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Northwestern School of Communication

High School Programs

Each summer the School of Communication’s National High School Institute (also known as the Cherub program) draws high-achieving high school students to Northwestern’s renowned precollege programs in theatre, film, and debate. NHSI has been one of the University’s most successful initiatives in its impact on the development of secondary school students. As a result, it has become one of Northwestern’s most successful marketing and recruiting tools.

About the Program

NHSI welcomed its first cohort to Evanston in 1931 and has educated future Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize winners as well as politicians, high-court appointees, CEOs, and leading researchers—and exceptional high school students every summer. Approximately 300 students have come to Evanston annually for one- to seven-week sessions of college-caliber classes. They live in campus residence halls, eat in the dining facilities, and squeeze in a little fun amid the high curricular demands. 

SoC has found a way to reach even more gifted students and bring them into the Wildcat fold. After decades as a summer program, NHSI recently expanded to meet students where they are, giving them an opportunity to become part of the Cherub program in their own high school classrooms, teaching the art of dramatic writing to well over 2,500 students in the past six years. The expansion started in Chicago-area schools and has extended to Los Angeles, in a strategic move to recruit new students to Northwestern and bring more purple power to the Golden State.

Learn more and apply