Join a thriving community of students, faculty, and staff eager to take leadership roles and gain experience in and out of class.Join a thriving community of students, faculty, and staff eager to take leadership roles and gain experience in and out of class.

Graduate Study
Graduate Application Process

Please note: We are no longer accepting applications for fall 2016 PhD or MS admissions. Any applications that are submitted will not be accepted and will automatically be denied.

If you would like to apply for PhD or MS admission, you can do so for the fall 2017 admission cycle at the earliest. Our application system opened to accept applications in Early September 2016.

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How to Apply

There are no paper application forms for either admission or financial aid.

To apply for admission to the EECS department, go to The Graduate School (TGS) website, follow the link to "Admission,” and then finally "Apply Online" Please note: The Graduate School’s “Apply Yourself” application website opened in September, for 2017 admissions.

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Notes about the online application

TGS's online application form will ask you to select either the PhD or MS option for electrical engineering and computer science. If you want a PhD, with or without a master's degree, select the PhD option. The MS option is for terminal master's only, and does not constitute admission to further work toward a PhD.

It will also ask you to enter either CS, EE, or CE for the Area of Specialization. Your specialization should be chosen based on the research areas that best fit your current interests. If you need guidance, please contact Seda Ogrenci-Memik

Choose your research area(s) among the research interest groups within the three academic divisions: electrical engineering, computer engineering, or computer science.

Once you complete the online application, you will receive an email message asking you to provide additional information about your GPA and specific research interests. You will be asked to select your two or three top choices among the six research interest groups, based on your specific research interests. You may give more detail in your Statement of Purpose. For example, a student who would like to pursue research in "wireless networks" might select the Signals and Systems group, and/or the Computer Engineering and Systems group. 

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Supplemental Materials

Before you apply online, gather the following:

  1. The admission materials required by TGS.
  2. Additional (optional) supporting materials may include your resume, research papers, certificates, etc.

Please note that it is not required to send a hardcopy of your official transcripts. Instead, upload a scanned copy of it/them in PDF, along with all the other supplementary materials, into your online application.

Note that upon admission you may be required to provide the original transcript(s). An applicant may not be admitted without a complete application. All primary and supplemental materials must be submitted to render a decision to admit. Denies may be made due to incomplete applications.

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Financial Aid

MS applicants: Financial aid is not available in any form, including fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. However, several types of loans are available. Please see the Graduate Admissions FAQ for more information about loans for MS applicants.

PhD applicants: We assume PhD applicants require financial aid, and will therefore only admit candidates if we have support in the form of assistantships or fellowships. If you do not require financial aid from us, it is important to let us know. Include a signed letter in your supplemental materials, stating that you don't need financial aid, and briefly describe your source of funding. Student loan info can be found here.

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Teaching Assistantships

In order to be appointed a TA, international applicants must take either take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL IBT) and receive a score of 26 or higher on the speaking section or take the VERSANT test administered at Northwestern and score 64 or higher. Applicants who want to be considered for TA support in the first year must have the TOEFL score before April 15 preceding the fall quarter in which they intend to enroll.

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Research Assistantships

Typically most students are supported as research assistants (RAs) on research grants and contracts. In most cases, RAs work on projects that lead to thesis or dissertation topics. Applicants with strong research experience can contact individual faculty members and inform them of their interests and experience. Please be selective and contact only faculty members whose interests match your own, otherwise you do not stand a good chance of receiving a reply.

Please contact us to learn more about the range of stipend amounts for the current year.

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Fellowships are available for students who are exceptionally well qualified. Unlike assistantships, fellowships usually do not require the student to perform any duties. Fellowships are extremely competitive and generally applicants will need to demonstrate exceptional performance in academic work and standardized tests.

The monetary award varies depending on the fellowship but is generally similar to that of a research assistantship.