North Central College At-A-Glance
- Ranked No. 19 among "Best Colleges" Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 8 among "Most Innovative Schools" Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 15 among "Best Undergraduate Teaching" Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- One of Princeton Review’s 2021 “Best Midwestern Colleges”
- One of Forbes' “America’s Top Colleges" for 2021
- Ranked among "Top 60 International Business Colleges" by University HQ, 2021
- Naperville ranked No. 4 among “Best Places to Live in Illinois” by niche.com, 2021
- Ranked among "Best Colleges in America" by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, 2022
- Named a “Best College for Your Money” in 2021 by Money Magazine
- Named to Phi Theta Kappa’s 2021 Transfer Honor Roll
- Cardinal First named as national finalist for Examples in Excelencia--the nation's premier authority on efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education, 2021
- North Central College Coffee Lab is one of only a few college-operated facilities in the nation dedicated to studying the craft of coffee, and the first to focus on the business of coffee
- Designated a “Changemaker Campus” by Ashoka U—an initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest and leading network of social entrepreneurs
- Awarded NASPA Grand Silver and Gold Excellence Award for the comprehensive Cardinal First program, which supports first-generation students.
- 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
- One of only sixty-nine student-chapters nationwide to receive an 'Outstanding' Award by the American Chemical Society (ACS)
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 2020 Tree Campus USA® recognition
- Earned 40 team national championships, competes in 27 intercollegiate sports in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. The College has won 138 individual and relay national championships; 210 CCIW team championships; 601 national academic awards by student-athletes; and 1,155 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
- 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
Join the Cardinal family!
North Central College provides students with the confidence, instruction and direction they need to exceed their personal bests inside and outside the classroom and throughout their careers. Founded in 1861, and located just 28 miles west of Chicago in the Historic District of Naperville, Ill.—named among the nation’s “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine—North Central is home to nearly 3,000 students and offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, 60 additional undergraduate minors and concentrations, and 12 graduate degree programs.
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 May-Term in countries such as China, England, France, Germany, Greece/ Italy, Japan, Morocco, and Spain.
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
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.
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.
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
- 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