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Planning Calendar

Keep this calendar in mind as you plan for fall. Any changes to the dates shown will be communicated in Purple Prep emails and on Wildcat Welcome’s social media


May 4–September 10: Purple Prep for the Class of 2025

The first step of the Wildcat Welcome (new student orientation) process is called Purple Prep, consisting of foundational items to prepare students for their start to Northwestern. Purple Prep guides students through these tasks and the related engagement with their school and various resources at the University, beginning with the earliest deadlines (June 1 for submission of the housing contract) and ending with fall course registration (September 9–10). 

August: Housing Assignments

New students are notified of their assigned room/building and roommate at the start of August. Around this period, students will also gain access to select their move-in appointment date/time. Learn more on the Housing and Residential Experience page.

September 11–13: International Student Orientation

International Student Orientation occurs immediately before Wildcat Welcome and is required for international students in addition to Wildcat Welcome. Students register for ISO through the Wildcat Welcome Information Form in May/June and can expect to move into their campus residence on September 11. Visit Purple Prep’s ISO page for more information. 

September 13–14: New Student Move-In Days

Incoming first-year and transfer students will move in at a prearranged appointment time on either Monday, September 13 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) or Tuesday, September 14 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.). An appointment signup form will be sent to student email accounts in early-August after room assignments are completed. Learn more on the Housing and Residential Experience page

September 13–20 & 25: Wildcat Welcome

Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern's mandatory on-campus orientation for all new undergraduate students, begins with move-in day (either September 13 or 14) and runs through September 20, pausing as classes begin (September 21) and resuming with a day of capstone programs (September 25). Students should make no other plans during Wildcat Welcome. Learn more on the Wildcat Welcome page

September 13–15: Parent and Family Orientation

Parent and Family Orientation helps equip the family members of new students with the information they need for their role as their student's support system over the next four years. Programming for family members coincides with their student's move-in day. Learn more about Parent and Family Orientation

September 21: First Day of Fall Classes 
November 5–7: Family Weekend

The families of all undergraduate students are invite to campus for a host of activities and events, including faculty lectures, campus tours, and the "Conversation with the President." Learn more about Family Weekend

November 25–28: Thanksgiving Break

Classes end at 6 p.m. on November 24 and resume at 8 a.m. on November 29. Campus residences remain open during this time.

December 6–10: Fall Final Exams

Students will learn of their exam schedule upon receiving their course syllabi during the first week of class. 

December 12–January 1: Campus Residences Close for Winter Break (tentative)

Students depart from campus following final examinations. Please contact Residential Services for accommodation considerations.