Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the application deadlines for admission to the MPM program?

Although early applications are strongly encouraged, the application deadline for international students to be admitted for any given quarter is a minimum of three months before the start of classes. This is necessary to allow sufficient time to obtain a visa. We encourage everyone to apply as soon as possible.

Should I have a degree in engineering for study in the MPM program?

The ideal background for entry into the MPM program is a basic degree in some field of engineering (most desirably civil, mechanical, or electrical) or architecture with a few years experience. However, the program is quite flexible and can usually accommodate individuals who do not strictly satisfy the foregoing requirements, but have a quantitatively oriented basic degree, several years of pertinent work experience, and a good idea of what they hope to obtain from the program.

Is work experience required for admission to the MPM program?

There is no minimum amount of progressive work experience required for admission to the MPM program. Internship experience is preferred.

Does the MPM program require special English courses?

Students who are judged deficient in English proficiency (notwithstanding test scores provided) may be required to take one or two English courses in addition to their MPM course selections. Northwestern University does not offer an ESL program.

Are there special forms for letters of recommendations?

We do not have a recommendation form. Your references should write their letters on their organization's (university, company, government) letterhead.

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Test Scores

Is the GRE required?

All applicants are required to take either the GRE or GMAT. In addition, considerable attention is given to all written materials submitted by applicants. The MPM INSTITUTION CODE for GRE is 1309 (no additional Program Code is required) and for GMAT the program code is 6WZ-TL-06.

What is the minimum TOEFL score required?

An absolute minimum TOEFL score of 85 iBT is required for admission, but a score in excess of 90 iBT is highly desired. The TOEFL is not required for anyone with an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. The MPM INSTITUTION CODE is 0331.

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Curriculum & Requirements

How long does it take to complete the MPM program?

For those starting in the Fall Quarter, it is possible to complete the program in three quarters (nine months). Each year about one-third of the entering students actually accomplish this goal.

Is it necessary to start the MPM program in the Fall Quarter?

Students start in the Fall Quarter, but US part-time students can start in fall and winter. 

Where are the MPM courses offered?

All MPM courses are offered on the Evanston campus. We do not offer any courses on the Chicago campus or at other locations. 

Does the MPM program offer summer courses?

The MPM program offers no courses during the Summer Quarter. However, a few desirable courses offered by other departments are usually available.

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Tuition & Financial Aid

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year is $21,550 per quarter (enrolled full-time in 3 – 5 units), or $64,650 per academic year (three quarters). 

How much is the cost of living?

Food and living costs are close to the national average (perhaps about $3,000 per month). Annual increases in these costs have typically been about 5%.

Is financial aid available?

All participants in the MPM program are responsible for their tuition and fees in accordance with the prevailing schedules established by the University. As a professional degree program, the MPM program offers limited financial aid to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and none to international students. Visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page of this website for more information.

Do you accept the Yellow Ribbon Program?

The MPM program supports military veterans and active duty personnel in their pursuit of graduate education.  Limited financial aid is available to match funds provided by the Yellow Ribbon Program and to assist those who might not be eligible for Post 9/11 GI benefits.

Are student loans available?

Loans are available through Northwestern University for qualified U.S. citizens and permanent residents. International students may also obtain a student loan if they have an American citizen as a cosigner. See the webpage of the Evanston Office of Graduate Financial Aid for more information, or email

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Degree Information

What is the actual degree received by completing the MPM program?

Upon satisfying all requirements of the MPM program, a Master of Science in Project Management degree will be awarded.

Is MPM a STEM degree?

Yes, Northwestern's MPM program is a STEM degree. MPM's STEM degree's CIP is 15.9999.

What is the difference between this degree and an MBA degree?

Unlike traditional MBA programs, which aim to convey broad-based business and management concepts that are intended to be generally applicable over a wide variety of fields, the MPM program emphasizes planning and design skills that are specifically required in project-based organizations and encourages students to build on their technical backgrounds and experience.

What is the difference between this degree and a technical MS degree?

Unlike a typical MS degree, which concentrates on enhancing one's technical knowledge in a rather specific area and is often viewed as an entry or preparatory degree for PhD research, the MPM program offers a more holistic overview of a technical area within the practical business prospective needed by project managers.

Can an MPM degree be a preparatory degree for PhD?

The MPM degree is intended to be a professionally oriented terminal degree that is aimed toward helping an individual with a technical background and experience make the transition to a management position. While its primary objective is not a preparatory degree for a research oriented PhD program, several graduates have comfortably and successfully obtained a doctorate after completing the MPM program.

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Additional Information

Where can I learn more?

For more information about the Project Management MS degree program, contact the Admissions Coordinator, Jamelle Apolinar

Is on-campus housing available for graduate students?

Engelhart Hall is the primary campus housing for graduate students. For information about housing in the Evanston area, click here.

Where can I obtain an academic calendar?

The academic calendar is available through the Registrar's Office, click here for more information.

Is the MPM program STEM-approved and does it qualify for a 24-month OPT extension?

The MPM program is STEM-approved and offers international students a competitive advantage. Because MPM students receive a master’s degree from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science in a STEM Designated Degree Program, International F-1 MPMs are potentially eligible for a 24-month F-1 STEM OPT Extension. The 24-month F-1 STEM Extension is beyond the initial 12 months of F-1 OPT. For eligibility and additional details on the OPT extension, please see the following link:

Is there a joint MPM-MBA program?

Northwestern University does not offer a joint MPM-MBA program. We believe there will be many overlap courses if someone should satisfy the requirements of both degrees.

Is the MPM program available via distance learning?

We believe interaction between instructors and students and interactive student team exercises are the preferred method of teaching. Therefore, we do not offer any computer-based or distance learning courses.

last updated 10/4/2021