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How to Apply

Ready for graduate-level work but not ready to commit to a full (or another) master’s degree yet? The Strategic Change Management (SCM) Certificate is a strong choice for working professionals who wish to deepen their understanding of organizational change and how to apply innovative approaches – including applying people analytics -- to effect change.

Start Your Change Management Journey Here

You want the rigor of graduate studies in strategic change management with the flexibility of choosing your course sequencing and intensity.

Application Deadlines

The Admissions Committee reviews applications for the Strategic Change Management (SCM) Certificate program during all four annual application deadlines. You may start the SCM Certificate in Spring, Summer, or Fall Quarter. To be considered for scholarships, applicants need to apply by one of the priority deadlines.

Our formal intake periods are Spring and Fall quarter. To be eligible to start early in Winter or Summer quarters, be sure to hit the priority application deadlines for Spring and Fall respectively. In other words, if you’d like to start in Winter quarter, be sure to apply no later than November 1 (the priority application deadline for Spring).

This table shows the priority and final application deadlines for the Spring and Fall entry quarters.
Entry Quarter Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline
Spring October 1 January 10
Fall April 1 June 10

Application Process

Admissions Committee members evaluate an applicant’s scholastic and leadership achievements, future learning aspirations and career goals, interpersonal skills, and professional performance. We also review your academic record, employment history, resume, essays, recommendations, interview performance (if requested by our Admissions Committee) and test scores (optional) to make an admission decision.

We encourage you to start your online application early. The application system provides you with support and instructions for successful completion. Once you start an application, you can save it and continue later. MSLOC Admissions Committee members will review applications once they have been submitted and are complete.

Submitting Your Application

Applications must be submitted online by the deadline corresponding to the academic quarter you wish to begin. You may submit your application up to one year prior to your planned enrollment date. For example, you could submit an application for spring admission in the following year on the January 10 deadline of the current year.

Incomplete Applications

You must submit your online application by the stated deadline. Transcripts and recommendations may arrive after the deadline. If we have not received all supporting documents (transcripts, recommendations, test scores, etc.) within four weeks of the application deadline, we may make the decision to move your application forward to the next deadline.


MSLOC will notify you by email regarding our admission decision. You should receive a notification within six weeks of the stated deadline or the receipt of all application pieces.


If you are offered admission and wish to accept, you need to complete the web based “Intention to Register” form by the acceptance due date (instructions will be in your admission letter). You will be prompted to submit, via credit card, a non-refundable commitment and coaching fee of $250 USD, which holds your place in the program.

Receipt of your form and deposit prompts us to initiate the University entry process and plan for your matriculation into the SCM Certificate program. You’ll also receive information regarding academic advising and dates to hold for virtual onboarding events.

Northwestern University Admission Policy

It is the policy of Northwestern University not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, age, disability, citizenship, or veteran status in matters of admissions, employment, housing or services, or in the educational program or activities it operates, in accordance with civil rights legislation and University commitment. Any alleged violations of this policy or questions regarding the law with respect to nondiscrimination should be addressed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, 1800 Sherman Avenue, Suite 4500, Evanston, Illinois 60201; phone 847-467-6165. You can also contact the Office of the Provost, Rebecca Crown Center, 633 Clark St., Evanston, Illinois 60208; phone 847-491-5117.

Applicants seeking disability accommodations should contact AccessibleNU at 847-467-5530. See the AccessibleNU website for more information.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Five Years of Relevant Work Experience

We require a minimum of five years of full-time relevant work experience to start the SCM Certificate program. Relevant experience includes work within an organization that exposes the candidate to the operations and strategy of the workplace. Example areas could include human resources, organizational effectiveness, project management, consulting, strategic planning, teaching/educational administration, training and development, marketing, process improvement or general management.

Online Application

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Essays
  • Resume

College/University Transcripts

We require one official transcript from every college, university or professional school attended, whether or not you graduated. If you enrolled in academic programs located outside of the US, the admissions committee needs to see a transcript evaluation (see section below on transcript evaluation). Transcripts must be submitted in one of two ways:

  • Preferred: in an email to, with accompanying PDF file of the transcript, originating from the issuing college or university
  • In an envelope sealed by the issuing college or university mailed to the Master of Science in Learning & Organizational Change Program, Northwestern University, 1800 Sherman Avenue, Suite 3500, Evanston, Illinois 60208

Transcripts not received in this manner are not considered official and will not be accepted.

$175 US Application Fee (Non-refundable)

A non-refundable processing fee of $175 USD is required with your completed application. Payment is submitted via credit card. Please contact our office if you would like to request a fee waiver.

Academic Record and GRE/GMAT

For those applicants whose undergraduate GPA was significantly lower than the 3.2 GPA threshold, an academic addendum explaining the circumstances of the lower GPA may be added in addition or in place of GRE/GMAT scores to an application by emailing The GRE/GMAT is optional and not required for admission.

Personal Interview (if requested)

If the Admissions Committee requires a personal interview, you will be notified via email. Interviews are awarded at the discretion of the Admissions Committee; not all applicants will be interviewed. Interviews are conducted via Zoom.

International Admission Requirements

Visa Status

Eligibility depends on your Visa status. If you want to attend under an F-1 student Visa, which allows you to study in the U.S., you will need to apply for the MSLOC degree program. This is because U.S. Immigration law requires that F-1 Visa holders attend full-time. International students with an H-1B or another Visa status may be eligible to apply for certificate student status. Please review the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Study in the States for additional information and resources.

For a full list of international application requirements, please see “How to Apply: Masters in Learning and Organizational Change Program.”

Have more questions?

Reach out or attend an Information Session.