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International Admissions

Students from abroad are welcome

Contribute your perspective to your cohort and gain new skills to advance your career.

International Admissions Requirements

Building Your International Application for the MSC

Communication crosses all borders. Bring your perspective to Northwestern’s MSC degree program and gain new leadership skills to advance your career. The Custom Leadership Program offers a full-time, in-person and on-campus option for international students.


Outline your professional experiences, skills and education history. Include any certificates, responsibilities or volunteer work you believe is relevant.

Academic Transcripts

Upload unofficial transcripts for admissions purposes. You will be required to provide official transcripts to enroll.

If you earned your degree outside of the US, you must submit all transcripts to ECE or WES for a course-by-course verification prior to submitting your application. 

*See below for further details.

Language Test

Submit your score, completed within the past two years. If you have completed all four years in the U.S., you do not need to submit a language test. Otherwise, we highly recommend you submit a language test to strengthen your chances of admission.
  • TOEFL Overall Score: 100+
  • TOEFL Speaking Score: 26+ MSC Program TOEFL Code: 6162
  • IELTS Overall Band Score: 7.5
  • Duolingo Overall Score: 140


Submit the names and contact details of two individuals who will recommend you to the program, and the MSC will contact them with a form to complete. 


Tell the Admissions Committee why you’re applying to the Northwestern MSC and the contribution you will make to the rest of your cohort. 


Interview in-person or virtually with a member of the Admissions Committee after submitting your application. 

* Educational Credential Evaluators (

After creating an account and entering in all necessary information to order a course-by-course evaluation, you must order an additional report copy to be delivered to the MSC office.  Under the Additional Report Copies page, you should click the Search for Institution button and type “Northwestern”.  A list of programs within Northwestern University that accept ECE evaluations will appear.  Select “Northwestern University-MS Communication”. (Note that another program at the School of Communication will also be listed under a similar address.)  You should see the following text: “Your report copy will be sent to this institution electronically.”  Click Continue, and please make sure to follow all other necessary steps to completely submit your order.  You should receive an ECE reference number to keep on file.

* World Education Services (

After creating an account and entering in all necessary information, navigate to the Your Evaluation tab and select a course-by-course report.  Click Add Recipient, and you should see a drop down box that will allow you to choose Educational Institution.  Click Continue and type in “Northwestern”. Select Northwestern University-Illinois, then School of Communication-MS Communication. (Note that there will be several other programs within the School of Communication listed.  DO NOT select any of these other programs, and DO NOT select the generic “Office of Admissions” or the processing of your evaluation will be delayed.)  Please make sure to follow all other necessary steps to completely submit your order.  You should receive a WES reference number to keep on file.

International Admissions Deadlines

Application Deadlines Give You Flexibility

Northwestern’s MSC program is competitive and space in the MSC cohorts may fill up. As such, we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

December 1, 2023

February 1, 2024

April 1, 2024

International Tuition & Cost of Attendance

Northwestern MSC 2023-2024 Tuition

Earn a degree from one of the United States' most highly-regarded universities and launch a new era for your career and future.


International Student Estimated Cost

International Tuition & Fees

Tuition includes 4 quarters of instruction and course materials. Students must provide their own laptops.

Billing Structure

You’re billed per credit unit at the beginning of each quarter with payment due before the start of classes. You enroll in a minimum of 3 credit units each term, with exception to the final term of study, as per U.S. student visa (F1) guidelines.

International Office of Northwestern University

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services provides advising services and supportive programs to Northwestern’s international students and scholars.

Guide for College Financial Aid

Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college. It can cover a range of educational expenses, like tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation.

International Student Funding

Funding Your MSC Degree

While international students are ineligible for U.S. sponsored federal loans, there are many resources available.

Note: not all lenders offer loan programs for international students. Often lenders require a creditworthy cosigner who is a citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.

MSC Application Essay

How to Craft Your Application Essay

Your essay is a critical component of your overall application.

The Essay Prompt:

Why are you applying specifically to the MSC Program at Northwestern University and what unique value do you hope to add to the MSC experience of your classmates?

You also have the opportunity to write an additional essay that includes information you feel may not be adequately addressed through the other application materials.

Play Video

Alumni Naazish YarKhan discuss the application essay.


MSC Application Interview

What to Expect During the Admissions Interview

Relax and converse with a member of the MSC Admissions Committee and tell us about yourself — your story, experiences and philosophies.

The Admissions Interview is meant to help us delve into who you are and why you’re applying to the program. At the same time, it’s a chance for you to get to know us and ask any questions you have.

International Requirements & Visas

Post-Acceptance Requirements

If you are accepted into Northwestern’s Master of Science in Communication program, there are a few additional requirements you will need to fulfill.

Proof of Funding

If accepted, you will be required to provide documentation that you have funding for tuition, housing, and living expenses prior to beginning the program.

Health Care Enrollment

Once matriculated, you will need to purchase health insurance through Northwestern’s vendor, Aetna Student Health. We’ll give you specific details once you are admitted to the program.

Visa Requirements

If you do not require immigration sponsorship from the University (your immigration status is sponsored by an employer or spouse), you are responsible for knowing the requirements of your visa.

The MSC Student Experience

Experience Chicago and a Community Centered on Learning

Located just north of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, the School of Communication offers access to academic lectures, artistic performances, local food, sports, and more.


Contact the university’s Department of Graduate and Off Campus Housing, which serves to support graduate students seeking housing and learn more about accommodations and policies.

Campus Life

Join a community of bright minds and explore big questions in student clubs, seminars, guest lectures, and local performances — all within minutes of campus.

Things To Do

Gather with your cohort at local restaurants, coffeehouses, shops, and beaches and experience the college town of Evanston — or head downtown and explore the global city of Chicago.

Real Stories From Our International Alumni

Learn about the MSC program experience directly from our international students.

Connect with Students from Around the World in the MSC

Take the next step in your career. Earn your Masters to open new doors.