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Northwestern School of Communication

Student Experience

Our Learn-by-Doing Philosophy

Students have ample opportunity to take what they learn in the classroom and apply that knowledge to their own creative and scholarly pursuits.

Be it professional-level theatrical or filmmaking work, a DJ gig at WNUR or improv onstage, the out-of-class learning experience is highly collaborative and paves the way for post-collegiate success. We encourage students to leave their lanes and find opportunities to pursue across the communication spectrum—for instance, human communication sciences and communication studies majors can audition for theatrical productions, and radio/television/film, theatre, and performance studies students can work research labs.

Advice along the way

We don't keep you siloed, and our advising team is there to help you make progress toward degree while pursuing experiences that are enriching—and realistic!—on personal level. We want you excelling, not burning out.

More on Advising Services

Our Liberal Arts Model

For students pursuing theatre, performing arts, and film and media in particular, it's important to draw a distinction between SoC and peer schools.

We are not a conservatory, nor do we offer a BFA degree. Instead, our students receive an immersive, practice-based education in the creative arts grounded in Northwestern's liberal arts model.

SoC students must take classes outside of the School, which allows for exploration well beyond their primary area of interest.

This results in our students becoming well-read, intellectually curious, and worldly critical thinkers.


Activities, Events and More

Events and More

Our students are busy, participating in a wide range of groups. They take part in student activities that include student productions, compete in intercollegiate debate, network with other students in their field and more.

Want to see an off-campus show or event? The School often provides tickets to students. SoC also welcomes numerous high-wattage guest speakers, visiting artists, artists-in-residence, screenings, and entertainers each calendar year. Annual events, like the student-run Waa-Mu musical, have become Northwestern traditions.

Travel and Study Abroad

SoC has forged student-involved partnerships with such international institutions as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the British American Drama Academy, the Center for Global Culture and Communication, the Prague Quadrennial, and the Prague Shakespeare Company—not to mention such campus collaborators as Northwestern University in Qatar, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies and the Office of Fellowships.