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Northwestern University

Getting Started as a Transfer Student

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Registering for your first quarter classes

Entering transfer students will have holds on their registration beginning in August. These holds will be lifted after you've had a chance to talk with a Weinberg College Adviser. You will then be able to register through CAESAR for the courses you've discussed. College Advisers are available during the summer to answer your questions and discuss your first quarter schedule. If you will arrive on move-in day without having registered, you should make an appointment to meet with a College Adviser as soon as possible.

Sometimes transfer students who took advantage of summer registration still have questions about their schedules when they get to campus.  No problem--you can modify your schedule yourself. But if you are thinking about changes, we encourage you to discuss ideas and concerns with a College Adviser; advisers are here to help you make changes throughout Wildcat Welcome and during the add/drop period.

The quarter system and your schedule

Your first quarter schedule might look different than you expected. Your schedule may include a language course, if you need to complete the requirement for proficiency in a language other than English, and it will most certainly include at least one distribution requirement course (or foundational discipline course if you are starting after Spring 2023). If you need to begin a yearlong sequence of courses (this particularly affects junior transfers who are science majors or premed), we will do our best to get you into that class. Your first quarter schedule may also include an elective course. Weinberg’s liberal arts program allows plenty of room for electives, and this can be a good way for a new student to explore some of the many academic options at NU.

A normal course load is 4 courses per quarter, and we’re not likely to approve an overload for entering transfers. Even if you have many requirements to complete, we strongly advise you to craft your first quarter’s schedule to allow some time to adjust to your new environment.

Your first advising meeting

Your first advising meeting in the summer before you begin courses will be devoted to sorting through your credit evaluation, going over Weinberg degree requirements, discussing your academic plans, and selecting courses for your first quarter here. In order for this meeting to go as smoothly as possible, you should plan to discuss the following topics:

  1. A copy of your credit evaluation from the Registrar’s Office;
  2. A record of any AP/IB scores you have;
  3. Course descriptions and syllabi from your prior institution(s) for courses you think need to be reevaluated;
  4. A completed transfer student degree requirements worksheet (doc).

The College Adviser with help you assess your initial credit evaluation, your progress in satisfying our degree requirements with your coursework, and your progress toward university graduation requirements, as well as get a sense of your progress toward a particular major or minor. With this knowledge, you can, with the adviser, devise an academic program.

Your adviser will help guide you through your transfer credits and your academic plans, but here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Declaring a major

For most transfer students, there is no hurry to declare a major, even if you arrive with a pretty solid idea of what field you want to pursue. In some cases, however, it may be advantageous to declare a major before registering for your second quarter classes. Discuss this with your College Adviser and consult the department or program website for specific information on the major.

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