North Central College - Naperville, IL


Why choose philosophy at North Central College?

Students in this major become excellent writers, thinkers and speakers. You’ll be ready for anything after graduation, whether you attend graduate school or pursue a career ranging from business to law, medicine, religion or science. The study of philosophy helps you develop reasoning skills that apply to any career you may choose.

Thinking of graduate school? Philosophy majors consistently have the highest scores on GRE and LSAT (law school) exams, and score near the top in GMAT (business school) and MCAT (medical school) tests. Want a job? According to a recent study in The Atlantic, employers value philosophy majors for their “ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing,” “critical thinking and reasoning skills,” and “the ability to be innovative and creative.”

You can also:

  • Enjoy small courses that are particularly insightful since they are led by full-time professors who encourage personal relationships and discussion.
  • Apply for research opportunities and internships in the Naperville area and throughout Chicago.


The North Central College Board of Trustees grants tenure, approves promotions to faculty members effective with the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.
North Central College and Shimer College have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of North Central acquiring and integrating Shimer.
North Central College recognizes high-achieving students for academic and co-curricular excellence throughout their college careers on Honors Day.



  • Exhibitions intern, Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in philosophy have been accepted at:

  • San Francisco State University
  • Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Loyola University
  • University of California-San Diego


Recent graduates in philosophy include:

  • Philosophy professor
  • Technical writer
  • Executive-level administrator and management
  • Editor and publisher
  • Public relations and journalism
  • Philosophical counselor
Philosophy major

Mario took his college decision seriously, going as far as researching professors’ backgrounds before eventually settling on North Central. That inquisitive spirit has helped the nontraditional student flourish as a philosophy major.

“My professors inspired me to investigate issues I would never have given a second thought. I feel like they’ve given my intellectual life new breath,” Mario says. “I’ve attended two other colleges/universities in the past. In my opinion, they don’t hold a candle to North Central and what it’s done for my self-esteem and intellectual growth.”

Mario spent several years working in manufacturing before seeking a career change. As a teenager, he developed a love of...

Philosophy and Japanese double major

Matt first studied philosophy at a large university and learned two important lessons: he wanted to add philosophy to his Japanese major and he wanted to transfer to a small college. At North Central, he found he could easily access his professors and also explore his interests in East Asian culture. “Philosophy is good for your critical thinking skills even if you’re majoring in something else,” he says. “I’d like to pursue graduate school in the future and I see myself teaching some day.” During Matt's junior year, he researched and published a paper titled “Exclusivism in Hick’s Pluralistic Hypothesis" in Aporia, an undergraduate journal of philosophy. 

Philosophy major

As a philosophy major, Brandon felt he wasn’t only studying how to think critically and write well—he was studying how to live. He quickly learned that his degree transferred very well into the real world.

“College isn’t just about getting a job; you can focus on making yourself a better, more thoughtful member of society and that’s exactly what studying philosophy will do.”

Though Brandon gained valuable personal insights as a philosophy major, he did not lack in career options. Out of the six job offers he received from a variety of companies, he accepted a salaried position at an insurance agency prior to graduation.

He credits his interaction with philosophy faculty as vital to his job...

Philosophy and Political Science double major, History of Ideas minor

“If you want to be actively involved in the classroom and share and exchange ideas, North Central is a great place.” It’s also a better way to learn, says Szymon, especially when it comes to philosophy.

Szymon thrives on classroom discussions and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. “The philosophy professors stimulate fabulous discussions and know their subject really well. The opportunities to share ideas teach you how to think, formulate and express your thoughts. So, when you hear or read things, you know what to think and how to express yourself.”

Szymon expressed his ideas and opinions outside the classroom by writing for the student newspaper, participating with the Philosophy Club and being part of the...

Philosophy major

A transfer student from the College of DuPage, Reid found a meaningful course of study and career goals at North Central College.

“I picked North Central for the breadth of its philosophy program,” he says. “I knew I’d be exposed to all the major theories and influential thinkers.”

To accompany his philosophy major, Reid minored in history of ideas. He enjoyed the small, discussion-based classes where students analyzed major world ideas and trends—from religion, art and philosophy, to literature and the social sciences.

For Reid, the most meaningful impact of attending North Central came from his professors. He consistently met with faculty, who counseled him for his future career and life...

Philosophy major

“North Central’s professors care what you think and take pride in helping you develop your own research interests, and I love research,” says Joshua.

Majoring in philosophy has been a good springboard for research. His first independent study - about ethics after the Holocaust - paired him with a faculty member who he says, “taught me a lot about research techniques.” Another faculty member enhanced his writing and research skills on his next project about Native American storytelling.

That project was accepted for presentation at a national conference. “This was the best opportunity. I learned to present in front of people and the whole experience motivated me to present two research projects at...