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Planning Calendar

Keep the following dates in mind as you plan for fall.

Summer Dates

May 6September 16: Purple Prep 

Serving as the first step of the orientation process is Purple Prep. All elements of Purple Prep are virtual. Learn more about the three components of Northwestern's orientation process 

July 8–September 16: Before the Arch 

Optional virtual opportunities to learn from current students about preparing for life at Northwestern.

August: Housing Assignments 

In early August, new students learn of their assigned room/building, as well as roommate. The ability to choose a move-in appointment time becomes available shortly after assignments are sent by email. Learn more about the housing and residential experience.    

September 16–17: International Wildcat Welcome 

International students move to campus on September 15, several days ahead of the full class, to start Wildcat Welcome with International Wildcat Welcome. Learn more about International Wildcat Welcome, including programming, program dates,  and the services of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. This page also includes information about the logistics of your move-in day.

September 17: New Student Move-in Day 

New first-year and transfer students move into campus residences throughout the day on September 17; international students move in earlier (as noted above) to participate in International Wildcat Welcome. Students moving in on September 17 are prompted to select a move-in appointment time in August. Learn more about the housing and residential experience.    

September 17–22: Wildcat Welcome 

The third and final step of Northwestern's orientation process is Wildcat Welcome. This mandatory in-person orientation program for all new undergraduates begins once students move to campus, continues throughout the week before fall quarter classes begin. Learn more about the three components of Northwestern's orientation process. 

September 17–18: Parent and Family Orientation 

Parent and Family Orientation (PFO) provides family members with the information they'll need to  serve as informed support systems for their Northwestern student. Programming begins at the end of move-in day and runs through approximately 5 p.m. on September 18, while students participate in Wildcat Welcome programming. PFO is not a required event for families, but it is highly recommended. Learn more about Parent and Family Orientation 

Fall Quarter Dates

September 24: Fall Quarter Classes Begin 

Before classes begin, new students register for fall quarter courses during Wildcat Welcome. Wildcat Welcome also includes opportunities to learn about getting books and other course materials.  

November 8–10: Family Weekend 

Family Weekend occurs yearly and is open to the families of all undergraduate students. Programming during Family Weekend provides opportunities for families to experience Northwestern with their student. Learn more about Family Weekend. 

November 28–29: Thanksgiving Break 

Classes are held until 6 p.m. on November 27 and resume on December 2 at 8 a.m. Residence halls remain open during this time. 

December 9–14: Fall Quarter Final Exams 

Students learn of their exam schedule when they receive their course syllabi at the beginning of the fall quarter, with exams occurring throughout the week of December 9. Students depart campus after completing exams or no later than noon on December 14. Residence halls are closed during winter break (until January 4, 2025), though accommodations can be arranged with Residential Services 


Please note that all the above dates are subject to change.