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Summer Academic Workshop (SAW)

Northwestern University's Summer Academic Workshop (SAW) is a three-week program designed to equip students with the tools to thrive at Northwestern. Students will earn credit for one (1) English 100 writing course designed to strengthen their writing skills, and gain key insights and resources to help them successfully navigate the university.

SAW is open to all of Northwestern's incoming first-year students with a focus on low-income and/or
first-generation students; students of color and LGBQTIA students.

Students will participate in many exciting cultural and social co-curricular workshops and events curated by Campus Inclusion and Community, 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 taught by the Cook Family Writing Program and provide them with a wealth of resources for navigating college life.

If you have any immediate questions, please email

SAW is Completely Free!

The program, including housing, meals, the writing course, afternoon workshops, and weekend social opportunities are covered through the Office of the Provost. Students will live together in a traditional campus residence hall and experience Northwestern life under the mentorship of six upper-class peer counselors. Participants will also have the opportunity to move into their permanent residence hall earlier than the regular move-in date for incoming students. All meals are provided during the program.

Important Dates

Apply to Participate in SAW

If you are interested in participating in SAW, please complete the application here. The deadline for applying is May 31, 2022. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until space is filled

You should be prepared to answer the following questions before starting the application: 

  1. Why do you want to participate in SAW? How do you believe the program will benefit you academically and personally? 
  2. Tell us about a challenging time in your life that you were able to overcome. How do you believe that experience will help you be successful at Northwestern? 
  3. Besides graduation, what is one thing you hope to do or achieve at Northwestern? This could be anything from making new friends, to participating in research, or any other experience that would be important to you.

Meet the SAW Co-Directors

SAW Counselors