Frequently Asked Questions
Calendars and Events
Where can I find academic calendars?
Academic calendars are available in eMerg.
How do I find out more regarding the graduation ceremony?
Information regarding commencement can be found on the Calendar & Events page.
When is graduation next year?
The date is usually set in June or July of the prior year. The class will be notified when the date has been finalized.
What is Match Day?
Match Day is held annually to announce the results of the National Residents Matching Program, which places graduating medical students with residency programs throughout the country. On Match Day, graduating medical students across the country gather to open their envelopes and reveal the location where they will spend their years of residency training.
When is Match Day?
Match Day is typically in March. The Calendars & Events page will be updated with the specific date.
Where are Match Day results posted from prior years?
When is Basic Life Support (BLS) offered?
Students receive BLS training twice during their undergraduate medical education. This half-day class takes place during arrival week of the M1 year and during the introduction to Phase 2 at the beginning of the M3 year.
What if I need BLS verification?
If you are a current student and need written verification that you have completed BLS, please contact Allison Hammer at 312-503-8798 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I miss the BLS training sessions?
It is the student's responsibility to seek out another BLS learning session.
How do I qualify for reimbursement for clerkship travel?
Head to our Clerkships pages for more information.
What are Feinberg's Global Partner institutions?
Our Global Partner program allows students to be immersed in another healthcare system and culture, to learn about diseases and public health challenges that differ from those in the United States and to expand the range of their clinical experience and skills. Visit the Center for Global Health to learn more if you are a student at Feinberg. If you are a student at one of our partner institutions, head to the Visiting Students page.
What is CAESAR?
When should I apply for financial aid?
The deadline for applicants is generally on or around March 1 each year. Returning students should submit their financial aid application by April 1 each year.
Do I need to reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes. Students must reapply for student loans every year.
Which forms are required to apply for financial aid?
Incoming students please visit the Application Information for Admitted Students page. Returning students should visit the Applications for Current Students page.
What happens if my financial aid documents are not in by the financial aid deadline?
In this case, the Office of Financial Aid cannot guarantee that an award or funds will be posted to your account by the first day of classes. This may result in late fees, registration and transcript holds and not receiving a living or book expense refund in a timely manner. If the deadline has passed, please submit the missing items immediately. The sooner these are in, the sooner you will receive an award. We ask that you allow four to six weeks to process an award after all of your financial aid documents are in. Please be sure to view your checklist to be sure no further information is required and all documents are received.
I filed an extension with the IRS. What can be done in the interim?
Please submit a copy of the extension form submitted to the IRS, the previous year's tax return and this year's W2s. After this is received, a preliminary award can be completed. However, we will need a copy of the current year's required federal tax return once you file. Without this, the financial aid office cannot provide an official award.
How much is tuition for the Feinberg School of Medicine?
View our tuition information page. Tuition typically increases by a small percentage each academic year.
How is financial need determined?
There are several components taken into consideration when determining a student's financial need. A student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by information provided on the FAFSA and other data reported on the University Aid Application. The Office of Financial Aid also inputs the parents' tax information into the federal calculation for need to determine the EFC. The EFC is then subtracted from the student's cost of attendance, which is an estimate of the expenses a student will incur during the academic year. The end result is the student's financial need.
How much of the costs will my financial aid cover?
Northwestern University offers federal loan assistance, less any other aid received, to cover up to 100 percent of financial need as determined by our financial aid analysis.
Are grants and scholarships available?
Students are considered for institutional grants and scholarships at the time of admission. Students who are not awarded institutional grants and scholarships at the time of admission will not be considered for these awards in later years. View our list of outside scholarships. Please keep in mind that students should not be required to submit any form of payment in order to apply for outside scholarships.
What loans programs are available?
Please refer to Types of Aid on the Feinberg School of Medicine financial aid page.
What kind of financial aid is available for international students?
