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Northwestern University

Bio&ChemEXCEL Program

Bio&ChemEXCEL is an intensive, five-week, residential summer program for incoming students to the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Started in 2011, the program provides academic preparation, leadership training, and a community of students, staff, and faculty to support students throughout their time at Northwestern University. In particular, we are looking for students who:

  1. Are thinking about taking coursework in biology, neuroscience, chemistry, or other biomedical sciences
  2. Are among the first in their family to attend college, are Questbridge Scholars, or whose high schools had limited AP/IB offerings
  3. Have great potential for leadership on campus and in their career
  4. Have demonstrated a strong interest in promoting diversity and inclusion


The 2018 program will run from Saturday, June 30 to Saturday, August 4th on the Evanston campus.

What will I do in Bio&ChemEXCEL?

You will take 4 courses (calculus, chemistry, biological research, and leadership) every day for four weeks and will receive 2 elective credits with corresponding letter grades on your transcript (Biol Sci 100-0 and Chem 100-0). While these courses do not replace the introductory courses taken in the first year, they are designed to prepare you for the typical course load of a pre-med or science major at Northwestern University. These courses are offered at multiple levels to accommodate students with different academic backgrounds.

You will also participate in meet-and-greets with Northwestern faculty and staff members, as well as visits to research laboratories and facilities, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

It’s not all work of course! We also have numerous barbecues and picnics, sightseeing trips to beautiful downtown Chicago, and bowling and movie nights.

MORE Benefits

  1. Tuition, room and board, and course materials are all provided free of charge. Airfare will be provided for students who live more than 90 miles from campus.
  2. Students who successfully complete the program will get preferred admission into NU Bioscientist, our first-year research preparatory program.

How do I apply?

Applications will open in February 2018. Be sure to check back in!

You should be prepared to answer the following questions before starting the application:

  1. Why do you want to participate in one of our preparatory programs? What are you hoping to get out of the experience?
  2. What do you think your long-term goals might be (medical school, graduate school, career)? It is ok if you are unsure, just tell us what you might be interested in.
  3. What was the last problem you were stuck on, and what was your strategy to try and solve it?

Acceptance letters will be sent by June 1, 2018. Please contact the program director if you have any questions at

Related Pages

Students working in the chemistry lab 2014

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