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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.

Please note that the Summer Academic Workshop is historically an in-person program. However, due to COVID-19 and safety considerations, Summer Academic Workshop 2021 will be hosted virtually. 

Through virtual courses and community programs, the Virtual Summer Academic Workshop will continue to prioritize enriching student's writing skills through courses taught by faculty from Northwestern's prestigious Cook Family Writing program. In addition, participants will benefit from virtual workshops and community-building opportunities structured to help you successfully transition and orient yourselves into your first year of college. We also see this opportunity as a way to introduce you to remote learning and virtual engagement, which is an excellent tool as you consider your course options during your undergraduate experience at Northwestern

If you have any immediate questions, please email

SAW is Completely Free!

The program, including the writing course, afternoon workshops, and weekend social opportunities are covered through the Office of the Provost. Given the decision to offer SAW 2021 virtually, students are not required to be located in or near the Chicagoland area for the duration of the program. However, as Northwestern continues to consider the 2021-2022 academic year, students may be required to move onto campus at the start of fall quarter to comply with residency requirements; this is a University-level decision that the Summer Academic Workshop has no control over. 


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, 2021. 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