International students may apply for institutional grants and scholarships. International students may also apply for private, credit-based student loans. These loans generally require the student to have a credit-worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
I have an anticipated credit on my account. Can I receive those funds before classes start?
No. Students may not request a refund via CAESAR until the first day of class.
Classes have started, but my funds have not yet disbursed. I need money for living expenses and books. What should I do?
If a student has completed all required documents and their term has officially started but their funds have not disbursed, they may request a cash advance up to $3,000, depending on the credit balance. The cash advance will appear as a charge against the student's anticipated credit.
I accepted more loan assistance than I need. Can I reduce or cancel my loans?
Yes. Students who wish to reduce or cancel their loans can email the Office of Financial Aid from their NU email account and request to reduce their loan assistance. Students must include their name and student ID number and state the loan program they wish to reduce or cancel. If they wish to reduce the loan and not completely cancel it, they should state the amount to which they want the loan reduced.
Am I able to request additional loan assistance beyond what I accepted?
If students rejected a portion of their loan assistance at the beginning of the year and decide later that they need those funds, they can request that the Office of Financial aid reinstates their originally offered loan amounts. Students may be required to complete additional loan applications or documents, depending on the loan type. If students accepted all of the aid they were offered in their financial aid award, they are generally not eligible to receive additional funding unless they can document extenuating circumstances (e.g., medical bills not covered by insurance). For more information on requesting additional funding for extenuating circumstances, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
How will an outside scholarship affect my financial aid?
If a student has accepted all of their loan assistance, the Office of Financial Aid will be required to return an equal portion of their loan assistance to make room in the cost of attendance for the outside scholarship. If a student has declined a portion of their loan assistance equal to or greater than the amount of the scholarship, their other aid will not be affected.
Where should my outside scholarship check be sent?
Scholarship checks should be sent to the Office of Financial Aid at 710 N. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 629, Chicago, IL 60611.
Do I have to submit my parents' information with my application?
Yes. To be considered for institutional need-based grant funds, students must submit their parents' information as part of the application for financial aid. If students do not submit their parents’ information and do not meet the criteria for independent status, they will not be considered for institutional grant assistance. Only students who can prove that they have earned a self-supporting wage of $2,200 per month for 30 months or more will be considered independent students. Income earned while attending an undergraduate program or earned through a graduate fellowship or other sources of financial aid will not count toward the 30-month requirement.
I am getting married. Will that change my dependency status? How will it affect my aid?
Students who will be married on or before Oct. 1 of the upcoming academic year are required to include their spouse's information with their financial aid application. Getting married will not change your dependency status from dependent to independent, so students are still required to include their parents' information with their application. Married students are also required to report their spouse's income on the FAFSA and on the University Aid Application, and that income will be used to determine a student's financial need.
Where are the buildings and classrooms, and how do I get to them?
Before long, you’ll know the names of the buildings and their locations. At first, you may choose to print a map and carry it with you for quick reference. View the Chicago campus buildings on the interactive map. Abbott Hall (710 North Lake Shore Drive) is a key building that you’ll get to know right away. It houses the campus bookstore, the Wildcard Office, Bursar’s Office, Student Accounts Office and the Financial Aid Office.
Where can I study?
How can I find transportation to and around campus?
The campus is centrally located in downtown Chicago and easy to get to by car and public transportation, such as buses and elevated trains (widely referred to as “the L”). The public Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) system is extensive, and you can use it to get nearly anywhere, including both Midway and O’Hare airports.
Shortly after matriculation, Feinberg students are issued a Ventra U-Pass, a discounted student fare card for unlimited rides on CTA trains and buses. The cost for the U-Pass is applied to each student’s account annually.
Commuters traveling from the suburbs can take the University Train Shuttle to campus from three Chicago train stations. Sheets of 10 tickets and monthly shuttle tickets are available at University Services, located in room 100 of Abbott Hall.
On the Chicago campus, walking from building to building is easy. The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center provides shuttle service to and from its facilities. There is also a free intercampus shuttle bus service that travels between the Evanston and Chicago campuses.
