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Fall Quarter 2021

Added 4/23/21

1. Will classes be offered in person?

Based on current health guidelines, Northwestern intends to be in-person for the Fall 2021 quarter. Depending on the specific requirements for social distancing and capacity limits in classrooms, there may be some classes that continue to be remote delivery; however, our aim is to host as many classes in person as possible. These plans are always subject to shifting public health guidance.

2. When can students register for classes?

Here is the timeline for Fall 2021 registration for the Evanston quarters, excluding Kellogg School of Management:

  • June 2 – The preliminary Fall 2021 class schedule becomes available on CAESAR. The schedule includes course name, instructor and some meeting information. Class modalities will be published later. Information is subject to change.
  • August 9 – Additional class details, such as class modalities and room assignments, are published in the class schedule. Students can begin putting classes in their CAESAR shopping carts.
  • August 16 & 17 – Returning undergraduates pre-register.
  • August 19 & 20, 23 & 24 – Returning graduate and undergraduate students register.
  • After September 1 – New students register.
  • September 11 – Fall Quarter bills are available.
  • October 1 – Fall Quarter payments are due.

The Feinberg School of Medicine clinical programs, Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, and School of Professional Studies all have their own timelines. Please check with your registrar’s office for the dates.

More information can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.

3. What will on-campus housing be like?

Northwestern will provide a variety of living options and experiences. Students may review the Housing Selection Overview webpage and then select the New Student (incoming first-year or transfer) or Returning Student (currently living on campus) links to get started.

4. Will Northwestern host programs and activities outside of the classroom?

Yes. As has been true this Spring Term, Northwestern will host as many co-curricular activities as public health guidance permits, including staff-led campus programming, student organization activities, programming in residential halls and informal, student-driven activities.

5. Do students need to provide proof of vaccination to come to campus?

Northwestern will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021-22 academic year. At this time, faculty and staff will not be required to be vaccinated. Northwestern will provide information about how students may share vaccination status in June. Some students cannot take or are hesitant to receive the vaccine, in some cases for medical or religious reasons. Information about seeking an exception to the vaccination requirement will also be available in June. Students who have not been fully vaccinated or received an exception may not be able to register for Fall classes. International students who are unable to secure vaccination access in their home countries will be able to request a temporary exception and be signed up to be vaccinated upon arrival to campus. Additionally, international students who receive a vaccine in their home country that is not authorized in the U.S. may be eligible for a medical exemption following guidance from Northwestern Health Service. Please view our vaccination requirement FAQs for more details.

6. Will there be regular testing for COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing will likely continue in some fashion in the Fall, but the exact testing protocols will not be determined until we know more about the vaccination status of the community and its impact on transmission.

7. What will happen if there is a spike or surge of cases in Evanston or on campus?

Northwestern tracks a number of internal and external metrics and offers Quarantine and Isolation Housing for undergraduate students living in residence halls, residential colleges, fraternity houses and sorority houses. If there is a spike or surge in cases specific to Northwestern, a number of steps might be taken, including:

  • Increased testing focused on the population in question
  • Changes to guidelines or policies for activities or density on campus
  • A two-week pause in campus activities, similar to Wildcat Wellness, or a stay-at-home period.

8. What can international students returning to the U.S. expect?

Current and future international students can find answers to common COVID-19-related questions on the Office of International Student and Scholar Services website.

9. What is the status of Northwestern’s study abroad programs?

The Global Learning Office (GLO) is accepting applications for study abroad, though Northwestern may still decide to suspend travel due to health and safety risks. Northwestern expects to announce decisions on international travel by early July. Please monitor GLO’s Frequently Asked Questions for more details.