless of where they may live. For example, our immersive classes give you a chance to take a short-term course in person both in the U.S. and abroad. We also host virtual experiential learning opportunities and livestream or record our in-person events when possible.

What other resources are offered?

Even if you take all of your classes online, you have access to the same resources as an on-campus student, such as Medill Career Services, Medill Student Life and the Northwestern University Library.

What are the technology and internet requirements to take courses online?

Northwestern University strives to provide access to its online degree programs to all students. While we will do our best to provide access, you must be aware that you may not be able to access course material due to technology or internet limitations. To that end, you must meet the following technology requirements:

  • You are required to have a laptop that meets or exceeds Northwestern University requirements, with a working webcam and microphone for synchronous sessions.
  • You are required to have access to a reliable, high-speed internet connection of at least 5 Mbps. While you can connect via Wi-Fi, we recommend using a wired internet connection, as faster internet connections improve the online experience.

Course materials are hosted primarily in the learning management system (Canvas), but occasionally courses may link to external content. You will bear any costs associated with procuring access to this content.

Is "online" mentioned on my degree or transcript?

IMC Professional students who pursue their education entirely online receive the same Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications as those students taking their courses in-person.

I am an international student. What else do I need to know about pursuing an online education?

It is your responsibility to understand requirements related to whether an online degree will be recognized in a country other than the United States, how the collection of student data may be used in another country and whether withholding taxes (in addition to the price of tuition) will apply. Some countries may not formally recognize foreign online degrees, which may have implications for students who later seek to enroll in other educational programs, or for those who seek employment with that country’s government or other employers requiring specific credentials.  

International students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license should first confirm with the appropriate professional licensing board in their country of residence or the country where they intend to work as to whether an online degree will be recognized when seeking licensure or certification.

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