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 six 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
  • Named a 2017 “Best Midwestern College” and 2016 “Green College” by The Princeton Review
  • One of Forbes magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges”
  • A “Military-Friendly School 2016” by G.I. Jobs Magazine
  • A 2016-2017 “College of Distinction”
  • Named a "2016 Great College to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright students for 2014-2015
  • One of five schools nationwide to receive a 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Campus Internationalization


The 68.5-acre campus, situated in Naperville’s beautiful residential Historic District, offers 11 residence halls, three dining halls and 39 total buildings.


With a population of nearly 145,000, Naperville is rated by Money Magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live” and by Chicagoans as the most desirable town 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-eight 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.

  • 150 full time (117 tenure track)
  • 33 half time
  • 99% of tenure-track faculty hold Ph.D. or terminal degree in field
  • 66% of courses taught by full-time faculty
  • No teaching assistants
  • Average class size 20
  • 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, earning the title of COO, CEO and CFO of major corporations, becoming one of the first minority owners of a professional sports team, and winning an Olympic Gold medal. North Central College has more than 12,000 alumni living in the Chicagoland area, more than 25,000 worldwide and has an alumni donor participation rate of 20 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. Eleven North Central programs offer internships abroad. The College also offers short-term courses abroad, during the D-Term, in counties such as Argentina/Uruguay, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece/Italy, Morocco, Spain and a graduate-level course in the United Arab Emirates. In 2015-2016, 89 students will be studying abroad on semester, yearlong and SIROL programs, while an additional 156 will be participating in D-Term courses abroad.


Students may choose from more than 75 active clubs, special interest organizations, student government boards 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, Vienna Boys Choir and The Tenors 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, Nobel Peace Laureates, 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 389 student-athletes have earned 1,007 All-America selections and 228 student-athletes have earned 369 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)

*Men’s Lacrosse and Women’s Triathlon begin competition in the 2016-2017 academic year.To learn more about Cardinal athletics, visit

Financial Strength

The 2014-2015 fiscal year was the 44th consecutive year to conclude with a balanced budget. As of August 31, 2015, North Central College’s endowment was $99.2 million ($104.3 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 stations, LED lighting, many recycling initiatives and much more. North Central College is one of the first colleges to achieve Gold Status through the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact and is included in The Princeton Review Guide as a “Green College,” 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

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 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, athletic, educational and fine arts camps are also offered by the College.

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–Named the Best College Radio Station in its market and awarded the Abraham & Brost Award for Best Overall Radio Station in the nation in 2015.
  • 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

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