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New Student Orientation

Welcome to Northwestern!

A virtual TGS New Student Orientation will be available via Canvas for you to complete at your own pace starting on August 23, 2021. Incoming students of The Graduate School (TGS) are enrolled automatically and may access this course with your NetID and password.

Please note that all aspects of TGS New Student Orientation are suggested, not required. 

The virtual orientation features four modules:

  1. Essential information from key campus partners;
  2. Important resources and services provided by TGS; 
  3. Information about graduate student organizations and campus resources;
  4. Tips for living in the Chicago area (for students who will be on campus). 

Plan approximately 90 minutes to complete all of the modules.

Please email TGS Events & Engagement Manager Victoria Williams with any questions at

TGS Resource Fair

TGS will host an in-person resource fair on Monday, September 13 from 1:00–3:00 PM on the second floor of Norris University CenterThe purpose of this fair is to help connect incoming TGS students with the community of support at Northwestern, including a wide variety of campus partners and graduate student organizations.

Snacks and giveaways will be provided (while supplies last), and registration is preferred, but not required. Register here.

Additionally, TGS will update a dedicated webpage for you to explore campus partners and graduate student organizations at your convenience on August 23, 2021

Mentoring Training for TGS Students

The Graduate School's Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) will host a virtual interactive mentoring training for all TGS students with Theater Delta via Zoom on Wednesday, September 8 from 12:00 PM1:30 PM CDT

This interactive theater performance equips graduate students with strategies to maximize relationships with their mentors. Students will observe three distinct interactions between a graduate student and her mentor over the course of her first year, asking questions of both characters, and participate in a facilitated discussion with a nationally-acclaimed researcher and storyteller. Participants will explore how to establish expectations and healthy boundaries, manage time and competing responsibilities, communicate proactively and effectively, address power dynamics, and build strong, meaningful relationships with a mentoring network.    

All TGS students are invited to participate in this optional training. Register here.

Q&A Session with TGS Student Funding Team

Designed for PhD and MFA students who will receive stipends from TGS. Note: The funding team is unable to provide tax advice.

The Graduate School's Student Funding Team will host two Q&A sessions via Zoom on Wednesday, September 1 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM CDT and Friday, September 3 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM CDT. Both sessions are optional and will present the same content.

Q&A Session with Health Services and NU-SHIP

Designed for all graduate students to answer questions regarding Northwestern's health services and student health insurance requirement.

Representatives from Health Services and NU-SHIP (Northwestern's Student Health Insurance) will host a virtual Q&A session via Zoom on Thursday, September 9 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM CDT. This Q&A session is optional.

Q&A Session with the Office of Fellowships

Designed for all graduate students to learn how to seek out and apply for external fellowship awards.

The Office of Fellowships will host a Q&A session via Zoom on Thursday, September 9 from 12:00–1:00 PM CDT. This Q&A session is optional.

University Libraries 2021 Research Resources Forum

The University Libraries 2021 Research Resources Forum (RRF) prepares graduate students for their first year of library research at Northwestern. Register for virtual and in-person sessions here.
  • Virtual component: Wednesday, September 15, 10:00 AM – 3:15 PM CDT
  • In-person component: Monday, September 20, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Please email Steven Adams, librarian for graduate and postdoctoral initiatives, with any questions.


Human Resources Office Hours

Northwestern's Office of Human Resources will host dedicated in-person walk-in office hours for incoming TGS students from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM on:

The Office of Human Resources is located at 1800 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201 in Suite 1-100. 

These optional office hours are designed to assist TGS students with completing their Form I-9, setting up their direct deposit and W-4 in myHR, and answering any payroll-related questions. HR staff members also can assist TGS students who are foreign nationals with reviewing documentation, completing the I-9 process, and providing FN tax documentation.

Please email with any questions. Note: HR staff members can assist with technical questions related to W-4 tax forms, but they are unable to provide tax advice.