PhD Program
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PhD Admissions
Frequently Asked Questions

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Applications and Admissions

Do you have a Master's program To which I can apply?

We do not offer a terminal master's degree in industrial engineering and management sciences.

What are the application deadlines?

The deadline for all applications and materials is midnight, December 5th, CST.

How can I apply?

To apply to our PhD program at Northwestern University, you must apply online via The Graduate School.

What are the required materials?

Please see the Application Procedures page.

Consult The Graduate School's admission website for further information on each of these items. Our department has no required program-specific items, but please include relevant research papers or term papers if you have any.

When will I hear a decision regarding my application?

PhD applications will be considered for admission and fellowship aid soon after the December 5th deadline. Admissions decisions are typically made around March for applicants.

Please do not contact us regarding the status of your decision. You may track your application using ApplyWeb. April 15 is the deadline for those individuals who have been offered financial aid to accept our offer. A few additional financial aid offers may be made around April if all of our financial aid has not been committed by that time.

Who should I contact regarding my application or admission decision?

For all admission-related inquires, please contact Sadia Ahmed. Do not contact other staff or faculty members directly.

My goal is to receive a doctoral (PhD) degree, but I do not yet have a master's (MS or equivalent) degree. Should I first apply to Northwestern as an MS student?

No, you should apply for the degree that is your ultimate objective at Northwestern. All prospective doctoral students follow the same program in our department, whether or not they have a previous master's degree. PhD students have the option of receiving the MS degree after they have finished their first year's studies and exams.

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Admissions Prerequisites and Testing

What are the admission criteria?

Please see the Admission Criteria page.

Am I required to take the GRE?

Yes, all applicants are required to take the GRE. Please note: The GRE test is only good for five years. We will not accept a GRE score if, at the time of entrance, it will be older than five years.

Do I need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?

If you are an international applicant, unless you have a degree from a university whose language of instruction is English (or will get one before matriculation at Northwestern), you must demonstrate evidence of ability in English. To do this, you must achieve a score exceeding the minimum threshold on one of the following exams:

  • 90 on the internet-based TOEFL
  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL
  • 7.0 on the IELTS

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Financial Aid and Funding

Who qualifies for financial aid?

All PhD applicants will be considered for financial aid.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Application for financial aid is the same time as application for admission when you submit your online application. There is no extra application needed. A question in the financial aid section of the application asks whether you want to be considered for financial aid. Regardless of what you answer, however, if you apply for the PhD then you will be considered for aid.

What form does financial aid usually take?

Financial aid offers may vary. A typical financial aid offer provides for tuition and stipend for four years with possible extension beyond four years. Financial aid is contingent on satisfactory progress in the program. A typical offer takes the form of a fellowship in the first year and a research and teaching assistantships in subsequent years.

If I do not get financial aid, what are the costs of attending Northwestern?

We do not usually admit applicants unless we can offer financial aid, or the applicant already has financial support. For more information on tuition costs, please visit The Graduate School.

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Miscellaneous Information

What graduate housing is available?

The Graduate Housing Office is a very helpful resource regarding university housing. Northwestern's Off-Campus Life Office serves as the first point of contact for all students moving and living off-campus. Their website includes helpful information and How to Guides.

What resources exist at Northwestern to help international students make the transition to life in America?

The International Summer Institute is administered by the International Office. The purpose of the program is to help international students make the transition to life in the United States prior to starting school in the Fall. Outstanding applicants will be nominated for placement in this program. There is limited space in the program, so not all nominees will be accepted into the program.

The benefits to the student include:

  • Improve your spoken English for your studies, teaching, and social situations
  • Make friends with your peers and American graduate students
  • Learn about American culture and your new hometown
  • Get help with practical matters, such as finding an apartment, shopping, banking, transportation, etc.
  • Receive a stipend equivalent to one month of TA fellowship
  • Spend six weeks adjusting to your new life before starting studies