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Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Flanked by the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, Northwestern University is a world-renowned university that combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. The school provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth. 

A visit to Northwestern's campus is the best way to satisfy your curiosity about the university and to get answers to your questions about living and learning here. 

Plan Your Visit
Your visit starts at Northwestern's Office of Undergraduate Admission, located at 1801 Hinman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois. The Office of Undergraduate Admission is open weekdays year-round and on select Saturday mornings from September to April.

Parking around the Office of Undergraduate Admission is limited and most on-street parking has a strictly enforced two-hour time limit. To avoid complications, please use the City of Evanston Parking Garage located on Clark Street, one-half block west of the Office of Undergraduate Admission between Hinman and Chicago avenues.
While you're on campus, you'll be able to sit in on classes and attend additional information sessions hosted by the six undergraduate schools. The general 45-minute information session, led by an admissions director, provides an overview of the university and its undergraduate schools, student life, the application process and financial aid as well as time for a question and answer session at the end.
Most visitors pair their information session with a campus tour. Student-led tours depart from the Office of Undergraduate Admission immediately following the information sessions.

Northwestern UniversitySchool-Specific Options
In addition to the general information sessions and campus tours, Northwestern offers a variety of school-specific visit options. For more information, please see the specific school below:


  • By Car   
  • By Plane
  • By Public Transportation from Chicago
    • The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Purple Line operates express service during the morning and evening rush hour. Outside of rush hour, you'll need to take the Red Line and transfer at the Howard Street Station to the Purple Line to either the Davis or Foster Street Stations. The trip takes approximately 30-45 minutes.
    • Metra Commuter Rail also serves Evanston from downtown Chicago. You will exit the train at Davis Street.  
    • If you arrive by Amtrak in Chicago's Union Station, it's a short 10-minute walk to Ogilvie Transportation Center, where you'll hop on the Metra train to Evanston's Davis Street.
    • From the Davis Street Station, it's a short walk to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.


  • With 19 varsity athletic programs, Northwestern is a charter member of the competitive Big Ten Conference. Northwestern boasts eight men's and 11 women's varsity programs. In the past 15 years, the Wildcats have had 27 conference championship teams, and 138 student athletes have earned first-team All-American honors.
  • Students can also participate in intramural and club sports and use Northwestern's excellent athletic and fitness facilities.
  • Cheer on the Wildcats in person! You can purchase tickets here.
  • For driving directions to the athletic facilities from the Evanston campus, click here.
  • Click here for important information about parking at the Ryan Field Campus, Home of Northwestern Football and the Welsh Ryan Arena, Home of Northwestern Basketball.

Northwestern UniversityACCOMMODATIONS
Evanston is home to a variety of hotels. If you want to stay on or near campus, check out our list of Evanston hotels.

The North Shore also features an array of other accommodations that are just a short drive away from campus but are close to other area attractions. View them here: North Shore Hotels.

Make sure you set aside some time to explore all of the exciting arts and entertainment options along Chicago's vibrant North Shore.

Chicago's North Shore is bursting with award-winning culinary delights that are close to campus as well as in nearby communities.

If you love to shop, you'll find everything you need on Chicago's North Shore from one-of-a-kind boutiques in Evanston to luxury brands at Westfield Old Orchard and Northbrook Court.

Explore the wonders of Downtown Evanston, “Where Chicago meets the North Shore.” Shop our unique blend of one-of-a-kind boutiques or spend some time at your favorite national retailers. Stay for an evening and enjoy fabulous international cuisine and beautiful hotels. Experience Evanston's rich theater and cultural arts community or take advantage of the city's beautiful waterfront location with outstanding parks and beaches on the shores of Lake Michigan. Getting to downtown Evanston is a breeze! CTA, Metra and Pace make stops in the heart of downtown Evanston. If you prefer to drive, parking is plentiful and inexpensive.  

