Frequently Asked Questions

Degree information

What is the difference between the Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA)?
  • The Kellogg MSMS is designed for students who have recently completed their undergraduate degrees and who have limited full time work experience. If an applicant has more than 1 year of full time work experience (excluding internships and summer jobs) by the enrollment date they are ineligible to apply. The curriculum does not assume significant work experience and offers a broad exposure to management topics over one academic year. 

    Standard MBA programs require significant work experience (typically, four to six years) and take two years. An MBA curriculum builds off that work experience, and students have significant opportunities to specialize in different academic areas. The goal of an MBA degree is to prepare students for upper-level positions.
If I receive a MS in Management Studies, would I be able pursue an MBA at a later date?
  • Yes. Nothing precludes students who already hold a graduate degree from pursuing an MBA. In some cases, such students may be encouraged to consider a shorter program such as the Kellogg School's One-Year (1Y) MBA Program.
Do students in the MS in Management Studies Program have flexibility in when they take classes?
  • Students in the program move through as a cohort. All students enroll at the same time and take the same set of classes each term. During the winter quarter students have the opportunity to choose three elective courses.

Student Life

Can students work or enroll in another degree program while they are earning their MSMS at Kellogg?
  • Due to the demanding nature of the program, we strongly discourage students from doing so.
What are the housing options for students?
  • There are limited on-campus housing options on the Evanston campus, however most students choose to live off-campus in downtown Chicago closer to their MSMS courses.


What do you look for in applicants?
  • We are looking for well-rounded, high-impact candidates with strong leadership potential who are excited about augmenting their education with the core business fundamentals. We will look at all parts of the application process to understand applicants as a whole person. We encourage you to share with us as much about you as you wish.
Is there a GPA/GRE/GMAT requirement?
  • Submission of GMAT/GRE scores is required (Northwestern undergrads are exempt). We will look at your entire record of accomplishments as presented in your transcript, application and recommendations. We will review your complete academic transcript, with special emphasis on the more recent grades. The MSMS Russell Fellows Program GRE code is 7921. For the GMAT, please search for the Kellogg School of Management and select the MSMS Russell Fellows Program.
May I defer my admission until next year if I am accepted this year?
  • We do not defer start dates except in unusual circumstances.
If I don't get admitted in the round I apply, can I reapply in a later round?
  • All applicants will receive a decision of either admit, deny, or waitlist. Students on the waitlist do not need to reapply, although they are welcome to submit any additional information that may enhance their application at any time by emailing If a student is denied admission, he or she may not reapply.
Can I obtain a refund for my application fee for any reason?
  • No. Kellogg’s policy is that application fees are non-refundable.


What are the prerequisite courses for the MSMS program?

Individuals admitted to the MSMS Russell Fellows Program must have completed two prerequisite courses, Microeconomics and a Quantitative Reasoning course, before entering Kellogg. The concepts introduced in the two prerequisite classes are essential foundational knowledge for success in MSMS. We do not grant exceptions for fulfilling the prerequisite courses.

  • Microeconomics at the level of a college introductory course or higher. An appropriate course would cover both consumer theory (e.g., models of consumer preferences and consumer choice) and theory of the firm (e.g., how firms set prices and how competition affects a firm’s decision).
  • Quantitative reasoning is fulfilled by a class in pure mathematics (e.g., Introductory Calculus or higher), statistics (e.g., Introductory Statistics for Social Sciences or higher), or a major-specific data analysis class (e.g. Statistical Research Methods). Classes that make minimal use of mathematics are ineligible to fulfill this prerequisite requirement.

Do I have to complete the prerequisites by the time I apply?

Prerequisites do not need to be completed at time of application, but do have to be completed in June prior to the beginning of the MSMS program in July.

Can I take the prerequisite(s) online or at a community college?

Prerequisites may not be taken at a community college. Prerequisites must be taken at an accredited four-year institution which grants a letter grade or numerical score.  While it is preferred for students to enroll in these courses at their undergraduate institution or in-person at another four-year university, applicants have the option to fulfill the microeconomics prerequisite online through UCLA Extension or UC-Berkeley Extension

Is there a minimum grade requirement for prerequisite courses?

Applicants must achieve a passing grade in both prerequisite courses. Courses must be taken for a letter grade, and cannot be taken pass/fail. 

Does my high school AP or IB class fulfill the prerequisite(s)?

AP or IB test scores that have been granted college credit by your undergraduate institution are honored for fulfilling a prerequisite if the college credit appears on your transcript.

My college does not offer such a course, or I cannot fit it into my schedule. Can I take these courses at Kellogg before I start MSMS in July?

Kellogg does not currently offer or promote any options to complete these courses in advance of the program. You are welcome to research your own opportunities to take these classes at accredited four-year institutions that provide a letter grade.  Should you find a suitable course, you can describe your plans to fulfill that requirement in the Eligibility section under the Program of Interest tab within the application. Please contact should you have questions about completing the prerequisites.

International Students

Are international students eligible to apply to the MSMS Russell Fellows Program?
  • Yes. As an international candidate, you join prospective students from more than 90 countries in applying to Kellogg.

    International students requiring an F-1 visa must apply by the Round 3 deadline (Feb 9, 2017) to ensure sufficient time for visa processing. International students are ineligible to apply in Round 4.

    Please review the following before submitting your application.
    • A college-level education equivalent to a four-year baccalaureate degree from the United States is required
    • A degree from certain international three-year undergraduate programs (e.g., institutions in India, United Kingdom) may be acceptable
    The name on your application must match the name on your passport. Any discrepancy will delay our ability to process the I-20 form, which is required to obtain a visa.

    Additional information for international students can be found by contacting the NU International Office at (847) 491-5613 or

Do all international students have to take the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
  • All candidates who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must send valid TOEFL or IELTS scores to Kellogg. Both TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. Please use the TOEFL code 1546 to report official scores to Kellogg.
    • To prevent processing delays, we strongly recommend that you upload your official TOEFL or IELTS score reports (if available) to the application
    • Exemptions may be granted if one of the following criteria is met:
      • The applicant completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university in the United States
      • The applicant completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university where English was the ONLY language of instruction
      If you qualify for this exemption, you must provide the exact URL or documentation from your institution that states English was the only language of instruction. If you graduated from an Indian institution that does not explicitly state this, please provide the URL for the homepage of the school’s website.

Student Perspectives

Danielle David '14 Kellogg MSMS Masters in Management Alumni

Danielle David

"You will come out smarter, more confident in your skills and totally prepared to stand out in any industry you choose."

Application Dates

Round 1

Nov 1, 2017

Round 2

Jan 9, 2018

Round 3*

Feb 12, 2018

Round 4

Apr 3, 2018

*International student deadline