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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:

What will I do in Bio&ChemEXCEL?

You will take 4 courses (Calculus, Chemistry, Biological Research Highlights, 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 taught by graduate students who are specially trained by the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, and 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, a local pharmaceutical company, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Field Museum in Chicago.

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

Other Benefits

Students who successfully complete the program will get preferred admission into NU Bioscientist, our first-year research preparatory program. They will also get to participate in our textbook loan program during the academic year. We will loan textbooks for CHEM 101, CHEM 171, CHEM 210/212, as well as MATH 212 - 234 to students, free of charge during their first-year.

Students working in the chemistry lab 2014


The 2017 program will run from Saturday, June 24 to Saturday, July 29 on the Evanston, IL campus of Northwestern University.

Frequently asked questions

How will I get there? Where will I live?

If you live more than a 2-hour drive from the Evanston campus, the University will pay for your airfare to campus and back home. The University also covers the cost of a dining plan and housing in a co-ed dormitory on campus.

How much does the program cost?

The program is free! The University will cover all costs of tuition, airfare, housing, food, books, and program sponsored events.

How do I get involved?

Applications will open in April 2017. Please contact the program director, Dr. Luke Flores, at if you have any questions.

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