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. Given delays in international mail, Northwestern encourages applicants outside the continental United States to use the online version of the Common Application and to submit application materials early. 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.
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.