Parent and Family Orientation

Dad and Daughter

Parent and Family Orientation (PFO) is our opportunity to welcome the families of our incoming students. Parent and Family Orientation begins the afternoon of Monday, September 11, 2017 and runs through Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. 

Most families are thinking about when they should plan to leave campus, if they will see their student once student orientation begins late Monday afternoon, and other travel concerns. You can find the answers to these questions on our FAQ page.

Registration for Parent and Family Orientation is now open!

Parent and Family Orientation Schedule

March Through the Arch

During Parent and Family Orientation, we look forward to hosting some of our traditional welcoming activities including the following:

  • Family Welcome Reception with President Morton Schapiro
  • March Through the Arch (morning of September 12, 2017)
  • Information Sessions from the Dean of Students and other important university offices
  • "A Year in the Life" skits and panel with Family Ambassadors
  • Resource Fair featuring campus offices such as Residential Services, Financial Aid, Health Services, and the University Library

A full schedule of Parent and Family Orientation is available in PDF form here. Specific details (as noted in this schedule) will be available upon your check-in on Move-In Day.

Meet the Family Ambassadors


The Family Ambassadors are a group of 30 phenomenal students at Northwestern who have had a range of experiences and cannot wait to share them all with the family members for our newest Wildcats. Family Ambassadors assist with the execution of Parent and Family Orientation during Wildcat Welcome and will interact with family members throughout the program to ensure all questions are answered and needs are met. Learn more about the Family Ambassadors Program here!

Travel and Hotels

transportation in Evanston

Whether it be by plane, train, or car, there are numerous ways to get to both Chicago and Evanston. We have a few resources that may be valuable as you look into traveling and staying in the Evanston/Chicago area.  Visit the visitor's section of the Undergraduate Admissions page to view travel directions, which includes area maps, specific breakdowns of travel routes, and turn-by-turn directions.  View our Travel and Hotels page to view answers to more specific questions you may have.