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Graduate Students (Masters, Certificate or Licensure)

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How to Apply?

Begin by either filling out our application online or download and print a paper application.

Apply Online                               Download an Application

The application process and admission requirements at Northeastern vary depending on applicant type. Before filling out an application, please learn more about our requirements and deadlines below.

When to Apply?

Whether you apply online or submit your application by mail, it is important to meet our application deadline. Deadlines vary for degree seeking, non-degree seeking and international students.

Domestic Applicant Deadlines
International Applicant Deadlines
Fall - July 15
Spring - November 1
Summer I - April 1
Summer II* - May 1
      *Undergraduates only
Fall - July 15
Spring - October 1
Summer I - March 1
Summer II*- April 1
          *Undergraduates only

Northeastern Illinois University is pleased to be included in your pursuit of graduate education. Northeastern offers graduate programs in thirty-eight academic concentrations in Arts and Sciences, Education and Business and Management. It is our goal to provide you the support necessary to ensure a smooth admission process.

Graduate admission is a two-part process which involves submitted your application and supporting documents to Graduate Admissions and Records for initial review and recommendation. The final review is made by the program advisor in the discipline in which you are seeking a degree.

General Admission Requirements

Applicants for graduate admission at Northeastern Illinois University must:

  1. Submit a completed application.

  2. Submit a non-refundable application fee accompanying the application. The application fee can be in the form of a check, money order or bank draft payable to Northeastern Illinois University. If paid in cash at the University Cashier’s Office, the receipt should be attached with the application package.

  3. Possess an undergraduate degree from a regionally-accredited college or university or recognized international college or university.

  4. Provide official transcripts. Transcripts and examination scores must be official and received in an envelope sealed by the sending institution. Hand-carried transcripts will be considered official as long as they are delivered in the sealed envelope. Transcripts become the property of the University and cannot be released.

  5. Meet the requirements of the specific program to which they are applying (see below).

Transcripts from recognized colleges/universities outside of the U.S. require evaluation through Educational Credentials Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) or World Education Services (WES). Three-year degrees from a college or university in a country that is a signed participant in the Bologna Process are eligible to be officially accepted as equivalent to a four-year U.S. degree. In addition to all required documents listed above, students who graduated with a three-year Bologna-compliant degree must submit the accompanying Diploma Supplement (DS).

Admission to a Graduate Degree, Certificate or Licensure Program

In addition to the general requirements listed above, admission to a master’s degree program requires the following additional materials:

  1. Two letters of recommendation.

  2. A statement of goals and objectives.

  3. Transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended for which the applicant enrolled in credit-earning courses. Transcripts from NEIU do NOT need to be submitted. It is also not necessary to re-submit any transcripts that have been submitted in a previous application to an NEIU graduate program, as long as no additional coursework was completed since the initial transcript was sent to NEIU.

  4. Consult the application instructions for additional application requirements for specific degree programs. Some programs require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE general as well as the subject test) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Students applying to these programs must arrange to send the test scores to the Graduate Admissions Office at Northeastern Illinois University to avoid delay or denial of admission. The code for Northeastern Illinois University is 1090.

  5. Demonstrate a high level of scholastic ability as reflected by an undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or better (4-point scale). All undergraduate coursework completed prior to the conferral of the bachelor’s degree is computed in this average. Any previous graduate credit is also taken into appropriate consideration.

  6. An average of at least B (3.0) in the undergraduate coursework that is the foundation for the master’s program.

  7. Satisfactory mastery of the program prerequisites.

  8. Departmental or program committee approval. The final admission decision rests with the program faculty.

An undergraduate senior who meets all of the requirements for admission to the College and the specific degree program, and is within 9 semester hours of completing an undergraduate degree may be granted Contingent Admission. Prior to the start of classes in the term of admission, an applicant granted contingent admission must submit an official transcript showing conferral of the degree in order to start graduate coursework. Courses used to fulfill the undergraduate degree requirements will not apply to the graduate degree program of study.

