The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine welcomes you to the Physician Assistant Program. To get a better idea of what to expect during your time in the program, please review the academic calendar information below, then follow the steps on our to-do list leading up to orientation.
The following academic calendar is subject to change based on programmatic needs.
In terms of your daily schedule, you should plan to be in class generally from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Realistically, your schedule will likely be approximately 24-26 hours per week. We ask for this larger range because schedules can vary based on the week and lecturer availability, and sometimes lectures need to be changed.
As the curriculum is highly integrated and focused upon in-person student participation, please try to schedule planned personal appointments in the evenings and on the weekends to the extent possible. If you must be absent due to emergent illness to yourself or emergent illness/death of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling), please contact one of the curriculum coordinators as soon as practicable so as to inform faculty who need to know and maintain absence records. Each year, we field inquiries regarding planned weddings, family vacations/gatherings, and other similar occasions. Please note that such occasions are not automatically excused absences, and missed work/quizzes/tests may not be made up; they may also result in a formal academic progress/professionalism review meeting.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
4th of July Observance
Monday, July 5
Labor Day Holiday
Monday, Sept. 6
Tuesday, Sept. 28
|2nd Term||Term Begins||Wednesday, Sept. 29|
|Fall Break*||Oct. 6-10|
|Thanksgiving Holiday||Nov. 25-26|
|Holiday Break||Dec. 18, 2021 -
Jan. 2, 2022
|Term Concludes||Tuesday, Feb. 1|
|3rd Term||Term Begins||Wednesday, Feb. 2|
|Spring Break*||March 30 - April 3|
|Exam Week*||May 16-20|
|Term Concludes*||Friday, May 20|
*Dates are tentative
Onboarding Steps by Month
Below are the next steps to confirm your admission offer and plan for the start of classes.
Upon Receiving an Offer of Admission
1. Begin sending in your official transcripts.
Enrolling students are required to submit official transcripts from all prior college coursework directly to the Northwestern University PA Program for student record purposes. This includes all official transcripts originally sent to CASPA as a required part of the application, and official transcripts from coursework completed after the application was submitted.
Enrolling students may begin sending final, official transcripts in January preceding June enrollment. Official transcripts originally sent to CASPA cannot be reused or forwarded. Wait until any in-progress coursework is completed (with letter grade) before sending your transcript. All official transcripts must be received by May 31, 2021.
2. Begin familiarizing yourself with Chicago.
Housing & Neighborhoods
This map developed by Google depicts most of Chicago's neighborhoods. The Northwestern University Chicago Campus is located in Streeterville, just North and East of the central Loop District.
These links will help you get to know the neighborhoods. You should also reference the MD Program's housing resources guide for more information.
Public TransitStudents are automatically enrolled in the Chicago Transit Authority's Ventra U-Pass Program, valid for the CTA "L" and bus systems (not Metra or Pace systems). Students are issued a Ventra U-Pass for the summer, fall and spring terms. The first year's summer pass will not be issued at the start of classes and may be delayed up to one month after classes begin. Students should plan accordingly, and any incurred costs will not be reimbursed. Ventra U-Pass costs are considered a mandatory fee of attendance.
- CTA: Chicago Transit Authority
- Divvy: Bicycle Sharing Program
- Metra: Regional transit system serving Cook County and 5 surrounding counties
- Pace: Regional transit bus system for the Chicago suburbs
1. Attend the admitted Student Virtual Session (date TBD).
2. Submit your background check.
All incoming students are required to complete criminal background checks prior to the start of classes. Background check details and instructions will be sent to admitted applicants via email in February.
3. Schedule immunizations.
Mandatory health entrance requirements must be completed by all students prior to the start of classes. It is strongly advised that newly admitted students begin completing these health entrance requirements as soon as possible, so ample time is allotted to complete the antibody titer testing, tuberculosis screening, and vaccination history.
The Admission Health Record Form will be sent via email in February and can be accessed on-line through Health Services - Chicago. Complete and submit the form on or before May 1; there is also a 30-day grace period from the enrollment date.
Submit the Admission Health Record form directly to:Northwestern University Health Service
Health Information Management Services
633 Emerson St.
Evanston, IL 60208-4000
1. Log into CAESAR with your NetID and activate your Northwestern University email account.
By mid-February, you'll be emailed once your NetID has been activated. The email will include instructions on how to access CAESAR (the student portal) and activate your email account.
- CAESAR portal
- Northwestern University Email (Feinberg-specific)
- CAESAR Help and FAQ
- For NUIT assistance, call 847-491-4357 then Option 5. Have your University-assigned NetID available. Or, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Submit FAFSA and NU Aid Applications.
Visit the Financial Aid page for full information on the cost of attendance and how to apply for aid.
Tuition billing statements are accessible as early as the 10th of the month preceding the start of a new term. For first-term tuition billing purposes, this date is May 10. Enrolling students should monitor their account on CAESAR for Financial Aid distribution information and billing statements. The enrollment deposit is applied to the student billing statement for the first-term of the first-year.
1. Submit your White Coat Ceremony RSVP.
Enrolling Northwestern University Physician Assistant Program students are invited to join faculty, staff and guests at the White Coat Ceremony to celebrate their induction into the medical community and recite the Physician Assistant Oath. The White Coat Ceremony RSVP will be electronically sent in April. Enrolling students are required to attend and must RSVP by May 1. Friends and family are welcome to attend.
2. Review the text book list (if finalized).
The text book list for the new academic year will be available in April preceding June enrollment. Admitted applicants will be emailed the text book list. The following are recommendations for the purchasing of text books:
- Northwestern University Bookstore Chicago Campus location: Abbott Hall, First Floor
- Directly from the publishers
- Other online resources and text book distributors
1. Remember these important dates.
- May 1: Admission Health Record (immunizations) due.
- May 11: Parking permit request due.
- May 31: Official transcripts received.
2. Complete Book Club assignment.
Associated with the Behavioral & Preventive Medicine class, Book Club is an initial assignment in which students are assigned a non-fiction book prior to the start of classes. During Orientation week, first-year students participate in discussion that interrelates the content of the book, the PA Program's mission and vision statements, and the focus of the Behavioral & Preventive Medicine course. Book and assignment instructions will be sent at the end of April.
3. Complete Patient Assessment assignment.
4. Request Student ID (Wildcard).
This is the official Northwestern University photo identification card and must be kept with students at all times. Enrolled students may obtain their initial Wildcard at no charge; there is a $15 charge to replace the ID. New students may visit the Wildcard office on the first floor of Abbott Hall on the Chicago Campus up to one week prior to the start of classes to obtain their ID (312-503-0548).
5. Accept or waive health insurance.
All students are required to have health insurance while in their studies at Northwestern University. If you do not have your own health insurance at the time you enroll, you will automatically be enrolled in the University's health insurance plan.
Northwestern University provides a student insurance plan at competitive rates for enrolling students. Once enrolled, students are automatically enrolled for subsequent academic terms after a mandatory July renewal to coincide with the annual cycle for Student Insurance processing. The acceptance form is available in mid-March.
If you do not want to enroll in the Northwestern University plan, you can waive this option and you must provide proof of outside coverage.
For questions, please contact the Student Health Insurance Office for the Chicago Campus at 312-503-1242.
1. Attend orientation, June 1-4, 2021.
A schedule will be released closer to the date.