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Parent & Family Orientation

All students are required to participate in Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern’s new student orientation program. Move-In day will take place on Monday, September 14 and Wildcat Welcome will run from September 14 – 21, 2020.

Parent and Family Orientation (PFO) is our opportunity to welcome the families of our incoming students. Parent and Family Orientation begins the afternoon of Monday, September 14, 2020 and will end at 5 PM, Tuesday, September 15, 2020. 

Parent and Family Orientation Registration

Mark your calendars now for Parent and Family Orientation 2020 which will take place Monday, September 14 – Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Registration for Parent and Family Orientation will open this summer and reminders will be sent over the parent and family listserv.

Parent & Family Orientation FAQ's

Most families wonder when they should plan to leave campus, if they will see their student once student orientation begins, and other travel concerns. You can find the answers to these questions on our FAQ page.

Parent and Family Orientation Schedule

View a snapshot of the tentative Parent and Family Orientation schedule below.

Monday, September 14

  • Move-In Day (assigned residence halls) (8:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Wildcat Welcome check-in, assigned Wildcat Welcome Centers (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Move-In Day Parking Shuttles to Ryan Field (8:00 am – 9:00 pm)
  • Complimentary lunch for parents and families
  • Student Enrichment Services Open House for Families & Students
  • Residential College and Residential Communities Faculty and Staff Meet and Greet with Families
  • Parent & Family Welcome from President Schapiro
  • Northwestern 101: Living + dinners with RAs
  • Academic Dean’s Welcome for Families
  • President’s Reception for Parents and Families
  • “A Day in the Life of a Northwestern Student” Skits
  • Courtesy shuttle buses available to take families from the Arts Circle to Ryan Field

Tuesday, September 15

  • March through the Arch & Kiss n’ Bye, Weber Arch, Deering Meadow (10:00 am – 11:00 am)
  • Dean of Students Welcome and Panel Presentation
  • Campus Tours
  • Parent and Family Resource Fair
  • CAPS & MSA Session for Families with Students of Color
  • CAPS & MSA Session for Families of LGBTQ+ Students

Meet the Family Ambassadors

The Family Ambassadors are a group of 30 phenomenal students at Northwestern who have had a range of experiences and cannot wait to share them all with the family members for our newest Wildcats. Family Ambassadors assist with the execution of Parent and Family Orientation during Wildcat Welcome and will interact with family members throughout the program to ensure all questions are answered and needs are met. Learn more about the Family Ambassadors Program here!

Travel and Hotels

Whether it be by plane, train, or car, there are numerous ways to get to both Chicago and Evanston. We have a few resources that may be valuable as you look into traveling and staying in the Evanston/Chicago area.  Visit the visitor's section of the Undergraduate Admissions page to view travel directions, which includes area maps, specific breakdowns of travel routes, and turn-by-turn directions.  View our Travel and Hotels page to view answers to more specific questions you may have.