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Planning Calendar

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

Summer Dates

May 3September 11: Purple Prep 

Serving as the first step of the orientation process is Purple Prep. All items within Purple Prep are exclusively virtual. Learn more about the 3 parts of Northwestern's orientation process 

June 12–September 11: Before the Arch 

Serving as the second step of the orientation process is Before the Arch. All items within Before the Arch are exclusively virtual. Learn more about the 3 parts of Northwestern's orientation process 

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 8–12: International Student Orientation 

International students move to campus on September 8, several days ahead of the full class to start Wildcat Welcome with a track specifically designed for you, International Student Orientation. Learn more about International Student Orientation, including programming and the Office of International Student & Scholar Services. This page also includes information about how your move in looks different than those moving in on September 12.

September 12: New Student Move-in Day 

New first-year and transfer students move into campus residences throughout the day on September 12; international students move in earlier as referenced above with International Student Orientation. Students moving in on September 12 are prompted to select a move-in appointment time in August. Learn more about the housing and residential experience.    

September 12–19: Wildcat Welcome 

The final, on-campus component of Northwestern's new student orientation process is Wildcat Welcome. The mandatory orientation program for all new undergraduate students begins once students move to campus and runs through the day before fall quarter classes begin. Learn more about the 3 parts of Northwestern's orientation process. 

September 12–13: Parent & Family Orientation 

Parent and Family Orientation (PFO) provides family members of new students with information to serve as informed support systems for their student during their tenure at Northwestern. Programming begins at the end of move-in day and runs through approximately 5 p.m. on September 13; students participate in their orientation programming during this time. PFO is not a required event for families. Learn more about Parent and Family Orientation 

Fall Quarter Dates

September 20: Fall Quarter Classes Begin 

New students determine and register for fall quarter courses during Wildcat Welcome before starting the quarter on September 20. Wildcat Welcome also includes opportunities to learn how to secure books and other course materials.  

November 4–6: Family Weekend 

Family Weekend occurs yearly and is available for 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 24–25: Thanksgiving Break 

Classes are held until 6 p.m. on November 23 and resume on November 28 at 8 a.m. Residence halls remain open during this time. 

December 5–10: 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 5. Students depart campus after completing exams, or by noon on December 10. Residence halls are closed during winter break until January 1, 2023, though accommodations can be made with Residential Services 


Please note that all above dates are subject to change.