Frequently Asked Questions

Fall 2021 Student Enrollment FAQ

We prepared this FAQ document with some of the most common questions our incoming students were asking relative to starting the MEM program amidst the COVID-19 crisis for a fall 2020 start. This was based on an understanding at the university level as of April 15, 2020 and will be updated as new information is available, however we encourage students to check the Northwestern COVID-19 Updates website for information. If you have an enrollment question that is not addressed in the FAQ, please email for assistance.

The MEM program is currently offering all spring 2021 courses remotely. Future terms are to be determined but we plan to be back in person as soon as it is safe.

Do I need to submit GRE scores if I am applying for fall 2021?

No. GRE and GMAT scores are currently waived for all fall 2021 applicants impacted by COVID-19. You are welcome to report and upload your scores if you feel they will help strengthen your application, and if you upload them the Admissions Committee will include them as part of their holistic review of your application. However, if you choose to utilize the waiver and you do not upload GRE or GMAT scores this will have no negative impact on your review whatsoever

Part-time applicants applying to begin before the fall 2021 quarter are welcome to waive submitting their GRE and GMAT scores as well, but remember that scores are automatically waived for students who will have three or more years of experience by the date they hoping to start the program.

What are the admissions deadlines?

Please view our admissions page to get a better understanding of our admissions deadlines for part-time, full-time, and international students.

How do I pay for my $50 application fee?

$50 application fee payable in US funds. All application fees are paid through the application system. Please note that applicants that attend a MEM Information Session will have their application fee waived. If you have already attended an information session please email MEM to ask for a waiver.

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition costs change on a yearly basis. The proposed costs for the Academic Year can be found on the Master of Engineering Management tuition web page.

IS MEM a stem degree?

Yes, Northwestern MEM is a STEM degree. Here is a link to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website listing all the STEM degrees. MEM STEM degree's CIP code is 15.1501.

What Areas of Specialization are available?

MEM degree students may attain optional concentrations by choosing 3-4 courses within these categories:

  • Managerial Analytics
  • Product Management (formerly Design & Innovation)
  • Project and Process Management
  • Healthcare Systems (NEW Fall 2020)

Are grants or teaching assistantships available?

MEM does not currently offer any grants or teaching assistantships. Opportunities to be a Teaching Assistant or "grader" for a class come up on rare occasions, but are not guaranteed. The MEM Staff will help ensure that your employer receives the required information for tuition reimbursement, if applicable.

Please review other options on the Master of Engineering Management financial aid web page.

Who needs to submit a TOEFL score?

Much of your success in graduate study in the United States will rest on your ability to understand, read, write and speak English.

All applicants whose native language is not English must certify their proficiency in the English language by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). These scores are also required of all applicants whose undergraduate training, in whole or in part, was taken at an institution in a country where English is not the native language. This includes bilingual or multilingual institutions in bilingual or multilingual countries. United States citizenship or permanent residency status is not an automatic waiver of this requirement. Moreover, due to past applicant interactions and data, our program still requires students from several English-speaking countries, including India, to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Official scores must be less than two years old and must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The institutional code assigned to Northwestern University Master of Engineering Management is B823. Be sure to include this number on your test form. If your results are not sent to this code, we will never receive them. Do not have your scores sent to any departmental code that may be listed. Personal copies are not considered official, nor are "attested" or notarized copies. However, it is to your advantage to include an e-copy of your score report with your application. This helps us verify your scores quickly, should there be any delay in receiving the official report.

For the TOEFL, you must score 600 or higher on the paper-based test, 250 or higher on the computer-based test, 100 or higher on the internet-based test. For the IELTS, you must receive a score of 7.0 or higher.

Can I submit Duolingo Scores instead of TOEFL/IELTS Scores?

No. Our program does not recognize Duolingo as an acceptable English proficiency indicator.

Can I take any course in any order?

All new students should plan on taking the MEM402 Engineering Management gateway course as one of their first courses. It introduces students to business functions through the creation and simulation of a comprehensive business plan which provides the background for advanced engineering management courses.

Following the gateway course, it is advised that all new students complete the core courses of Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Leadership, and Decision Tools as early in their academic career as possible. Students will benefit greatly by having completed these courses early in their MEM career since all other MEM courses rely on a business core. The program is flexible in many cases, but this is the most advisable approach. The MEM437 Strategic Management capstone course should ideally be taken as one of a student's last courses.

Can I transfer credits from another institution?

If approved and applicable, you may be able to transfer up to three elective credits from a previous or current institution to count towards your MEM degree.

MY GPA is not on a 4.0 scale, do I need to convert it?

We strongly encourage using WES or a similar service to translate your GPA/transcript from an international university. This is not required but it strengthens your application and is looked at favorably by the admissions committee. 

Does this program have an online option?

No, Northwestern's MEM program is not offered online. 

Can someone assess my potential to get accepted before I submit an application?

No, only the admissions committee can make that decision. The admissions committee looks at all aspects of a submitted and completed application in order to determine if an applicant is eligible to be admitted into the program. No other short-cut or administrative professional at MEM can give you any insight.