Frequently Asked Questions
Is the chemistry GRE exam a requirement for admission?
What is the deadline for submitting an application?
What is the profile of a successful applicant?
Should I include a writing sample or copies of my publications?
Do I need to submit a separate application for financial aid?
No separate application for financial aid is necessary. If you wish to be considered for a financial aid award, please check the appropriate box on the Graduate School Application form. All Northwestern University graduate students accepted into the program are fully funded. All admitted U.S. citizens do need to complete the FAFSA form available online. Each applicant will be considered for all types of financial aid available to the department. All recipients of financial aid are expected to register for a full time program of graduate study. Successful applicants can expect to receive a financial aid package, which typically includes a stipend and full tuition scholarship. Recipients of financial aid may not engage in remunerative work elsewhere except in unusual circumstances and with the permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of the Graduate School.
No awards of financial aid are given in payment for services rendered, and no services are required in connection with any award. All awards are made for the sole purpose of enabling the student.
To pursue full-time graduate work, domestic students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
What if I am currently attending another graduate school and want to transfer?
The application process for transfer students is the same as for other applicants. However, we do not encourage students to transfer from our sister institutions in the U.S. as this tends to create bad feelings with our colleagues at those institutions. The student should be well aware of the consequences of applying for a transfer before beginning this process. If the student is leaving their institution with a Master’s degree and this is the highest possible achievement there, then they will not be viewed by the Admissions Committee as a transfer student. However, if the student is departing from an institution that offers a Ph.D. program, they will be considered as a transfer.
We do occasionally make exceptions under extenuating circumstances (e.g., if the student has a spouse in our department or their advisor was denied tenure.) If you feel that you meet either of these criteria, you should let us know and have a letter of recommendation from your main advisor. If you are an international student, TOEFL scores are valid for two years only. You will need to ask ETS to forward all of your scores in order to receive financial aid.
When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?
Can I apply to begin the program in the Spring rather than the Fall?
If I am admitted and then decide that I would like to take a year off, can I defer my start date until the following Fall?
What can I expect during the visit weekends?
How can I get more information about the admission process or program?