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TGS-Affiliated Organizations

The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern University offers a wide range of educational, cultural and social activities for graduate students. Take a moment to explore the opportunities below to combine your unique talents and vision with others in the community. 

Explore groups

General graduate groups

  • Chicago Graduate Student Association (CGSA): CGSA is a student organization that encompasses graduate students in various science programs on Northwestern’s Chicago campus. CGSA exists to address the academic, social, and advocacy needs of graduate students on the Chicago campus and promote interactions with groups on the Evanston campus.
  • Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council (GLAC): GLAC’s mission is to bring graduate students’ concerns to the attention of the deans and administrative staff of The Graduate School (TGS) on the Chicago and Evanston campuses. GLAC gives graduate students opportunities to participate in decision-making processes at Northwestern. Their efforts have resulted in services and policies that improve the quality of life for graduate students.
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA): GSA represents and serves non-professional graduate students at Northwestern. Their goal is to build community at Northwestern and provide opportunities to serve the greater Evanston and Chicago communities.

General postdoctoral groups

  • Northwestern University Postdoctoral Association (NUPA): NUPA is an organization focused on creating a community among Northwestern postdoctoral trainees, across all disciplines, and sharing postdoc-specific resources for career and personal development. NUPA works to build partnerships, increase communication, and create an open forum for all postdoctoral fellows to address the needs of their community.

Identity-based groups

  • Alliance of Chicago Minority Students (ACMS): ACMS establishes a comfortable community, support system, and social environment of diverse students within the schools on Northwestern’s Chicago campus. ACMS exists to serve minority groups within the following programs: Driskill Graduate Program (DGP), Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN), Biomedical Engineering (BME), Clinical Psychology, Reproductive Science and Medicine Program (MS-RSM), Genetic Counseling, Physical Therapy, Pritzker School of Law JD, MSL, and LLM programs, and the Feinberg School of Medicine.
  • Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA): BGSA is a group dedicated to fostering a sense of community among the Black graduate student body, through representing and acting upon its academic, cultural, intellectual, social, and political concerns and interests.
  • Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA): CSSA promotes Chinese culture and enhances intercultural communication and friendship through educational, cultural, and social activities. They provide support and service to the entire Chinese community at Northwestern.
  • Comunidad Latinx (CLX): CLX fosters a community oriented around Latinx identity, culture, and history. They provide a safe space for their members, give back to the local Latinx community, and educate the wider university community and public about Latinx affairs.
  • Diversity in Biological Sciences (DiBS): The DiBS Council  seeks to foster a network and community for underrepresented minorities (URM) and LGBTQ students within IBiS. This includes increasing resources for URM/LGBTQ students to facilitate their success in and completion of graduate school as well as to act as an advocacy group to provide an inclusive environment for URM and LGBTQ students.
  • Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF): GCF creates a community whose actions and beliefs are formed around the truth that in Jesus is life. They aim to hold each other accountable to not only what they believe, but to how they live that out in their communities, campus, and departments. GCF also provides resources through small groups and speakers for graduate students to explore scriptures relevance to today, and the doubts and uncertainties surrounding some of their beliefs.
  • Graduate International Student Association (G-ISA): G-ISA represents all nationalities of graduate students at Northwestern. Their purpose is to cross borders, bring students together to experience each other’s culture, and create friendships and connections that transcend the comfortable confines of a student’s department or affiliated student group. G-ISA aims to reach out to students from nations that do not have a large presence in the graduate community, and provides them with the aforementioned opportunities.
  • Graduate Out in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (GoSTEM): GoSTEM strives to empower LGBTQIA+ people in STEM to succeed personally, academically, and professionally by cultivating environments and communities that nurture innovation, leadership, and advocacy. While their primary mission is to create community for LGBTQIA+ individuals, they are also strongly committed to intersectionality as an organizing principle, and therefore aim to actively center those who have been historically underrepresented in higher education due to their gender, gender identity, and racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Indian Graduate Student and Scholar Association (IGSAA): IGSSA serves and fosters a sense of community among the Indian (and larger South Asian) graduate and postdoctoral trainee population at Northwestern.
  • Iranian Students Association: The Iranian Students Association is a student group dedicated to promoting social, intellectual, and cultural activities for Iranian students and other interested members in the Northwestern community. Aside from cultural and social activities, they strive to provide opportunities and benefits for their members, such as information and support for incoming Iranian students and connecting current students with Iranian alumni. Their goal is to enhance Iranian students’ experience at Northwestern and expand their career opportunities in the future.
  • Queer Pride Graduate Student Association (QPGSA): QPGSA is an award-winning social, advocacy, and academic group for the LGBTQ+ graduate student and postdoc communities at Northwestern. Founded in 2005, their membership now includes more than 400 individuals. QPGSA is committed to developing an inclusive and affirming sense of community among the LGBTQ+ graduate students.
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM (SACNAS): SACNAS is a national organization committed to promoting the success of underrepresented individuals in STEM, from college students to professionals. The Northwestern SACNAS chapter primarily serves underrepresented graduate students through professional development, outreach, and cultural activities.