Conditional and Provisional Admission

An applicant who does not meet all of the academic requirements for admission to a degree program may be admitted into one of the following two graduate admission categories upon the recommendation of the graduate program and the approval of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

Conditional Admission:  Applicants lacking mastery of certain, specific program prerequisites may be allowed to obtain that mastery by completing prerequisite coursework by a specified time or point in the graduate program as deemed appropriate by the graduate program. Such applicants will be granted admission and assigned to “conditional status.” Students in conditional status will be required to complete their prerequisite work early in their graduate program, in accordance with the sequence of courses recommended by their graduate program advisor. Failure to complete the prerequisite work by the time the student earns 12 credit hours of graduate-level work will result in a hold being placed on their ability to register for courses in all future terms until the completion of the prerequisite work. Registration holds may only be released for the upcoming semester upon a plan of prerequisite course completion agreed upon by the student and the graduate program advisor.

Provisional Admission:  Applicants who do not meet the standard academic background expected for full admission to a degree program, may, in some cases, be granted admission to “provisional status” upon the recommendation of the graduate program and the approval of the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Admission to provisional status may result from an applicant having:

  1. a degree from an institution for which academic credit equivalency cannot be established, or one that issues transcripts with ungraded academic records.

  2. an undergraduate cumulative grade point average that is below 2.75.

  3. an erratic undergraduate academic record.

Students admitted to provisional status must achieve a grade of B or better in all courses taken until the term of completion of the first 9 graduate-level credits in the program. Failure to meet this performance standard will result in dismissal from the program.

Students admitted to provisional status who also lack mastery of certain, specific program prerequisites may also be allowed to obtain that mastery by completing prerequisite coursework as described above. Such students will be subject to both expectations described above for students in provisional and conditional status.

Notification of Admission

The Graduate Admissions Office will inform students in writing of the admissions decision. Students who are admitted should contact their program advisor within two weeks of receiving notification of admission, register for the courses they plan to take in their first term, and participate in orientation programs as specified by the college and/or program.

Since each graduate degree program has its own specific course requirements, it is imperative that the student assume the responsibility for contacting the assigned advisor in the program. The letter of admission will identify the advisor. The student should contact the program advisor well in advance of any registration period, as detailed program advising cannot be done, and should not be expected, just prior to the start of classes.

International Students

International Students are required to follow all admissions processes and fulfill all of the admissions requirements noted above. Additionally, they must demonstrate that they meet eligibility requirements for F-1 visa status and English language proficiency.

Eligibility for F-1 visa status requires demonstrating the availability of sufficient funds for attending school and for living expenses. This is done by completing and submitting a notarized Northeastern Financial Statement along with notarized supporting documents, which include an official, notarized bank letter obtained from the financial institution(s) of the sponsor(s) identified in the Northeastern Financial Statement. Further details can be obtained on the website of the Office of International Programs.

English language proficiency:  International students must demonstrate English language proficiency as evidenced through an approved standardized test. International applicants are exempt from this requirement if they have earned a degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university.

NEIU accepts scores from both the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as well as from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum acceptable scores are 79 on the TOEFL iBT or a 6.5 composite score on the IELTS. Some programs require a TOEFL or IELTS score that is higher than the university minimum requirement; these can be found on the application along with other program-specific requirements.

Applicants who do not meet the English language proficiency minimum scores may be considered for conditional admission to a graduate degree program in conjunction with Northeastern’s intensive English program (SAELL). SAELL provides training for international students to meet the English language proficiency requirement. International applicants with IELTS composite scores of 5.0 or better or TOEFL iBT scores of 35 or better may be considered for a special joint admission to SAELL with conditional admission to a graduate degree program. Joint conditional admission requires international students to begin studies at NEIU in the SAELL intensive English program, with a guarantee of admission to the graduate degree program upon demonstration of English language proficiency within 12 months of beginning in the SAELL program. Further details can be obtained on the website of the Office of International Programs.

Admission Acceptance / Deferral

Students may request, in writing, a deferral of their matriculation for up to one year. Requests for deferment should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office.

How to Apply

Contact Future Students

T (773) 442-4050

Contact Future Students

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