Debate at Northwestern

Applications for the 2018 Debate Division will be open on Monday, October 23rd

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Research Facilities

Northwestern Debate Institute students enjoy regular borrowing privileges at the Northwestern University Library. Its 4.9 million volumes (10th largest among private universities), include extensive holdings of books, periodicals, and government documents about the debate topic.  The library also has electronic access to over 90,000 journals and serials.

All of the traditional and electronic resources are easily searchable via Northwestern’s online card catalog, NUCat and full access is available to Northwestern Debate Institute students. In addition, the Northwestern Library is home to a variety of computer assisted research tools, including Lexis Universe, all of which are at the disposal of Northwestern Debate Institute students. A special library, composed of hard-to-find sources on the topic, is available to Northwestern Debate Institute students.

We will compile materials from special interest groups and organizations that publish work on the topic and will supplement Northwestern’s excellent public policy collections with relevant material from other outstanding American libraries.

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Alumni Success

Northwestern Debate Institute 6 week alumni have earned 33 bids to the TOC already this year!

The alumni have been: Winners and Finalists at the Ohio Valley, Finalists at New Trier, Semifinalists at Bronx, Quarterfinalists at the Glenbrooks, Michigan and Blake and Octafinalists at Greenhill. They have also been awarded: Top Speaker at Ohio Valley, Top 5 Speaker at the Glenbrooks, Top 5 Speaker at New Trier and Top 10 Speaker at St. Marks.

Looking towards your future success, 80% of the college National Debate Tournament (NDT) champions in this decade (2011-2015) were Northwestern Debate Institute alumni.

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Northwestern And The NDT

The National Debate Tournament (NDT) is the oldest and most prestigious competitive debating organization in the United States. Started at West Point in 1947, the NDT counts among its alumni, leaders in virtually every major field: business, law, politics, and academics. In fact, veterans of competitive public policy debating include United States Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, C.E.O. of Fortune 500 Companies, and Presidents, Provosts, and Deans of major Universities nationwide.

Founded in 1855, the Northwestern University Debate Society is the oldest intercollegiate debating organization in the United States. Each year, from mid-September through late-March, members of the Debate Society travel to competitions around the country to match strategy and argumentation skills with top-notch students from other major schools. On an annual basis, the group travels to 25 tournaments, and participates in nearly 1,000 debates.

Northwestern students have won The National Debate Tournament on 13 separate occasions, more than any other competitor.  Four times, NU students have brought home back-to-back championships, most recently in 2002 and 2003. On ten occasions, NU students have been selected as the Tournament’s outstanding individual speaker, most recently in 2006.

The 1999 Northwestern team set an NDT record that may well never be broken: the captured 43 of 44 judge ballots at the event. They were awarded unanimous decisions in each of their elimination rounds, tying their own record from the previous year. They also became the first pair in nearly 50 years to capture first and second place individual honors at the prestigious tournament. Their 86 win and 6 loss season, capped by their record setting NDT, is not only one for the record books, but one for the ages.

NU students hold a variety of other NDT records, including most NDT wins and highest NDT win-loss percentage by a single student and the highest individual point performances by a single competitor. In fact, five NU students appear on the tournament’s top ten all time list.

 

 

Debate Division  –  Application Information and Deadlines  –  Tuition and Fees  –  Scholarships and Financial Aid  –  FAQ’s
Typical Day  –  6-Week Policy Debate  –  4-Week Policy Debate Residential Program  –  4-Week Policy Debate Commuter Program  –  1-Week Policy Debate  –  Debate at Northwestern  –  Faculty Bios