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We welcome the vibrant and varied perspectives of international students

International Admissions

Each year we accept students from all over the world who are looking to increase their leadership skills and who contribute a unique perspective to the cohort.  

Application Deadlines

Admission is competitive, and space in the MSC cohorts is filled quickly by qualified applicants; applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
First Round December 9, 2019
Second Round February 10, 2020 
Third Round April 13, 2020

The International Application

The application to the MSC program is online.  A complete application will contain the following materials:


The resume should outline your professional experience, skills, and education history/certifications.

Academic transcripts
Transcripts are required from any institution that has awarded you a degree.  Applicants may upload unofficial copies of your academic transcripts for admissions purposes but official transcripts will be required before you are able to enroll.  Applicants who earned their degree outside of the US must submit all transcripts to ECE (  or WES ( for a course-by-course verification.  

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
International students must also submit a TOEFL score, with a minimum required score of 26 on the “Speaking” section and a minimum overall score of 100 . The test must have been administered after September 1, 2014. The TOEFL requirement can be waived for any student who earned either an undergraduate or graduate degree at an English-speaking university. The TOEFL code for the MSC program is: 6162 

UPDATE: Due to the closing of testing centers during COVID-19, we are currently accepting the TOEFL Special Home Edition and IELTS score reports to fulfill the language test requirement.

Two letters of recommendation
Applicants will submit information for two recommenders in the application at which time the MSC will contact them with a form for them to complete online.

One essay

You will be asked to answer the question “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 are also able to upload an optional essay in which you may share anything about yourself that you feel hasn’t been covered in the rest of the application materials.  


Once all of your application materials have been submitted you will be interview to interview with a member of the admissions committee. We are happy to accommodate international students by conducting interviews by web video conference.  

Tuition and Visa Requirements

Tuition for the MSC program for the 2018-2019 academic year is $65,043 for international students. This includes four (4) quarters of instruction, course materials, and weekly lunches. Students provide their own laptop computers. Students are billed per credit unit at the beginning of each quarter with payment due before the start of classes. International students 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 Student Funding Options
International students are ineligible for U.S. sponsored federal loans. is an excellent source of information regarding private student loans. 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. Information on other funding options for international students:

International Office at Northwestern University

Additional Requirements after Being Accepted
If accepted, international students are required to provide documentation that one full year’s tuition (U.S. $65,043), housing expenses (U.S. $20,400), and living expenses (U.S. $11,000) in the amount of $92,714 total for 2018/19 are available to them — either in the form of personal or family funds, financial aid or employer support — prior to beginning the MSC program. In addition, international students must complete either the I-20 or DS-2019 visa-eligibility document. For more information please visit the “New Students” section on the International Office website . Once matriculated, international students must purchase health insurance from the University recommended vendor, Aetna Student Health. There will be no exceptions. If admitted into the MSC program, specific information for purchasing health insurance will be included in the acceptance packet. Students who do not require immigration sponsorship from the university (e.g. students whose immigration status is sponsored by their employer or spouse) are personally responsible for knowing the requirements of their visa. In the case that a student’s visa allows for part-time study, this student may be recognized by the university as an international student but be billed at the part-time/domestic rate for the MSC program. These students should share this information with the MSC program prior to enrollment.  

Other Information

While neither the MSC program nor the International Office provide housing for international students, the university’s Department of Graduate and Off Campus Housing serves to support graduate students seeking housing. Contact them directly to learn more about the accommodations and policies.  

Additional course requirements for international students
Each quarter MSC offers two courses in the primary curriculum and one seminar course or independent research project designed exclusively for international students. International students typically do not take any courses outside of the MSC curriculum, though English written and verbal proficiency courses are available and encouraged.   Note: The MSC program reserves the right to make changes affecting the policies, fees, curricula or any other matters referenced on this site.

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