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Evanston Communication Exchange Program

The Evanston Communication Exchange Program allows students who are pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in communication to study at Northwestern's home campus for a semester.

Download the Comm Exhchange Handbook


To be eligible for the Exchange, the applicant must:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 at the time of application 
  • Be a full-time student (taking a minimum of 3 NU-Q classes) at the time of application
  • Have completed 4 full-time (fall and spring) semesters at the time of application
  • Have completed 5 full-time semesters at the beginning of Comm Exchange
  • Have earned junior standing (14 units according to NU-Q policy) by the start of Comm Exchange
  • Have completed all MIT major requirements for the first two years of the degree program prior to participation in Comm Exchange 

Students are NOT eligible to participate in Comm Exchange if they:

  • Are planning to graduate in the same academic year as participation in Comm Exchange
  • Are on academic probation
  • Have unresolved incompletes
  • Have a registration hold
  • Have a current academic integrity investigation
  • Have a current non-academic conduct violation
  • Have a financial hold

NOTE: Any disciplinary actions, past violations of academic integrity, or other issues may disqualify a student regardless of his/her other qualifications. If any of these issues arise between acceptance to Comm Exchange and departure to the United States, a student may be removed from the program.

When is it?

Spring semester of 
junior year


Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, USA — near Chicago


The Comm Exchange application consists of five questions that students should prepare to answer in advance of completing the online application:

  1. Why do you want to participate in Comm Exchange? Please make clear the reasons you want to participate in this program as they relate to two things: A) your academic plan and goals and B) your career ambitions.

  2. Specify five courses you would like to take and explain how each is connected to your academic plan and the progress you have already made in your coursework. Note: You will take more than five courses. The committee is looking to see if you have done a thorough job of preparing and planning for a productive academic experience.

  3. Beyond academic and professional interests, explain how and why participating in Comm Exchange will contribute to your personal development. How would Comm Exchange contribute to your personal growth?

  4. What associations, activities, and experiences do you hope to engage in during your semester on Comm Exchange, if you are selected?

  5.   Describe the personal support network you would rely upon during the Comm Exchange semester, both in terms of family and friends as well as NU-E resources. 

In preparing your response to Question 2, please review the Northwestern Undergraduate Catalog (NU-E, not NU-Q’s version). In addition to the catalog, we encourage students to look at Evanston schedules for previous terms available on CAESAR for a clearer picture of courses that have been typically offered. As with all university course catalogues and schedules, all courses are not offered every term or every year. Again, consulting with your Academic Adviser after this step will clarify what is realistic in planning for coursework during the Comm Exchange period. 

The Comm Exchange application opens during Summer Break and closes during the first week of each Fall Semester. When the applications interface opens, a link will be sent by email and the application should be completed and submitted online. 

Please note that the application must be completed from start to finish once you begin. It is not possible to save an unfinished form and return to it later. We recommend that students prepare their responses in a separate document ahead of time to enable copy-pasting them into the application form. Do not leave the form open in the browser for several days thinking to come back later.  Doing so will prevent accurate submission of the application information. Inaccurate and incomplete applications are removed from the pool of files reviewed by the Comm Exchange Selection Committee.


The Comm Exchange Selection Committee consists of the Director and two faculty members from the Communication Program. Applications are blind reviewed. This means the Committee won’t know who submitted each application. All applications are evaluated equitably. The Committee will select the ten best applications evaluated based on the given criteria/rubric. All the applicants will be notified of the result of their respective application through their university email.
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