Skip to main content


Pre-Enrollment Programs Description: On-campus programs for incoming first-year students designed to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college. These programs are held in the summer prior to the first year. They provide an opportunity to become familiar with academic, social, and cultural life; meet peers, faculty, and staff; and get acclimated to campus.

Bio & ChemEXCEL

A 5-week academic and leadership development program for in-coming freshmen interested in biology, neuroscience, chemistry, or pre-health fields. Students take four courses (Calculus, Chemistry, Biological Research Highlights, and Leadership) and receive two elective credits with GPA. In existence since 2010. Serves approx. 20 – 25 students per year.



A 5-week, all-expense-paid, residential program with intensive instruction in pre-calculus mathematics, chemistry, and economics. In existence since 2009. Students take a two week course in quantitative reasoning followed by either a two week course in chemistry or economics. The final week is reserved for appointments with Weinberg advisers. Students receive two elective credits with no GPA.
Dept. of Athletics – Summer School program for incoming freshmen

Approximately 30 new freshmen student-athletes enroll in 2 summer classes and go through study skills development sessions with academic services staff in the 6-week summer term.  In existence since 2009.


A 5-week summer bridge program to provide academic enrichment and opportunities for building leadership skills and demonstration of a commitment to diversity. In existence since 1978; serves approx. 20 – 30 student per year.

Summer Academic Workshop (SAW)

A three-week program designed to equip students with the tools to thrive at Northwestern. Students will earn credit for one (1) English 100 writing course designed to strengthen their writing skills, and gain key insights and resources to help them successfully navigate the university. Founded in 1966, SAW is Northwestern’s first and oldest pre-orientation summer program and services approximately 40 students per year.

Post-Enrollment Programs Description: Academic support programs designed to help students thrive, such as peer-led weekly study reviews; workshops to improve study skills; and academic tutoring and mentoring.   Participants in these programs make gains in academic help-seeking behavior and increase their sense of belonging at Northwestern.
Academic Mentoring Program

Helps at-risk students be successful in the following introductory courses:  macro and micro economics, intro to statistics, intro to psychology, finite math, and social sciences with improved grade performance and improved retention. In existence since 2010.  Approximately 350 registrations are received per year (students can participate more than once).

Dept. of Athletics – Academic Services

The mission of the office is to offer a comprehensive array of support programs and services, integrated with the university’s resources, which empower all student-athletes to achieve academic success while balancing the demands of athletic participation and everyday college life.  All athletes in the 19 varsity sports are assigned one advisor for their 4-year career. In addition to advising, there are many student development programs for career exploration, civic engagement, and leadership opportunities. In existence since the 1980’s. Serves approx. 500 total undergraduate student athletes.

Freshman Study Skills Program- Athletics

The Freshman Study Skills program is offered by the Dept. of Athletics Academic Services. It is a required program for all 19 varsity sports designed to help all freshman achieve academic success by building a solid foundation of good study habits and time management through weekly advising appointments, study hall, and tutoring.  In existence since 1990. Services approximately 120 freshmen student-athletes.

Gateway Science Workshop

A peer-led program designed to enhance students' learning as they successfully complete course sequences in chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, math, physics, and engineering. In existence since 1997.  Approximately about 800 registrations are received per year (students can participate more than once).

NU Bioscientist Program


NU Bioscientist students take two specially designed courses their freshman year to provide background and preparation for doing research, and work with a laboratory and mentor for independent study during the summer following the freshman year. In existence since 2011. Approx. 30 students per year

Peer-Led Undergraduate Study (PLUS)

PLUS is a collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs with peer-led academic study. Brad Zakarin (Residential Academic Initiatives) is involved. There is a drop-in study table on Sundays beginning the 4th week of the quarter.  In existence since 2014. Approximately 460 sign-ins are received per year.

Undergraduate Program for Advancing Learning (UPAL) With coaching from peer mentors, UPAL participants enhance their awareness of how they learn best within the Northwestern academic environment, fine-tune their academic skills, and create and carry out individual academic advancement plans. Along the way, they connect with Northwestern faculty, administrators, and staff, and build the networks that are critical to making the most of the Northwestern academic experience. In existence since 2013. Approximately 90 students are served each year.
Posse The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential that may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—posses—of 10 students per year. Posse partners with colleges and universities to award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships and provide academic and social support throughout the four years. In existence since 2013.
Ryan Scholars

Provides full scholarship support for academically gifted students. In existence since 2006. Serves approximately 90 students.

Summer Internship Grant Program

Provides low income students internship opportunities relevant to their majors during the summer.  Served approximately 200 students @ $3,000K.
Access Partners Description: College access organizations that partner with the University to enable academically qualified, low-income students to attain a Northwestern education. In addition to scholarships, these organizations assist students in the college search and connect universities to viable candidates.  Some offer advising and a peer network once students are on campus.
Gates Millennium Scholars

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.


QuestBridge is a national program that helps high-achieving, low-income students apply to top universities. Students apply in the junior year of high school.  NU pays a fee to have access to the 5,000 – 6,000 prospective student database and to engage in a matching process.  Students form online communities via QuestBridge’s social media channels. In existence since 2008.