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How to Apply


Applicants to the MS in Biostatistics program must apply to begin in Summer Quarter. The deadline is December 15th for all applicants. Admissions are made on a rolling basis, and we strongly recommend that applicants submit their materials well before the deadline. All applications should indicate summer as the quarter of entry.

Application Requirements

Students applying for the MS in Biostatistics program (part-time and full-time) use SOPHAS – The Centralized Application Service for Public Health. This common application for most accredited public health schools/programs requires:

  • A statement of purpose
  • Two references/letters of recommendation from faculty members, instructors, employers, supervisors or others who can address your interest in public health and/or your ability to do graduate-level work
  • Transcript(s) from all colleges/universities you have attended; if you have attended post-secondary schools outside of the United States or Canada, your transcripts must be sent for evaluation to World Education Services (WES)
  • OPTIONAL GRE score submission, (code 6981)
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives (personal statement)
  • WES ICAP Course-by-Course evaluation of academic records from institutions outside the U.S. and English-speaking Canada
  • Waiver: Granted to holders of doctoral or professional degrees (PhD, MD, etc.) from institutions within the U.S. and English-speaking Canada.

English Language Proficiency

If your native language is not English, you must certify your proficiency in the English language in one of the following ways:

  • Provide official scores for either the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The test must be taken no more than two years before the desired quarter of entry. For the TOEFL, you must score 600 or higher on the paper-based test, 250 or higher on the computer-based test or 100 or higher on the internet-based test. For the IELTS, you must receive a score of 7.0 or higher. Visit the TOEFL site to request your scores be sent to SOPHAS in Massachusetts, code 5688. Your scores will take 10 to 12 business days from the date you make the request to post on your SOPHAS.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution or equivalent, where the language of instruction is English.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English.

International Applicants

SOPHAS applicants who will be submitting documentation from post-secondary institutions outside of the United States and/or English-language institutions in Canada must have their documents evaluated by WES. Please note that evaluations from WES will allow our reviewers to better understand the educational system in which you studied, which may be beneficial for your application review.

If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you can apply for either an F-1 or a J-1 visa. All full-time, admitted students are eligible for the F-1 visa, as long as they are proficient in English and can show proof of funding for at least the first year of study. Most Northwestern University international students have this visa status. However, some students may also be eligible for a J-1 student visa. You can learn more from the Northwestern International Office.

Contact Us

For additional questions about applying, see our FAQ section or contact us at