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Application Deadlines

Accepting applications for Fall 2024

Admission is competitive and space is limited. Applications will be accepted until the final deadline or until space is filled. Please contact admissions at or 847-467-5267 with any questions about deadlines.

Application Process

The MA in Sound Arts and Industries application consists of the following items:

  • Completed online application, including a statement of purpose, personal statement (prompt in application), resume, and $40 application fee.
  • The names and addresses of three (3) persons who will submit recommendations for you. Recommenders should be familiar with your professional or academic work and should be able to comment meaningfully on your potential for success in a graduate course of study.
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. An unofficial copy of each transcript should be included with the online application. Once admitted, official transcripts must be submitted before the first day of classes. Before starting the Sound Arts program, admitted students must hold a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree — or a comparable non-U.S. degree — from a regionally accredited institution. Students may be considered for admission before they finish their undergraduate degree, but the student must complete that degree before they enroll at Northwestern.
    • Official transcripts must be sent in envelopes sealed by the issuing colleges or universities. PDF files originating from the issuing college or university are acceptable when sent directly to the Admissions Office at Transcripts not received in this manner are not considered official and will not be accepted.
    • Applicants who earned or will earn their bachelor’s degree outside of the U.S. must submit all transcripts to Educational Credential Evaluators ( or World Education Services ( for a course-by-course verification. Applications will not be reviewed without the degree verification. Note that many departments at Northwestern University use these services, so please be sure to select the MA in Sound Arts and Industries program as the recipient of your evaluation.  Foreign transcripts sent directly to our office will not be accepted.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score for international applicants
    • The program does not accept DuoLingo or TOEFL Essentials.
    • The TOEFL/IELTS may be waived for applicants who earned their bachelor’s or graduate degree from a university where English was the primary language of instruction. Check the ‘Yes, English is the primary language of instruction at this institution’ box in the Academic History section of the Sound Arts and Industries application.
    • Applicants may indicate language test scores in the application, but the application will not be considered complete until the program has received official documentation directly from TOEFL or IELTS per the instructions below.
    • Tests must have been administered no more than two years prior to the application date.
    • TOEFL: A minimum overall score of 100 is required with a minimum score of 26 on the “Speaking” section. Students with TOEFL scores below these standards will not be accepted. The TOEFL code is B399.
    • IELTS: A minimum overall band score of 7.5 is required. Contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your official test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers can send scores electronically to our institution. The MA in Sound Arts and Industries is not part of The Graduate School.

Official transcripts and TOEFL scores may be emailed to or sent to the address below:

MA in Sound Arts and Industries
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-3540

Examples of sound-related work are not required for admission consideration but are required for scholarship consideration. The choice to submit or not submit examples of work will not adversely affect the likelihood of an applicant’s enrollment decision. Please see the Tuition and Financial Aid page for more information.

GRE/GMAT scores are NOT required and will not be reviewed by the admissions committee.

Questions and Status Updates

Contact admissions at or 847-467-5267 with questions regarding the application process or for an update on the status of your application.

Next Steps

If you are accepted, please submit a non-refundable $500 tuition deposit by the deadline listed in your acceptance letter. Your place in the incoming class is not secure until both items have been received. Students risk losing their space in the upcoming class if they do not confirm their intent to register in a timely manner. If you are unable to submit your deposit promptly, contact Sound Arts and Industries at or 847-467-5267.

Accepted Student Checklist:

  • Submit a non-refundable $500 tuition deposit.
  • Activate your Northwestern email account upon receipt of Net ID activation code.
  • Complete the Entrance Health Requirements for Non-Healthcare students as mandated by the state of Illinois.
  • If eligible and interested, apply for Federal Loans. Visit Northwestern University’s Student Financial Services Office. Please note that the Sound Arts and Industries program is under the School of Communication and is not connected with The Graduate School.
  • If you were in the process of completing your degree when you applied, have your degree-awarding institution issue an official copy of your final transcript to the MA in Sound Arts and Industries program.
  • International students should begin the student visa process after submitting the Intent to Register form and non-refundable tuition deposit.

Students are eligible to enroll in the student NU/Aetna health insurance plan on a voluntary basis. To enroll, students must complete the application and submit payment during the first quarter of enrollment. Students who do not elect coverage in the first quarter of enrollment will not be able to enroll in health insurance thereafter.