EXCEL Overview

EXCEL is an academic summer program for incoming freshmen to the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Sciences at Northwestern University.  Students are selected to participate  in our program after a further review of their accomplishments during high school.  We identify students who have demonstrated leadership skills and have shown a commitment to diversity.

EXCEL is a cultural leadership development program where students earn 2 academic credits that count toward their engineering degree.  During EXCEL, students have the opportunity to meet upperclassmen who are active members of student chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

The relationships that develop during the program provide a support network and a formula for success for engineering students. EXCEL has been in existence for over two decades.  Each summer, academically elite and highly motivated students from all over the country invest a portion of their summer on campus developing a community of support that often lasts throughout their collegiate years.

For more information, please contact either Assistant Dean & EXCEL Director Ellen Worsdall at 847-491-5173 or via email ( or EXCEL Associate Director Gwen Murphy at 847-491-5195 or via email (