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Hi, new Wildcats!

Let's get set for what's ahead

Welcome, Class of 2028! Purple Prep is the first step in Northwestern's orientation process and covers everything you must know and do before starting fall classes.

How to Prepare for Northwestern: Webinar


This webinar provided information about the programs and communications running from May through September that will prepare students and families for Northwestern, including an overview of the orientation process, planning dates, and advice from current students on navigating the summer. View the full recording of the webinar - hosted on May 9 - to gain a full understanding of what you should expect in the months leading up to your September arrival.

Recording of May 9 Webinar

PDF of PowerPoint for May 9 Webinar

What is the new student orientation process?

The University has designed an orientation process with three components—Purple Prep, Before the Arch, and Wildcat Welcome—that help incoming Wildcats get set for living and learning at Northwestern. 



Purple Prep: May 6–September 16

Learn and act upon foundational information delivered via a website (where you are right now), biweekly emails, and a checklist of summer tasks with deadlines each month.

Learn more about Purple Prep.



Before the Arch: July 8–September 16

Take advantage of optional virtual opportunities to learn from current students about preparing for life at Northwestern.

Learn more about Before the Arch.




Wildcat Welcome: September 17–22

Arrive on campus to experience Northwestern traditions, build connections, learn to navigate campus, and register for fall classes.

International students move in September 15 and participate in International Wildcat Welcome September 16-17 and continues on to Wildcat Welcome through September 22.

Learn more about Wildcat Welcome.

Parents and Families

Learn how to register for the communications and programs that prepare families to serve as informed support systems during their student's transition. 
Visit the Family Engagement website

Deferred Students

Learn how the orientation process applies for students who deferred from a previous academic year. 
Visit the Deferred Student page

Get to know Purple Prep

Become familiar with the first component of orientation: Purple Prep. Purple Prep will guide you as you prepare for your first quarter at Northwestern. We're excited to welcome you to the community!

Make Summer Connections

Land Acknowledgment

Northwestern is a community of learners situated within a network of historical and contemporary relationships with Native American and Indigenous tribes, communities, parents, students, and alumni. It is also in close proximity to an urban Native American community in Chicago and near several tribes in the Midwest. The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa—as well as the Menominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk nations. The area was also a site of trade, travel, gathering, and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes, and the state of Illinois is still home to over 100,000 tribal members.

 It is within Northwestern’s responsibility as an academic institution to disseminate knowledge about Native and Indigenous peoples and the institution’s history with them. Consistent with the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Northwestern works towards building relationships with Native American communities through academic pursuits, partnerships, historical recognitions, community service, and enrollment efforts.

Learn more about land acknowledgments and the land on which Northwestern sits in the pre-TND: The Role of Land Acknowledgments.