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, 2022. 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.
Late August: The Graduate School’s 2021 New Student Orientation will be a hybrid experience with an online, self-paced orientation course in Canvas that will launch on August 23, 2021; a series of virtual Q&A sessions in early September (more details will be shared with incoming TGS students in August 2021); a virtual TGS Resource Fair webpage; and an in-person TGS Resource Fair at Norris Center on September 13, 2021 from 1:00–3:00 PM. All aspects of The Graduate School's orientation are suggested, not required.
August/September: Versant (English proficiency) Testing for international PhD/MFA students
- 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.
- New students can obtain a Wildcard/student ID card. All students are encouraged to submit their ID photo online. Please review the guidelines and upload your photo on the Wildcard Photo Submission page. The Wildcard Office is open by appointment only. You must present a government-issued photo ID (e.g., your driver’s license, state photo ID, or current passport) in order to claim your card.
- All full-time enrolled TGS students receive a U-Pass transit card. Please submit your Wildcard photo ID electronically before you arrive on campus to ensure your U-Pass will be ready for your arrival. U-Passes are not active until the first day of classes for new students. TGS is finalizing the pick-up details for the Fall Quarter, please check the U-Pass webpage in mid-August for details.
September 8-10: The Office of International Student and Scholar Services’ Virtual Orientation
September 10: Deadline for official transcripts to be received, reviewed, and verified by The Graduate School.
September 13: In-person TGS Resource Fair from 1:00-3:00 PM at Norris Center
September 14: Students can begin to register for classes at 9:00 AM
September 16-17: Northwestern Virtual Graduate Student Teaching Conference
September 17 (for Students Receiving a Stipend or Being Paid): Students can enter their Direct Deposit details in CAESAR anytime between September 17-23.
September 21: Classes begin
September 27: 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 29: The last day to drop a class. (No tuition adjustments can be made after September 27.)