McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

Welcome Fall 2013 New Students

Congratulations on your admission to Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science! The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is very excited to have you as the newest members of our community.

As we prepare to roll out the purple carpet for you this fall, please familiarize yourself with our undergraduate website and this new student page, to prepare yourself for a strong start as an MEAS student. You’ll hear from us directly throughout the summer via email. However, if you have additional questions or concerns, please e-mail the Undergraduate Engineering Office or call us at 847-491-7379.

Undergraduate Engineering Office 

The Undergraduate Engineering Office serves as an invaluable resource for information and assistance regarding courses, registration, majors, study abroad, your degree progress, and more. Please familiarize yourself with this Office and its staff:

Undergraduates studying in Ford

Technological Institute, L268–69
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3100

Stephen Carr, associate dean of
undergraduate education

Joseph Holtgreive, assistant
dean, counseling and personal

Ellen Worsdall, assistant dean,
diversity and student life

Betty Modlin, administrative

Amanda Stasinski, coordinator of
student involvement

Heather Bacon, assistant director of
freshman and sophomore advising
and student development

Donna Tobias, McCormick registrar

Emily Venezia, scheduling assistant

Math Placement Exam

The Office of Undergraduate Engineering takes your preparation in calculus very seriously and has developed this exam as a resource for determining where you should start in the calculus sequence. Mathematics is a cornerstone in the foundation of engineering coursework. Incoming first-year McCormick students (even those with AP or IB credit) should take this exam. The exam is non-binding so it will not hurt anyone to take it.

The exam consists of a total of 41 multiple-choice questions divided into three areas: Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Advanced Calculus.  You will have 65 minutes to complete each section. Calculators are only to be used for basic math functions. Any student with a documented disability needing accommodations should first contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

The exam is online only and will be available starting Saturday, June 1st and will remain available through 11:55 p.m. on Thursday, August 1st.

First Year Curriculum

Study at Northwestern encompasses three quarters per academic year; normally students take four courses per quarter (or twelve courses in each academic year).  In the first year, three of these twelve courses will be in mathematics - in the usual case, all three are calculus, though depending upon placement that number may vary.  At least two courses should be in basic science.  These are open to some choice, but the normal pattern would begin with at least two quarters of chemistry in the first year.  Three of the courses will be the first three quarters of the Engineering Analysis (GEN_ENG 205-1, 2, 3) sequence.  These three courses cover material in linear algebra, mechanics, physics, and computer proficiency.  Two of the courses will be the Design Thinking and Communication (DSGN 106-1, 2 & ENGLISH 106-1, 2) sequence.  This two-quarter sequence is dedicated to learning the design process and will focus on clear and effective writing.  The remaining courses are typically science requirements and elective choices.

Students will finalize their course schedule with their advisor during Wildcat Welcome.

Suggested First Year Course Pattern:

Fall     Winter Spring
Math (Calculus) Math (Calculus) Math (Calculus)                            
Science (Chem) Science (Chem) Elective or Science (Chem)*
GEN_ENG 205-1 GEN_ENG 205-2 GEN_ENG 205-3
DSGN 106-1 (.5 credit) DSGN 105-1 (.5 credit) DSGN 106-2 (.5 credit)
ENGLISH 106-1 (.5 credit) or Elective# ENGLISH 106-1 (.5 credit) or Elective# ENGLISH  106-2 (.5 credit)

#You will take Design Thinking and Communication 1 (DSNG 105-1 and ENGLISH 106-1) in the Fall OR Winter

*Should be the third quarter of chemistry if majoring in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Enginereing, Biomedical Engineering, or Materials Science & Engineering

Summer Mailings

McCormick will send out monthly emails regarding important events before fall! A list of archived mailings is included here:

Welcome Letter from Dean Carr

McCormick Overview Letter

College Course Credit Transfer Process

Computing at Northwestern

Northwestern Information Technologies (NUIT)

NUIT serves as Northwestern's central information technology organization, providing support for computers, telephones, multimedia equipment, and the networks that connect them.

Computer Recommendations

What sort of personal computer do you need in the campus environment? What should you consider when purchasing a new system? See Northwestern University's computer recommendations.

MATLAB Software

First year McCormick students will use a mathematical software programming package called MATLAB as part of the Engineering Analysis (EA) course sequence. You should purchase this software by August 1st.

Download the MATLAB software for a reduced price here.

McCormick Webinar

McCormick will host an interactive Webinar in July, answering questions about your first year engineering schedule, advising, Wildcat Welcome events, math placement exam information, details on transfer credits and AP/IB score results, and much more. Watch your Northwestern email for more information on this online session!

Helpful Links 

Freshman Checklist


June 1 – August 1

Take Math Placement Exam

This online exam will help us ensure that you're in the right math class given your background in the subject. To complete the test, go to and log-in with your Net ID and password.



Attend McCormick Webinar

This live, online webinar is a great way to learn more about McCormick. Staff members will provide information and answer questions at the optional session.  The URL will be posted on this page.



Attend McCormick Webinar

This live, online webinar is a great way to learn more about McCormick. Staff members will provide information and answer questions at this optional session.

The recorded webinar is now available for viewing.  Please note that the first ten minutes of the webinar are not available due to a technical error.


August 1

Complete the ALEKS exam

Math skills assessment required for many Math and Chemistry coureses.  You can access the exam between June 1 and August 1 by logging in with your Net ID and password at


August 1

Complete other relevant
placement or assessment

These might include Chemistry or language placement or assessment exams.  Contact the department for more information.  You can also find additional information on other placement and assessment exams at


August 1

Send Transfer Credit Info

Review the Credit Transfer Process guidelines and send any relevant information to Dean Joseph Holtgrieve.



Contact Peer Advisor

By mid-August, you should have heard from your peer advisor (PA), an upperclassman who will lead you through Wildcat Welcome. Be sure to keep in touch with your PA and get to know them before school starts to get your questions answered.


This summer

Submit all AP/IB Scores

Send your official score report to:

     Office of Undergraduate Studies
     and Advising
     Northwestern University
     1922 Sheridan Road
     Evanston, IL 60208

Be sure to bring a copy of the report with you to campus this fall. 


This summer

Visit the McCormick 2017 website

Bookmark this page to stay updated on the latest news for the Class of 2017.

Important Dates

Freshman Group Advising
Wednesday, Sept. 18

Freshman Individual Advising
Thursday, Sept. 19

New Student Registration
Friday, Sept. 20

Related Links

Northwestern Office of Financial Aid

Co-op/Office of Career Development

Segal Design Institute

Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Student Groups

Explore our viewbook

Contact Us

Stephen H. Carr

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Engineering

McCormick Office of Undergraduate Engineering


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