From exhibitions and lectures to concerts and theater productions, Northwestern offers a wide variety of arts programming that is open to the public. When you attend an arts event on campus, you have the opportunity to see future artists practice their craft.

Campus Map & Guide
Parking Map
City of Evanston Map
Regional Hotel and Attractions Map

Northwestern UniversityCAMPUS MUST-SEES
Your visit to Northwestern's Evanston campus is not complete without a visit to these legendary campus must-sees.

The Rock
At Northwestern, "The Rock" represents an age-old tradition. This magnificent hunk of Baraboo quartzite, which originally contained a water fountain, was given to the university by the Class of 1902. In the 1940s, students began painting the Rock, first as a prank, then as an accepted avenue of free expression. In order to claim painting rights, students must camp out for 24 hours to "guard" The Rock. Over the years The Rock has displayed many different messages, including advertisements for student groups, birthday wishes and even a marriage proposal.

The 85-acre lakefill was added to the campus in 1962 as a result of the university's need to expand campus facilities. The university trucked in dirt, limestone and sand from the Indiana Dunes to create the extra acres of lakeside property. In addition to supporting the Northwestern University Library, the Norris University Center, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall and the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Norris Aquatics Center (SPAC), the Lakefill also serves as a great spot for studying and picnicking as well as jogging and biking. On a clear night, it provides breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline.

Shakespeare Garden
Set aside from the rest of the campus, this tribute to The Bard offers sweet respite to all who need it. The garden was created in 1915 when the Drama League of America gathered several commemorative ideas to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (1616). Every plant in the garden was either mentioned in Shakespeare's plays or commonly grew in Tudor, England. Tucked away behind the Technological Institute, the Shakespeare Garden allows students to trade the hustle and bustle of student life for quiet reflection.

Deering Library
Built in 1932 and modeled after King's College in Cambridge, this quiet campus attraction is beautiful inside and out. Deering Library houses Northwestern's Art, Music and Special Collections as well as the University Archives. Deering Library remains a popular study space for students who want to groove to some classic tunes in the expansive music listening library or read by the light coming in through the stained-glass windows.

Block Museum of Art
The Chicago area is renowned for phenomenal museums, and the Block Museum of Art is no exception. This glass and limestone structure includes several temporary galleries as well as the Theo Leffman Gallery, which displays the textile works of Theo Leffman. Block Cinema, located on the main floor, screens experimental and classic films throughout the year.

The Henry Crown and Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center (SPAC) is the main athletic facility on the north end of campus. SPAC contains an Olympic-size swimming and diving pool, squash and racquetball courts, a weight room, exercise equipment, aerobics classes, basketball courts, state-of-the-art tennis facilities and a one-eighth mile track (with a view of the lake to boot). Northwestern students receive free access to SPAC as well as the other gym on campus.

Northwestern UniversityEVANSTON MUST-SEES
You might need several trips to Evanston in order to hit all the Evanston Must-Sees but we'll be happy to welcome you back anytime.

The Lakefront Beaches
Located at both the north and south ends of campus, Evanston's beaches are popular places for students to relax.

Shopping and Dining
Downtown Evanston boasts retail staples such as The North Face, Gap, Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters plus its own share of chic and affordable boutiques, outdoor activity stores, antique shops, specialty stores and art galleries. Evanston is also known as the dining capital of the North Shore and has hundreds of eateries with a great mix of cuisines to fit every price range

Grosse Point Lighthouse
Constructed in 1873, the Grosse Point Lighthouse is one of the most interesting landmarks in Evanston. Over the summer, you can tour the Keeper's Quarters Museum as well as climb the 141 steps to the top of the light tower. The lighthouse is often considered to be the symbol of the city of Evanston.

The Baha'i House of Worship
The Baha'i House of Worship may be one of the most beautiful buildings in the entire North Shore area. The nine-sided architectural beauty, surrounded by lush gardens, is one of only seven Baha'i temples in the world. While situated just outside of Evanston, the structure's unique design has prompted many Northwestern students to add it to their jogging routes over the years.