M.S. in Management Studies

    M.S. in Management Studies

    The Russell Fellows Program

    Introducing the M.S. in Management Studies (MSMS) degree through the Russell Fellows Program at the Kellogg School of Management.

    If you’re an undergraduate completing your liberal arts degree in the current academic year and interested in learning about management and business, there is now a Master of Science program that will equip you with specialized business skills in less than one year. Students who have graduated between June 2014 and March 2015 are also eligible to apply to for this exciting program.

    This program is designed to complement and build upon a liberal arts education and/or highly regarded science curriculum. Graduates who complete this degree will have a strong grounding in liberal arts and management fundamentals.

    The curriculum will expose you to a variety of managerial topics, from accounting and marketing to strategy and leadership. Developing broad-based business acumen and skills, in combination with your undergraduate degree, will position you for success across any number of industries, functions and roles. It will empower you to solve problems, evaluate and sell your ideas, lead teams effectively, and take control of your career.

    Whether you’ve studied economics, history, music, or engineering, philosophy, the Russell Fellows Program will offer you a thorough grounding in business principles, strategies and tools. This multifaceted training will make you more attractive to firms and organizations and better prepared to navigate new challenges throughout your career.

    The Learning Environment

    Russell Fellows engage in challenging, fast-paced coursework that prepares you to successfully deal with on-the-job demands in a wide range of organizations, including business, government and non-profits. Both inside and outside the classroom, students are encouraged to collaborate as a team — a hallmark of the Kellogg School's programs.

    Students develop advanced skills in qualitative and quantitative reasoning; gain exposure to real-world corporate scenarios; understand the nuances of solving challenging business problems; and receive training from some of the world's most highly regarded academics. The program produces highly skilled graduates who stand out from their peers in the marketplace.

    Dedicated Career Support

    Helping students make that leap into the workforce is another critical component of the program. Career coaches, dedicated exclusively to Russell Fellows, will help students launch their careers upon graduation.

    Support includes developing a targeted job search strategy, attending special career-oriented programs, arranging career treks to top companies to learn about various industries, and connecting students to unique recruiting opportunities.

    Throughout their careers, Russell Fellows can leverage the power and connections of the Kellogg alumni network.


    This 12-credit program begins in mid-July and runs through mid-May of the following year. There are two rounds of admission for the 2015-2016 academic year. Separate admission decisions will be made for each round.

    Financial Aid is available in the form of scholarships and federal and private education loans.

    The new M.S. program is named in memory of Jim Russell, a 1935 alumnus of Northwestern's School of Commerce, now the Kellogg School.

    Empower Yourself for a Lifetime

    The MSMS Russell Fellows Program's challenging and fast-paced curriculum delves into the fundamentals of management education. You learn the skills and tools essential to any type of organization, from a beverage company or school to a movie studio or hospital.

    What you learn will empower you for a lifetime -- not just on your first job, but throughout your entire professional career. You will have the knowledge and tools to make more impact in the workplace and become a more effective leader. The material will focus on real-life business applications and scenarios, such as:

    • Persuading others to seize an opportunity
    • Determining how to best reach your target customers or donors
    • Crafting a message that resonates with your audience
    • Deciding which projects to pursue and how to fund them
    • How to make processes more efficient
    • Managing group dynamics
    • Leading change effectively
    • Developing your personal network to help open opportunities

    Russell Fellows learn how to work in groups and develop an appreciation for collaboration in academic and real-world settings. All students move through the program in lockstep, taking the following classes together:

    Required Courses:
    Accounting for Decision Making
    Business Analytics
    Leadership in Organizations
    Finance I
    Management Communications
    Operations Management
    Marketing Management
    Business Strategy
    Global Initiatives in Management

    Students select three of the following four courses:
    Finance II
    Research Methods in Marketing
    Analytical Decision Modeling

    View the 2014-2015 course descriptions (pdf) »

    "The MSMS Russell Fellows Program complements a broad-based rigorous undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences with a highly focused general management curriculum. Marrying these two learning approaches will yield well-rounded, thoughtful young leaders for the world."

    — Kathleen Hagerty, First Chicago Professorship in Finance, Chair of Finance Department

    An Edge in the Marketplace

    Russell Fellows enjoy their own specialized career development services. Career coaches will help you define your career path, connect you to employers, and help you master the career development skills that will pay off for a lifetime. Other career development staff leverage the Kellogg School's employer partnerships to strengthen recruitment of students into entry-level jobs in a wide variety of organizations.

