Parent and Family Orientation

Parent and Family Orientation

Dad and Daughter

All students are required to participate in Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern’s new student orientation program. Move-In day will take place on Monday, September 16 and Wildcat Welcome will run from September 16 – 22, 2019.

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 16, 2019 and will end at 5 PM, Tuesday, September 17, 2019. 

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.

Registration for the 2019 Parent and Family Orientation Program will be open on July 1.

Parent and Family Orientation Schedule

March Through the Arch

During Parent and Family Orientation, we look forward to hosting some of our traditional welcome activities including the following:

  • Family Welcome Reception with President Morton Schapiro
  • March Through the Arch
  • Information Sessions from the Dean of Students and other important university offices
  • "A Year in the Life" skits and panel with Family Ambassadors
  • Resource Fair featuring campus offices such as Residential Services, Financial Aid, Health Services, and the University Library

A 2019 Parent and Family Orientation schedule will be posted closer to the date. 

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

transportation in Evanston

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.