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Last updated on Mar 03, 2020

Northwestern University Review

Offers many hybrid degree programs but few entirely online programs ​
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Michelle Clardie

By Michelle Clardie Contributing Writer

Northwestern University Review

Northwestern University, located in Evanston, Illinois, is a highly ranked research university with a focus on the natural sciences. While Northwestern is well-regarded and offers many individual online courses, it’s online program offerings are sorely lacking.

Northwestern blurs the line between on-campus programs and online programs by offering many hybrid or blended programs that require both on-campus and online components.

These programs can make it difficult to tell at-a-glance if the entire program can be completed online or if you’ll need to attend on-campus courses at some point as well.

Make sure you read each program description carefully and don’t hesitate to complete a contact form to confirm with a Northwestern admissions adviser whether or not the entire program can be completed online.

Quick Facts

  • Number of online programs available: 25 programs offered entirely online
  • Number of degrees/certificates available: 9 Master’s Degree programs and 16 Certificate programs offered entirely online
  • Cost information: varies by program. A Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications will cost $60,645, while a Master’s in Sports Administration will cost around $42,000. Check the program details for the tuition amounts for each specific program.
  • Overall acceptance rate: 8.9%
  • Overall graduation rate: 94%

Northwestern University’s Online Programs

Areas of Study
Certification
Undergraduate
Postgraduate
Art and Design
x
x
x
Business
x
x
Engineering
x
x
Only Design and Construction online
Health and Nursing
x
x
x
Law
x
x
x
Professional Studies
x
Science
x
x
x
Social Sciences
x
x
x

Information accurate as of Jan. 12, 2020.

Art and Design

Northwestern University does not currently offer any art and design programs online.

Business

The only business program Northwestern currently offers entirely online is a Pregraduate Business Administration Certificate.

To complete the certificate online, you’ll need to complete five courses in the fields of accounting, finance, math, marketing, and organizational behavior. If you were to complete the program on-campus, you could choose from additional electives, including economics and statistics.

The fee is $1,984 per unit, plus a $120 technology fee for online courses. However, Northwestern’s website does not provide information on the number of units for each course or the expected time to completion.

Engineering

Northwestern offers only one engineering program online: the Master of Science in Executive Management for Design and Construction (EMDC).

The program, which covers six core courses plus six electives, can be completed in two years at a part-time pace. Each course costs $4,686, for a total of $56,232.

Admissions are offered quarterly (excluding summer sessions). Fall quarter starts Aug. 15, winter starts Nov. 15, and spring starts Feb. 15.

Health and Nursing

Northwestern University does not currently offer any health and nursing programs online.

Law

Northwestern University does not currently offer any law programs online.

Professional Studies

The School of Professional Studies is Northwestern’s strength in terms of online course offerings.

You can choose from seven entirely online Master’s Degree programs (in areas like data science, health analytics, public policy) and 16 online certificate programs (in areas like accounting, business administration, and leadership).

There are also interesting, hard-to-find professional studies programs at Northwestern. For example, you can get a Master’s Degree in sports administration or a certificate in museum studies or sports communication.

Science

Northwestern University does not currently offer any science programs online.

Social Sciences

Northwestern University does not currently offer any social sciences programs online.

Northwestern University Financial Aid: How Do I Pay for My Degree?

Northwestern University Admissions: What Do I Need to Know Before Applying?

Because the schools within Northwestern operate so independently, the admissions process varies slightly by the program.

In general, you will need to complete and submit an application, along with transcripts, recommendations, relevant test scores, and a resume or two. Some schools, like the Medill School of Journalism, also require a resume and an admissions interview.

All schools also require an application fee of up to $100. Deadlines for applications vary greatly by program. Please check the program details for your chosen program to confirm the application deadlines.

Northwestern University FAQ

The Bottom Line

Northwestern is a campus-first university. While the university does offer many courses online, it offers relatively few complete programs online.

There are no online undergraduate degree options and the online certificate options are limited to the fields of business and professional studies (which all fall under the School of Professional Studies).

Online Master’s Degrees are minimal as well. You can choose from seven Professional Studies programs, Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School of Journalism, or Executive Management for Design and Construction from the McCormick School of Engineering.

If you’re looking for an online certificate or degree program that falls outside of these narrow offerings, you’ll want to look elsewhere.