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Northwestern University

Prospective Students, Application, and Admissions

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The program and coursework are designed for students who want a highly focused reproductive science curriculum and research experience in preparation for careers in basic and clinical research laboratories in academia, healthcare, and pharmaceutical, and biotechnology settings. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the DGS if they have questions about their academic, clinical, or research backgrounds.

Application Deadlines

The MS-RSM program has an early decision application and final application deadline. For students matriculating Fall 2018, early decision applications are due January 19, 2018. The final application deadline is April 30, 2018 for both thesis and non-thesis tracks. The program expects to fill half the available slots from the early decision and the remaining students from the final deadline. The program only admits students for matriculation during fall quarters. Students may select the thesis or non-thesis track at the time of application submission or after receiving a positive admissions decision. Students who are not sure which track they should pursue, may select "undecided" when completing the application. If admitted to the program, students will select whether they wish to pursue the thesis or non-thesis track by the beginning of the first quarter.

Applications from international students are encouraged. International students are required to demonstrate English language proficiency, which may require a standardized test. International applicants are responsible for planning accordingly to meet application deadlines.

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate Major: Bachelor or post-baccalaureate degree in Biology, Life Sciences, or related field from an accredited college or university. Applicants with nursing or medical degrees are also encouraged to apply. The program is not intended to be a student’s initial exposure to biology.

Undergraduate GPA: 3.0. A portfolio of rigorous biology and chemistry coursework as well as life and professional experiences will be considered for applicants that do not meet this criterion.

Research Experience: Prior research experience is not a requirement for admittance into the MS-RSM. Prior research experience is considered a positive factor for the overall application. Students who select the thesis track should have some research experience and have completed at least 1 biology course with laboratory or equivalent.

GRE/MCAT Scores (optional): Applicants to the MS-RSM program are NOT required to submit GRE or MCAT test scores. Submitting test scores is OPTIONAL. Applicants should follow all instructions within the online application to submit test scores. Copies of GRE scores are submitted to the institution. Copies of MCAT scores are mailed to the MS-RSM office:

Attn: Elizabeth Sefton

Center for Reproductive Science

645 North Michigan Ave., Suite 630-20

Chicago IL 60611

Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required for acceptance to the MS-RSM. Recommenders upload letters electronically to the online application system. All letters should be received by the application deadline.

English Language Proficiency:  International students are eligible for admittance. International students are required to demonstrate proficient English language skills. Applicants must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams. Scores must be from exams taken within 2 years of the intended quarter of entry at Northwestern.

Students who earned undergraduate or graduate degrees from institutions where English is the language of instruction are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS.

English speaking and comprehension skills are further evaluated during the interview. The MS-RSM program reserves the right to deny admittance to applicants based on English language skills even if the applicant earned the required test score or earned a degree from an institution where English is the language of instruction.

More information on test scores can be found on on The Graduate School website.

Application Process

MS-RSM applicants are required to use the TGS online application. Information about the online application process and how to apply can be found on The Graduate School Website. 

Application submission requires a non-refundable fee of $95. Applicants should follow all directions in the online application, especially for sending transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation. Prospective students are encouraged to contact program leadership with questions about the application process.

The MS-RSM program requires the following for a complete application and acceptance into the MS-RSM program:

1)    Previous academic transcripts. Please upload copies of your previous academic transcripts. These are considered unofficial and are used for application purposes only. Admitted students are required to provide official copies of transcripts during their first quarter of study. DO NOT send official transcripts to Northwestern for the application.

2)    Personal statement. Please tell us about your interest in reproductive science and medicine, why you want to join the MS-RSM, what you hope to gain from the program, and also what you hope to give to the program.

3)    CV or resume. Please submit a current CV or resume. This information helps the program learn more about your extra-curricular activities and professional experiences that are not included in your transcript.

4)    Letters of recommendation (2). The MS-RSM program requires 2 letters of recommendation. Letters are electronically submitted through the application system. Letters of recommendation are due on the application deadline and applicants are responsible for contacting recommenders and ensuring that deadlines are met.

Interviews and Acceptance

The MS-RSM Director and Director of Graduate Studies will review complete applications and invite qualified applicants to virtual or in-person interviews. Acceptance decisions are delivered within the online application portal and by correspondence from the Director and Director of Graduate Studies. Applicants are required to provide enrollment decisions by the date listed in the acceptance letter.

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