Frequently Asked Questions

 Are the programs available online?

No. The Graduate Programs in Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety model an executive-style education providing substantive knowledge and skills. Students attend four in-person, classroom-based immersion sessions to be trained by national leaders in quality and safety and to achieve their full leadership potential. Immersion sessions take place in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois.

In addition, six courses enrich and extend the Immersion classes with distance-learning components that follow the in-person sessions. Distance-learning sessions can be attended from anywhere.

For more information on our programs, see the Our Programs page.

 When are applications due?

The program only accepts admission for summer quarter. The application process for Summer 2023 admission is now closed. Please check back in the fall for program updates.

 How is the expected workload?

This is a comprehensive program with supplementary pre-class readings, written deliverables and exams. There is one written deliverable and one exam due at the end of each course.

Each course is a 1.0-credit course. A typical 1.0-credit graduate-level course involves 30 hours of class time plus approximately 60 to 90 hours of individual study. Students are encouraged to manage their schedule accordingly to allow sufficient time to complete assignments before and after each in-class session. 

 What is the difference between the programs?

The certificate and faculty development programs are both 12-month, non-degree programs that focus on an in-depth overview of the fields of healthcare quality and patient safety.

The master’s program is a two-year, graduate degree program focusing on improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly in regard to quality and safety. Students in the master’s program are required to complete the remote group mentored Capstone Project where students design, implement and measure a quality or safety intervention. 

 Is healthcare experience required to apply?

Applicants must have at least three years of clinical or non-clinical experience in a healthcare setting.

 Do you only accept medical students enrolled at Feinberg School of Medicine?

No. We accept medical students enrolled in Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine programs at competitive medical schools around the greater Chicago area. Students are expected to attend all in-class sessions at Northwestern University.

 How much is tuition?

Per The Graduate School part-time rate, tuition for 2022-2023 is $7,372.00 per course.

  • The Master of Science consists of nine courses, therefore estimated tuition is $68,550*.
  • The Faculty Development Program consists of five courses, therefore estimated tuition is $37,525*.
  • The Certificate Program consists of five courses, therefore estimated tuition is $37,525*.

Physicians in fellowship training at Northwestern have a set tuition rate of $3,200 per course.

*Includes estimated 3% tuition increase per year.

 Am I eligible to receive a scholarship?

We offer a tuition discount for the first year of the master’s program to nurses, allied health professionals, physicians in residency training and clinicians caring for underserved, low-income patients. Scholarships are renewable for the second year of study contingent upon academic standing.

 I am an employee at Northwestern University. Can I receive a tuition benefit?

Yes. Northwestern University’s employee reduced tuition benefit provides a 90 percent tuition discount, up to $12,000 per calendar year. Benefit over $5,250 per calendar year is considered taxable income as "non-cash compensation" and included in the total taxable wages of the W2.

Benefit over $5,250 per calendar year for employees who hold an unpaid faculty appointment at Northwestern University will be represented in a 1099-MISC form as 'nonemployee compensation."

Please contact the program for more information.

 I hold an MD. Which program code should I use on my application?

Applicants with an MD should apply using the H02MS (Master of Science) program code.

Please note that the H03MS (MD/MS Combined) program code is reserved for prospective medical students applying for the MD/MS Combined Program.