What is a carrel?
A carrel is a desk in the library that may be assigned to graduate students, faculty, or undergraduates working on a senior honors thesis. Carrels may be used to check books out to a desk within the library. Books checked out to the desk may be stored at the desk for an extended period, unless requested by another patron. The library has several different types of carrels available to qualifying members of the Northwestern Community.
Please read the carrel policies before submitting an application.
The library has numerous open carrels throughout the Main Library towers. Current Northwestern graduate students and undergraduates working on a senior honors thesis qualify for an open carrel. Honors undergraduates must supply additional documentation in the form of a letter from their advisor or proof of registration. Open carrel assignments are made between September 1 through June 15 of the academic year. Applications for the academic year will be accepted September 1. Assignments will be made on a first come, first served basis as applications are received. Processing time will vary during periods of high demand.
The Music Library has a small number of desks for graduate students in related subject areas. If you are interested in a desk in the Music Library, please indicate that this would be your first choice in the comments area of the application.
The Art Library maintains a the Art Research Center on the third floor of Deering Library as shared space for graduate students in Art History and Art Theory and Practice. If you are interested in a shelf in the Research Center, please indicate that this would be your first choice in the comments area of the application.
Closed Shared PHD Carrels
PHD candidate carrels are shared, with two people assigned to each carrel. The demand for PHD closed room study carrels far exceeds supply, and a waiting list is maintained through the Main Library Circulation Desk. The average wait for a PHD closed room study carrel is 8 months, but actual time may vary. Graduate students must already be admitted to candidacy before they may be placed on the waiting list for a closed room study carrel. To apply for the waiting list, please submit a carrel application  as well as additional proof of candidacy.
Honors undergraduates and PHD candidates may submit letters verifying their status in person or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Single Closed Carrels
Faculty carrels are single occupancy. To apply, please complete and submit the carrel application .
Storage of Library Materials:
Regulations for the use of study carrels: