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Housing and Residential Experience

Welcome to your Northwestern residential experience! This page provides you with an overview of Northwestern's Residential Areas, how to prepare for living on campus, summer tasks associated with the residential experience, and preparing for move-in day.

All members of the Class of 2028 and incoming transfer students will live on campus during the 2024–25 academic year in accordance with the University's residency requirement

After paying your housing deposit (due July 15) and before signing the housing contract (due July 15), you can explore and choose from a wide range of undergraduate housing options. For complete housing information—including maps, photo galleries, room amenities, and rates—go to the Residential Services website.

Residential Experience

Students live in one of four Residential Areas led by faculty-in-residence and resident directors. Each offers common services, amenities, and experiences for students living in close proximity to each other. Each area is comprised of residence halls, residential colleges, and special interest communities and offers unique opportunities for engagement and growth built around the ideas of community and belonging, care and support, student agency, academic linkages, and equity, justice, and inclusion. Visit the websites of the Residential Areas for more information:

Housing Contract

You can start filling out your housing contract 72 hours after paying your $200 housing deposit (due July 15). Be sure to submit your housing deposit by July 11 to ensure that you can complete your housing application by July 15. If you miss the deposit deadline, please contact Residential Services at

To access the contract, go to the housing portal and use your NetID and password to log in. Be prepared to indicate your housing and roommate preferences (if any). You may save and make changes to your contract at any time before submitting it. If you have changes after submitting the contract, email housing@northwestern.eduThe submission deadline is 5 p.m. CDT on July 15The new student housing assignment page contains information about the housing contracting process, including a video tutorial on navigating the system and a flow chart

Residential Services emails housing assignments to all new students in early August.

Housing Contract task commonly asked questions:

Have a Roommate in Mind?

To be assigned to live with the roommate(s) of your choosing, you must know one another's NetIDs and create a roommate group. Creating a roommate group is like submitting friend requests—preferred roommates must accept one another's requests. Please note that you may only be in one roommate group at a time. After you submit your housing contract, you can always make changes to your roommate group via the "Update Preferences" option. 

No Roommate in Mind?

If you do not have a specific roommate in mind, Residential Services will randomly match you with a roommate based on the building and roommate preference information you provide on the housing contract. 

Note that some students change their plans and decide not to enroll at Northwestern, resulting in partially assigned rooms. Should your room be affected, you’ll be notified that you have been assigned a new roommate, which may require relocating to a different room or residence.

Contract Cancellation

Students may request cancellation of their housing contract through the housing portal. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Accessibility Concerns

Students who wish to request a housing or dining accommodation after paying their deposit and signing their contract should view the website for Housing & Dining Accommodation Requests before submitting a request through the housing portal by June 1.

Move-In Day: September 17

New students will be able to select their move-in day appointment time in early August. Appointments are allotted in 25-minute increments from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Full details about move-in day and early arrival requests are available on the Residential Services website. 

Move-In Appointment

A move-in appointment is the 25-minute period allotted for parking and unloading your vehicle at your student residence and moving your belongings into your room on September 17. Professional movers will be on campus to expedite the unloading process. Even students who arrive on campus without a vehicle to unload are required to request a move-in time. The appointments allow Residential Services to coordinate with campus and community partners to provide the widest range of services safely and efficiently. Please note that moving assistance is only provided for students moving in on September 17. The large number of students arriving this day necessitates quick unloading and moving of vehicles.

Access to the online form for requesting a move-in appointment time will begin in early August, after room assignments are sent out. 

Move-in appointments are only applicable for students moving in on September 17. Students arriving earlier than September 17—including students participating in International Student Orientation—do not need a move-in appointment. Information about arriving early is available on the Residential Services websiteAdditionally, students who registered for International Student Orientation via the Wildcat Welcome Registration Form are automatically approved for early move in and do not need to request early move in from Residential Services.

What to Bring for Your Room

Shipping Items in Advance

Residential Services has partnered with University and Student Services’ Ship-to-Your-Room program to offer a convenient way to ship your belongings ahead of move-in days. Students also have the option to purchase bedding, bath supplies, and room decor items that can be delivered to student residences prior to move-in. For full details, see

If you choose do-it-yourself shipping methods (US mail, UPS, FedEx, etc.), you must ensure that packages arrive after you move inAny items that you ship to campus and that arrive before you move in will not be accepted. Complete guidelines are at /living/services/mail