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Northwestern University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
633 Clark St
Evanston, Illinois 60208
(847) 491-3741
School Information
"Northwestern is a comprehensive research university that is deeply interdisciplinary across multiple schools and units. Our rigorous yet empathetic academic environment provides a robust mixture of theory and practice, with an emphasis on top-tier research, new knowledge, creative expression and practical application. If you are at Northwestern, you are part of an innovative, collaborative, and multidimensional community delivering an impact that is rare in higher education." The university enrolls over 21,000 students across its 12 schools, as well as having a 6:1 student to faculty ratio, (Source: (Source:
General Information
University-wide, Northwestern has announced mandatory anti-racism training for its students. Although it has promised development of its curricular requirements, no specific changes to the curriculum have been articulated. Some schools have redirected students and web visitors to various Bond/bail funds for protestors and Black Lives Matter chapters. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • During the 2021 admissions cycle, the university, "instituted a test-optional policy that will extend into next year."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Anti-Racism Training, Development of Requirements
  • The university has "expanded social justice and anti-racism learning to 250 leaders across the University. The three-part series, called the Next 250, is underway with the first session already completed." The series "includes discussions on race, racism, anti-racism, intersectionality and how to practice anti-racism at the individual, organizational and societal level. Sessions will challenge each leader to examine their role in perpetuating racism and to identify specific steps to create demonstrable improvements in Northwestern’s culture and climate. Leaders will leave with clear actions to advance equity and inclusivity in their spheres of influence."
  • The university is "developing digital anti-racism training for all students, faculty and staff, which will be customized to the experience of each group and will highlight the expertise of Northwestern faculty and staff. The anticipated launch date for the first module is September 2021."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Medical School will make “How to be an Anti-Racist” mandatory reading for the Summer of 2020.
  • The chemical and biological engineering department's Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is "actively working to introduce ARDEI topics into our undergraduate courses. We envision multiple routes to achieving this goal, including having topical discussions in courses and developing course content that draws explicit connections between students’ technical work as engineers and social responsibility as advocates of anti-racism. Our current effort focuses on developing problem sets that allow students to explore, for example, how certain chemical engineering processes impact the communities in which they are deployed."
  • The chemical and biological engineering department's Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee said, "Graduate students in our department begin their studies with a Professional Development topic series. Our goal with this initiative is to encourage conversation, reflection, and action in ARDEI as it relates to STEM. Students will learn basic definitions, explain how concepts manifest in technology, careers, and funding, and ultimately develop an action plan to guide their degree and career."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • Re-directs students to fundraisers for Bond/Bail funds and Black Lives Matter chapters.
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion "announced two new job positions searching for paid student interns" who "will carry out various initiatives associated with spreading racial justice and equity goals at a rate of $13.55 - $15.25 per hour," according to media reports.
Program and Research Funding
  • The chemical and biological engineering department's Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee "recently launched an annual Departmental Seminar Series entitled ‘Contextualizing Engineering’. By sponsoring world class leaders and researchers to speak to our department, we aim to expose STEM researchers to research and efforts focusing on environmental justice, research justice, anti-racism, intersectionality, and a range of other important topics."
  • The university's Neighborhood and Community Relations department launched a "Racial Equity and Community Partnership Grant Program," to "address the root causes of racial inequities and work toward structural changes."
  • The Center for Prevention Implementation and Methodology had a presentation titled "What Does it Take to Center Anti-Racist Research in Policy and Practice?" The description reads, "Presentation will briefly share what the field has learned to date about how research evidence is used in policy and practice. The presentation will then look at this field within a critical race perspective to ask different questions and take new perspectives. How can we create more useful antiracist research and study URE with a critical perspective? What new methods are needed to create more useful antiracist research."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • The university is "working toward action on Community Safety Advisory Board proposals by June 30. Meanwhile, one immediate change has been that complaints about campus safety services no longer route through the Department of Safety and Security, as recommended, and instead now route through University Compliance. More updates will be shared this summer about progress on the recommendations."
  • The McCormick School of Engineering's Chemical and Biological Engineering department has an "Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee."
Symbolic Actions
  • Law school faculty introduced themselves as racists before an online townhall.
Last updated September 26th, 2022
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