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Start Your MSHC Journey Now



We are thrilled at the prospect of you joining the Northwestern MSHC family. By accepting our offer of admission, you will become part of an accomplished and engaged community of more than 220,000 Northwestern alumni worldwide. We know there is a lot of information to review and consider as you make your admissions decision and invite you to review the MSHC Admissions Packet below.

Ready to make a decision?

You have two to three weeks to decide whether to accept or decline the offer of admission. Please follow the steps below to begin your graduate education adventure at Northwestern; the MSHC program team is here to make sure your transition from applicant to student is as seamless as possible. If you have any questions as you move through these steps, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at 312.834.4205 or by email at

If you have decided to decline our offer of admission, please email within three weeks of receiving your offer of admission letter.

Preparing to start the program:

The program staff have created a calendar for the upcoming cohort to help you plan for the fall 2021 quarter and academic year.  View the calendar here and block the dates for New Student Orientation and the Saturday class schedule.  The program will start reaching out to you this summer regarding the late summer/early fall events along with additional important information regarding the program.

COVID 19 – Vaccination  Requirement

Please read the below information carefully and click on the vaccine requirement webpage.  Northwestern announced on May 12, 2021 that it will require COVID-19 vaccination for all students (including exchange and visiting students) in on-campus programs (including the Evanston, Chicago, Qatar, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco campuses) for the 2021-22 academic year. Students must have their vaccination or exception on record in order to register for classes.

All students are required to fill out the COVID-19 Vaccination Form to report their vaccination or request an exception. If an NU employee is also a student, they should complete this form.

Do you still have questions? Please visit – Vaccination Requirement FAQs or email  Please note, the MSHC program staff cannot answer COVID-19 vaccination requirement questions because this is being rolled out by Northwestern’s central administration.

Academic Course Calendar: 2021-2022

Download the course calendar to see the schedule for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Step 1: Activate Your NetID

Your NetID is your key to all the tools and resources Northwestern has to offer, including your email account, grades, tuition information, research tools, and more.

Note: Northwestern Staff members and Current Students should NOT activate their NetID. Skip this step.

Step 2: Activate Your Email

It’s important that you set up and check your Northwestern email account regularly. After Orientation, ALL email communications from the program will be sent to this account. Your account provides email, calendaring, Google Sites and Google Docs, spreadsheets, and presentations.

  • Visit this page to set up your email account
  • Bookmark the login page and be sure to keep track of your original username and password-you’ll need them throughout the program.
  • Click here for more information about setting up your account on various devices

Note for Northwestern Staff: You are invited to create a mail account if you would like to keep your schoolwork separate from business. This is not required.

Step 3: Make Your Tuition Deposit

  • Click here to read a step-by-step explanation of how to make your tuition deposit.
  • If you have questions or need an extension to make your deposit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at We are happy to have a conversation.

The MSHC program will start reaching out to the new cohort during the summer months to check in and provide information regarding orientation and other program events. Please continue to complete the following steps applicable to you as soon as possible. Students may also be interested in reviewing the information below on housing and funding resources.

Step 4: Submit Your Health Forms and Official Transcripts

MSHC students register themselves each quarter for courses. To be eligible for registration, your health forms and official transcripts must be submitted prior to matriculation.  *The MSHC team will send students directions on how to register for courses and provide registration deadlines prior to the start of the quarter.*  

  • Submit your Admission Health Record
    • All degree-seeking Northwestern students are required to have adequate health insurance. Additionally, as a Northwestern Student enrolled in 2 or more classes, you are required by Illinois law and University regulations to show proof of immunizations and to submit a completed “Admission Health Record for Non-Healthcare Students.
    • If you would like to waive this requirement, please follow the steps located on here.
    • Answers to many questions about Northwestern’s health requirements can be found here.
  • Submit your Official Academic Transcripts
    • Many applicants submit unofficial academic transcripts for admission purposes. We require official transcripts for you to be able to enroll in classes. Official transcripts are most commonly sent to us directly from the institution that awarded them. Many institutions are able to submit official transcripts electronically and may email those to Anyone submitting hard copies of their transcripts may submit them in a sealed envelope from your institution to the address below:

MSHC Program
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
15th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Step 5: Activate your NU Wildcard

Incoming students are not eligible to receive their Wildcard (Northwestern ID card) until you are registered for the Fall 2021 quarter courses.  The MSHC Staff will register you for courses on August 19, 2021.  After registration is complete, please visit the Wildcard website to upload your photo.  The MSHC staff will bring your Wildcards to orientation on September 18, 2021.

International Students: Request Your I-20 or SEVIS Transfer

  • Visit this page and click on “New Students” on the left side.
  • If you need to transfer your SEVIS Record, click on “SEVIS Transfer In Request”
  • If you need to request an I-20 scroll down to “F Student I-20 Requests” and then choose “School of Communication Graduate Student I-20 Request”
  • In both situations, you will need to create a login. Follow the instructions here starting on page 2.

If you have any problems logging in the system or requesting the documentation you need, please email and copy

On-Campus and Off-Campus Housing

  • On-Campus Housing: MSHC students are eligible to apply for on-campus graduate housing. Applications for on-campus housing open on April 5, 2021 and more information can be found here.
  • Off-Campus Housing: For students who are new to the Evanston/Chicago area and would like to live off campus, Northwestern has provided a list of resources, which you can find here.

Funding Resources

  • MSHC Scholarships: If awarded, scholarship amounts from the MSHC program are included in your admission letter.
    • The total scholarship award is divided evenly by quarters and applied to each quarter’s tuition bill. For example, if a student has a $2,000 total award, s/he will see a $500 credit on each quarter’s tuition bill. An exception is made for Northwestern employees to allow them to maximize their tuition benefit.
  • External Fellowship/Scholarship Resources: The Northwestern Office of Fellowships lists fellowships for both domestic and international students that have previously been awarded to Northwestern students. They also provide a list of databases and resources that students may also find helpful when looking for further funding opportunities.
  • Graduate Student Loans: For more information please visit the Graduate Financial Aid Office. Your NetID and email address must be active before the financial aid office can begin working with you.