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.
VIEW THE 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 webinar recording
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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!
Purple Prep Website
Find everything you need to know.
You are here! The Purple Prep website is the one-stop location for details on your summer tasks and other essential information. Explore this site by using the top navigation bar.
Purple Prep Checklist
Keep Track of Requirements.
Your Purple Prep Checklist is a dynamic tool for managing all your summer to-do items, allowing you to track your progress as you complete and check off summer tasks each week. Opt in to weekly texts if you want frequent reminders and updates.
Go to your purple prep checklist
Purple Prep Emails
Get biweekly updates and reminders.
Find a Purple Prep email in your Northwestern inbox on the first and third Tuesday of the month through September. It will provide updates on your upcoming tasks, updates about your entry to Northwestern, and other pertinent information.
View the email archive and schedule
Make Summer Connections
Use social media to learn more about your classmates, upcoming events, Wildcat Welcome, and more.
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.