Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

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Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
NU SPS logo.jpg
Type Private
Established 1933[1]
Dean Thomas F. Gibbons
Location United States Chicago, Evanston, Illinois, USA
Campus Urban, Suburban

The Northwestern University School of Professional Studies (SPS) is one of twelve schools comprising Northwestern University, with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois. The school was founded in 1933 under its original name of University College.

The School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional development levels. Most courses are offered in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate the schedules of working students. SPS has campuses in both Evanston and downtown Chicago in the Streeterville neighborhood alongside Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive. The college also has a Loop campus near the Willis Tower and the Chicago Board of Trade Building. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Master's in Public Policy Administration program a top public affairs graduate program in the nation.[2]

Academic programs[edit]


The School of Professional Studies offers three different degrees: Bachelor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Science in General Studies, and Bachelor of Philosophy in Communication.[3]

SPS students have 16 majors to choose from in the following areas:


SPS offers twelve different graduate degree programs. Like their undergraduate counterparts, graduate-level classes also meet on evenings and weekends to accommodate working adults. Graduate programs at SPS include:

Professional Development[edit]

In addition to its degree programs, SPS also offers certificate programs geared toward professional development. These programs are offered at Northwestern campuses in Evanston, Chicago and Schaumburg. Many of the programs consist of undergraduate courses that can be taken for credit. There are also noncredit programs filled with courses that exist outside the undergraduate curriculum. The general areas within which the professional development programs fall are:

Post-baccalaureate Certificates[edit]

SPS also offers certificates in post-baccalaureate programs. Many students use the post-baccalaureate programs to build their academic résumés in preparation for graduate study in business, education, medicine or law, while others enroll in programs to help advance their professional careers. Programs consist of non-credit courses held during the daytime and evening. Duration of programs varies from one day to twelve weeks. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs are offered in 31 different subjects, with general areas including:

One of the most popular certificates at SPS is the Professional Health Careers program, a post-baccalaureate program designed to provide students with the pre-medicine background necessary to apply to medical school. The program consists of four concentrations: pre-medicine (dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, podiatry), physical therapy, nursing, and clinical psychology.[4]

Summer Session[edit]

SPS oversees Northwestern University Summer Session. Current college students, high school students, and individuals seeking professional development or personal enrichment can choose from over 300 course offerings during the summer, including intensive language and science sequences, where a full year of credit can be earned, or a three-day summer institute. Summer Institutes include:

College Preparation Program[edit]

SPS also oversees the Northwestern University College Preparation Program. This summer program for high school students offers three, six, and nine-week options as part of Northwestern’s Summer Session. Students can choose from over 350 undergraduate courses and can earn college credit for the courses they take, allowing students an opportunity to explore a variety of academic areas and get a head-start on a college career.

College Prep holds weekly Get Ready seminars designed to prepare students for the transition between high school and college life, and how to navigate the college admissions and application process.

Notable Faculty[edit]

Notable Alumni[edit]


External links[edit]