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Wildcat Welcome

Wildcat Welcome is the orientation program that all new students experience together from September 7-15. The mandatory program involves activities that foster community, inspire school pride, and prepare you to start fall classes. All incoming students must complete the Wildcat Welcome Information Form by July 1

Wildcat Welcome Information Form

All incoming students must complete the Wildcat Welcome Information Form, accessible on your Purple Prep Checklist, by July 1 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. This form is used by New Student and Family Programs to prepare for your participation in orientation. Once you submit the form, your checklist will automatically mark the task as complete. 

Wildcat Welcome Schedule

Wildcat Welcome is remotely hosted from September 7-15, 2020 with a majority of the programming hosted live. The window to Wildcat Welcome is hosted within Canvas; students gain access to the Wildcat Welcome Canvas site on September 6 via their personalized schedule email.

Your Personalized Schedule

We're building a unique Wildcat Welcome schedule for you. You will receive a personalized daily schedule the night before each day of Wildcat Welcome beginning September 6. Wildcat Welcome begins for all students with a session and meeting that occurs from 8-9:30 p.m. CDT on Monday, September 7. Programming will then occur throughout each day September 8-15.

Advising and Registration

Students in McCormick, Medill, SESP, and Weinberg are contacted by their academic advisers during the month of August to have an initial conversation about preparing for fall classes. These students will then participate in a final advising session with heir academic adviser during Wildcat Welcome; the date and time of this session is communicated in a student's personalized Wildcat Welcome schedule. Students also have dedicated time during Wildcat Welcome to meet with their Peer Adviser ahead of registration to discuss course selection.

Students in Bienen and the School of Communication will complete all advising components during Wildcat Welcome (there are not August sessions). Sessions with your school and academic adviser are included in your personalized Wildcat Welcome schedule.

All students will have multiple touch points with their academic adviser and peer adviser before heading into Fall Quarter course registration during Wildcat Welcome on September 10 or 11. 

Programming Delivery

Wildcat Welcome will be remote and largely live. Programming has been reimagined to take advantage of virtual platforms, providing students with ample opportunity to not only learn about Northwestern and prepare for the start of classes, but also opportunities to meet and learn from other incoming students and returning students. New students will be expected to participate and complete a mix of on-demand and live programming each day of Wildcat Welcome. Students in time zones that do not allow them to join live will learn in their nightly personalized schedules what alternatives are available. 

A student's Peer Adviser (PA) will be their primary guide through Wildcat Welcome, and a support system for the first year. The PA will help new students navigate the Wildcat Welcome schedule and help students begin to build their foundation here. 

Events during Wildcat Welcome

Each day of Wildcat Welcome includes activities that connect you with other students and help you acclimate to life at Northwestern. Some events—like academic advising—are practical in focus. The President’s Convocation and the True Northwestern Dialogue series focus on Northwestern values. Wildcat Welcome will include meetings and events hosted by your school and by the various campus offices and organizations that exist to support and enrich your student experience. Your days will be full but not without downtimes for fun, relaxation, and self-care. 

Building Connections

Helping students begin to build the foundation of their Northwestern network is paramount to Wildcat Welcome. The schedule will include an array of programs and activities students will be able to take part in to begin meeting other new students and connect with returning students. A student's PA group will prove to be a phenomenal way for students to begin building their foundational network.

Parent and Family Orientation: 

Parent and Family Orientation will be held virtually this year on September 13. Please visit the Parent & Family Orientation page for more information. The full schedule for this program will not be released until the summer.

Time Periods of Programming

Though you will receive a personalized schedule overview on Sunday, September 6, you may be needing to plan your week. Each day will include more programming throughout the day and later in the evening than what is displayed below, but the times below are essential periods. All times below are CDT.

A Note About Health and Safety

The safety of our students is our priority. The dates and details above are subject to change as Northwestern follows local, state, and federal health directives and guidelines. Students will be notified of changes via Purple Prep emails throughout the summer.