Where can I find campus parking?
What should I do before beginning my apartment search?
Decide what qualities are important to you when choosing an apartment. Please consider the following:
- Proximity to campus
- Commute to and from campus: average time by public transportation vs. driving and parking
- The amount of your budget that you will allocate for living expenses: rent, utilities, parking fees, groceries, etc.
- Apartment amenities: carpet vs. hardwood floors, size, building type, pets allowed, closet size, microwave, etc.
- Building amenities: laundry and exercise facilities, security, included utilities, etc.
- Whether you would like a roommate
Is there campus-based housing available?
There is no on-campus housing on the Chicago campus, but Northwestern Medicine owns and operates The Worcester House apartment building, which is located close to the medical school campus. Please visit Worcester House for more information.
The NU Graduate Housing Office manages limited family-style housing near the Evanston campus. For more information, please contact the NU Graduate Housing Office at 847-491-5127.
How should I secure the best apartment for me?
Review our list of the pros and cons of using an apartment finder versus a real-estate company.
If you are looking to save money, surf the sites of both the apartment finder services and property management companies. If a particular apartment building and rent rate catches your interest, make a blind phone call to confirm the rent amount, vacancies and special offers, because information often changes before website updates occur. Sometimes a property management company may offer special rental incentives such as rental rebate coupons and security deposit fee waivers, which may add up to bigger savings than what is commonly offered through an apartment finder service. Contact property management companies first.
When should I begin looking?
You should begin looking three to five months prior to your desired move-in date. This can help you to narrow down your options, take advantage of special rental incentives, determine your target rent range and save money for your move-in and relocation expenses. This will also reduce the likelihood of making spur-of-the-moment decisions, which can sometimes lead to a choice that may not be the most satisfying.
What neighborhoods should I consider when choosing a living location?
You should consider a community that fits your particular needs and lifestyle. For example, if you do not own a car, then you should consider living in an area that has stores and recreational events close by. Some neighborhoods further from campus may offer lower rent rates, but you should also weigh the pros and cons of public transportation or driving versus living within walking distance.
How can I find out about neighborhood safety?
Visit the Chicago Tribune's Crime in Chicagoland website. This site provides a searchable database of reported crime in Chicago neighborhoods. You can search by street address or ZIP code.
Where do most Feinberg students live?
Most Feinberg students spend the majority of their days on campus and prefer to live within walking distance, particularly during their first years of medical school. Apartment complexes near campus charge monthly parking fees between $200 and $300. Many students do not own cars and use public transportation to travel to other places in the city. This neighborhood chart lists the most popular neighborhoods in which students choose to live. The neighborhoods are listed in order of popularity from top to bottom:
Miles/Blocks from Campus
Streeterville - 60611
0.6 miles /2-8 blocks
Gold Coast - 60610
1.1 miles /2-14 blocks
River North - 60610
1.1 miles/2-14 blocks
Old Town - 60610
1.1 miles/ 4-16 blocks
Lincoln Park - 60614
Lakeview - 60613, 60657
4.5 – 5.2 miles
Rogers Park - 60626
Wrigleyville – 60657
Evanston (NU undergraduate campus) – 60201, 60202, 60204
Wicker Park – 60622
Bucktown - 60647
Are extra fees normal?
Be aware of all leasing fees and procedures. Most apartment complexes require that a lessee under 23 years old have a co-signer. Most management companies have applications listed on their websites. If you decide to rent an apartment that you have only seen pictures of, make sure those pictures are of the unit you will lease.
- Application fee: $50 - $100
- Move-in fee: $375-$500
- Security deposit: Based on requirements set by property manager or landlord (sometimes first and last month’s rent is required)
- Pet deposit: $250 - $300 (some leases do not allow pets or only allow pets as designated by lease)
- Apartment complex parking per month: Up to $300 per month in Streeterville/Gold Coast
- Fitness center fee: $60 and up per month
How do security deposits work?
