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Admissions Requirements

EDI students are chosen based on their backgrounds, ability to learn, and their contributions to the overall program experience. As part of their online application, applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their past project work. In general, the standards for test scores and GPAs set by The Graduate School are used for guidance in the admissions process, but every application is considered individually.

For additional questions about the EDI program, please contact Jeff Hutter, program assistant of the EDI program, at edi@northwestern.edu or 847-467-4275.

The items listed below must be submitted as part of your application to the EDI program.

Completed Online Application

The online application can be completed and submitted through The Graduate School website. The program code for the EDI program is E23MS.

Statement of Purpose

In the Statement of Purpose portion of the application, please answer any two of the following four questions:

  • Pick a product that you think is well designed and explain why. Do the same with a product you think is poorly designed.
  • You’ve just finished sketching a new universally accessible kiosk for the London underground. How could you build and test a prototype in one hour?
  • A dental supply company wants to create a new product line targeted toward hygienists in China. What would you do to understand the needs of the user?
  • If you could spend one year solving one problem, what would it be and why?

Resume/CV

A copy of your professional resume or CV must be included in your application.

GRE Scores

Official scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) must be sent directly from ETS to The Graduate School at Northwestern University (institutional code 1565). Please note that you do not need to indicate a department code on the ETS form.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation must be sent through online submission or by mail. Email addresses must be provided in the online application for recommenders submitting online. Mail submissions should be sent to:

Amy O'Keefe, Segal Design Institute, 2133 Sheridan Rd, G.301, Evanston, IL 60208

Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended must be scanned and uploaded to the online application. We do not require official paper transcripts to be sent through the mail until after an admissions decision is rendered. All admitted applicants are required to send paper transcripts through the mail to The Graduate School at Northwestern before matriculation.

Portfolio of Past Work

Portfolio submissions of past project work should be uploaded through the online application system as a "writing sample" and should be in PDF format and under 2.5 MB in size. Alternatively, you may submit a link to your online portfolio within the body of your application.

Personal Interview (if necessary)

A personal interview with EDI program staff, in the form of a telephone call, may be required.

TOEFL/IELTS Scores (if necessary)

Applicants whose native language is not English must also supply scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The EDI program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 95 (Internet-based test) and a minimum IELTS score of 7 out of 9. Please see the admissions section of The Graduate School website for more information.

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