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Pre-Enrollment Programs

Create a home base for exploration.

Making the transition to college can be daunting, but we're here to help.

New home, new classes, new friends:  every student faces a transition period when coming to Northwestern that's often exciting and just a little bit nerve-wracking. To help acclimate students to campus, Northwestern offers a variety of programs that are designed to develop academic and social support networks for incoming first-year students.

  • Summer Academic Workshop is a three-week program that teaches students how to successfully navigate the University; students also enroll in a writing course.
  • Bio&ChemEXCEL is an intensive five-week summer program for incoming Weinberg College students. It is designed to prepare students for the typical course load of a pre-med or science major.
  • Bridge is a five-week pre-orientation program for students interested in any discipline, including the sciences, economics, social sciences, humanities, or journalism.
  • EXCEL is a five-week program for McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science students. EXCEL students academically rigorous coursework, including leadership classes that help prepare them for their first year of engineering study. 
  • SESP Leadership Institute (SLI) is a ten-week, intensive academic program worth two course credits that runs for the duration of fall quarter 2021. Students complete two courses as a part of SLI: a class in learning sciences about culture and cognition, and a peer-led series of leadership workshops. SLI centers the experiences of students who identify as first-generation college students and/or lower-income; the program is an exploration of how students’ identities can empower them to be leaders and changemakers on Northwestern’s campus.

Not quite what you're looking for? Check out the other ways that Northwestern supports undergraduates by heading over to our Academic Support page.