North Central College - Naperville, IL

Incoming Domestic Exchange

NAC&U Domestic Exchange Program:

North Central College Chicago Term


Want to experience an urban immersion?  North Central College offers The Chicago Term: An Urban Experience-a combination of academic courses, internships, and field experiences at the hub of one of the most vibrant and historically significant cities in the United States.  Through this program, you will cover all things Chicago: arts, business, public policy, Windy City politics, intercultural communication, local media, and the relationship between leadership styles, ethics, and engaged citizenship.  You will explore the city of Chicago along with members of North Central's distinguished faculty and learn about its history, architecture, institutions, neighborhoods, and culture.  You will complete linked courses in the heart of Chicago's "Loop" in combination with an internship that provides the best fit between your interests and the city's resources.  You'll also enjoy the resources of North Central College's dynamic Naperville campus with its vibrant local downtown in a community identified as one of the nation's "Best Places to Live."    

Fast Facts and More: North Central College's Chicago Term - Fall 2015

Calendar:  Domestic Exchange students will be participating in North Central College's Fall Term 2015 (9/14-11/25) and, should they wish,  D-Term (11/30 - 12/18), to complete a semester of academic work (up to 12 credit hours in Fall; up to 3 credit hours in December Term).   The academic terms are comprised of ten weeks of class time and a three-day final exam period ending prior to Thanksgiving.  The December Term is comprised of three weeks of class time, although one-credit hour verandah courses meet for shorter intervals.

Credit Calculations:  All North Central College courses are credited in semester hours.  The majority of courses earn 3 credit hours, although a few courses are also offered at 1 and 2 credit hours. The minimum credit hours required for full-time status in a term is 8.  A typical course load for fall term would be 3-4 courses (9-12 credit hours).  During December Term there are a variety of 3 credit hour and 1 credit hour course options offered within the intensive three-week period.

Course Formats:  Each Chicago Term course is offered one day a week in a 4-hour block.  Most main campus courses offered in Naperville are scheduled  on a MWF or TTH day format or in the evening (once or twice a week).

Chicago Term Course Cluster:  Fall 2015 (offered at our Chicago site)

SPC 390:  Chicago Media (3 credit hours):  

SOA 494:  Chicago Field Study (3 credit hours): A first-hand study of city life in Chicago.  This course is organized around individual and group-centered research projects in selected neighborhoods of Chicago-from Andersonville to Bucktown to University Village to Lincoln Park and beyond.    

Credited Internships (Optional and dependent upon availability):  Internship are designed in consultation with Chicago Term faculty (3 credit hours).  These independent experiences could be taken within Urban and Suburban Studies or through another departmental designation.    Internships give students an opportunity to apply their general liberal arts or preprofessional background to the professional work environment within a corporate or non-profit setting.  A minimum of 150 hours of on-site field experience is required for notation of the internship on the academic transcript.   

Supplementary Courses available:  Domestic Exchange students should estimate the number of credit hours required to substitute for a term/semester at their home institution.   It is possible to complete a 12 credit hour load during the Fall term alone by adding one or two courses from our Naperville campus to supplement the Chicago-based courses that make up the Chicago Term.  If, however, a student requires 15 course credits to replace a semester of work, the following options exist:

  1.  If a student completes the 2 Chicago term courses and a credited internship, we recommend that a 4th course be completed on the North Central College campus, Naperville, during fall term and that another 3 credit hours be completed during the campus' December Term, for a total of 15 credit hours.
  2. If a student completes the 2 Chicago term courses without an internship in the city or suburbs, 2 additional courses should be completed at the North Central College campus, Naperville, during fall term and another 3 credit hours during the campus' December Term, for a total of 15 credit hours. 

For course listings, please consult Merlin, the North Central College web link, accessible at :  From Merlin, link to "Search for Sections."  Please specify Fall 2015.  Students may search by department, by course level, by keyword, by day of week, or by general education category.  Our office will assist in planning for courses, will provide a student with relevant information so that the home campus can confirm that course choices will be accepted in the requested categories, and will manually register students. 

Course options range from independent studies (3 credit hours) to course offerings in Urban and Suburban Studies to other interdisciplinary programs, or departments.  During the December Term, in addition to conventional courses, short-term 1 credit hour verandah experiences are available as informal learning opportunities in a small group setting, typically associated with field experience.  The Chicago Term advisor will assist in developing an individualized course of study that suits a student's needs.  With distinctive programs in the theatre, musical theatre, and music, as well as numerous special opportunities for students in such programs as elementary and secondary education, entrepreneurship, East Asian studies, interactive media studies, and global studies, and over 55 majors, and 15 minors, the possibilities are wide-ranging for complementing Chicago studies with a variety of disciplines.

Reminder:  Tuition will be paid to a student's home institution.  Financial aid will apply as usual.  A fee requirement of $150 is attached to the Chicago Term to cover transportation and other costs associated with the program.

Housing/Transportation and Campus Life: 

During Fall term, while you are participating in the Chicago term in the heart of the city, you will have the opportunity to join North Central College students in living downtown in a  modern, four-bedroom apartment in the Greektown neighborhood.  You will also have the option of living on the North Central College campus in Naperville, 28 miles from the city, for all or a part of your stay.  The full range of support services, co-curricular programs, student life activities, and service learning opportunities will be available.  Downtown Naperville is in immediate proximity to the main campus.  For students who wish to work, there are typically many options in the community.  The METRA train station is within two blocks of campus, allowing students to travel to our  Chicago site and other locations with ease.    CTA passes will be provided for local travel within Chicago as part of class activity.  

Once a student has been admitted to the program, supplementary enrollment materials will be provided to arrange for housing, ID, technology, course selection, extracurricular or other contacts, and to verify immunizations and health insurance arrangements.  Orientation information and arrival date information will follow.

Application Instructions: The following steps will apply to the admission process:

•1.       Submission of the NAC&U application form to North Central College.

•2.      North Central College will make a decision regarding acceptance to the program.  If you are accepted, you will be asked to complete a confirmation form indicating your intention to participate, to be submitted along with the enrollment fee of $250.

•3.      Upon receipt of the confirmation form, you will be provided with additional materials to assist our Office in planning for your enrollment  and for course registration.

•4.      We will maintain contact with you over the summer to inform you of housing assignments, if relevant, and other important dates and arrangements to prepare for your full participation in campus life and academic programs as an entering full-time domestic exchange student.

Additional Information

North Central College Contact: 

Francine Navakas,  Associate Academic Dean, Bramsen Professor in the Humanities, and Director of Integrative and Interdisciplinary Programs:, 630-637-5285; fax: 630-637-5360