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Housing and Residential Experience

Welcome to your Northwestern residential experience! This page provides you with an overview of Northwestern's Residential Areas, how to prepare for living on campus, summer tasks associated with the residential experience, and preparing for move-in day.

All members of the Class of 2026 and incoming transfer students will live on campus during the 2022–23 academic year in accordance with the University's residency requirement

After paying your housing deposit (due June 1) and before signing the housing contract (due June 1), you can explore and choose from a wide range of undergraduate housing options. For  complete housing information—including maps, photo galleries, room amenities, and rates—go to the Residential Services website.

Residential Experience

Students live in one of four Residential Areas led by Faculty-in-Residence and Resident Directors and each offering common services, amenities, and experiences for students living in close proximity to each other. Each area is comprised of residence halls and residential colleges, offering unique opportunities for engagement and growth built around the ideas of community, care and support, student agency, and academic linkages. Visit the websites of the Residential Areas for more information:

Housing Contract

You can start filling out your housing contract 72 hours after paying your $200 housing deposit (due  June 1). If you missed the deposit deadline, please contact Residential Services.

To access the contract, go to the housing portal and use your NetID and password to log in. Be prepared to indicate your housing and roommate preferences (if any). You may save and make changes to your contract anytime before submitting it. The submission deadline is 5 p.m. CDT on June 1.

Residential Services emails housing assignments to all new students in early August.

Housing Contract task commonly asked questions:

Have a Roommate in Mind?

To be assigned to live with the roommate(s) of your choosing, you must know one another's NetIDs and create a roommate group. Creating a roommate group is like submitting friend requests - preferred roommates must accept one another's requests. Please note that you may only be in one roommate group at a time. After you submit your housing contract, you can always make changes to your roommate group via the "Update Preferences" option. 

No Roommate in Mind?

If you do not have a specific roommate in mind, Residential Services will randomly match you with a roommate based on the building and roommate preference information you provide on the housing contract. About 80% of incoming students in 2021 were matched with a roommate in this way.

Note that some students change their plans and decide not to enroll at Northwestern, resulting in partially assigned rooms. Should your room be affected, you’ll be notified that you have been assigned a new roommate, which may require relocating to a different room or residence.

Contract Cancellation

Students may request cancellation of their housing contract through the housing portal. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Accessibility Concerns

Students who wish to request a housing or dining accommodation after paying their deposit and signing their contract should view the website for Housing & Dining Accommodation Requests before submitting a request through the housing portal.

Move-In Day: September 12

Students will be able to select their move-in day appointment time in early August. Appointments are allotted in 25-minute increments from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note that the timing and logistics of move-in day are subject to change as Northwestern follows local, state, and federal health and safety guidelines. Visit the Move-in Day page on the Residential Services website for the latest move-in day details and frequently asked questions.

Move-In Appointment

A move-in appointment is the 25-minute period allotted for parking and unloading your vehicle at your student residence and moving your belongings into your room on September 12. Professional movers will be on campus to expedite the unloading process. Even students who arrive on campus without a vehicle to unload are required to request a move-in time. The appointments allow Residential Services to coordinate with campus and community partners to provide the widest range of services safely and efficiently. 

Access to the online form for requesting a move-in appointment time will begin in early August, after room assignments are sent out. 

Move-in appointments are only applicable for students moving in on September 12. Students arriving earlier than September 12- including students participating in International Student Orientation- do not need a move-in appointment. Additionally, students who registered for International Student Orientation via the Wildcat Welcome Registration Form are automatically approved for early move in and do not need to request early move in from Residential Services.

What to Bring for Your Room

Shipping Items in Advance

Residential Services has partnered with University and Student Services’ Ship-to-Your-Room program to offer a convenient way to ship your belongings ahead of move-in days. For full details, see

Through a Residential Services partnership with OCM, students have the option to purchase bedding, bath, and room decor supplies that can be delivered to student residences prior to move-in. Visit the Northwestern University OCM website to place an order.

If you choose do-it-yourself shipping methods (US mail, UPS, FedEx, etc.), you must ensure that packages arrive after you move in; any items that you mail to campus before you're living here will not be accepted. Complete guidelines are at /living/services/mail

A Note About Health and Safety

The safety of our students is our top priority. Dates and details 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.