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Deadlines & How to Apply

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Application Portal

IMPORTANT: When starting a new application, please select "2023-2024" under Application Type. This refers to the application window for prospective MSES students that would matriculate in Fall 2024, and graduate in Spring 2025 (i.e. the "MSES Class of 2025").

Application Deadlines

Applications for the 2024-25 MSES cohort ("Class of 2025") will open on September 1, 2023.  Although there are three application rounds, Round 1 is highly recommended to obtain preferred access to various grant and scholarship funding opportunities, and to seek summer internships (if desired).

MSES does not offer rolling admissions, rather, your application is reviewed alongside all other applications in a given round.  The program endeavors to return admissions decisions (admit, deny, waitlist) within approximately one month of the deadline date for which you applied (e.g. an application submitted Dec. 1 will be evaluated with all applications received before the Dec. 15 Round 1 deadline, and should expect to hear an admission decision from the program in mid-January).

At this time, only a full-time, in-person program modality is offered.

MSES Application Deadlines


Application Due

Decisions Sent

Reply Required

Round 1 – Priority deadline for domestic and international* applicants

December 15, 2023, **by 11:59pm CST (UTC-6)

January 2024

February 2024

Round 2 – Final round for international* applicants

February 15, 2024, **by 11:59pm CST (UTC-6)

March 2024

April 2024

Round 3 – Final round for domestic applicants

May 1, 2024, **by 11:59pm CDT (UTC-5)

May 2024

June 2024

*An international applicant is defined as any individual who requires a visa to enter the United States for the purpose of studying at Northwestern.

**Applications are due by 11:59pm Central Time on the articulated date.  Please note that Central Time is UTC-6 for the Dec. 15 and Feb. 15 deadlines, but due to daylights savings observation in the US, Central Time is UTC-5 for the May 1 deadline.

Application Requirements

The MSES Admissions Committee seeks well-rounded applicants and considers applications holistically. We welcome applications from all academic and professional backgrounds; however, successful applicants typically offer:

  • Degree - MSES does not have required degree backgrounds for application; in fact, we're proud of the academic diversity of past cohorts.  Typically (but not exclusively), successful applicants will have a bachelor or master degree in:
    • An engineering or an engineering-related field (e.g., engineering management);
    • A physical/natural/social science discipline with some quantitative and/or analytical background (e.g., chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, economics, environmental sciences, math/statistics, physics, etc.);
    • A social science/humanities discipline without a quantitative and/or analytical background with subject-area relevance (e.g., history, political science, etc.), so long as the applicant can demonstrate such skills in other coursework;
    • A professional master’s degree (e.g., business administration, law, etc.)
  • GPA - Minimum 3.0 overall Grade Point Average (on a 4.0 scale) for all undergraduate work is recommended, but not required for application. GPA carries less weight in the evaluation of your candidacy the longer it's been since you graduated.
  • Academic Transcript(s) - At the time of application, applicants must submit an unofficial copy of academic transcripts from each college or university they have attended. If you are offered a position in the MSES program and you decide to enroll, you will be required to submit one official copy of your transcript(s) for any degrees you have been awarded.
  • Test Scores - GRE scores are accepted but are not required for application. A lack of GRE scores will not put any individual applicant at an evaluatory disadvantage, but individuals that have, or plan, to take the GRE may submit their scores as supplemental evidence of graduate readiness. Other graduate readiness tests (GMAT, LSAT) may also be submitted.
    • International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency to be eligible to apply, either by submitting language proficiency scores (TOEFL or IELTS scores from the past two years), or by showing evidence of prior post-secondary degrees (undergraduate or other graduate) taught in English.  Please review the Transcript, Grade, and Language Requirements section of the International Students page for more details.
  • Resume - Applicants are required to upload a current resume or CV. Please limit your submission to two pages; documents longer than two pages will not be reviewed.
  • Required Essays - Applicants will be asked to provide responses to three short essay prompts on their applications:
    • Essay #1 (Personal Statement - required): articulate your motivations, aptitude, and vision for pursuing a master's program, including why you are, in particular, applying to MSES, what qualities you hope to add to the cohort dynamic, and your career aspirations upon completion of the program. 
    • Essay #2 (Creative Solution - required): one example of a creative solution to solving an energy or sustainability problem. The scale, location, and application are all up to you. You may write about an existing solution or one that you have devised.
    • Essay #3 (Diversity Statement - optional): reflect on an instance where you collaborated with individuals from diverse backgrounds or worked on a team with varying expertise. How did this diversity enhance the problem-solving process, and what did you learn about the significance of inclusion in projects? How will you actively promote diversity and inclusivity within your future career?
  • Letters of Recommendation - Two letters of recommendation that attest to the candidate's academic or work performance as well as leadership potential.
  • $75 application fee - Note that prospective applicants who attend an online info session will receive a waiver code for this fee.


Application Portal

IMPORTANT: When starting a new application, please select "2023-2024" under Application Type. This refers to the application window for prospective MSES students that would matriculate in Fall 2024, and graduate in Spring 2025 (i.e. the "MSES Class of 2025").