Skip to main content

Wildcat Welcome

Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern's mandatory on-campus orientation program for all incoming undergraduate 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 mid-July).

Wildcat Welcome will be held September 16-23, 2019. 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 March to the Arch email.

Move-In Day: September 16

At the time specified on your unloading permit (a time Residential Services prompts you to request in August), you will go directly to your student residence to check in, meet your resident assistant, and pick up your Wildcard. Peer advisers and other volunteers will be on hand to help move your belongings into your room. 

Parent and Family Orientation: September 16-17

Family members are invited to take part in Parent and Family Orientation (PFO), which starts at 4 p.m. on Monday with the President's welcome and Reception and continues through 5 p.m. Tuesday. Families can register for PFO and find event highlights on the PFO page.

March through the Arch: September 17

March through the Arch, Wildcat Welcome's signature event, takes place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, with family members, University staff, community members, and returning students cheering on the Class of 2023 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.

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 four 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 Programs

POP (Northwestern's Pre-Orientation Programs) occurs off campus the week prior to  Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern's weeklong intensive orientation program. If you are interested in an additional opportunity to meet other new students, transfers and first-year students alike, aside from the 7 days of Wildcat Welcome, POP provides 3 unique experiences.

Experiences to choose from include topics such as Chicago emersion, leadership, and community service. Two full weeks of programming right before classes start may sound a bit overwhelming, but those who have participated in POP have enjoyed the experience before heading into Wildcat Welcome. Approximately 10% of the incoming class chooses to participate in POP.

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