Carry your checkbook and identification just in case you need to place a deposit quickly to secure the apartment so that it won’t be taken by the time you return with your money. Be prepared to pay first and last month’s rent or a moving fee. Get the terms of your security deposit in writing, just in case you change your mind about leasing the apartment. Some security deposits are only partially or non-refundable.
What do I need to know before I sign a lease?
Your lease is a business contract, so make sure you treat it as such. Review the terms of your lease carefully. Get all items, especially those listed below, in writing and dated appropriately.
- Your dates of occupancy
- Rent rate
- Security deposit amount
- Payment of utilities, maintenance and repair responsibilities
- Sublease rules
- Pet policy
- Automatic renewal clause
- Type of lease: joint vs. individual
- Prior tenant notification prior to building staff entry to apartment unit
If you need clarification on any part of your lease, be sure to ask questions before signing.
If you notice any problems with your apartment unit and need repairs, get those documented in writing.
Conduct a walk-through with your property manager or landlord and use a checklist to confirm the conditions of the apartment prior to moving in. Get the property manager to confirm those conditions by signing and dating the checklist. Keep a copy of your list and other apartment documentation for your records.
Become familiar with your city's Landlord-Tenant Ordinance booklet, or where to retrieve one. Most cities keep their information at their civic center or post online. The City of Chicago Clerk’s Office keeps theirs posted online at the City of Chicago website. You can also visit the Metropolitan Tenants Organization website.
What do I need to know about utilities?
Some property management companies include utilities in the cost of rent. For those buildings that do not cover utilities, you will need to make arrangements to activate service on your own. Listed below is contact information for local providers:
Do I need renter’s insurance?
Some apartment complexes require that you have renter’s insurance to cover the cost of your belongings in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. Check with your apartment leaser or an insurance agent (e.g., State Farm, Allstate or American Family) for details about a rental insurance policy.
What am I expected to wear to lecture?
What should I wear for activities when a patient is present?
What is the clerkship dress code?
Clerkships may have their own standards of dress for students. At the beginning of each rotation, ask about the policies.
Generally, in a clinical setting, business casual attire is expected. Ties are optional for men. Women should appropriate-length skirts and tops. Closed-toed shoes are required. White coats must be kept clean.
Scrubs are acceptable for evening on-call hours and post-call. Make sure your undergarments and abdomen are not visible.
How do I take time off, apply for a leave of absence or do research for a year?
What is HIPAA?
How do I get verification of HIPAA training?
If I am unable to complete my health requirements prior to beginning medical school, can I wait to have my health requirements completed at the Student Health Services office?
Can I submit my applications before all my letters of recommendation are in?
Yes. You can apply to programs before all of your letters of recommendation are submitted. A completed application is preferable to an incomplete one, so if you think your letters will be in very soon (i.e., within one week), wait and apply when everything is in. If you think it may be a while before all the letters are in, go ahead and apply now.
What if I have one letter writer writing different letters for different specialties?
You need to designate the letters so that you know which one is which. You must add the name of the specialty after the letter writer's name.
Can I apply even though my MSPE won't be released until Oct. 1?
Absolutely. All MSPEs will be released on Oct. 1. You may apply without it.
Can we add more programs to our list after we apply?
Yes. You can apply to as many programs as you like. Please be sure to check the program deadlines.
Can I have more than one personal statement?
You may have as many personal statements as you want, but only one statement can be submitted to each program.
How much detail is appropriate under the "experiences" section of ERAS?
You should have completed a professional CV by this time, using either bullet point statements or paragraph descriptions under your work and extracurricular experiences. It is appropriate to use the paragraph descriptions under your work and extracurricular experiences. It is appropriate to use the paragraph descriptions from your CV for your ERAS application. However, please be aware that the formatting for the ERAS application system is not as generous as your word processing application. ERAS only allows for plain text — no quote marks, bullet points, italics. Be sure that your descriptions are clean and easy to read. If you used bullet points on your CV, you can simply list each item separately in the text as a list.
