Program Overview:

Take a Class as a Student-at-large

Students who are not seeking a certificate or degree are considered students-at-large. Students-at-large may take courses for credit or audit courses in which auditing is permitted. The application and registration procedures differ slightly from those for prospective students applying directly to a major or certificate program, and those details are outlined in this section. Registering as a student-at-large is an excellent way to experience what returning to school is really like before making the commitment to a program.

Students-at-large who register for undergraduate SCS evening or weekend courses are not to be confused with students enrolling in daytime courses at Northwestern University as Non-degree Special Students. Properly qualified persons who demonstrate a need for certain Northwestern day school courses during the academic year may apply to enroll as Non-Degree Special Students through the Office of Summer Session and Special Programs. There is a different tuition rate for Non-Degree students, as well as an application process.

Admission Requirements

To attend SCS as a student-at-large, you must have a high school diploma and be in good academic standing at the last institution you attended. If English is not your native language, a minimum TOEFL score of 250 is acceptable for English proficiency. Upon registering for class, you may be asked to submit proof of these two requirements.

For questions about SAL and the status of your registration request, please contact the Registrar's Office at or 312-503-6951.


Undergraduate students pay per course. Each course is equivalent to one unit unless otherwise specified in the course description.

  • Tuition per Unit — $1,683
  • Fee for Auditing — $842
  • Some courses require additional lab fees. Refer to course listings for this information.

Students-at-large are not eligible for financial aid or scholarships.

How to Register as a Student-at-large

1. Complete the Student-at-large Online Registration Form (requires Java)

2. Choose your courses and calculate your tuition from the information above.

3. Log in to CAESAR using the NetID and activation code that will be sent to you by email within 48 hours.

4. Make a tuition deposit in CAESAR. See the instructions for making a payment on CAESAR. Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies requires students to pay 60% tuition plus 100% of fees at the time of registration. Northwestern employees must pay 100% tuition plus 100% of fees minus their benefits at the time of registration.

5. You will receive a confirmation email once you have made your payment. Once you receive it, forward the email to After SCS receives your payment confirmation or proof of payment, you will be activated in CAESAR. This means that you will have access to use CAESAR to enroll in your selected course(s). Students cannot be activated to register for courses in CAESAR without first making a tuition payment. If you do not receive your payment confirmation email within 48 hours, email

6. You will receive another email confirmation notifying you once you are activated in CAESAR and can register for courses. See the instructions for adding courses.

Academic Rigor

Students-at-large must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. If a student's GPA falls below 2.0, the student is placed on academic probation. Students with X or F grades may not register for the next term without the consent of the Student Affairs Committee. Failure to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress may result in probation or dismissal.

Applying for Degree-Seeking Status at SCS

Courses taken as a student-at-large may be applied toward an SCS bachelor's degree. Students-at-large who wish to change their status to degree-seeking must submit the online application before enrolling in their fifth SCS course.