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Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

Welcome to Northwestern


It's a great day to be a Wildcat!

Now that you've been admitted, there are a few things you need to do to get started as a Northwestern student.

Activate Your NetID

Your personal NetID or username is permanent and will stay with you during your academic career at Northwestern University. Each student has secure access to register and view their student records through their Northwestern NetID and password. Please refer to the NetID letter included in your acceptance packet for additional information on how you can use your NetID.

If there is not a NetID letter included in your acceptance packet, you already have a NetID established as a previous student or as a Northwestern employee. If you have forgotten your password, you can obtain a new one by calling the NUIT Support Center at (847) 491-4357. If the NUIT Support Center cannot provide a new password, then you can contact the SPS Office of Admission to receive a new one-time activation code.

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Set Up Your Northwestern Email Account

Your email address is what the school will use for all official communications. You are responsible for retrieving all university communications sent to this address. If you would like to forward the mail to another account, simply go to the Northwestern Webmail site and click on "Set up email forwarding" and follow the instructions on the screen.

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Review the New Student Online Orientation

Take the time to view the Online New Student Orientation, which is available at your convenience. Within you will find information you need to be successful at SPS. All students should view the orientation session before beginning their studies at SPS, and you return to it as many as you need to.

You will need to use your NetID and password to access the online orientation. 

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Research Course Schedule

It is important to research course descriptions and possible prerequisites prior to registering. We recommend that you visit the Course Schedule page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. The offerings for your program are listed on the "Course Schedule" link found in the options under the left side bar. If you have any questions about what courses to take, please contact your Academic Adviser (contact information can be found through the "Student Services" link at the top of this page).

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Register for Courses in CAESAR

Course registration occurs in CAESAR. CAESAR is the online university-wide system that facilitates registration, financial aid, and tuition payments. Students register, drop, and add all courses via CAESAR in addition to viewing grade reports and course descriptions.

Prior to registering, you will need to enter your emergency contact information within CAESAR in order to have access to enroll in a course. If you have difficulty, please visit the Student Enterprise Systems website for instructions on how to update your emergency contact information. Instructional guides on how to use CAESAR are also available here.

On-campus courses are marked with a suffix of "0" (for example, Leaders 481-0) and online courses are marked with a suffix of "DL" (for example, Leaders 481-DL). Please note that courses cannot be wait-listed.

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Financial Aid and Student Accounts

If you plan on applying for loans, be sure to submit the FAFSA application online at If you have any questions regarding your Financial Aid or items related to your student account (such as billing dates), please contact the offices listed below:

Chicago Office of Financial Aid
Chicago Office of Student Accounts

For more information on the Employee Reimbursement Program, please visit the Student Financial Services website.

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Order Textbooks

The books and other course materials required for your class will be listed in your syllabus, available to you at the start of the quarter. To find everything you need for your classes before that time, please visit the Northwestern University Online Bookstore "Find Course Materials" page.

Just input the "department" (subject, e.g. Leaders), course number, and section; and this interactive page will tell you the materials necessary for your course so that you can order them prior to the start of the term.

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Retrieve WildCARD Student ID

Your Northwestern student ID, called the WildCARD, allows access to University services, including buildings and shuttles. Most students are eligible for a Wildcard. Learn how get yours here.


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