How to Apply

How to Apply

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Admissions Details

Admissions decisions are based on a holistic evaluation of an applicant's academic and leadership achievements, motivation, professional performance, and potential as an educator.

Admitted students may begin taking courses in either Summer or Fall Quarter. The primary pathway for Elementary and Secondary Teaching candidates includes 18 months of coursework spanning six academic quarters (Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters in consecutive years, with no classes in Summer Quarter). For those who have already satisfied all or most of their content area licensure requirements prior to applying to the MSEd program, an intensive one-year pathway exists: 12 months of coursework spanning four academic quarters (Summer Quarter through Spring Quarter, with no breaks). Educational Studies, Learning Sciences, and Teacher Leadership candidates who want to complete the degree in one year may start in either Summer or Fall.

Applicants who apply by the early admission deadline have the best chance of being awarded scholarships and graduate assistant positions.

Matriculated and Non-Matriculated Options

You may apply to the program as a matriculated or non-matriculated student. Matriculated students are candidates for the master's degree. Non-matriculated students are not yet candidates for the master's degree but may take up to four courses before they must apply to matriculate. The following are the primary reasons why some students choose to apply as non-matriculated students:

  • The student does not wish to earn a master's degree but does want to take some courses in the program.
  • The student does not have anyone who can serve as an academic reference.
  • The student is unsure whether the program is a good fit and wants to try it out.

Because of visa requirements, all international students must apply for the matriculated status.

Admissions Criteria

We review applications holistically. When reviewing an application, we are looking for candidates who can make a strong case why they want to pursue their chosen concentration (Elementary/Secondary Teaching, Educational Studies, Learning Sciences, or Teacher Leadership) at Northwestern. Relevant experience is helpful, but not necessary. Career changers are welcome. If you are a career changer, we would like to understand what brought about that change.

Typically, we like to see candidates who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4-point scale). If you are pursuing your initial teaching license, we also would like to see a 3.0 or higher GPA in your chosen content area. Those pursuing an initial teaching license in Spanish must submit an OPI with a score of Advanced Low or better. The TOEFL or IELTS is required for international applicants. Competitive scores are 100 or higher on the TOEFL (on a 120-point scale) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (on a 9-point scale). TOEFL/IELTS waivers can be requested for those whose native language is English, have earned a four-year degree from a college or university in an English-speaking country, or who have lived in an English-speaking country for a significant amount of time and speak English on a daily basis. The GRE is optional. Competitive scores are in the mid-150s on the Verbal and Quantitative sections (on a 170-point scale), and 4.0 or better on the Analytical Writing section (on a 6-point scale). If you choose not to submit GRE scores, your application will not be penalized in any way.

Application Deadlines

Early admission deadline (Dec 1) for summer or fall start
Early Admission Deadline
Desired Entrance Quarter All Application Materials Due Classes Begin
Summer 2023 Dec. 1, 2022 June 20, 2023
Fall 2023 Sept. 19, 2023
Late admission deadlines (Mar 1 or Jul 1) for fall start
Late Admission Deadline
Desired Entrance Quarter All Application Materials Due Classes Begin
Fall 2023 March 1, 2023 Sept. 19, 2023
July 1, 2023

Full-time Elementary Teaching or Secondary Teaching students who desire field placements (observations and student teaching) in the 2023-24 academic year must apply for the early admission deadline, and must start classes in Summer 2023.

Application Instructions

Apply for outstanding master's degree programs in Elementary Teaching, Secondary Teaching, Teacher Leadership, Educational Studies, or Learning Sciences.

Review our application instructions and 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


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