Thank you for your interest in doctoral study at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. At this point you may be asking yourself, Why a PhD? Is this something I really want to do?
Kellogg's PhD Program trains students for careers in research as professors. While we try to address all your questions regarding our programs of study and the application process through our Web resources, you may want to review the most commonly asked questions below.
If your question is not answered, please contact the PhD Program Office by e-mail.
PhD Study at Kellogg
[+] What type of PhD training will I receive at Kellogg?
Research is the focus of the training Kellogg doctoral students receive. The desire to contribute new knowledge to the field is emphasized within the student's dissertation and future research – the goal of which is to be published in peer-reviewed journals.
As students begin the program, they will take two years of coursework at the PhD level, which will give them a foundation in the literature of their chosen field and the statistical and research methods training required to conduct original research. In years three and beyond, students will focus on research full time. Students will also work with faculty as research and teaching assistants, so that they will gain the necessary professional development skills needed as professors. Students will engage in research projects with professors – the goal of which is to shift from being a research assistant to a coauthor as they advance through the program.
[+] How do I know if Kellogg is the right school for me?
We encourage you to view Kellogg's seven doctoral programs
and to visit the academic departments
associated with these PhD programs. We go into great detail outlining our program requirements
, research resources
, and research technical support
. Kellogg's doctoral training is collaborative and interdisciplinary – which describes our unique academic culture
. We encourage students to engage with faculty and doctoral students across programs; consequently, our students have opportunities to take classes outside of Kellogg and attend the research seminars found at Kellogg
and throughout Northwestern's campus.
[+] How important is research fit?
When determining which program is for you, you should take a close look at the research faculty
. The research expertise
of the faculty should support the type of research you want to do. Essentially you will be joining Kellogg's academic community
; therefore, you want to make sure there is a core group of faculty with whom you can collaborate
and that the school provides the necessary research resources
and research support
for you to conduct your dissertation research.
While exploring faculty research interests, another useful resource is Kellogg Insight
. Kellogg's professors bring their latest research to the public through this online monthly research magazine. It is a great way to keep up with recently published research. Also, there is a five-year library of articles to draw from. Consider subscribing
[+] What is the typical profile of an admitted student?
Kellogg draws students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. We provide admission statistics
as well as, a general student profile
[+] Do you offer a part-time PhD program or a distance-learning/external program?
No. Our PhD program is a full-time commitment. You must be on campus to attend classes and fulfill residency requirements. Interaction with faculty and other students is crucial to your training; therefore, you must be on campus. Students usually complete the requirements in five years.
[+] How many doctoral students are in your program?
On average, 140 students.
[+] Are PhD students allowed to teach courses?
Yes. PhD students in their fourth or fifth year may teach a course, for which they are paid. Please note that teaching is not a requirement for the PhD degree, and teaching assignments are arranged by the student's department.
[+] How long does it take to complete a PhD degree?
On average, most students finish in five years.
[+] I am a senior in college. Can I apply?
Yes. Applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or equivalent will be considered for admission. The degree must be awarded before students are allowed to register in September. Three-year undergraduate degrees are also accepted.
[+] Is work experience required?
No. Work experience is not required to gain admission into our PhD program.
[+] To apply, is there any specific coursework required?
No. However, PhD study does require strong quantitative skills. Strong math skills are needed to manage and analyze your data and have an impact on the type of research you are ultimately able to do. The PhD Program is especially well suited to students who have previously studied engineering, natural sciences, or social sciences (such as economics, political science, psychology and sociology).
Economics-based PhD programs require evidence of solid training in math, econometrics, and statistics within the application. Recommendations for math courses for applicants applying to Accounting Information & Management
, Managerial Economics & Strategy
, Operations Management
, and Marketing
(quantitative area) include calculus, linear algebra, probability and mathematical statistics. For those applying to Management & Organizations
(behavioral area), statistics for social scientists is recommended with evidence of quantitative thinking and a good understanding of central concepts of probability and statistics. In addition to coursework, the performance on GRE and GMAT exams will be evaluated within the context of the application.
