New Student Housing Selection

Welcome New Students!

First Year and Transfer Student Housing Selection

Residential Services is excited to welcome you to the first step in choosing your home for the 2018-2019 academic year on campus.  At Northwestern we have a wide variety of housing options.  To participate in the New Student Housing Selection process, first complete 2018-2019 Residential Services Contract.  Residential Services will assign you a building and room based on the preferences you shared.  While every effort is made to fulfill your preferences, assignments to specific buildings, rooms, or roommates cannot be guaranteed.  Please see below for more information related to roommate selection.


Northwestern University has implemented a two year residency requirement for all incoming first and second year undergraduate students. This institution-wide initiative will support social and academic transitions.  Please click here for more information about the residency requirement, including the Exceptions Request process.  Transfer students are not required to meet the residency requirement.


We have 9 traditional residence halls on campus, ranging from residences with as few as 25 students to larger residences with more than 400. Each building has its own character, spirit, and unique advantages. The residence halls are a great place to live and meet people from all over the world. Resident Assistants and student leaders from Residence Hall Association (RHA) frequently plan programs to help you meet people and be academically successful.

Residence Halls features:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Residence Directors
  • Residence Hall Association (RHA) leaders
  • Programming
  • Academic support

Explore our residence halls on the Undergraduate Residence Halls page.


We have four residential communities on campus, located at Allison Hall, Elder Hall, Shepard Hall/1838 Chicago, and Bobb/McCulloch Halls, and Goodrich House. These communities focus on student engagement, student-driven programming, and live-in faculty involvement while providing students with a comfortable place to live, learn, and grow. Our Faculty-in-Residence Program is one main difference between residential colleges and residential communities. These faculty members live in our halls and interact with students outside of the classroom in meaningful and enriching ways. They offer guidance, help students access resources, and build community by hosting gatherings that promote learning, interaction, and participation within their community.

Residential Communities features:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Residence Directors
  • Faculty-in-residence
  • Credit-bearing seminars on-site
  • Programming
  • Academic support

Explore our residential communities on the Undergraduate Residential Communities page.


Northwestern has 10 residential colleges on campus, ranging from 40 to nearly 300 students. Some have a single unifying theme such as international studies while others are multi-thematic. Each college is headed by a faculty member who serves as the Faculty Chair. Chairs and student officers recruit faculty members for the fellows program, which supports faculty presence through meals in the college, presentations known as “firesides,” and outings around campus and Chicago. In addition, fellows routinely lead small credit-bearing seminars reserved for college members and mentor residents as research assistants through a specially funded program.

Residential Colleges features:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Residence Directors
  • Residential College Board (RCB) leaders
  • Faculty Chairs
  • Credit-bearing seminars on-site
  • Programming
  • Academic support
  • Theme-based buildings
  • Reserved dining hall spaces for faculty engagement

Explore our residential colleges on the Residential Colleges page.


Gender Open Housing allows students, regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity, to share a room or suite. You will be able to select Gender-Open Housing as a preference in the housing contracting process.  For the 2018-19 school year, the locations of Gender Open Housing are as follows:


560 Lincoln, Kemper Hall, & Foster-Walker


You have two options for completing the roommate section of the housing contract:

If you already have a roommate in mind, you will need their name and NetID. Additionally, you and your roommate will create a passcode to be shared with each other as validation for selecting each other as roommates. Both individuals must complete these steps to ensure roommate assignments.

If you do not have a specific roommate in mind, Residential Services will randomly match you with a roommate based on the building and roommate preference information you provide on the housing contract.

Meal Plans

Students living in undergraduate residence halls are required to have a meal plan as a condition of the housing contract.  All incoming new students will be assigned the Open Access Meal plan.  For more information about meal plans and dining on campus, please visit the Northwestern dining website.


2018-19 rates coming soon!

Please visit our 2017-2018 Rates page to view last year's rates.

Important Date  Process
February 1 – June 1, 2018 Contract open to new students
July 2018 Room assignments processed
Early August 2018 Assignment notification sent via email



The Northwestern two-year residency requirement mandates all first and second year students must live on campus.  Cancellations requests for first and second-year students will only be processed after an exception to the 2-year residency requirement has been granted.  Please visit the two-year residency requirement website for more information.  Transfer students are not required to live on campus and you may request to cancel your contract at any time. Depending upon when you request to cancel your contract, you may be held to part or all of the contracted rates. Request for contract cancellation does not guarantee the request will be granted. The cancellation schedule is below:


Cancellation Date  Fee
On or before Tuesday, May 1, 2018 $0
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 – on or before Thursday, September 20, 2018 $300
Friday, September 21, 2018 – end of spring 2019 quarter $300 minus proration of housing rent charges


*Note: the cancellation fee may be waived for extenuating circumstances.

View the Undergraduate Housing Cancellation page.

Get Started!

To get started with room selection, access the Housing Portal.

*Note: if you are choosing a roommate please use the above link to access your contract to input a roommate passcode.