Northwestern Campus Tour

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

northwestern university main building

Northwestern Campus Tour

The Northwestern campus tour is more than just a stroll through its hallowed halls; it’s an opportunity to unveil the heart and soul of an institution that proudly wears the moniker “Ivy of the Midwest.” With a legacy spanning over a century, Northwestern has earned its reputation as a beacon of intellectual achievement and a cultural hub for the arts.

Whether you’re intrigued by the prospect of academic exploration, eager to immerse yourself in the arts, or simply captivated by the prospect of joining a vibrant intellectual community, the Northwestern campus tour promises an unforgettable experience.

Is the Northwestern campus open to the public?

Is it possible for members of the general public to visit the Northwestern campus? The University of Northwestern encourages any interested students, as well as their families, to visit the campus and explore around. There is so much to do when you come to visit Northwestern, and there are numerous opportunities for you to become immersed in the culture of the campus as well as the community at Northwestern. During your Northwestern campus tour, you will not only have the opportunity to experience the dynamic Northwestern community, but also the Evanston and Chicago communities that are located near the university.

Guided Campus Tour

During the tour, participants will visit a variety of academic and community spaces located all over campus. You will have the opportunity to choose your adventure once you arrive, and your tour guide will be someone with whom you have some sort of shared interest or point of connection.

Self-guided Campus Tour

You are encouraged to follow the self-guided tour if you are unable to join for a guided tour of the campus or if you are interested in exploring the campus on your own. The self-guided tour provides students with an extensive guide to campus buildings and academic information, an extended tour route that is identical to what our student guides would provide, and the personal experiences of over 20 Northwestern students!

Northwestern University park

Visitors who wish to register for a self-guided tour and download a copy of the tour can do so at any time by going to the vestibule of the Segal Visitors Center, which is open around the clock. In addition, admissions officers and current students will be present in the main lobby of the Visitors Center during normal business hours to assist you at the front desk and answer any questions that you may have.

Admissions and Affordability

Join members of the admissions staff to gain a deeper understanding of Northwestern University’s holistic admission review process and its commitments to student affordability.

It will begin with a brief overview of the application and financial aid processes, and the rest of the time will be spent answering your questions about Northwestern and the process of looking for colleges and applying to them in general. Guests are welcome to participate in this session either before or after their Northwestern campus tour or any other activities that they have scheduled at Northwestern.

Purple Preview

Join for a Purple Preview visit if you are about to graduate high school and are excited to get a taste of what it’s like to be a student at Northwestern. You will be teamed up with a current undergraduate student host, and the two of you will spend the morning attending classes, exploring the campus, getting lunch, and gaining a better understanding of how students spend their days.

An unidentified student writing in a piece of paper

You are required to register for a Purple Preview experience at least two weeks before the date of your visit to increase the likelihood that you will be matched with a host.

Large Group Visits

Large group campus visits are available for high schools and community-based organizations that want to bring a group of high school students to campus. The group must consist of ten or more high school students.

You can get more information about Northwestern by going on a student-led or self-guided campus tour, as well as getting in touch with current students and admissions staff, depending on the time frame and areas of focus of your group. When there are fewer than ten guests in a group, registration for campus tours and other events must be done on an individual basis for each participant.

Attend an Academic Overview

Learn as much as you can about the academic community on campus. Information sessions are held for prospective students by advisors from each of the six different undergraduate schools at Northwestern. These sessions allow you to learn more about the school’s areas of expertise and ask questions before the admissions process.

a group of college students walking side by side in a hall way

The number of sessions that are available shifts depends on the season; please refer to the registration calendar to confirm the most recent schedules. For programs that are specific to the school, registration in advance is required. Please be aware that school-specific sessions do not include an in-person Northwestern campus tour.

COVID-19 Guidelines

Every visitor is required to follow the established safety protocols, including any masking requirements that may currently be in place.

The majority of visitor restrictions have been lifted, with the notable exception of a few restrictions placed on minors participating in residential programs.

Visitors to the Northwestern campus who are at least 18 years old can take advantage of the COVID-19 rapid antigen testing that is now available. Visitors to the campus may include prospective students, attendees of events hosted by Northwestern, contractors, volunteers, as well as friends and family of current students.

At this time, no process is centrally managed for registering visitors and events. This is due to the large number of visitors who come to campus for a variety of reasons, as well as the large number of visitors who come to campus. Instead, schools and units that host visitors and events can figure out what the best approach is for their specific situation by consulting the guidance that is provided below. Please take note that the following recommendations may undergo alterations in the future.


