North Central College At-A-Glance
Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and six graduate programs.
North Central provides a rigorous, student-centered education and fosters a diverse, inclusive and globally engaged community that prepares students for action and leadership in a complex world.
- Ranked No. 13 in “America’s Best Colleges” Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 8 in “Best Colleges for Veterans” Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- One of Princeton Review’s 2018 “Best Regional Colleges”
- One of Forbes “America’s Top Colleges" for 2018
- Designated a “Changemaker Campus” by Ashoka U—an initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest and leading network of social entrepreneurs
- Awarded 2017 - 2018 NASPA Grand Silver and Gold Excellence Award for the comprehensive Cardinal First program, which supports first-generation students.
- Named to Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 Transfer Honor Roll
- Named a “Best College for Your Money” in 2018 by Money Magazine
- Naperville ranked 2nd among “Best Places to Live in Illinois” by niche.com
- Top producer of U.S. Fulbright scholars in 2015
- One of five schools nationwide honored with a 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization
Other Notable Mentions
- One of two institutions in Illinois to join the Billion Dollar Green Challenge
- Solar photovoltaic panels and energy storage system on Residence Hall/Recreation Center is the second largest roof-mounted array of all four-year, private, liberal arts colleges with less than 5,000 students since 2016, according to AASHE Campus Solar Photovoltaic Installations Database
- Ranked on the “15 Best Value Small Colleges for a Chemistry Degree 2017-2018" list
- Earned the 2017 Tree Campus USA® recognition
- Earned 35 team national championships, competes in 26 intercollegiate sports in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. The College has won 130 individual and relay national championships; 200 CCIW team championships; 492 national academic awards by student-athletes; and 1,084 All-American Awards.
- Men’s cross country coach Al Carius voted 2017 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the 11th time overall and sixth time in the past nine seasons.
- Named in “Top Institutions Sending Individuals to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research” by the Council on Undergraduate Research
- WONC-FM 89.1 named “2015 Best Radio Station in the Nation” by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System
- Undergraduate: 2,770
- Graduate: 200
- Illinois residents: 91%
- Men: 46%
- Women: 54%
- Minority: 24%
- States represented: 27
- Foreign countries represented: 32
- Average ACT: 25
With a population of more than 147,000, 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 Illinois 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.
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Science
- Master’s degrees in six areas
Tuition and Fees
Tuition ........................ $37,569
Room and Board .........$10,650
Activity fee ........................$180
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Over 95% of new students receive scholarships or grants. Renewable merit-based scholarships are available for academics and talent in fine arts. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
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.
- 151 full time (108 tenure track)
- 100% of tenure-track faculty hold Ph.D. or terminal degree in field
- 67% 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 twice 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.
Ranked among the top “Grateful Grad Colleges” by Forbes, North Central College has more than 16,500 alumni living in and around the Chicagoland area, more than 30,000 worldwide and has an alumni donor participation rate of 17 percent—one of the highest in the region.
To learn more, visit northcentralcollege.edu/alumni.
North Central College has exchange partnerships with universities in Australia, England, France, Greece, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and Turkey; and fall term group programs abroad in China/Japan, Costa Rica and England. Students may also select one of North Central College’s direct enrollment programs in Australia, Chile, China, England, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore and Spain for a fall term or an entire academic year abroad. Twenty-two (22) of our study abroad programs allow students to earn academic credit while conducting research, participating in an internship or completing a practicum in their degree field.
The College also offers short-term courses abroad during the December-Term (D-term) in countries such as China, England, France, Germany, Greece/ Italy, Japan, Morocco, and Spain. In 2017-2018, 108 students will be studying abroad on semester, yearlong and SIROL programs, while an additional 180 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:
- Community service and social action
- Faith and spiritual life
- Honor societies
- 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
In addition, the College has hosted Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Peace Laureates, best-selling authors and expert commentators on the issues of our times.
Check out the 2017-18 full season lineup.
North Central College student-athletes compete in 26 intercollegiate sports (13 for men and 13 for women) in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. North Central College has won 34 team national championships and 129 individual national championships. A total of 408 student-athletes have earned 1,057 All-America selections and 268 student-athletes have earned 473 national academic awards. Varsity athletic teams include:
- Baseball (M)
- Basketball (M,W)
- Bowling (W)
- Cross Country (M,W)
- Football (M)
- Golf (M,W)
- Lacrosse (M,W)
- Soccer (M,W)
- Softball (W)
- Swimming and Diving (M,W)
- Tennis (M,W)
- Track and Field - indoor and outdoor (M,W)
- Triathlon (W)
- Volleyball (M,W)
- Wrestling (M,W)
Learn more about Cardinal athletics.
The 2016-2017 fiscal year was the 46th consecutive year to conclude with a balanced budget. As of July 30, 2017, North Central College’s endowment was $110.0 million ($115.3 million when charitable trusts and similar funds were included). The College publishes its annual report every December.
To view a copy, visit northcentralcollege.edu/financial-statements.
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 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar thermal panels, energy storage system, geothermal heat pumps, the Community Garden, food scrap composting, Cardinal Red Bike Program, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, Solar thermal panels, 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 was included in The Princeton Review Guide as a “Green College” in 2016, which acknowledges North Central as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
Learn more about the College’s sustainability initiatives.
Oesterle Library offers students and faculty ready access to more than 36 million items from 87 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.
Conference Services and Camps
North Central College facilities are available for external groups, 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, about renting North Central College facilities, please contact Conference Services.
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
- Shimer Great Books School
- Undergraduate student research
- Richter Grants
- Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research
- Leadership, Ethics and Values program
- Study abroad
- Chicago 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–North Central consistently ranks as one of the top teams in the nation.
- Student publications: The Kindling, The Chronicle, 30 N., Viewfinder, NCCLinked.com
- 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