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Key Dates

Key dates for incoming students are listed below. In addition, academic calendar dates are available online. 


Mid-March: The I-20/DS-2020 applications are available for all incoming international students to request an F-1 Visa through the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) Portal. To ensure students receive their F-1 or J-1 Visa in time, please visit the International Office’s website for full details and deadlines.


Early July: Open enrollment for the Northwestern Student Health Insurance Plan (NU-SHIP) runs from July 1-October 1. NU-SHIP provides coverage September 1 through August 31, 2023. International students (students with an F-1 or J-1 U.S. Visa) are required to maintain enrollment in NU-SHIP for the entire time they are at Northwestern. Students who intend to use NU-SHIP are encouraged to confirm their enrollment via the online form in CAESAR by the last week of August to ensure timely access to benefits. Students also may enroll dependents during the open enrollment period (July 1-October 1), after they have confirmed their own NU-SHIP enrollment in CAESAR.

July 1: The deadline to submit health records, including proof of immunizations, for fall entrants. The penalty deadline for submission of all documents and meeting the requirements is 30 days after the start of classes.


Late August: The Graduate School’s 2022 New Student Orientation will be a hybrid experience with an online, self-paced orientation course in Canvas that will launch August 22, 2022; a series of virtual Q&A sessions in early September (more details will be shared with incoming TGS students in August 2022); a virtual TGS Resource Fair webpage; and an in-person TGS Resource Fair at Norris Center on September 23, 2022 from 1:00–3:00 PM. All aspects of The Graduate School's orientation are suggested, not required. 

August 25: Fall Quarter Academic Kickoff from 9:00 AM–5:00 PM at Norris Center; this interactive day of informative sessions is designed to facilitate graduate student and postdoc transitions to teaching roles at Northwestern. It is held twice annually, every fall and spring.

August/September: Versant (English proficiency) Testing for international PhD/MFA students


Early September:

September 2: Deadline for official transcripts to be received, reviewed, and verified by The Graduate School.

September 7: The Office of International Student and Scholar Services’ Virtual Orientation

September 15: Students can begin to register for classes at 9:00 AM

September 16 (for Students Receiving a Stipend or Being Paid): Students can enter their Direct Deposit details in MyHR anytime between September 16-22.

September 20: Classes begin

September 26: The last day to add a class, change a section, or change the grading basis for Fall Quarter. (No reductions are made to bills for dropped or swapped classes after this date. Last day for full tuition refund.)


October 10: First invoice for the academic year is generated. You will receive an email to review your account and pay any balance due by November 1. Even if you are receiving a stipend and full tuition support, you still need to pay the Activity Fee.

October 28: The last day to drop a class. (No tuition adjustments can be made after September 26.)