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Average Salary for Northwestern University Alumni

It's hard to find a better value for your tuition dollar than at Northwestern University, a university based in Evanston, Ill.. The school is ranked in the top 10 percent of universities by return on investment. Often heralded for its athletics, Northwestern University also offers a top-notch curriculum. Figures cited in this summary are based on graduates' replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
See full list

ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

out of 402

Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities

out of 267

Typical Early Career Salary

Northwestern University Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are the gross, national median (50th percentile). Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Mechanical Engineer
11 salaries
Software Engineer
11 salaries
Project Engineer
9 salaries
Senior Marketing Manager
8 salaries
Marketing Director
7 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
7 salaries
Director of Communications
6 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 784

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About This School

633 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60208


Private School, Research University, For Sports Fans

94 %

23 %

39 %

14 %

Freebase CC-BY Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY; IPEDS (As of January, 2015)


Graduates of NU head into a range of vocations when it comes to work; the software development industry, the health care industry, and the consulting industry are just a few professional areas popular among alumni. The most popular field is the education industry. The average starting salary for a graduate of NU is approximately $74K.


Male graduates on average earn more than female graduates; the first group banks $83K per year, but the second group takes home only $65K.


The NU alumni who make the most are Senior Marketing Managers; they report a median pay of about $105K. Marketing Directors and Senior Mechanical Engineers draw in a fair amount as well — around $97K and $87K, respectively. Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Project Engineers; alumni in this role face average salaries of $69K.


Many NU students are Chicago, Ill.-bound following college. With a median salary of $96K, Los Angeles, Calif. represents the highest-paid city popular among NU grads. For comparison, the lowest-paying city popular with NU alumni is Washington, DC, which offers a median salary of $62K. New York, N.Y. and San Francisco, Calif. are also desirable cities.

Degree Major

A medical degree earns NU students the most money after college (an average about $191K per year). Ranking last in the compensation department are those holding a B.A. in Communication — their annual income amounts to $49K on average.


Many NU grads have knowledge of Project Management, with a little less than a fifth of alumni using this program on the clock. Former Wildcats with Strategic Marketing experience garner salaries that are 26 percent more than other grads' salaries. In addition, those who are savvy in Data Analysis, Editing, and Microsoft Excel are also considered highly skilled.

Benefits and Perks

A lucky minority (about two-fifths of alumni) are fortunate enough to be compensated for vacation while just one in four survey participants get sick time. Health insurance benefits extend to a large number of graduates, and a fair number of graduates sign up for dental plans. A large number of survey participants participate in a 401(k) retirement savings plan. Other benefits awarded to Northwestern University alumni include life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

George Washington University grads report the most similar salaries to NU alums, earning $73K on average. The University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and Case Western Reserve University are also similar to NU.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 2080 2320
ACT Scores 31 34

Key Stats for Northwestern University


46 %
54 %
$38,088 - $86,329
$45,378 - $117,378
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 179 votes.
$41,116 - $96,503
$36,143 - $111,033
$40,793 - $111,261
$40,526 - $141,624
United States (change)

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