[+] May I send a paper I have written?
Applicants have the option of including one research paper (30-page maximum) with their application. A paper is not required
for admission; however, one paper may be uploaded through the online application form, ApplyYourself.
We encourage applicants to list this paper and any other papers they have on their resume with Web links to these papers.
[+] Is a master's degree required for admission into Kellogg's PhD Program?
No. A master's degree is not required for admission into Kellogg's PhD Program, just a bachelor's degree.
[+] I already have a master's degree. Will I be able to complete my PhD degree in a shorter period?
No. While Kellogg admits students with master's degrees, the coursework undertaken in a master's program is not at the PhD level. Master's and PhD coursework requirements are different, so students must satisfy the PhD coursework requirements at the Kellogg School.
[+] What are the professors looking for in applicants?
Kellogg's faculty selects qualified students based on evidence of outstanding intellectual ability and a strong commitment to a career in research. The student's performance on standardized tests, the strength of the recommendation letters, the academic record at the applicant's undergraduate/graduate institution, and his/her research agenda, with its fit within the general research interests of the faculty, are evaluated. Please refer to a general applicant profile
we have provided and admission statistics
for more information.
[+] How do I apply?
To apply to Kellogg's doctoral program, applicants should use the online application form, ApplyYourself
, a web-based form submitted electronically to Northwestern. The application is available each September for the upcoming fall. For more information, please refer to Application Process
and Application Requirements
[+] How do I check my application status?
After an application is submitted, applicants will receive an automated e-mail from Kellogg with login instructions and their username and password to access GATS - Graduate Admissions Tracking System
. Applicants will then be able to track all documents submitted, their complete/incomplete status, and when a decision has been made. More information is available under Check Application Status
. Any questions about this process, please contact the PhD Program Office
[+] May I apply to more than one program?
Northwestern allows an applicant to apply to one program only in a given year. For instance, you can apply to either Finance (Kellogg School) or Economics (Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences); you cannot submit an application to both. Therefore, you should choose the program that is the better fit for your research interests and overall program of study.
[+] When does Kellogg begin accepting applications?
The Kellogg School has one admission period each year, and that is during the fall quarter. We start accepting applications in September of any given year. More detailed information on the application process can be found under Application Process
[+] What is the application deadline?
The deadline to submit the completed application and all supporting documents to the Kellogg School is December 31 of any given year. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that delayed documents do not prevent a timely review of the application file. The Kellogg School may reach an admission decision whenever it believes it has sufficient basis for the decision.
[+] When are decisions made?
Each program's admissions committee finalizes all decisions by the end of February/early March. More information is found under Decision Process
[+] How many applications do you receive each year and how many enroll?
On average the Kellogg School receives approximately 850 applications each year for its seven programs of study. Among those applications, approximately 30 students (about four to five students per individual program/department) enroll in the fall. Please refer to the provided admission statistics
for more information.
[+] Are interviews required after submitting the application?
Due to the number of applications we receive each year, it is not feasible for our faculty to interview every applicant. Instead each program initiates phone or campus interviews for only those candidates who are being strongly considered for admission or for candidates for whom additional information is needed. An applicant cannot request an interview. The program will contact the applicant to arrange for an interview. Even candidates who are being strongly considered for admission may not be interviewed until late February or early March.
[+] Do you have a visit day for admitted students?
Yes. Each program makes arrangements with the admitted students to visit the campus and meet with Kellogg PhD students and faculty. Kellogg also provides each student with a specified amount of travel money to help pay for airplane tickets, etc., and in addition pays for the student's hotel accommodations.
[+] If I am denied admission, may I receive feedback on my application?
The admissions committee reviews all applications very carefully. The committee tries to achieve a balance between keeping the evaluation materials consistent and giving each applicant an opportunity to make his or her best case for the program. Competition for the few slots we have available each year is quite high. As a policy, the admission committee does not share the results of the application decision. We understand the time commitment involved in preparing your application, but we are unable to provide any feedback to any applicant.
