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FAQs | Wildcat Welcome

Wildcat Welcome

What is Wildcat Welcome?

Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern’s mandatory on-campus orientation program for all new students, involves you in a wide range of activities designed to foster community, prepare you to choose classes, and celebrate the journey you’re about to begin.

June’s Purple Prep email will include a Wildcat Welcome Information Form to be completed by July 1, and the full Wildcat Welcome schedule will be on the orientation website in late August.

Do I have to come to the campus over the summer for Orientation?

No, Northwestern does not offer any summer orientation programs. All orientation activities, including academic advising and course registration, will take place during Wildcat Welcome. All new first year and transfer students are required to attend the events and activities associated with Wildcat Welcome.


When will I register for Fall classes?

Academic advising and registration will take place during Wildcat Welcome.


Do I have to take any placement tests prior to Wildcat Welcome?

If you have previously studied a foreign language (Arabic, Latin, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, German, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian/Slavic, Spanish, or Swahili), chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics, and you plan to continue to study these subjects at Northwestern, you'll need to determine at what level to begin. Departments teaching these subjects may use your scores on the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination, SAT II, and/or a Northwestern placement exam to help you plan an appropriate academic program.

Carefully read the Placement Exam section of the Purple Prep website to determine if you need to take a placement test either over the summer or during Wildcat Welcome. As a rule, online placement exams should be taken as early as possible.


Can I get a printed copy of the Wildcat Welcome schedule?

Upon check-in to your residence hall or residential college, you will receive a printed booklet that will contain the complete Wildcat Welcome schedule. A general overview of the Wildcat Welcome schedule will be available for students in the August Purple Prep email.


Who is my Peer Adviser?

Your peer adviser is a returning student with an academic concentration similar to yours who has been carefully selected and trained to guide you through your transition to the University over the summer, during Wildcat Welcome, and throughout your first year.

Your PA has already been through the whole experience and is an outstanding resource, so don’t hesitate to ask about your curiosities and concerns. And because your transition to Northwestern doesn't end with Wildcat Welcome, you will continue to meet with your peer adviser group twice each quarter during your first year.

Expect to hear from your PA towards the end of July; students with majors in Weinberg College will be contacted by PAs in early August.

Does Northwestern offer any special programs for new students prior to Orientation?

Information about orientation programs, and if any pre-orientation programs will be occurring, will be included in Purple Prep when it is released on May 4.


Transfer Student Experience

Will I meet other transfers during Wildcat Welcome? What about current upper class students?

Yes! We strive to make Wildcat Welcome representative of the transfer student experience. So, from the get go you are placed in a peer adviser group with other transfer students and led by an upper class transfer student.

Are there transfer specific events during Wildcat Welcome?

Definitely! During Wildcat Welcome there will there be a Transfer Welcome, where you’ll be with the rest of the transfer community, and get an official welcome from the Dean of Students and hear from current transfer student. There will also be opportunities to get to know transfers outside of your Peer Adviser group during the Transfer Student Bonfire and the Transfer Trip to Chicago.

What if I’m looking into living off-campus?

We know this can feel a little overwhelming, so head to Off-Campus Life to learn more about housing in Evanston.