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General Program Questions

1. How long is the MSLCE Program?
The MSLCE program is a four-quarter program. Three quarters are used for academic coursework, and one quarter (usually the final quarter of the student’s residency) is dedicated to a full-time internship, thesis or applied project, during which students also participate in an online, for credit class. Full-time students complete the program in one academic year.

2. When are classes held?
Classes may be scheduled at any time throughout the week including evenings. Saturday classes may also occasionally occur. Each class generally meets once per week for three hours. Additional professional development sessions and workshops are also scheduled throughout the year.

3. When can I begin the program?
Students may begin the program during the fall (September) or winter (January) quarter. Students entering at either time will complete their internship, thesis or applied project during the summer quarter.

4. Where are MSLCE classes held?
MSLCE classes are held in person, on Northwestern’s Evanston Campus.

5. Can I take courses outside of the MSLCE curriculum?
The MSLCE curriculum has been specially designed to expose students to content essential for developing skill sets in leadership and managerial communication in the creative enterprises in a one-year timeframe. MSLCE students may customize their coursework through selection of MSLCE Elective Courses (see curriculum). Students interested in taking relevant, related coursework outside of the program may submit a request to the program. Course enrollment outside of the program is subject to program approval.

Admissions and Application Process

6. Do I have to submit all of my application materials at the same time?
Most documents should be uploaded to the online application. Materials such as transcripts, transcript evaluations, and test scores may arrive separately; however, your application will not be reviewed until the entire application is complete. Letters of recommendation are submitted to the online system directly by the recommender. Qualified applicants may be invited for a personal interview with the admissions team.

7. Are GRE or GMAT scores required as part of the application process?
Standardized test scores are not required for consideration to the MSLCE Program, with the exception of a TOEFL score, which is required for international applicants.

8. What defines an international student?
Someone who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is recognized as an international student.  Students who will require immigration sponsorship from the university will be required to maintain full-time student status. Students who do not require immigration sponsorship from the university (i.e. students whose immigration status is sponsored by their employer or spouse) are personally responsible for knowing the requirements of their visa. In the case that a student’s visa allows for part-time study, this student may be recognized by the university as an international student but be billed at the part-time rate for the MSLCE Program. These students should share this information with the MSLCE Program prior to enrollment.

9. Is a minimum undergraduate GPA required for admissions consideration?
GPA’s are evaluated as part of the larger admissions file, thus MSLCE does not institute a minimum GPA for admissions consideration. Each application is viewed in context with the rest of the file, including the statement of purpose, resume, and recommendations.

10. Are there any undergraduate prerequisites for the program?
The MSLCE Program requires a four-year baccalaureate degree (or equivalent credentials for international students, see Application Instructions). There are no specific class prerequisites required for the program.

11. Does the Admissions Committee favor certain undergraduate majors?
MSLCE seeks to admit students from a variety of majors, but strong coursework and/or related experience in the creative industries is preferred.

12. Do you require previous professional work experience?
The MSLCE Program is designed for a range of experience levels, from recent graduates to management-level workers. Because MSLCE encourages a diversity of experiences and backgrounds in the classroom, MSLCE does not have any requirements for full-time professional work experience.

13. What should I expect if invited to interview?
You will be asked about your career goals, interest in the MSLCE Program, previous professional experience, and undergraduate or other academic work.  Please be prepared to interview in person or by web video conference, if requested.

14. Are there any special requirements for international students?
Yes, see the Admissions page for application instructions for international students.

15. How will I know the status of my application?
After the admissions committee has reviewed your completed application, you will receive a letter informing you of its decision. You can check on the status of your supporting materials by logging into your application and reviewing the application checklist. You may contact the Admissions Office at 847-467-7117 or for interim updates.


16. If I’m accepted, what is the next step?
You will be asked to submit your non-refundable deposit of $500 in U.S. funds. Your enrollment position is only secure upon timely submission of the registration form and deposit. This deposit will hold your place in the program and will be applied to your first quarter’s tuition payment.

17. What if I’m accepted but I’m not sure if I will attend?
You must submit the $500 tuition deposit in order to secure your place in the incoming class. If you are unsure about attending, please contact Admissions at 847-467-7117 or to be advised of your options. Space is limited and spots are secured as registration forms and deposits are received from accepted applicants. Should registration be full when you accept the invitation for admission, you will be placed on the waitlist and options will be extended to you.

18. I’ve made my deposit.  Now what?
You are now considered part of MSLCE!  You will also be sent further instructions via email about how to prepare for Orientation and the start of classes.

19. What happens at Orientation?
Orientation is a mandatory event, usually scheduled during the week before the beginning of the quarter. This experience provides you with a chance to meet your classmates, obtain your NU student ID (Wildcard), tour the campus, and review school and program policies and procedures. We will engage University constituents only available during the work-day; no weekend alternatives are available for orientation.

20. What if something changes and I can no longer attend the program?
If you are no longer able to attend, notify Admissions at 847-467-7117 or

21. Can I defer my enrollment?
In extreme or extenuating circumstances, a student may submit a request to defer enrollment for up to one year from the quarter stipulated in the initial letter of admission. Deferral requests must be in writing and include an additional non-refundable tuition deposit in the amount of $500. The additional deposit will also be applied to the first quarter tuition bill. Deferral requests are approved at the discretion of the Program Director.

Tuition, Fees + Funding Options

22. How much is tuition?
Please see the Tuition + Financial Aid page for the most up-to-date tuition information.

23. How do I pay for the program?
Applicants are responsible for managing their own financial aid process; the MSLCE Program does not facilitate funding.  MSLCE students have several options for funding including self-funding, federal loans, employer funding, military programs, and scholarship awards. Please see the Tuition + Financial Aid page for more information.

24. How do I apply for a federal loan?
In order to begin the federal loan process, you must complete a FAFSA form online. See the Tuition + Financial Aid page for more information.

25. How do I check the status of my federal loan application?
If you have completed and submitted your FAFSA form, you may check with the Evanston Graduate Financial Aid Office for the status of your federal loan application. Award notices will be distributed by email only after an applicant has accepted his or her offer of admission by sending in the Admission Decision/Intent to Register form and non-refundable tuition deposit.

26. What if my employer will pay for my MSLCE degree?
Employer sponsored students must submit a letter on organization letterhead stating that Northwestern University should bill the company directly each term for Master of Science in Leadership for Creative Enterprises Program tuition fees. The letter must clearly state that the employer agrees to pay tuition regardless of the courses taken or the grades received. Please also specify the appropriate contact person’s name and telephone number, the address to which invoices should be sent, the period covered by the authorization, and the charges to which it applies (tuition, fees, books, parking, etc.). Send the letter to Northwestern University, Office of Student Accounts, 555 Clark St., Evanston, IL 60208.