Applying to the program
About the Certificate
Completing the Program
APPLYING TO THE PROGRAM
When are applications due for fall, 2013 admissions?
Applications for Fall 2013 admissions are due no later than Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. The admission decisions will be communicated by April 26, 2013.
May I apply to the certificate program if I am not currently a Northwestern University student?
No. We do not accept applications from high school seniors or from students enrolled at other universities. You must be currently enrolled at NU as a degree-seeking undergraduate student in order to apply.
Do I have to be a WCAS or McCormick student to apply?
No. Both certificates are open to all Northwestern undergraduates who fulfill the prerequisite courses, regardless of their school or major. We encourage all qualified students who believe that the program will contribute to their education and career goals to apply.
May I apply to both certificates at the same time?
No. You must choose one certificate. If you are unsure about which certificate you prefer, you may want to read the course descriptions for each as well as the "Compare Certificates" chart.
Do I have to complete all prerequisites before I apply during Winter Quarter?
No. You have until the end of Spring Quarter to complete all prerequisite courses. As a rule, admission decisions are based on winter quarter grades. Students who are accepted into the program and are still taking courses during the spring must receive a "B" or better in those courses in order to enter the program in the fall.
May I apply as a junior, instead of as a sophomore?
Yes. However, scheduling particular courses during your senior year may be challenging, due to time constraints. Prospective students should note that program courses are offered only once per academic year, and the quarter, day and time during which they are offered can vary from year to year. About 70% of Certificate Program students apply as sophomores, and the rest as juniors.
May I apply to the Certificate Program if I transferred to Northwestern from another college or university?
Yes, as long as you are currently enrolled at Northwestern when you apply for the Program. (You cannot apply to the Program the same time you apply to Northwestern.) If you took one or more Certificate Program prerequisite courses at your previous university, we will count it as long as Northwestern gave you transfer credit for it.
When is the application due? When will I find out if I've been accepted?
Applications are due during Winter Quarter (check back for specific deadlines). Admission decisions, which are based on Winter Quarter grades, are made during Spring Quarter. Students who are accepted must begin the program in the fall.
If I'm accepted to the program, can I defer my start date?
No. We do not defer admission offers, except in unusual circumstances.
How many students do you accept?
Both the Financial Economics Certificate and Managerial Analytics Certificate accept approximately 50 students per year.
What do you look for in applicants?
Successful applicants perform at a high level in the subjects of mathematics, probably, statistics, econometrics and economics, typically attaining a "B" or better in most prerequisites and related courses. We review every applicant's complete transcript, recognizing that taking more challenging courses can have an impact on grades. In addition to reviewing grades, we read all other application materials including the application form, the student's essay, and the two faculty recommendations.
What do you look for academically in applicants?
Successful applicants perform at a high level academically, particularly in analytical and quantitative subjects. We review applicants' complete academic transcripts, with special emphasis on the more recent grades. Also of special interest is the student's GPA in the Certificate Program prerequisite courses. We look for overall academic accomplishment, recognizing that taking more challenging courses can have an impact on grades, as can special circumstances students may encounter at a given time.
Is there a minimum overall GPA or prerequisite GPA required?
Students are required to have a combined 3.0 average among all Certificate Program prerequisite courses in order to apply. Receiving a letter grade below a “B” in any individual course is acceptable, as long as the overall average of all your prerequisite courses is 3.0 or higher.
ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE
Is the Certificate Program considered an academic major, minor or concentration?
No. Certificate programs at Northwestern University are not considered academic majors or minors, and students remain in their home schools.
Can I count courses taken in the Certificate Program towards my major or minor?
In general, no, although depending on the school, department or program, some certificate courses may count towards certain distribution requirements. Specific questions about this should be addressed with your academic adviser and/or department chair.
Can I pursue both certificates?
Students may earn only one certificate. However, students who have successfully completed one certificate may take courses in the other on a space-available basis.
Do I have to complete an internship to earn the certificate?
No. An internship is not required, although it will supplement the program's coursework and provide valuable training and practical experience.
Will the certificate appear on my academic transcript?
Yes. The certificate is noted on a student's transcript upon successful completion of the four certificate courses and graduation from Northwestern University. Students must earn at least a "B" average in the four courses in order to earn the certificate.
Is the certificate equivalent to an MBA?
No. The Certificate Program offers courses in finance and managerial analytics but does not replace the broader MBA curriculum.
Will the program help prepare me for graduate school?
The Certificate Program will be an asset to students looking to pursue a graduate, doctoral or professional degree in finance, economics, management, operations and statistics, and many other fields.
COMPLETING THE PROGRAM
Do I have to start the program in the fall?
Yes. One of the benefits of participating in the program is collaborating with your fellow Certificate Program students. Starting together as a group promotes development of the cohort.
Prospective students should note that CPU courses are offered only once per academic year, and the quarter, day and time during which they are offered can vary from year to year. As a result, it is prudent for juniors to take as many courses as possible during their first year in the program in order to avoid potential scheduling conflicts during their senior year.
Do I have to take all four courses in one year?
No. If you are a junior, you may split the courses over two years, with the exception that the first certificate course, which is offered in the fall, must be taken during the fall. (The first course for the FE Certificate is Principles of Finance; the first course for the MA Certificate is Pricing.) At this time, the other three CPU courses may be taken in any order. As noted in the question above, however, we encourage juniors to complete the four CPU courses in one year to avoid scheduling conflicts during their senior year.
Can I study abroad and participate in the Certificate Program?
Yes. However, in your first year in the program, you must be on campus during Fall Quarter in order to take the required first course. You may study abroad during any other quarter.
Who teaches classes in the Certificate Program?
Courses are taught by Kellogg School faculty. In addition, senior Kellogg School faculty members and deans participate in the program design, administration and evaluation.
Is there a handout that describes the day to day activities of the Certificate Program?
Yes. Each student is provided with an Orientation Handbook that provides all the information. Click here to read it.
Can I make a gift or donation to the Certificate Program?
Yes. Your gift will help us continue to support the student and alumni programming and activities. Click here to make a gift.
Are there any opportunities to work with Kellogg professors on research projects?
Many Kellogg professors employ Certificate Program students as Research Assistants. As RA’s, students work closely with the professor and can be involved in many interesting aspects of the research.
Also, students may seek out a Kellogg professor to advise them on a research project of their own design, either as a separate project or, if allowed by the student’s major department, as their senior honors thesis.
Are there other business-related academic programs at Northwestern University?
While Northwestern does not offer an undergraduate business degree or major, the Kellogg Certificate Program is just one of several rigorous academic programs that cover different aspects of the business world. Click here to read more.