Application Deadlines and Options

In the tables below, please find information regarding the application deadlines for first-year and transfer applicants, as well as additional deadline information for international applicants.

Freshmen Application Deadlines for Fall Quarter

You may apply as soon as you begin your last year of secondary school, even before you take the required standardized tests. Applications for admission are available beginning in August of the year prior to the year in which you would enter Northwestern.

For those applicants applying as a first-year student, you may submit your application Early Decision** or Regular Decision.

Application requirement* Early Decision Regular Decision
Apply by November 1 January 1

Take tests by

SAT Reasoning Test or ACT with writing required; two SAT Subject Tests recommended

November test date January test date
Music applicants schedule audition by November 15 February 1
Admission decision by December 15 Early April
Nonrefundable tuition deposit/reply by February 1 May 1

Transfer Application Deadlines

Transfer applicants may apply and upon acceptance, enroll varying times throughout the academic year. Decisions are made on a rolling basis and most applicants apply for and enroll in the fall quarter. Instructions for applying as a transfer student can be found here.

Quarter of Entrance Application Deadline
Fall (September) March 15
Winter (January) October 1

Application Deadline Information for International Applicants

Both international freshmen and transfer applicants who need a visa to enter the United States must apply for fall quarter admission. Instructions for applying as an international student can be found here.

* Note: Additional information is required if you are applying to the Honors Program in Medical Education, the Integrated Science Program, Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates, or Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences.

**What is Early Decision?

If you are certain that Northwestern is where you want to enroll, we encourage you to apply under our Early Decision plan. As with all traditional Early Decision plans, you agree to withdraw all applications at other colleges and enroll at Northwestern if admitted. Students interested in the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) must apply under the Regular Decision plan.

Applicants who choose Early Decision send a strong, positive message to Northwestern. Given their high level of interest and overall academic and personal strength, Early Decision applicants enjoy a higher rate of admission.

If you are admitted under Early Decision and apply for financial aid, you will be notified of your aid decision around the time of your acceptance, provided your family has filed the College Scholarship Service Financial Aid Profile (CSS Profile) by December 1. Students admitted under Early Decision may be released from the commitment to enroll at Northwestern only for demonstrated financial hardship.