Professional development groups

  • Academics for Careers in Data Science (ACiDS): ACiDS facilitates educational, service, and social events that are open to any Northwestern undergraduate, graduate, or faculty member with an interest data science.
  • Critical Contexts: Critical Contexts is a group of graduate students primarily in the learning sciences, human development and social policy, and psychology departments. They meet to interrogate critical issues (e.g., the role of race, class, and other oppressive sociohistorical systems in shaping processes of learning, understanding systems of inequality, and paths of resistance and resurgence) in education research.
  •  Mental Health Mix and Mingle (MHMM):  MHMM is a group for graduate students in the two programs housed within the Family Institute at Northwestern University (counseling and marriage & family therapy). This group is designed to bring together students from both programs through social, professional, and educational events, in an effort to foster connections and relationships among peers.
  •  Northwestern Public Health Review (NPHR): NPHR stimulates the exchange and cross-pollination of public health ideas through three core outlets: their blog, print issue, and campus-wide events. They seek to build their own skills, while bringing accessible public health information to the greater Northwestern and Chicago communities, through the utilization of design, art, and thoughtful writing.
  • Northwestern Splash: Northwestern Splash is a student-run organization that hosts an event in the spring, inviting high school students from the local Chicagoland area to take classes taught by Northwestern students. Splash hopes to provide a valuable service to both the Northwestern community and high school students. Its goals are to promote interest in teaching among Northwestern students by allowing them to design their own courses, provide access to good pedagogical practices via workshops and orientations prior to the event, allow Northwestern students to engage in outreach in an effective and convenient fashion, inspire high school students to explore new and novel concepts by exposing them to material different from their regular high school curricula, and promote interest in college among socioeconomically disadvantaged students by providing a “life in the day of a college student” feel during the event.
  • Public Speaking Club: NU Public Speaking Club provides a unique opportunity to help members develop their speaking, listening, and leadership skills. Members learn techniques for overcoming stage anxiety, connecting with the audience, assimilating verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and achieving a commanding executive presence.

General STEM groups

  • IBiS Student Organization (ISO): ISO provides a forum through which IBiS students can learn from one another, and benefit from each other’s expertise, throughout their PhD studies and beyond.
  • McCormick Graduate Leadership Council (MGLC): MGLC is one of the largest graduate student organizations at Northwestern. They serve a student body of over 1,500 PhD and master’s students and organize events for their professional, personal, and social growth. MGLC’s missions are to develop leadership and teamwork skills among students and foster a vital connection between McCormick graduate students and the Dean’s office.
  • Northwestern Brain Awareness Outreach (NUBAO): NUBAO is a graduate student-led public outreach initiative dedicated to educating, exciting, and inspiring the Chicago community about the brain. Through collaborations with public schools and science education programs in the Chicago area, NUBAO organizes a number of hands-on lectures, workshops, and open house-style events in an effort to teach a variety of neuroscience topics to students of all ages.
  • Northwestern Energy Technology Group (NETG): NETG is an organization for students who are interested in pursuing a career in technology or are simply interested in energy topics. They host presentations pertaining to current energy topics, focusing mainly on the policy and technology side of energy. NETG also performs outreach and hosts smaller discussion groups on a regular basis.
  • Science Policy Outreach Taskforce (SPOT): SPOT is a non-partisan organization of Northwestern researchers focused on advocating for science, evidence- based reasoning, and scientifically-sound policy to the voting-aged public and policymakers. Members have the opportunity to learn and put effective science advocacy into political action through events to educate voters, meetings to educate and collaborate with policymakers, educational seminars to learn about the interface of science and policy, and activities with external science policy entities. As a group, their combined efforts allow for a greater impact toward the advocacy of science in politics than any one of us acting alone.
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (NU SIAM): NU SIAM provides a platform for students involved in math and science to interact with each other. They organize social and scientific events that bring together students from all areas of science. In particular, they host quarterly seminars and annual conferences, where students and faculty members have the opportunity to give talks and exchange ideas.

