North Central College - Naperville, IL


North Central College offers a variety of majors and minors in communication that range from effective approaches in one-on-one interaction to the latest developments and techniques in mass media and graphic design. Choosing a communication-related major at North Central means learning from faculty who bring field experience to the classroom,  have access to hands-on experiences through the College’s award-winning radio station WONC-FM 89.1, our student-run newspaper, the Chronicle, or  Naperville Community Television (NCTV17) and benefit from our proximity to the third largest  market for media, entertainment, and technology through fieldtrips, internships and job opportunities.  Communications-related majors are listed below.

Graphic Arts and Sociology double major

Sam, an IMS major with a concentration in graphic arts, thumbs through the North Central catalog with excitement. "There are lots of options here, and you don't have to limit yourself to any one tool or medium,” she says. “I’ll be taking classes in Web design, Flash animation, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and learning how they all work together." As a student worker in the College's office of marketing and communications, Samantha has already learned that proficiency in multiple programs increases her value as an employee. To date she has worked on print ads, Web banner ads and posters, seen all over campus.

Interactive Media Studies major

Klariza came to college with a plan: graduate as quickly as possible and get a job. That all changed when she joined The Chronicle student newspaper and discovered a new passion in journalism. She took writing classes while working with the newspaper’s editorial staff and is serving as co-editor-in-chief.

Along the way, she added a major in interactive media studies (IMS) with a focus in convergent media.

“Any track in IMS is great, but I liked the journalism focus of the convergent track.” Klariza’s success in the IMS program has opened doors, including a summer internship for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs and in product management with a Fortune 100 company.

“I’m no...

English: Journalism major

"I came here as a history major but I took a writing course and found something I was good at and wanted to pursue," says Chad. "I started writing for The Chronicle my freshman year."

He started as a staff writer at the student newspaper and worked his way up to co-editor-in-chief his junior and senior years. "If I’d gone to a larger university, I wouldn’t have had these opportunities," says Chad, who has also been active in campus ministry and traveled to Columbia with other North Central students for an international service trip.

Chad particularly enjoys writing about music and reports that his dream job would be serving as a fine arts editor for a print or web publication. Toward that end, he...

Speech Communication major

Kacy found her life’s work through her passion for speech and forensics. She joined the forensics team, competing in both individual events and debate team. A State of Illinois finalist in impromptu speaking, she qualified to compete at the National Individual Events Championship Tournament in all of her events.

While at North Central, Kacy also found time to research school bullying and the rhetoric of wedding photography. “Academically, North Central offers opportunities to try just about everything,” she says. “The academic challenges, mixed with the vast number of extra-curricular activities, create very well-rounded students.”

Kacy is now working on a master’s in communication at Northern...

Speech Communication major

As a first-year student, Hailey helped North Central’s forensics team establish new school records. She credits her early success to her professors, who instilled confidence in her the moment she arrived on campus.

“I’ve met inspirational leaders who believe in my ability to achieve higher goals than I ever could’ve imagined for myself,” she says. “The speech program at North Central makes me feel capable of moving mountains with my voice, which is something I never thought I’d be capable of.”

Hailey enjoys having professors and teammates to turn to whenever a new challenge arises.

“There are highly respected...

English Studies: Concentration in Writing major

The College Scholars program, robust study abroad programs, and variety of research grants attracted Laurel to North Central. Once here, she took advantage of every opportunity. Interested in public policy journalism, she traveled to London to study British impressions of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign. She attended a taping of the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to research the culture of political satire. And she presented the results of both projects at the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research.

Co-editor-in-chief of North Central’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, Laurel...

Broadcast Communication major

Whitney was already collecting paychecks as a broadcaster when she graduated from North Central College. An internship at Naperville Community Television (NCTV17) turned into a paid reporting position at the start of her senior year, giving the broadcast communication major yet another highlight on her already impressive résumé. She also worked at WONC—the College’s student-run radio station—and Cardinal Video.

“We don’t realize how lucky we are,” Whitney says. “WONC and Cardinal Video are such great stepping stones to build a career in broadcasting. You learn...

Graphic Arts major

Nick was initially drawn to North Central for its strong and storied programs in men’s cross country and track and field. When it came to academics, he was attracted to the graphic arts program in interactive media studies (IMS).

“For me, graphic arts really stood out from the others.” He appreciated the major’s interdisciplinary coursework and enjoyed taking classes in speech communication, English, computer science and more. “Having these different course experiences helps you break into the job market.”

In graphic arts, Nick took courses in typography and digital illustration and learned from professors with real field experience. He also spent many hours in North Central’s state-of-the-art...

Organizational Communication major

Jamie has simple advice for anyone who’s interested in organizational communication.
“Figure out what direction you want to go,” she says. “There are so many options within the field—internal or external communication, technical or creative, visual or verbal. When students have an idea of what their ideal career is, they can pursue appropriate minors, activities and internships.”

Jamie wants to work as a marketing coordinator for a Chicago-based firm. To prepare, she worked in North Central’s Office of Marketing and Communications, took on a prominent role in the College’s American Marketing Association chapter and completed and...

Interactive Media Studies major

Kelly Rivard's roots in rural Illinois has given her a deep appreciation for agriculture. The graphic design track within IMS is giving her expertise with video production, social media and the Internet—which can benefit farmers and agriculture organizations—to forge her career. “The challenge is to help farmers gain access to the current technologies,” she says. “Some still have dial-up Internet access.”

She’s already become a video editor and is pursuing an English minor to polish her writing skills. Kelly has interned with AgChat Foundation, which teaches farmers and ranchers how social media can reach consumers; and also for the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and NutraHealth Media, a marketing company...


North Central College’s liberal arts foundation suited Cory as an aspiring surgeon in unexpected ways. He was pleasantly surprised to find a parallel between medicine and his liberal arts education.

“Although a doctor may specialize in spine surgery, he or she was originally trained as a primary care physician. Even though our primary education is focused on science, we still take classes in other fields.”

Cory recognized that medical schools seek more than just students with scientific medical knowledge; they seek well-rounded individuals. He pursued his varied interests by traveling with the College’s Appalachia Service Project trips to renovate homes for impoverished families.


Broadcast Communication major

Dan knew he wanted to study broadcast communication at a school with a radio station. “I chose North Central because of WONC. It’s one of the only schools in the Chicago area to have a student-operated radio station.”

Like other new students, Dan found he could broadcast on WONC-FM 89.1 from his first days as a student. Many go on to win national awards for their newscasts, sports play-by-play and station promotions. “Studying broadcasting is half hands-on and half from a textbook and classroom. You have to immerse yourself in broadcasting, both on campus and through internships.”

He plans to work as a production director or technical producer. “Having a leadership role at North Central’s radio...

Interactive Media Studies major

Finding out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities has been no problem for Jenae, even with her busy schedule as a member of the Cardinals volleyball team. Since arriving on campus, she’s interned for a local humane society, worked as the webmaster for the College’s Viewfinder and built a new website for another nearby nonprofit.

“And there are other opportunities I’ve had to turn down,” she says. “There are so many it can be hard to choose.”

Jenae decided to attend North Central after reviewing the IMS curriculum. She’s had a blast learning how to design, animate and program.

“You learn to use just about every program imaginable,” she says. “And you get to be creative in all aspects of...