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Hi, new Wildcats!

Let's get set for what's ahead

Welcome, Class of 2026! Purple Prep is the first step in Northwestern's new student orientation process and includes everything you must know and do before starting fall classes.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR NORTHWESTERN: BOOKLET

HOW TO PREPARE FOR NORTHWESTERN: BOOKLET

Before diving into Purple Prep, learn about the entire orientation process. This digital booklet provides an introduction to the programs and communications running from May through September that will prepare the Class of 2026 for Northwestern, including an overview of the orientation process and planning dates.

VIEW THE BOOKLET
HOW TO PREPARE FOR NORTHWESTERN: WEBINAR

HOW TO PREPARE FOR NORTHWESTERN: WEBINAR

The webinar, hosted May 12, provided an additional way to learn about about the information included in the How to Prepare for Northwestern booklet, including an overview of the orientation process, planning dates, and advice from current students on navigating the summer.

View the webinar recording

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. 

 

1

Purple Prep: May 3–September 11

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 the Purple Prep suite.

 

2

Before the Arch: Mid June–September 11

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

Learn more about Before the Arch.

 

3

Wildcat Welcome: September 12–19
(September 8–19 for international students)

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

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

How to Prepare for Northwestern

Learn more about the three components of the new student orientation process, preparing students for Northwestern from May through September. 

Get to know Purple Prep

Become familiar with the first component of orientation: the Purple Prep suite. 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

Use social media to learn more about your classmates, upcoming events, Wildcat Welcome, and more.

Land Acknowledgement

Northwestern is a community of learners situated within a network of historical and contemporary relationships with Native American 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. It was also a site of trade, travel, gathering and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes and is still home to over 100,000 tribal members in the state of Illinois.

Learn more about land acknowledgements, and the land on which Northwestern sits in the Pre-TND: The Role of Land Acknowledgements.