Women-focused groups

  • Graduate Women Across Northwestern (GWAN): GWAN is an interdisciplinary organization that seeks to offer community building, professional development, and service opportunities for women in the graduate and professional programs at Northwestern University.
  • Northwestern Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE): GradSWE is the graduate student faction of the Northwestern SWE chapter, a nationally recognized professional, educational, non-profit, and service organization dedicated to promoting interest in and encouraging women to pursue the fields of science and engineering. They provide networking events, mentorship and outreach opportunities, and career development, which cater to graduate women in engineering and science.
  • Women in Science and Engineering Research (WISER): WISER works towards building community among graduate women in STEM fields, promoting and advancing women’s leadership in STEM, and sponsoring workshops and seminars focused on professional skills development for early-career women in the sciences.

Activity-based groups

  • Keynotes: Keynotes is Northwestern’s graduate student a cappella group. They perform at campus events and around the community, and put on a concert every spring.
  • Morning Mentors: Morning Mentors is an organization of graduate students and postdoctoral trainees that facilitate pre-school tutoring sessions three times a week for the local middle school students. They aim to develop communication and professional development skills and create a community of graduate students from different departments that have similar interests. Morning Mentors also holds quarterly “large groups,” to speak with and learn from qualified educational professionals, and quarterly social events to build the community of graduate students.
  • Northwestern Swing Dance Syndicate (NSDS): NSDS seeks to connect graduate students from across Northwestern through solo, partnered, and group dance, by hosting dance classes, social events, and field trips. Thorough these events, they connect students with the broader Chicago swing dance and jazz music scene, in an effort to help students find community on and off campus.
  • NU Curling Club: NU Curling is a community-building graduate club dedicated to teaching and playing the great winter sport of curling. Their free events take place at the Chicago Curling Club, located a short carpool ride away in Northbrook. From fall to spring, they host weekly lessons, games, and broomstacking (post-game drinks and snacks). Newcomers are highly encouraged to come try it out, as are any curling pros.
  • NuTango: NuTango (pronounced new-tango) is a student-run organization for Argentine Tango. NuTango is dedicated to providing a friendly, inclusive, and fun environment to learn and dance Argentine Tango. They make lead and follow roles available to people of all genders, and embrace alternative and traditional Tango music. NuTango is open to everyone in the Northwestern community, as well as the general public. They host weekly lessons, workshops with guest instructors, milongas, practicas, and special events with other organizations.
  • Plant-it Purple: Plant-it Purple is dedicated to gardening and fostering a sense of community. Most of their activities involve working together to prepare, plant, harvest, and maintain the Graduate Student Garden, on the Evanston campus. Almost all graduate students live in apartments and thus the opportunity to garden is widely-appreciated. Gardening presents the opportunity to participate in a relaxing and fulfilling activity, while building relationships with students from a wide variety of disciplines.
  • Werewolves Club: Werewolves Club is a strategic game-based organization aiming to improve critical thinking and public speaking skills. “Werewolf” is basically poker, plus rationalization, minus cards and betting. During the game, each player needs to logically come up with convincing speeches and reasonable deductions within a very short period of time. Many have found that they have become better at critical thinking and making impromptu speeches after participating. More importantly, they develop strong bonds among themselves while having great fun. Players of any experience level are welcome, and members are ready and able to teach the game to any new players. At this stage they mainly focus on Werewolves using Chinese, but ultimately they would like to include players from all of the world and introduce more strategic board games.

Student associations

Discover organizations, special interest groups and graduate student associations serving students on the Chicago and Evanston campuses. Learn more about these associations and how you can get involved.