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Changes in Registration

Northwestern SPS Undergraduate 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.

Registration changes of any kind (adds, drops, or withdrawals) are only accepted by following the procedures:

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.

During the Summer Session, classes meet for various durations and have various start and end dates throughout the summer. Please visit the Student Financial Services Withdrawal Calculator (SPS & Summer Session tab) to calculate any potential refund.

For more specific details regarding tuition and refunds please contact:

Office of Student Finance — Chicago Campus

Credit and Grades


Northwestern students earn one unit of credit per course unless otherwise noted (e.g., Field Study and Study Abroad courses).

Independent Study

Most departments offer Northwestern undergraduate students the opportunity for independent study. To learn more, please contact the appropriate department.

Intensive Course Sequences
Intensive course sequences compress three quarters of academic work into one summer. Each course counts as one quarter of work and carries the tuition of one unit of credit. Individual courses in any intensive sequence may be taken separately, subject to prerequisites.

Grade Reports and Official Transcripts

Northwestern University has contracted with Parchment Exchange to securely distribute official electronic transcripts in the form of a “certified” PDF. This certified PDF will automatically validate to recipients that the documents were authored and sent by Northwestern University and that the contents have not been altered.

All students are encouraged to go online to place their transcript order. This is the easiest and most efficient way to place an order for either a traditional paper transcript or the new electronic transcript delivery.

Ordering a Transcript Online

Please visit the Registrar's website for more detailed information on processing time, cost and services available.

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