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Northwestern School of Communication

Learn by Doing

Whether you're a performer, a writer, a media maker, a scholar, or a budding clinician, opportunities abound for experiential learning.

Theatre and Performing Arts

With more than 50 performances a year produced through the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Centers for the Performing Arts in Evanston and the Performing and Media Arts in Chicago as well as via student-led groups, our creative communities are awash with ways to apply one's interests to onstage work. Opportunities include large-scale musicals, gritty dramas, theatre for young audiences, new musical and play creation, and acting for screen.

Learn more about the Wirtz Center

Filmmaking and Media Arts

Whether you're assigned a project in class or choose to create on your own time, self-supported student groups and department-funded grants provide pathways for students to write, shoot, direct, edit, and market their own films, television and web series, sketch and improv shows, and digital media projects. Groups vary in size and affinity and include the Women Filmmakers Alliance, Multicultural Filmmakers Collective, Black Screens, Studio22, the Mee-Ow Show, NSTV, The Blackout, Out Da Box, and many more.

Learn more about department-funded grants

Clinical and Scientific Research and Scholarly Work

Our students have a hand in working with NASA astronauts to identify crew compatibility factors ahead of the planned journey to Mars; eliminating backlogs of children waiting to receive autism diagnoses; evaluating how concussed brains process sound; studying how wearable sensors can assist in swallowing function; gauging the media's impact on children's development; utilizing AI and automation to strengthen journalism and local news; measuring and analyzing the spread of disinformation campaigns on social media; designing and developing the future of human-computer interaction; and embracing how diverse cultural and communicative experiences influence language learning. First-year research grants make accessing these leading-edge lab experiences accessible from the get go.

Learn more about research grants