    The career coaches, who work exclusively with students in the program, deliver:

    Personalized attention

    The career coaches offer students personalized assistance in crafting resumes and cover letters; practicing interviewing skills; choosing among job offers; and discussing questions that arise throughout the job-search process.

    Workshops, programs and presentations

    The career development staff facilitate workshops and programs — both on and off campus — to introduce students to various industries; learn more about critical job-search skills; and provide networking opportunities with potential employers. Through established relationships with employers, the advisers also help students access programs that match their interests and career development needs.

    "Kellogg's distinctive approach to business education, blended with a world-class undergraduate degree from Northwestern, will definitely give Russell Fellows an edge in the career marketplace."

    — Therese J. McGuire, Senior Associate Dean, Curriculum and Teaching

    Eligibility and Deadlines

    The MSMS Russell Fellows Program is open to those undergraduates who will complete their bachelor's degree by June 2015 and recent graduates who graduated between June 2014 and March 2015. Students of all academic majors are encouraged to apply.

    Before enrolling in the MSMS Russell Fellows program, an applicant must complete the following prerequisites.

    1) 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). The relevant course at Northwestern would be ECON 202-0 Introduction to Microeconomics.

    2) Quantitative reasoning. An applicant can fulfill this requirement by taking a class in pure mathematics, statistics, or a major-specific data analysis class. At Northwestern, an acceptable mathematics class would be MATH 220 or higher and an acceptable statistics class would STAT 210 or higher. PSYCH 201, SESP 210 and POLI SCI 312 are examples of major-specific data analysis classes.

    Both requirements must be met by taking classes at accredited four-year institutions. Advance Placement or International Baccalaureate credits cannot be substituted.

    Admissions will be based on:

    • Application
    • Undergraduate academic record
    • GRE or GMAT (Optional)
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Two essays
    • Resume or CV, which includes information about extra-curricular involvement and/or other academic, professional, or artistic accomplishments not shown on the transcript
    • Interview by invitation
    • Demonstration of professional, academic and/or artistic achievements (optional)

    Important Dates

    Applications for the Class of 2016 will be available in fall, 2014 (round 1) and winter, 2015 (round 2). Separate admission decisions will be made for each round. Specific dates will be available in the fall.

    Item Round 1 Round 2
    Application due Tues, 11/18/14 Fri, 2/13/15
    Decisions due Wed, 12/17/14 Wed, 3/25/15
    Deposit due Fri, 2/20/14 Fri, 5/1/15
    Classes start Mid July 2015 Mid July 2015
    Classes end and graduation Mid-May 2016 Mid-May 2016

    Application Requirements:

    In order to have a complete application, you will need:

    • Undergraduate academic record (GPA, prerequisite courses, and other Universities attended)
    • GMAT or GRE (optional) scores & copy of original score report for upload if applicable
    • One-page Resume or CV for upload (PDF)
    • Information about additional professional, academic and/or artistic achievements (optional)
    • Recommendations from two separate individuals, one of whom must be a former professor the other must be a non-family member who knows you well.
    • If you wish to apply for a merit-based scholarship and have received financial aid as an undergraduate, please have a PDF of your most recent award letter available when completing Part II of the application.

    Application Essay Questions:

    Essay 1: How have you grown and developed as a person over the last four years? What experiences at your undergraduate institution have contributed to your development? (500 words)

    Essay 2: Briefly describe a contemporary managerial issue or challenge that interests you. How do you expect earning a Master of Science in Management Studies will enable you to better understand this issue? (300 words)

    "In developing the M.S. program, we talked to business leaders and corporate recruiters across many industries. The consensus?

    Russell Fellows are in high demand for their business acumen, critical thinking and that distinctive, collaborative approach to leadership as only Kellogg can teach it"

    — Betsy Ziegler, Associate Dean of MBA Programs and Dean of Students

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between the Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA)?
    The Master of Science in Management Studies is designed for students who have recently completed their undergraduate degrees and whose work experience is limited to internships and summer jobs. The curriculum does not assume significant work experience and offers a broad exposure to management topics over one academic year. The goal is to prepare students for entry-level jobs.