[+] If I am denied admission, can I reapply?
Yes. However, when reapplying, you must submit a new application, supporting documents, and application fee. More information about this process is found under the Reapplication
section of our website.
[+] What tests should I take – GMAT or GRE? Is there a minimum score?
Kellogg accepts test scores on either the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT
) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE
). The admissions committee reviews the whole application, so test scores make up just a part of the application. There is no minimum test score required by each doctoral program. On average our incoming class scores in the 90th
[+] I already have a master's degree. Do I still need to take the GRE or GMAT?
Yes. You must provide us with a test score. This requirement is never waived. These test scores are valid for five years.
[+] Are TOEFL or IELTS scores required? If so, are waivers considered?
Northwestern University requires applicants whose native language is not English to certify their English language proficiency by providing either a score on the TOEFL
(Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS
(International English Language Testing System) exam; or fulfilling the conditions of a TOEFL/IELTS waiver. We outline this process in detail within the Certification of Proficiency in English
section of our Application Requirements
[+] What are the institution codes for the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and IELTS?
- GMAT: 6WZ-3J-54 (PhD Program, Kellogg)
- GRE: 1565 (Northwestern's Graduate School), no Department Code
- TOEFL: 1565, Department Code 01 (Graduate School)
- IELTS (Scores must be sent by IELTS, in a sealed envelope, to the Kellogg School)
[+] Is financial aid available to students, including international students?
Yes. Kellogg offers a five-year financial aid package to its admitted doctoral students that includes a stipend, tuition scholarship, health insurance, and a laptop. More information is provided under Financial Aid and Expenses
. International students also qualify for this funding package.
To qualify for financial aid, the application and supporting documents should be received by December 31. Applicants are automatically considered for financial aid when they submit their application to Kellogg. If admission is recommended, provisions for financial aid will be included with the admission offer.
[+] What are the tuition costs?
For the 2013-2014 academic year, full tuition at The Graduate School of Northwestern University is $60,160. Students receive a tuition scholarship to cover the costs. More information is provided in the Financial Aid and Expenses
section of our Website.
[+] Does Kellogg provide research funding to students?
Yes, we do. That funding is administered by the student's program of study. Please refer to Research Funding for PhD Students
under Research Resources
for more details.
Student Life and Campus Information
[+] Where can I find out more about Kellogg and Northwestern University's campus?
We have a wealth of information on our Website that highlights Northwestern University
and the Kellogg School of Management
, including some facts and figures
. Information on the Evanston
area and traveling
through the area is also provided.
[+] What about student housing?
Students have many options regarding housing that include on-campus
as well as off-campus housing
. Additional housing resources are also found through local newspapers
. We have students living in Evanston, and the surrounding suburbs, in addition to the City of Chicago.
[+] What about childcare resources?
We do have graduate students who are parents, and Northwestern provides support and resources for childcare.
[+] Tell me more about student life at Kellogg.
On average, Kellogg PhD students spend five years at Kellogg-Northwestern while completing their degree. Our students become an integral part of the research community
and form lifelong friendships and collaborations. To get a glimpse of our community of scholars, please visit Student Life
[+] What is there to do for fun on campus?
Northwestern University is widely known for its music
schools; consequently, there are numerous theater and musical productions throughout the year. Northwestern also has its own Museum of Art
with regular exhibitions and a film series. Additionally, for those who love sports
, Northwestern has much to offer – tennis, swimming, sailing (taking advantage of Northwestern's beaches and access to Lake Michigan), inline skating, cycling, jogging, and sports clubs, leagues and intramurals.
[+] Where can I find a copy of Northwestern's Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics?
As provided by the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, now known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, you are entitled to request and receive a copy of Northwestern University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This Report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Northwestern University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus. The Report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies on drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, fire safety and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Northwestern University Police Department Deputy Chief at (847) 491-3256. The report can also be accessed and printed from the University Police website