How important is it to fill out the "Hobbies and Interest" section of the ERAS application?
Very important. If you have specific hobbies and interests, post these on your application. Be specific in your descriptions, instead of "running, traveling, music" consider: “Run in local 5k and 10k races. Have traveled 42 of the 50 United States. Play bass guitar in a ska band.”
This can be an important part of your application in that it tells a lot about who you are and can be a strong connection point between you and someone on the interview committee. If you put a hobby or interest on your application, be sure you can speak to it with passion and conviction or at least know what you are talking about when asked to expand on it during an interview.
What do I enter for AOA status if I don't know anything yet?
AOA status can be changed. As soon as nominations are available, you can add the information.
What is an ERAS token?
"Tokens" are electronic codes that allow you to register and access MyERAS (your personal workstation in ERAS) online. Tokens will be available on or toward the end of May and will be emailed to you. This number will be used one time only to access the MyERAS application, at which time the AAMC ID number will be assigned. Once you obtain your token from our office, you should go to the MyERAS website and click on “Register.” After registering, you will be assigned an AAMC ID number. We strongly recommend that you place the number in a safe place, as you will need it several times during the course of this process.
When can I register at MyERAS?
The ERAS website opens April 15 for applicants to register. It is recommended that you register on MyERAS as soon as possible. It is important to register early. Our office cannot begin working on your supporting documents until you have registered. To register, go to the MyERAS site and click on the "Register" button. Enter your token correctly and carefully answer all required questions.
When can I apply to the programs?
You can apply to programs starting Sept. 15. Programs will start to download your information on Sept. 15.
When is the ERAS application deadline?
ERAS does not set program application deadlines — the individual programs do. You should contact the programs directly for their deadlines. The ERAS PostOffice, however, closes on May 31 every year to prepare for the next ERAS application season.
When can I update my status in MyERAS?
You can update your information in MyProfile at any time, even after you have applied to your programs. After you have saved the updated profile, the new information will be transmitted to all of the programs to which you have previously applied.
How can I check the status of my documents?
Track the status of your ERAS application materials using the Applicant Document Tracking System (ADTS). The ADTS lists each program that you applied to, the dates the documents were uploaded by your designated dean's office and the date the program downloaded each document.
Can I submit a photo for ERAS?
Yes. Students can directly upload a photo to ERAS. When selecting a photo, please keep in mind that you are not able to use the proofs from the photographers (Wycoff-Tweedie). In order to use this photo, you have to purchase a package from the photographer, which could take six to eight weeks.
Is a photograph mandatory?
No. It is not mandatory that you submit a photograph. However, many programs will ask you submit one.
What are the photo requirements from ERAS?
It must be the JPEG format.
The maximum file size accepted is 100KB, and the photograph must be no larger than 2.5 by 3.5 inches in size.
It must be a clear full-front view of your head and shoulders. Your face should be in the middle of the photograph, and your expression should be natural with your eyes open looking directly ahead.
It should have a plain white or light-colored background.
You must wear professional attire. Remember, this is a job interview.
How should my letter of recommendation (LOR) authors submit their letters?
All of your letters of recommendation must be uploaded through the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LORP). This will be done by your LOR authors or their designee.
Why can't I see my documents in MyERAS?
MyERAS is your file. It contains only information that you enter. If we have scanned your documents, they are in our system and, as you know, you cannot see them.
When you apply to your programs, we will transmit your documents to the ERAS PostOffice. You will be able to see the status of your documents via the Applicant Document Tracking System (ADTS) at MyERAS. From this page (www.aamc.org/audienceeras.htm), follow the link "For Residency Applicants" and click on "Track Documents" on the next screen.
When will my transcript be released?
Transcripts are uploaded twice during the application process. The first transcript upload will take place on Sept. 15. The second upload is uploaded on Oct. 1 with the MSPE.
Is the transcript counted as one of the LORs?
No, the medical school transcript has its own category.