    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 is to prepare students for upper-level positions.
    If I receive a Master of Science 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.
    What is the relationship between the Master of Science in Management Studies Program and the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates (CPU)?
    The Master of Science in Management Studies Program is a graduate degree that offers a broad foundational curriculum that exposes students to a variety of managerial topics. It addresses business problems from the perspective of multiple functional areas. The Kellogg Certificate for Undergraduate offerings have a much narrower focus, emphasizing topics in finance or managerial analytics. The CPU also demands greater time from students during their undergraduate careers at Northwestern University. Each certificate requires an extensive list of pre-requisites on top of four CPU classes. The Masters of Science in Management Studies requires only two pre-requisites before post-graduate study.
    What do you look for in applicants?
    We are looking for well-rounded, high-impact candidates 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.
    Does it matter what my undergraduate degree or major is?
    The Russell Fellows program welcomes a diverse group of well-educated, recently graduated students who come from a variety of academic disciplines. This is the opportunity to build on and expand your knowledge base, regardless of your undergrad major.
    Is there a GPA/GMAT requirement?
    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. Submitting your GMAT/GRE is encouraged, but not required for the 2014-2015 application cycle. Submission of GMAT/GRE scores will be required for the 2015-2016 application cycle.
    Who should I ask to be my recommenders?
    One of your letters of recommendation must be from a professor who has taught at least one of the courses on your transcript. The other recommender can be a professor, an employer, or other person (other than a personal or family friend) who knows you and your academic and professional potential. We would like for your recommenders to provide information that will help us form a more complete and nuanced picture of your abilities and accomplishments inside and outside the classroom.
    Do students in the Master of Science 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.
    May I apply if I graduated before June of 2014?
    No. You are only eligible if you graduated (or will graduate) in June, 2014, December, 2014, March, 2015, or June, 2015.
    May I apply if I am going to graduate from NU in August or December 2014?
    No. You must have graduated by June, 2014.
    May I defer my admission until next year if I am accepted this year?
    We do not defer start dates except in unusual circumstances.
    Is it OK if I complete one or both prerequisite courses after I have applied during this academic year?
    May I complete one or both prerequisite courses the summer I enter the program?
    No. You must have completed both prerequisite courses and graduated by June 2014 to be eligible for the program.
    Will students in the MSMS Russell Fellows Program be taking classes with MBA students or with Kellogg CPU students?
    No. The MSMS Russell Fellows Program is a unique curriculum and its classes are only open to students in the program.
    If I don't get admitted Round 1, can I reapply Round 2?
    All students who apply Round 1 will receive a decision of either admit, deny, or waitlist. Students on the waitlist do not need to reapply Round 2, although they are welcome to submit any additional information that may enhance their application at any time by emailing msms@kellogg.northwestern.edu. If a student is denied admission in Round 1, he or she may not reapply for Round 2.

    Financial Aid FAQs
    To be updated, pending federal legislation and this year’s application/admissions timeline.

    Is financial aid available to graduate students in the Program?

    Educational loans through the federal loan program are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Private education loans are available for all students - U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and International Students.

    Grants and scholarships also are available.

    What financial aid education loans are available to Kellogg MSMS students?
    U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan ($20,500.00 annual maximum)
    • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (no set annual maximum - students can borrow up to their Cost of Attendance less other financial aid resources)
    U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and International Students
    • Private Education Loans
    How do I apply for federal loans?
    • Complete the 2015-2016 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov and designate Northwestern University (school code 001739) as a recipient.
    • We recommend completing your federal tax return before completing the FAFSA so that you can use the convenient data retrieval function.
    • In addition to the FAFSA, all admitted students applying for financial aid must complete a Request for Student Loans form from Kellogg (this form will be available in April, 2015).
    • Once we receive your completed financial aid application materials, we will complete the review of these materials. You will then be notified to log into CAESAR, the student information portal, to view and electronically sign your financial aid award notification letter. We will also provide further instructions for completing the loan application documents online via the Department of Education website.
    How do I apply for Private Education loans?
    • All admitted students applying for financial aid must complete a Request for Student Loans form (form will be available in April, 2015); students will list their private education loan lender on this form.
    • Once we receive your completed Request for Student Loan form, we will complete the review of this document. You will then be notified to login into CAESAR to view and electronically sign your financial aid award notification letter. We will also provide further instructions for completing the loan application documents for your selected lender.
    How is the amount that I can borrow determined?
    The amount you may borrow in student loans is based on your Standard Cost of Attendance for the M.S. in Management Studies Program. The Standard Cost of Attendance budget for this program will be available in May 2015; it will include educational costs associated with tuition, health insurance, room and board, books and supplies, personal, travel and loan fees. The combination of all federal and non-federal financial aid (from all sources) cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance.