  • Guests are welcome to visit the campus, and the university does not impose any restrictions or limits on the size or number of gatherings that are permitted on its grounds. •
  • It is expected of all visitors to the campus they will comply with the relevant safety protocols that are in place at the University at the time that they visit the campus. These may include protocols regarding masking and other behaviors that are generally accepted in the community. When they invite guests to the campus, it is the responsibility of the hosts to inform those guests of the current expectations.
  • As a result of certain local jurisdictions removing their mandates requiring individuals to present proof of vaccination to enter certain spaces, the University is no longer requiring a negative test or proof of vaccination from guests who wish to attend events.
  • Schools and units should adhere to the University’s safety protocols, and local requirements relating to the visitors’ health status should not be implemented unless specifically approved by the University.
  • Visitors who take the in-person Northwestern campus tour can get the testing for free at the Jacobs Center or 345 Superior Street in Chicago. Please make sure you have the most up-to-date information regarding the hours of operation before travelling to a testing location. Visitors who submit themselves for testing at one of these locations will typically be able to show proof of a negative test result on their mobile phone within the allotted time frame of half an hour.
  • Events that are held in other cities or states might be subject to additional or different local requirements, which the hosts are responsible for monitoring to ensure compliance.

Does Northwestern have a virtual tour?

Is there a way to explore Northwestern virtually? It is not necessary for you to feel concerned if you are unable to take part in the in-person Northwestern campus tour. You are not prevented from virtually roaming the campus. No matter where you are, you can learn about Northwestern University.

Online Information Session

A 45-minute information session, which is led by an admissions counselor in conjunction with a student representative, provides an overview of  Northwestern University and its six undergraduate schools, as well as student life, the application process, and financial aid opportunities. At the end of the program, participants will also have the opportunity to chat with the presenters and ask questions.

a male student staring at his laptop's screen and seems to be thinking

A pre-recorded version is also available for your viewing pleasure.

Online Northwestern Campus Tour

Campus tours consist of full-length walking tours of the campus that are filmed by a student tour guide. The student tour guide will be available via live chat during the tour stream to answer questions that viewers may have about the tour.

A pre-recorded version is also available for your viewing pleasure.

Northwestern Student Perspectives: Online Panels

Find out more information about the Evanston area and how you can become a part of the community on campus. The format of the student panels will be very similar to that of a “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, in which participants will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to current undergraduate students via online chat.

Purple Preview Conversations

Have you already been to an information session or participated in an online student panel, but you are interested in learning more about the student experience at Northwestern? Register for a one-on-one video or phone conversation with a current Northwestern student that lasts for thirty to forty-five minutes and is referred to as a Purple Preview conversation.

How long is the Northwestern campus tour?

How long does the guided tour of the Northwestern campus take? Discover more about everything that Northwestern University has to offer, both inside and outside of the classroom, during a 75-minute tour of the lakefront campus led by current students. During the tour, participants will visit a variety of academic and community spaces located all over campus. Registration is necessary to participate in the campus tours.

What can you see at Northwestern University?

What can you look forward to seeing when you visit Northwestern University? The glistening waters of Lake Michigan surround the beautiful campus of Northwestern University. This world-famous university can be found in Evanston, Illinois, which is right on the edge of the city of Chicago. It is consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the United States. The campus is in a beautiful location with views of the lakefront and is conveniently located close to the city’s central business district.

Your trip to the Evanston campus of Northwestern University will not be complete until you see these essential locations on campus.

The Rock

At Northwestern, “The Rock” is symbolic of a long-standing campus tradition. The members of the Class of 1902 presented this magnificent boulder made of Baraboo quartzite to the university. The boulder’s original purpose was to house a water fountain. In the 1940s, students began painting the Rock, at first as a joke, but it quickly became an accepted form of free expression and continued for the rest of the decade.

Students are required to “guard” The Rock for a period of twenty-four hours to win the right to paint on it. Throughout the years, The Rock has been used to display a wide variety of messages, some of which include advertisements for student clubs, birthday wishes, and even a marriage proposal.

Shakespeare Garden

While taking the Northwestern campus tour, one of the best things to look forward to is the Shakespeare Garden. This peaceful memorial to Shakespeare, which is set apart from the rest of the campus, is a welcome escape. The garden was established in 1915 by the Drama League of America as part of a celebration commemorating the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (1616).

