Student Life@NU

The University offers a broad range of extracurricular activities to appeal to the diverse interests of the student body.

Options for Student Involvement

The Center for Student Involvement at Norris University Center develops and implements social, cultural, and educational programs for the student community. Co-curricular or extracurricular activities take place throughout the University, ranging from club sports offered through Athletics and Recreation to the programs of the various groups based in Multicultural Student Affairs. The Associated Student Government also recognizes more than one hundred student groups started by undergraduates.

Fraternity and Sorority Life

Approximately 35 percent of Northwestern undergraduates students choose to "go greek" through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL). Sororities and fraternities usually conduct their new members' recruitment process (rush) during the first two to three weeks of winter quarter. Some fraternities and a few sororities also have recruitment during spring quarter.

Religious and Spiritual Life

Campus religious centers that plan services and student activities include:

In addition, there are a multitude of religious fellowship groups that meet throughout the campus community for worship and programs. Some examples are the Baha'i Club, a Buddhist study group, Campus Crusade for Christ, Christian Science Organization, the Muslim-cultural Students Association and many others.

Undergraduate Student Athletic Tickets

Full-Time Undergraduate Students who have paid their tuition will have an opportunity to attend all home Northwestern regular-season athletic contests with presentation of their valid Northwestern WildCARD ID. Students must present a valid WildCARD for admittance -- SORRY NO EXCEPTIONS. All seating is general admission, and there are a limited number of student seats. Students will continue to be admitted on an availability basis until seating is exhausted.

Health Services

Visit the Health Service Web site for details regarding the Admission Health Record forms and insurance requirements as well as additional information on available services and student health.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

At some time during the college years, students may experience difficulty in their emotional adjustment to academic and competitive pressures, relationship and social problems, overall developmental transitions, or family issues. Those students may benefit from professional counseling as a safe, supportive, and objective way to sort out problems.

The professional staff of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which includes psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, is dedicated to helping students make the most of their total learning experience at Northwestern.

Diversity on Campus

Northwestern's institutional values include creating an environment that welcomes all students, faculty, and staff of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions. The following centers and services are instrumental to the University's fulfillment of this key responsibility:

Undergraduate Housing

Undergraduate Housing is responsible for on-campus housing and roommate assignments. The office makes every effort to accommodate your son's or daughter's preferences, but due to space limitations not every students can be assigned to his or her first choice of residence and/or roommate(s).

In early August information regarding room assignments, the names of any roommates, and the on-line housing contract are sent by email to incoming freshman via their Northwestern e-mail accounts. The contract must be signed electronically within two weeks of receipt to confirm your student's housing reservation.

Room and board bills for fall quarter are mailed in mid-August. Returning students who wish to apply for a room for the following academic year do so during the preceding spring quarter. Complete details about procedures and priorities for assignment are published at the beginning of the spring quarter. University procedure establishes which students will receive an initial housing assignment and which will be placed on a waiting list for assignment during the summer as cancellations are received from students previously assigned. All students on the waiting list are normally offered housing in University facilities by the start of the academic year in the fall.

On-Campus Dining

Dining facilities are located in five of the larger residence halls (Allison, Elder, Foster-Walker, Complex, Sargent, and 1835 Hinman Avenue) and in the largest residential college (Willard). A variety of meal plans are offered but all students who live in University residence halls are initially assigned to the WildCat 13 Meal-Per-Week Plan, as per the board contract. Students may change their existing plan to any of the offered meal plans, according to the University Housing and Food Services Guidelines. A student's WildCARD grants them access to the University Dining services.



SafeRide is available seven nights a week, from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. when classes are in session. Members of the service, also Northwestern students, drive students, faculty, and staff to destinations off campus within service boundaries. Escorts are dispatched in teams of two, with at least one dual-gender escort team on duty each shift.


Because of limited parking space on campus, freshmen who live on campus are not permitted to have cars. Sophomores and juniors who live on campus may purchase a parking permit for Ryan Field. Seniors who lived on campus may purchase a permit for the main lots. Students may petition the University Parking Committee for an exception to these regulations. If permission is granted, students must purchase a parking permit, required of all people who use University parking lots. More information is available on the Parking Office Web site.

Shuttle Bus Service

Multiple shuttle routes run year-round on the Evanston campus as well as between the Chicago and Evanston campuses. For info and route times for Chicago shuttles, Evanston shuttles, bus service for special trips, airport transportation, and public transportation, visit the Evanston/Chicago Transportation Services website.


Bicycles are a popular means of transportation on campus. The University has 2.5 miles of bicycle paths on the Evanston campus, connected to Evanston's bicycle right-of-ways. Bicycles stored on campus must be registered with University Police and kept in designated areas, which included bicycle racks and bicycle storage rooms. Bicycles that are locked to railings, stairwells, or handicapped-access ramps or are in hallways, doorways, or rooms in residence halls or academic buildings create a safety hazard in the event of fire and are subject to removal at the owner's expense.

Click here to learn about other resources available to your student.