    Financial Aid Resources for M.S. in Management Studies (MSMS) Program

    Loan Programs

    Loan programs available to M.S. in Management Studies (MSMS) who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents include educational loans through the federal loan program (Federal Direct Stafford Loans, and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.) Private education loans are available for all students - U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and International Students.

    Changes to Federal Direct Loan Programs (effective July 1, 2012)
    There were a number of changes to the Federal Direct Loan Programs made by recent legislation which began on July 1, 2012 that impacted graduate/professional students. Unfortunately, the changes resulted in an increase to the cost of borrowing federal Direct Loans. Please note that due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, for Loan periods first beginning on or after 7/1/2012, Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans will no longer be available for graduate and professional students.

    2012-2013 Federal Loan Options

    Funds for the Federal Loan Programs, either in part or total, have been appropriated by the United States Congress and are administered by the University. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to participate in the federal loan programs.

    Loan Program Name

    Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

    Borrower Graduate and Professional Students enrolled at least half-time. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need. Graduate and Professional Students enrolled at least half-time. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need.
    Lender William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
    Loan Amount Up to $20,500 per academic year. Up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid received annually.
    Financial Aid
    Application Process
    Complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); Complete request for Student Loans form (will be available in April 2013) Complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); Complete request for Student Loans form (will be available in April 2013)
    Loan Application Process Electronically sign financial aid award letter indicating the amount you wish to borrow and complete the required loan application documents – online entrance counseling session and Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Electronically sign financial aid award letter indicating the amount you wish to borrow and complete the required loan application documents – online entrance counseling session and Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
    Credit Information The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan program is not credit based. No credit check is required.

    Credit approval is based on federally mandated criteria, not a credit score. In order to qualify, you must not have any of the following items on your credit report:

    • Any current delinquency of 90 days or more
    • Any of the following within the preceding 5 years of the date of the credit check:
    • Default
    • Bankruptcy
    • Discharge
    • Foreclosure
    • Repossession
    • Tax Lien
    • Wage garnishment
    • Write-off of a Title IV debt
    • Open collection

    Recent changes in the law that governs the terms and conditions of Grad PLUS loans establish a specific circumstance for certain Grad PLUS loan applicants who would otherwise be considered to have an adverse credit history. Specifically, a Grad PLUS loan applicant may qualify for a Grad PLUS loan based on extenuating circumstances if the applicant:

    • Has been or is delinquent for 180 days or less on mortgage loan payments or on medical bill payments for the applicant or the applicant's family AND does not otherwise have an adverse credit history as determined in accordance with the federal regulations that apply to Grad PLUS loan applicants.
    Borrowers with an adverse credit history may apply for the loan with a cosigner (called an endorser) who does not have an adverse credit history.
    Interest Rate Fixed 6.8%. Interest accrues from the time of disbursement. Fixed 7.9%. Interest accrues from the time of disbursement.
    Origination Fee 1.0% 4.0%
    Repayment The borrower has up to 10 years to repay the loan under the standard repayment plan. Extended and income-based repayment plans are available under certain conditions. The borrower has a maximum of 25 years to repay the loan.

    Loan application instructions for federal loans


    Private Education Loans

    Information about Private Education loan programs for students can be found at this website:

    A number of private outside agencies offer students alternative sources for financing their education. The list located on the above website was created for students as a starting point to begin their research. Ultimately, it is the student's decision to select a private education lender. Students are encouraged to investigate these options very cautiously and thoroughly. The Office of Financial Aid will process a loan with any lender the student selects regardless of the lender's inclusion on this list as long as the student is eligible for the loan.

    Application Instructions and Required Materials

    The application is now available. Application and Recommender Deadlines are at 5:00pm CST on November 17, 2013 for Round 1 and February 14, 2014 for Round2.