Every plant that was grown in the garden was either mentioned in one of Shakespeare’s plays or was a common crop in England during the Tudor period. The Shakespeare Garden is discretely located behind the Technological Institute, providing students with an opportunity to escape the cacophony of campus life and engage in some introspective thought.

Deering Library

This peaceful campus attraction, which was constructed in 1932 and modeled after King’s College in Cambridge, is stunning both on the inside and outside. The University Archives is located in the Deering Library, which also houses the Art, Music, and Special Collections of Northwestern University.

Students continue to make good use of the Deering Library as a study spot. Students at Deering have the opportunity to study or relax while listening to classical music in the school’s expansive music listening library, which also features stained-glass windows that let natural light in.

Recreational Facilities

The Northwestern campus is home to several recreations and athletic centers that are on the cutting edge of technology. The Norris Aquatics Center, the Combe Tennis Center, and the Ryan Fieldhouse are all connected to the 95,000-square-foot Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, which is the largest of the three facilities.

a male student smiling to the camera

At these facilities, you can participate in a variety of physical activities related to exercise, including basketball, swimming, squash, racquetball, tennis, group exercise, cycling, weight lifting, and general cardiovascular activity.

University Hall, Kresge Centennial Hall, and Harris Hall

Classrooms and lecture halls are located in University Hall, Kresge Centennial Hall, and the recently renovated Harris Hall at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. These three buildings are must-see places during your Northwestern campus tour. The buildings are also home to various departments within the college. The campus’s oldest building, which dates back to 1869 and is called University Hall.

Annie May Swift Hall

Annie May Swift Hall was constructed in 1985 and has undergone recent renovations. It is home to the offices of the School of Communication, as well as seminar classrooms, a theater-lecture hall, and a flexible teaching area for performance studies.

Technological Institute and Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center

Since its founding in 1942, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science has called the Technological Institute, which spans more than 750,000 square feet, its home. The Segal Design Institute, the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Murphy Cooperative Engineering Program are all located within the LEED-certified Ford Center at the University of Michigan.

The Lakefront Beaches

The beaches of Evanston, which can be found at both the northern and southern extremities of the campus, are popular hangout spots for students.

Annenberg Hall

Since 1993, the School of Education and Social Policy has called Annenberg Hall it is home. Within this building, you’ll find the school’s advising offices, in addition to classrooms and research labs.

Norris University Center

The student union is the location of many student services and activities, including the campus bookstore, a large food court, a Starbucks, a bank, an Apple store, the Wildcard office, and the campus box office. In addition, the student union houses the campus box office. Thus, the center should be on your list to visit during your Northwestern campus tour.

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Regenstein Hall of Music, and The Mary and Leigh Block Museum Art

The Pick-Staiger Concert Hall is where the majority of the university’s most important musical performances are held, while the Regenstein Hall of Music is home to more intimate performance spaces as well as practice rooms for students. Prints, photographs, and other forms of visual media are some of the things that can be viewed at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts and John J. Louis Hall

The majority of the student productions that take place on campus each year are staged in one of the four theaters that are housed within the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts.

In addition, there are costume shops, dance studios, scene shops, and rehearsal rooms within the center. An auditorium, a large television studio, several editing rooms, and a sound stage for film productions can all be found in the neighboring John J. Louis Hall.

Music Administration Building and Lutkin Hall

Students of the Bienen School of Music have access to classrooms, practice spaces, and performance venues in these two buildings. Additionally, the Office of Music Admission and Financial Aid is located in one of these buildings.

Student Housing

On campus, students at Northwestern have access to a wide variety of housing options, including residential colleges that contain 25 halls and can house up to 600 students each. On campus, there is a wide variety of housing options.

The Northwestern campus tour may be one of the things that pique your interest in attending the university. The nickname “Ivy of the Midwest” has been given to Northwestern University. The institution is a member of the Big 10 athletic conference, in addition to having highly esteemed, elite-level programs in both the academic and performing arts fields.

a group of college freshmen moving in to their new dorm room

Students at Northwestern are allowed to excel in both their academic and athletic pursuits, giving them the best of both worlds. You will require aid from college admissions professionals like AdmissionSight if your objective is to be admitted to Northwestern.

We at AdmissionSight have more than ten years of experience helping students navigate the challenging admissions process so they can enroll in the best colleges in the world. Feel free to schedule a consultation session today.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.