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Summer Academic Workshop

Northwestern University's Summer Academic Workshop (SAW) is a three-week program designed to equip students with the tools to thrive at Northwestern. Students earn credit for one (1) English 100 writing course taught by the Cook Family Writing Program. This course is designed to strengthen their writing skills.  Students also participate in cultural and social co-curricular workshops and events curated by Student Enrichment Services, as well as take part in a workshop series designed by faculty from the School of Communication where digital media and storytelling offer opportunities to explore identity, promote personal development, and build community. All co-curricular workshops and events complement what students learn in the writing course and provide them with a wealth of resources for navigating college life. 

First generation college students and students from lower income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. If you have any immediate questions, please email 

SAW is Completely Free

SAW is an all-cost covered program—including housing, meals, the writing course, afternoon workshops, and weekend social opportunities. Students will live together in a campus residence hall and experience Northwestern life under the mentorship of six upper-class peer counselors. Participants will also move into their permanent residence hall earlier than the regular move-in date for incoming students.  

We will arrange and pay for airfare/train tickets for students who live more than a 3-hour drive (about 150 miles) from campus. Sorry, we cannot make arrangements for international travel.

Important Dates 

Apply to Participate in SAW 

We are excited you are interested in applying to SAW. Please complete the SAW application by Monday, June 12. You will be notified about your application status by Friday, June 16.

Meet the SAW Co-Directors 


Mayra Garces, Associate Director of Student Enrichment Services 


Elizabeth Lenaghan, Associate Professor of Instruction and the Director of the Cook Family Writing Program.