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Before the Arch

The second component of Northwestern’s orientation process is Before the Arch, a fully virtual, optional series to help you prepare for your transition to Northwestern.

Program Dates

Before the Arch programs are delivered virtually starting the week of July 10 through September 10.

What is included in Before the Arch?

While Purple Prep focuses on foundational information and tasks, Before the Arch is the summer series that addresses the social and emotional aspects of transitioning to student life at Northwestern. In an effort to prepare you for this next step, Before the Arch is a weekly series of programs brought to you by current students with topics ranging from how to build connections to preparing for academics on a quarter system to what to consider when talking with your roommate after assignments are released in early August.

How to Access Before the Arch

Before the Arch programs drop once per week on the Class Canvas page (launching in July) and on Wildcat Welcome social media accounts. The programs created by current students include videos, virtual panels, digital guides, and more. While some programs might be live, all programs are available for accessing any time after they have been released.

*Please note only incoming undergraduate students are able to access the Class Canvas Course


Incoming transfer students were invited to learn about CAESAR before registration for classes from current students and a representative from the Office of the Registrar. The meeting was recorded and can be accessed after logging in to a Northwestern Zoom account. Watch the recording here.