Skip to main content

Wildcat Welcome

Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern's weeklong orientation for all new students (mandatory for both first-year and transfer students), includes events and spaces specifically designed for transfer students to build on previous experiences and to foster community for a successful start at Northwestern. 

Throughout Wildcat Welcome and your first year at Northwestern your Peer Adviser (PA) will be an available support system for you. Your PA is a current student who previously transferred to Northwestern who was carefully selected and trained to guide you through your transition to the University starting in July (expect to hear from them in late July).

Wildcat Welcome will be held TBD, 2020. Do not plan to make any other arrangements during that time period, as you'll be in programming most of the time! Below is a brief overview of Wildcat Welcome for transfer students; a more descriptive overview will be shared in August's Purple Prep email.

Move-In Day: September 6-10

New first year and transfer students will move in between September 6 and 10, 2020. To assist with physical distancing requirements, it is likely that students will be assigned a move in appointment. Further details, including your move in appointment time, will be sent by email with your housing assignment the week of August 3, 2020. Please visit the COVID-19 website for the most up to date information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding move in during these challenging times.

Parent and Family Orientation: TBD

Parent and Family Orientation will be held virtually this year. Please visit the Parent & Family Orientation page for more information. The full schedule for this program will not be released until the summer.

March through the Arch: TBD

March through the Arch, Wildcat Welcome's signature event, takes with family members, University staff, community members, and returning students cheering on the Class of 2024 and new transfer students as they walk through Northwestern's iconic Weber Arch.

Other Main Events

All new students gather to celebrate Purple Pride! and gear up for Big Ten athletics by learning school cheers, songs, and traditions. The President's Convocation and True Northwestern Dialogues sessions reinforce key themes of the Northwestern community. 

Events designed for transfer students include the Transfer Student Welcome with a panel presentation by transfer students from previous years, a lakeside bonfire party, a trip to Chicago, and an introduction to campus resources (specifically curated for transfer students) to help jumpstart your time at Northwestern.

A note about health and safety: The safety of our students is our priority. Wildcat Welcome is subject to change as Northwestern follows local, state, and federal health directives and guidelines. The University has not stated a timeline for decisions as of the beginning of May.

True Northwestern Dialogues

The True Northwestern Dialogue (TND) series prompts every new student to explore issues related to self, connection to the community, navigation, and wellness. The series consists of two online components you must complete over the summer, and three sessions during Wildcat Welcome.

We know that some of the TND topics you've likely already discussed at your previous institution. So, in order to make space for this overlap,  the four sessions during Wildcat Welcome will be with the other transfers in your peer adviser group and facilitated by your Transfer Peer Adviser.

Pre-Orientation Program: CATalyst

CATalyst is a Pre-Orientation Program that occurs immediately preceding Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern's weeklong intensive orientation program. For those who want an additional opportunity to meet other new students aside from Wildcat Welcome, CATalyst provides a unique experience the week prior to Wildcat Welcome to take part in programming away from campus.

Approximately 100 incoming students choose to participate in CATalyst. This is a 4-night program that introduces new students to different leadership practices as they set goals and expectations for their transition to Northwestern. Students will develop reflective and interpersonal skills through various activities and dialogues. They will also be introduced to available campus resources and involvement opportunities.

Head to the Pre-Orientation Program page for more info. 

-->