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Get Started at Northwestern

Welcome to Northwestern University! As a new member of the community, you have access to a multitude of technology tools to collaborate with colleagues, conduct research, teach, and manage your daily life at Northwestern. Here's how to get started.

Activate Your NetID

Your NetID is your key to the tools and resources Northwestern has to offer. Once you have received an activation code from your department's NetID coordinator, you can activate it by going to NUValidate.

  1. Enter your NetID as the user name and your activation code as the password.
  2. Follow the password creation guidelines and establish answers to your security questions. 

IMPORTANT: It is against Northwestern policy to share your NetID password with anyone, including managers or coworkers. For details, please see: Northwestern Computing Resources policy.

Access Your Email and Calendar Account

Northwestern faculty and staff use Microsoft Exchange for email, calendaring, etc.

Use Microsoft Outlook to access your account:

Set Up Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Many Northwestern systems, including myHR Self Service, use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) to
provide an extra layer of login protection.

Update the Online Directory

In order for your office phone number to appear in the online directory, you must have it defined in

For instructions, see the Northwestern Knowledge Base: Modifying Your Info in the Online Directory.

Additional Resources


Find Technology Tools and Services

Northwestern IT offers essential services and tools for teaching, research, and administration.

How to Get Help

Stay Informed

Stay Secure

Information security at Northwestern means three things:

  • Protect your data – Securing sensitive information like NetID passwords, Social Security Numbers, academic information, purchasing details, credit card numbers, health, financial, or research data secure is crucial.
  • Protect your devices – Physical and electronic locks or codes on computers, tablets, smartphones, cell phones, etc. keep devices and the information on them safe.
  • Protect your Northwestern – Learning to spot email scams and stopping other damaging activity like malware goes a long way towards protecting the Northwestern Network, which connects you to the services you rely on 24/7.

More information about Secure IT at Northwestern



Last Updated: 10 January 2019

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