North Central College - Naperville, IL

At A Glance

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in seven areas. North Central College is committed to academic excellence; a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service; a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation; and a caring environment with small classes.

  • One of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report 
  • Top Producer of Fulbright Students, 2014-2015
  • One of five schools nationwide honored with a 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization
  • A Chronicle of Higher Education "2015 Great College To Work For"
  • One of Princeton Review’s “Best in the Midwest” Colleges
  • One of Forbes magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges”
  • A “Military-Friendly School 2015” by G.I. Jobs Magazine
  • A 2014-2015 “College of Distinction”
  • Named a “High Return on Investment College” by Affordable Colleges Online
  • Ranked among “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition”


The 68.5-acre campus, situated in Naperville’s beautiful residential Historic District, offers 12 residence halls, three dining halls and 41 total buildings.


With a population of more than 144,600, Naperville is rated by Money Magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live.” The city anchors the research and development corridor along I-88, near Argonne National Laboratory on the east and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on the west. The campus is just 28 miles from Chicago and a 30-minute ride on the Metra train from downtown Chicago and the economic, social and cultural opportunities available in the nation’s third-largest metropolitan area. A daily Amtrak train stops in Naperville. O’Hare International Airport is 27 miles from campus; Midway Airport is 30 miles.

Academic Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master’s degrees in six areas

Tuition and Fees

Tuition ........................ $35,241
Room and Board ............ $10,089 
Activity fee ........................... $180

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Ninety-nine percent of first-year undergraduates receive financial assistance. Renewable merit-based scholarships are available for academics and talent in fine arts. For more information visit


The College’s academic calendar consists of three 10 ½-week terms, a summer session and D-Term—a three-week session in December.


North Central College’s faculty is distinguished for its teaching. A distinctive professional term and faculty development grants encourage continued research and professional growth for faculty who regularly publish numerous articles and books but whose primary mission is teaching.
For 2014-2015:

  • 150 full-time (117 tenure track)
  • 33 half-time faculty
  • 99% of tenure-track faculty hold Ph.D. or terminal degree in field
  • No teaching assistants
  • Average class size 21
  • Student/faculty ratio 14:1


From the first graduating class in 1866 to today, North Central College’s alumni have taken their commitment to reform and improve the world far beyond Naperville. Among the notable accomplishments of our alumni: discovering a synthetic form of the antibiotic chloromycetin, performing on Broadway, serving as the United States Supreme Court law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, gaining recognition as the Illinois Teacher of the Year, becoming one of the first minority owners of a professional sports team, and winning an Olympic Gold medal. North Central College has more than 14,000 alumni living in the Chicagoland area, more than 25,000 worldwide and has an alumni donor participation rate of 22 percent—one of the highest in the region. To learn more, visit

International Study

North Central currently sponsors student exchanges in Australia, England, France, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Northern Ireland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and Turkey; and fall term group programs in China/Japan, Costa Rica and England. Students may also directly enroll in university programs in Australia, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Scotland, Singapore and Spain. Twelve North Central programs offer students internships abroad. The College also offers short-term courses abroad, during the December Term, in counties such as Argentina/Uruguay, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece/Italy, Morocco, Spain and a graduate-level course in China. In 2014, 102 students will be studying abroad, while an additional 196 will be participating in D-Term courses abroad.


Students may choose from more than 60 active clubs, special interest organizations, student leadership opportunities and preprofessional groups. They may focus on:

  • Academics
  • Community service and social action
  • Faith and spiritual life
  • Honor societies
  • Intercultural
  • Leadership
  • Media and publications
  • Music, art and activities
  • Sports and recreation

Fine and Performing Arts and Cultural Events

Each year, North Central College hosts more than 500 fine and performing arts performances in our state-of-the-art venues. World-renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Ben Vereen and Bernadette Peters have graced our stages. Our performance venues include:

  • 617-seat Wentz Concert Hall
  • 150-seat Madden Theatre
  • 239-seat theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall
  • 1,057-seat Pfeiffer Hall
  • 150-seat Koten Chapel

For a full season lineup, visit In addition, the College has hosted Pulitzer Prize winners, best-selling authors and expert commentators on the issues of our times.



