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School of Communication

Welcome to SoC! Explore the academic-related information you need to know, and tasks to complete, before you arrive to campus in September.

Summer Academic Advising

The School of Communication Office of Undergraduate Programs and Advising will begin contacting transfer students about advising appointments at the end of June. For general questions before that time, please email Jeanette Ortiz, assistant dean of undergraduate programs and advising, at

During the summer you will confer by phone or video conference with Jeanette Ortiz to discuss degree requirements and course selection; this advising will prepare you to register for fall classes in August. In September you will be assigned to a major-specific academic adviser who will be your resource throughout your undergraduate career.

The SoC academic advising team maintains a website,, where you can review your major and program requirements, learn more about curricular offerings, and find answers to commonly asked academic questions.

Fall Quarter Course Registration

Incoming transfer students register for fall quarter courses via CAESAR starting August 10. You are required to attend an advising appointment; this meeting will prepare you for fall quarter course registration.

CAESAR 101 for Transfers: date TBA

While your academic adviser provides guidance with course selection, CAESAR 101 provides an opportunity to learn about the mechanics of CAESAR, your student account management system, from current students as they walk through what to know when searching for classes, viewing classes, and adding/dropping classes. A link to join this Zoom session will be included in a Purple Prep email and a recording will become available on Purple Prep's Systems & Apps page after the event.

Placement Exams and Assessments

See the placement exams webpage for information on when and how to take online placement exams and assessments offered during the summer.

Students pursuing a BA in any SoC department and students majoring in communication studies or radio/television/film have a foreign language proficiency requirement to fulfill. For transfer students who intend to pursue a language they’ve previously studied, placement at the appropriate course level is based on AP scores and/or a Northwestern language placement exam. More information on language requirements for SoC students can be found here.

Placement exams are also available for students who may need or be planning to take calculus, biology, or chemistry at Northwestern.

New Student Online Survey

All incoming SoC students should complete the online survey available on SoC’s Wildcat Welcome page, available from mid-July through August 15.