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Prerequisite FAQs

To be eligible for the Kellogg Certificate Program, students must complete a series of prerequisite and corequisite courses.  Most of these courses are offered in both the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. Prospective students may take the prerequisite and corequisite courses in either or both schools.


Important Prerequisite and Corequisite Update for 2020-21

Beginning in academic year 2020-21, students applying to the Kellogg Certificate Program will complete the same set of prerequisite and corequisite courses for both the Financial Economics and Managerial Analytics certificates.  These requirements are outlined below.  These changes have been implemented to increase accessibility to the program to students from a more diverse array of backgrounds and majors. 


Students admitted to the Financial Economics Certificate prior to 2020-21 will still be required to complete the corequisite requirements set forth to them in their offer letter. 

New Prerequisite and Corequisite Requirements

Students interested in the Financial Economics or Managerial Analytics Certificate must take upper-level prerequisite and corequisite courses in five subject areas:


  1. Calculus  
  2. Microeconomics


  1. Probability
  2. Econometrics/Statistics

Detailed prerequisite and corequisite course options can be found here.

Many of the Certificate Program prerequisites have prerequisites of their own, so advanced planning is important.  For more information, consult the Northwestern Undergraduate Catalog, or contact the appropriate academic department.


Additionally, some of the Program corequisites are prerequisites for specific Certificate Program courses.  Students should familiarize themselves with the course prerequisites, which can be found on the FE and MA Prerequisite and Corequisite links above.


Updated Prerquisite & Corequsite FAQs
How have the prerequisite and corequisite requirements changed?
Beginning with students applying to join the Kellogg Certificate Program in Spring 2021, the linear algebra requirement has been removed from both certificates.  The optimization requirement has been removed from the MA certificate and the Econometrics II (Econ 381-2) requirement has been removed from the FE certificate.  Additionally, FE students now have the option to take two courses from the STAT and IEMS departments instead of ECON 381-1, which was previously only available to MA students.  FE and MA students now complete the same prerequisite and corequisite requirements.

Why have the prerequisites and corequisites changed?
The prerequisites and corequisites have been simplified to reduce confusion in course planning and to help make the Kellogg Certificate available to a wider range of students. 

Will Pass "P" grades count towards prerequisite and corequisite requirements?
Applicants and certificate students who earned Pass "P" grades in prerequisite of corequisite courses during Winter 2020 or Spring 2020 can use these courses towards their prerequisite and corequisite requirements.  Prerequisite and corequisite courses taken in any other quarter must use letter grades.

How will my application be reviewed if many or most of my prerequisites were graded on a Pass/No Pass basis?
CPU uses a holistic application review process.  As always, the admissions committee will look to your grades in other courses, your recommendations, your essay, and other components of your application.

Can I submit supplemental information to demonstrate my performance in courses I received a Pass "P" grade?
Supplemental materials are not required.  If you would like to provide additional information or supplemental materials regarding your previous academic experiences, you will have the option to do this in the application.

General FAQs
Q: Is there a minimum overall GPA or prerequisite GPA required?

A: Students are encouraged to have an overall "B" average in prerequisite courses.  The middle 50% of students admitted to the Certificate Program in Spring 2020 had combined prerequisite and corequisite GPAs between 3.2 and 3.9.

Q: Do you give preference to students who have taken honors-track prerequisite classes?
A: Equal consideration is given to students who have taken honors and non-honors courses, although we recognize that taking honors courses may have an impact on students' grades. Students may mix and match honors and non-honors courses.

Q: In which school should I take my prerequisite and corequisite classes?
A: Most prerequisite & corequisite courses are offered in both the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences and McCormick School of Engineering. Students may choose to take courses in either or both schools, depending on their major and/or class schedule.

Q: When do I need to complete the prerequisite courses?
A: Students should complete the prerequisite courses prior to the Winter Quarter of the year in which they apply to the program.  One prerequisite course ma be taken during Winter quarter of the application year if necessary.  This is often ECON 310-1.  In other words, if you are applying to begin the Kellogg Certificate in Spring 2021, you would complete your calculus requirement in Fall 2020 and could choose to take ECON 310-1 in Fall 2020 or Winter 2021. 

Q: Is it possible to apply to the program if I am planning to start the calculus sequence with MATH 220-1 or MATH 220-2?
A:Yes, many of the prerequisites and corequisites, including the calculus prerequisites, have prerequisites of their own.  For MATH 230-1, those prerequisites are MATH 220-1 and MATH 220-2 (or equivalent).  If you are beginning the calculus sequence with MATH 220-1, it is still possible to apply to the Kellogg Certificate during your sophomore year, but you will need to take a math courses each quarter of your first year and the fall quarter of your sophomore year.  You should consult with your academic advisor to determine if this makes sense for your schedule of if you would be better suited to apply during your junior year.

Certificate Program for Undergraduates
Kellogg School of Management
555 Clark Street, Lower Level
Evanston, IL 60208-2800