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Information for New Students

Welcome to the Department of Political Science!  This page is intended to be a starting point for the variety of resources available to new students, and to help to answer questions that often come up prior to your arrival on campus. 

The Graduate School provides a comprehensive list of pages that cover most of the issues that new students face.  Download the New Student FAQ for more details.

Please review our Guide to Graduate Study as it outlines all of our policies and procedures.

International Students

Please review the important information provided by the International Office well before arriving in Evanston.  Don’t hesitate to consult International Office representatives for more information, they are available all summer!


There are two important orientation programs which you are required to attend.  The first is held by The Graduate School, and is a full-day of activities and programs that you cannot miss.  This year’s TGS Orientation is on Friday, September 20th.

The Department also holds an orientation program, designed to help to introduce you to the specifics related to being a member of our Department community.  This orientation will be a half-day, and will be held on Monday, September 23rd. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the courses being offered, Department policies and procedures, and to meet current students.

Obtaining a Northwestern Email

Your Northwestern email is a very important piece of your time as a student, and we encourage all students to obtain their NU email as soon as possible.  During the summer before your arrival, you will receive communication from Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) about how to activate your NetID and set up your email account.  Be sure to not delete this email by accident!

Here is a helpful link to help you get started.

Connecting with other students

The Commune will send helpful information out to incoming students over the summer, with details about how to find housing, how to connect with current students, and how to connect with each other.  We encourage incoming students to make contact with each other before arriving on campus!

New to Fall 2014, we will be connecting incoming students with current students with shared interests.  Stay tuned for more information!

Graduate Student Life

Check out our Graduate Student Life page for more about what our Department community does each year.


To learn more about housing options through northwestern, you can visit the housing link provided by The Graduate School. Currently, there is no roommate finding service for graduate students, although our Department and the Graduate Student Association are sometimes able to send emails to their listservs with roommate requests.

Information on university housing can be found at:

Alternatively, the Evanston campus is readily accessible by public transport from Chicago.

Current students created a helpful handout about how to search for housing as a grad student.