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Northwestern SPS Students

Changes in Registration

Students who have registered for a course are considered enrolled for the duration, and are expected to attend all sessions of the courses for which they are registered. Excessive absences do not signal a student's intent to drop or withdraw, and is cause for failure in the course. The student is also responsible to pay any tuition balance remaining on their account. Therefore, students wishing to change their registration in any way — by adding or dropping a course — must do so through the Office of the Registrar. Only the Office of the Registrar may process registration changes. Do not send correspondence regarding adds, drops and withdrawals to the course instructor or to the Office of Student Accounts.

The following policies apply to all changes in registration:

  • Registration changes of any kind (adds, drops, or withdrawals) are only accepted by following the procedures below. Do not send correspondence regarding registration changes to the instructor or the Office of Student Accounts. Only the Office of the Registrar can process registration changes. Please keep dated copies of any correspondence with the registrar.
  • You may add a course up to its second class meeting. Tuition for added courses must be paid in full at the time of the change and may be paid in CAESAR by e-check or credit card. Students must send confirmation of the payment to confirm@northwestern.edu and complete the Change of Registration Form in order to be enrolled in the course.
  • You may drop a course up until 60% of the course has elapsed without receiving academic penalty (no W on transcript).
  • If 60% or more of the course has elapsed on the date of the drop request, the course remains on your transcript with a grade of W.
  • Failure to attend a course does not constitute a drop or withdrawal under any circumstances and incurs a failing grade (F) on official transcripts.
  • You may withdraw entirely from Summer Session by filling out the Change of Registration Form available on the website.
  • Students who drop courses or withdraw from Summer Session may be eligible for a tuition refund, less any nonrefundable fees and deposits. Please see the Refund Policy and Schedule below.

Adding and Dropping Courses

All SPS Students

Please make all registration changes via CAESAR or by the Undergraduate Change of Registration Form (see instructions below).

To add or drop a course:

  1. Complete and submit the electronic Undergraduate Change of Registration Form.
  2. Make any required payment in CAESAR if you are adding a course.

Refund Policy and Schedule


While the tuition deposit and fees (including the registration fee) are not refundable under any circumstances, students may be eligible to receive a full or partial tuition refund. Northwestern University's refund policy is based on the percentage of time (number of days in the session, including weekends and holidays) that you were enrolled as a student in your class. The Office of Student Accounts considers the date of the drop in CAESAR or the date the completed Change of Registration form is received at the SPS Registrar's office to be the effective date in making financial adjustments.
  • If 0% of the term elapsed: 100% of tuition will be refunded
  • If 1 to 10% of the term elapsed: 95% of tuition will be refunded
  • If 11 to 25% of the term elapsed: 75% of tuition will be refunded
  • If 26 to 50% of the term elapsed: 50% of tuition will be refunded
  • If 51 to 100% of the term elapsed: 0% of tuition will be refunded

During the Summer Session, classes meet for various durations and have start and end dates throughout the summer. Please visit the Student Financial Services website to calculate any potential refund.

Student Accounts Department
Abbott Hall
710 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611
312-503-8503