Is the MSPE counted as one of the four LORs?
No. There are four categories of documents in ERAS: MSPE, medical school transcript, color photograph and LORs. In addition to your MSPE, you can still assign four LORS to each program.
When can we review our MSPE?
When the draft of your letter is complete, you will receive an email indicating that the draft of your MSPE is ready for your review. The MSPEs will begin to be ready in early September. You can view your transcript through CAESAR. If you found any inconsistencies or errors, please use the comment feature of the system to alert us of the potential change or correction. Please do not send a separate email. Although we will not change narrative evaluations from clerkships, we will correct typos and grammatical mistakes, so please let us know if you find any.
Do I rank separately for prelim programs and my residency programs?
There is a supplemental rank order list that is used by applicants who rank advanced programs ("A" positions beginning in the second year of training) on their primary rank order list and who also want to match to a compatible preliminary or transitional first-year program ("P" position) for the first year of training. For each PGY2 "A" program ranked on the primary rank order list, a number of PGY1 programs that correspond to that advanced may be ranked on a supplemental rank order list. Although not a requirement, applicants generally consider geographic location in developing their supplemental rank order lists for specific advanced programs. Therefore, you can have supplemental rank order lists linked to different advanced programs. A supplemental rank order list will be used in the match only if the applicant matches to an advance program on the primary rank order list. The supplemental rank order list is used as part of the main match and is not a separate match. If the NRMP is unable to match the applicant to a first-year program, the match to the advanced program still holds and the applicant must seek a PGY1 position after the match.
Can we release our USMLE Step 1 scores, but not our Step 2 scores?
Your transcript will only be transmitted to programs to which your USMLE transcript has been assigned. Automatic retransmission is no longer an option when authorizing the release of the USMLE transcript. Anytime an applicant is notified that new scores are available, they will have to manually retransmit the transcript to programs to which they have applied using the retransmit option on the Documents - USMLE transcript tab.
Do programs require Step 2 scores?
You need to check with individual programs. Requirements are different at individual programs. For the programs that require passing of Step 2, please be sure to schedule Step 2 (CK and CS) in plenty of time to have your grades available to programs. Count on three weeks to get your results.
Where can I study?
What do I do if I need healthcare?
Visit the Chicago Student Health Service office, located inside the Galter Pavilion building of Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 675 North St. Clair, Suite 18-200, General Internal Medicine Department. Office visits are by appointment only and can be made by calling 312-695-8134.
Hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. It is closed Sundays and holidays. Same-day appointments are available for students with urgent care needs.
Same-day appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and requests should be made by phone. If you have an after-hours emergency, contact the physician on call at the number above.
Do I have a deductible or co-pay?
Where can I find information about registration services?
Where can I find more information on financial aid?
Please visit the Financial Aid page.
How can I learn more about medical specialty options or receive general career counseling?
How do I find a place to live?
Visit the Student Housing page for more information.
How do I get an early release from an apartment lease or on-campus housing contract?
Your apartment lease is a legal contract between you and the apartment property manager or landlord. You should review the terms of your leasing contract and discuss your options with your property manager or landlord to negotiate an alternative agreement.
Even if you move out, you still be financially obligated for the duration of the lease. Early termination of your housing contract may result in certain penalties, such as the withholding of your security deposit or a poor reference. If your reason for terminating your lease is due to uninhabitable conditions, an exception may be made by the property manager or landlord to terminate the lease without penalty or legal action.
When do I get a pager?
All students receive a pager at the start of their required clinical rotation year during the introduction to Phase 2. If I student goes on a leave of absence, they must turn in their pager for that time period.
Do I have to pay for the pager?
No. The cost is covered by the August Webster, MD, Office of Medical Education during your required clinical rotation years.
What if I am not on web paging or my web paging is not working?
What if I lose or break my pager?
Visit Linda Daniels at the Augusta Webster, MD, Office of Medical Education for a new pager. You will have to pay a $69 replacement fee.