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Spring 2021 Applications will open in October 2020

To apply for the Certificate Program for Undergraduates, students must fulfill the following requirements

  1. Maintain status as an undergraduate student at Northwestern University*
  2. Complete prerequisite courses prior to Winter Quarter of the year they apply
  3. Have a plan to complete and be making progress towards corequisite courses

The application consists of:

  1. An online application form
  2. A 300-400 word essay that describes a current business issue in the news that interests you, and how participating in the CPU may help you better understand the issue
  3. A one-page resume 
  4. A recommendation from one Northwestern University professor, submitted online by the professor 
Admissions decisions are based on grades (both cumulative overall and in prerequisite courses), the personal essay, and the faculty recommendation.  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. 

The middle 50% of students admitted to the MA and FE certificates in Spring 2020 had prerequisite GPAs between 3.2 and 3.9.  Students who have earned a 3.0 average or above in their prerequisite courses are encouraged to apply.

Students may apply to only one certificate.

Application Timeline
Fall Quarter 2020
  • Applications are available in October
  • Attend an information session
Winter Quarter 2021
  • Applications are due in early January
  • Admission decisions are made in February 2021
  • Applicants are encouraged to take corequisite courses
Spring Quarter 2021
  • Accepted students must take the first program course, Principle Of Finance (FE 310)

*The program does not accept applications from high school seniors, students attending other universities, or other individuals who are not currently undergraduate students at Northwestern University.

Questions? Contact us.



Q: When are applications due?
A: Applications for Spring 2021 will be due in early January.

Q: When will I find out if I’ve been accepted?
A: Admission decisions will be sent in February.

Q: Do I need to submit an official transcript?
A: Only if you have also attended a college/university other than Northwestern University.  In that case, we will need an official transcript from that institution.

Q: Can I apply to both certificates?
A: No. You may only apply to one certificate.

Q: How many students do you accept?
A: Approximately 50 students per year, per certificate (100 students total).

Q: In what school year should I apply for the program?

A: You may apply for the program during your sophomore or junior year (or when you are completing the prerequisite courses). However, we recommend applying for the program as a sophomore to allow for the greatest flexibility in scheduling during your junior and senior years.

Q: Is there a minimum overall GPA or prerequisite GPA required?
A: Students are encouraged to have an overall "B" average in prerequisite courses.  The middle 50% of students admitted to the Certificate Program in Spring 2020 had prerequisite GPAs between 3.2 and 3.9.

Q: When do I need to complete the prerequisite courses?
A: Students must complete the prerequisite courses prior to the Winter Quarter of the year in which they apply to the program.  In other words, grades from all of the prerequisite courses must be available for review by the end of Fall quarter and available for review in January.

Q: When do I need to complete the corequisite courses?
A: Students are encouraged to take as many of the corequisite courses as possible prior to applying, but we understand that this is not always possible. 


Students applying as sophomores should work on corequisite courses during their sophomore year, including during the Winter quarter in which the application is due and the Spring quarter when they take their first Certificate courses.


Student applying as Juniors are strongly encouraged to begin corequisite courses during their sophomore year and complete them by the end of their Junior year.


All Certificate Program students must complete corequisite courses within one year of starting the program.  Students are also responsible with familiarizing themselves with the Certificate course prerequisites, as some of the courses require that students have completed certain corequisite courses prior to beginning the course.

Q: Where can I find a copy of Northwestern's Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics?
A: As provided by the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, now known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, you are entitled to request and receive a copy of Northwestern University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This Report includes statistics for the previous 3 years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Northwestern University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus. The Report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies on drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, fire safety and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Northwestern University Police Department Deputy Chief at (847) 491-3256. The report can also be accessed and printed from the University Police website at //www.northwestern.edu/up/safety/annual-report/index.html

Certificate Program for Undergraduates
Kellogg School of Management
555 Clark Street, Lower Level
Evanston, IL 60208-2800