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 degree and have less than a year of 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, however, there will be some quarters in which there will be the ability to customize your curriculum.

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?
  • The GMAT/GRE is a required part of your MSMS application. If you are a Northwestern University student applying to MSMS, we will waive the GMAT/GRE requirement. There is no GPA requirement to apply or be admitted to MSMS. 
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.

International Students

Are international students eligible to apply to the MSMS Russell Fellows Program?

  • Yes. As an international candidate applying from Northwestern University, you are welcome to apply for admission. To leave ample time to receive a student visa, we recommend applying in Rounds 1 or 2. 
    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)?

  •  If you have attended a school where the primary language of instruction is English, you do not need to take the TOEFL.  If you attended a school where the primary language of instruction is not English, you will be required  to take the TOEFL.

Is the Kellogg MSMS degree STEM-designated?

  • Yes, Kellogg’s Full-Time MBA, Evening/Weekend MBA and MSMS programs are STEM-designated degree programs. Therefore, Kellogg graduates on F1 student visas and approved F-1 12-month post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be eligible to apply for the F-1 24-month STEM-OPT extension for possibly up to three years of U.S. work authorization before requiring employer sponsorship for employment-based nonimmigrant or immigrant visas. For more information on eligibility and process, please visit the Northwestern Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS).
Danielle David '14 Kellogg MSMS Masters in Management Alumni

Student Perspectives

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

November 7, 2022

Round 2

February 20, 2023

Round 3

April 24, 2023