North Central College student-athletes compete in 25 intercollegiate sports (13 for men and 12 for women) in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. North Central College has won 31 team national championships and 123 individual national championships. A total of 379 student-athletes have earned 977 All-America selections and 198 student-athletes have earned 331 national academic awards. Varsity athletic teams include:

  • Baseball (M)
  • Basketball (M,W)
  • Cross Country (M,W)
  • Football (M)
  • Golf (M,W)
  • Lacrosse (M*,W)
  • Soccer (M,W)
  • Softball (W)
  • Swimming (M,W)
  • Tennis (M,W)
  • Track and Field - indoor and outdoor (M,W)
  • Triathlon (W*)
  • Volleyball (M,W)
  • Wrestling (M)

*Club sport fall 2015, varsity sport fall 2016.
To learn more about Cardinal athletics, visit

Financial Strength
The 2013-2014 fiscal year was the 43rd consecutive year to conclude with a balanced budget. As of August 31, 2014, North Central College’s endowment was $109.9 million ($115.2 million when charitable trusts and similar funds were included). The College publishes its annual report every December. To view a copy, visit


At North Central College, sustainability is the collective effort of students, faculty, staff and visitors working toward the development of a socially just, environmentally responsible and economically functional campus community. Successful projects include the LEED Silver-certified Residence Hall/Recreation Center, Community Garden, Kaufman Dining Hall and The Cage composting project, Cardinal Red Bike Program, electric vehicle charging station, LED lighting, many recycling initiatives and much more. North Central College is one of the first colleges to seek Gold Status through the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact and is included in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges,” which acknowledges North Central as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. To learn more about the College’s sustainability initiatives, visit


Oesterle Library offers students and faculty ready access to more than 36 million items from 82 college and university libraries in Illinois in addition to more than 250,000 items in our collections, and electronic access to a wide-ranging array of full-text documents.


North Central College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411. Phone: 800-621-7440

Community Education, Summer Camps & Conferences

Courses and programs are offered to the community in business and professional development, computers, languages and fine arts. All courses are noncredit unless otherwise specified. A variety of summer camps, including mainstage musical theatre productions, are also available. North Central College facilities are available for outside use, including state-of-the-art classrooms, athletic facilities, performance and lecture venues, wedding and reception spaces and air-conditioned townhouse-style residence halls. For more information, visit

Distinctive Academic Opportunities

North Central College offers students unique opportunities to practice intellectual and personal leadership and create experiences that will help define their futures.

  • College Scholars Honors Program
  • Undergraduate student research
  • Richter Grants
  • Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research
  • Leadership, Ethics and Values program
  • Study abroad
  • Chicago Term
  • D-Term
  • Verandah courses
  • WONC-FM 89.1 was named the 2015 Best Overall Radio Station in the nation and the station's faculty advisor won the Outstanding Advisor Award by Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.
  • Enactus (formerly Students In Free Enterprise)–North Central consistently ranks as one of the top teams in the nation.
  • Student publications: The Kindling, The Chronicle, North Central Review, Viewfinder
  • Model United Nations—North Central College is consistently one of the top five delegations competing in the Model United Nations Midwestern Conference.
  • Forensics—Nationally recognized program
  • Mock Trial
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Cardinal Video

Performing Arts Opportunities

  • Chamber Singers
  • Women’s Chorale
  • Cardinal Chorus
  • Opera Workshop
  • Naperville Chorus
  • Concert Winds
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Flute Choir
  • Clarinet Choir
  • Brass Quintet
  • Woodwind Quintet
  • Chamber Strings
  • Big Band
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Combos
  • Cardinal Athletic Band