North Central College At-A-Glance
- Ranked No. 17 among "Best Colleges" Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 9 among "Most Innovative Schools" Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 21 among "Best College for Veterans" by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 34 among "Best Value Schools" by U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked No. 61 among "Top Performers on Social Mobility" by U.S. News & World Report
- One of Princeton Review’s 2024 “Best Midwestern Colleges”
- Ranked among "Top 60 International Business Colleges" by University HQ, 2022
- Naperville ranked No. 4 among “Best Places to Live in Illinois” by niche.com, 2023
- Naperville ranked No. 4 among "Best Cities to Live in America" by niche.com, 2023
- Awarded one of America’s Best Colleges by Money, 2023
- Named to Phi Theta Kappa’s 2023 Transfer Honor Roll
- Ranked among "Best Colleges in America" by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, 2022
- One of Forbes' “America’s Top Colleges" for 2022
- 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)
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 2,700 students and offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, 60 additional undergraduate minors and concentrations, and 19 graduate degree programs.
North Central College has exchange partnerships with universities in Australia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan. Students may also select one of North Central College’s direct enrollment programs in Australia, Botswana, Chile, China, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Malta, New Zealand, Scotland or Spain. Students may participate in an education abroad program for a semester and/or an academic year. In addition, there are three semester group programs abroad in China/Japan, Costa Rica and England. Twenty-five of the education abroad programs allow students to conduct research, participate in an internship, volunteer or complete a practicum in their degree field.
The College also offers Cardinal Destination Courses Abroad (CDCA) which include a short-term international travel component in May (May term) in countries such as China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Japan, Morocco and Spain.
Students may choose from more than 100 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 14 for women) in NCAA Division III and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. North Central College has won 43 team national championships and 151 individual national championships. Student-athletes have earned 1,303 All-America awards and 895 national academic awards.
- Baseball (M)
- Basketball (M,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 systems, geothermal heat pumps, the Community Garden, food scrap composting, the Cardinal Red Bike Program, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, recycling initiatives and much more. North Central College is one of the first colleges to achieve Gold Status through the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, which acknowledges North Central as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. In January 2020, North Central was upgraded to a Level II-accredited arboretum for implementing professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. To learn more about the College’s sustainability initiatives, visit northcentralcollege.edu/sustainability.
Oesterle Library offers students and faculty ready access to more than 40 million items from 85 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.
Unique Academic Opportunities
North Central College offers students unique opportunities to practice intellectual and personal leadership and create experiences that will help define their futures.
- North Central College Honors Program
- Shimer Great Books School
- Undergraduate student research
- Richter Grants
- Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research
- Leadership, Ethics and Values program
- Education abroad
- Chicago term
- May 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.
- Coffee Lab » Enactus–Students work with coffee farmers abroad to form self-sustainable business practices through a direct trade relationship.
- 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
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