Application Process

Application Process

Follow these steps to apply to Northwestern's Master of Science in Education program:


1. Online application form

  • Under "Program and Degree," select "Master of Science in Education Program."
  • Under "Type of Application," select "Matriculated," "Non-Matriculated" or "Certificate of Advanced Study" as appropriate.
  • Due to visa requirements, all international applicants must apply for the "matriculated" status. In order to make the visa process run as smoothly as possible, it is important that the name you supply on your application for admission match the name of your passport exactly. In addition, the address you supply on your application must be a street address -- it cannot be a PO box.

2. Essays/statement of purpose

  • Matriculated applicants answer four essay questions.
  • Non-matriculated applicants submit a single statement of purpose.
  • Certificate of Advanced Study applicants submit a single statement of purpose.

3. Official transcripts

  • Only unopened envelopes or official secure electronic transcripts are accepted.
  • Include all undergraduate and graduate institutions you've attended, even if you did not earn a degree from that institution.
  • If your name is different from the name that appears on your transcript (due to marriage or other reasons), please notify our admissions coordinator via e-mail at msedapply@northwestern.edu to ensure that your transcripts are filed with your application.
  • If you earned your undergraduate degree from an institution outside the United States, you must submit your transcripts to an approved transcript evaluation service. A list of approved services is available on the ISBE website under the header "International Resources."
  • All hard-copy transcripts (or transcript evaluations) should be sent to this address:
    Master of Science in Education
    Attention: Admissions
    618 Garrett Place
    Evanston, IL 60208
  • All secure electronic transcripts should be sent to msedapply@northwestern.edu

4. Resume

  • Please use PDF format.
  • Applicants to the Teacher Leadership concentration must have at least three years of teaching experience.
  • Previous education course work or experience is not required for applicants to the Elementary or Secondary Teaching concentrations, but it will be considered.

5. $100 nonrefundable application fee

  • Fee must be paid by credit card through the online application system before the application is submitted.
  • Applicants may request to waive the application fee on the basis of significant financial hardship. To request the fee waiver, send a message detailing why you need to request the waiver to our admissions coordinator at msedapply@northwestern.edu.

Additional Steps

  • Matriculated applications only: Two letters of recommendation
    • One letter must be an academic recommendation from an instructor at the college level or above whose course you took.
    • The second letter of recommendation may either be academic or professional. A professional letter should come from someone who has supervised you in a workplace setting (co-workers are not acceptable).
    • Applicants to the Teacher Leadership concentration should submit at least one letter of recommendation from a principal or department chair.
    • Letters of recommendation are submitted through the online application system. When you start your application, you will need to enter the names and contact information for your recommenders. We will then contact the recommenders with instructions for submitting the letter of recommendation and supplementary materials.
    • It is generally a good idea to contact your recommenders in advance to tell them about your career aspirations and why you are applying to the program.
  • Elementary and Secondary Teaching only: A passing score for the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)
    • You can find test dates and register for the test on the ILTS website.
    • If you live out of state and are unable to take the Test of Academic Proficiency prior to the application deadline, we will review your file and make a provisional decision without the test. However, we will require that you take and pass the TAP as soon as possible upon relocation to Illinois. You must have a passing score on the TAP by the end of your first quarter in the Master of Science in Education Program.
    • The TAP replaced the Basic Skills Test in early 2012. If you previously took and passed the Basic Skills Test, you may submit that score report in lieu of taking the TAP.
    • If you have taken the SAT or the ACT with Writing, you may be able to submit those scores in lieu of the TAP. If you are admitted to the Master of Science in Education Program, we will assist you with the procedure necessary to file your SAT or ACT with Writing scores with the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • International applicants only: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • The Master of Science in Education Program does not require that international applicants submit at TOEFL score. However, much of your success in graduate study in the United States will rest on your ability to understand, read, write and speak English. If English is not your native language, evidence of proficiency in its use will be helpful in reviewing your application for admission. Therefore, international applicants are encouraged to provide official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. Additionally, a competitive TOEFL score (100 or higher on the iBT) can help to mitigate a lower than average score on the verbal section of the GRE.
    • If submitting TOEFL scores, the test results must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Personal copies are not considered official, nor are "attested" or notarized copies. However, it is to your advantage to include a paper copy of your score report in your application materials. This will aid us in verifying your scores quickly, should there be any delay in receiving the official report, and to identify any errors in the electronic report.
    • For more information about the TOEFL, visit www.toeflgoanywhere.org.

Apply Online

Contact Us

Master of Science in Education School of Education & Social Policy

618 Garrett Place
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/467-1458

Email: msedprogram@northwestern.edu