The university environment provides a wide variety of sources of stimulation and opportunities for learning and development. Exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and recitals, in addition to theatrical productions, have established a tradition of excellence and distinction and contribute significantly to NIU's reputation as an important cultural center for the northern half of Illinois.
Located 65 miles west of Chicago's Loop, the university has convenient access to educational, cultural, business, and entertainment activities of the nation's third largest metropolitan area.
In addition to its world-class museums and galleries, Chicago has established itself as a stimulating home for the performing arts. The Lyric Opera, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company are all prominent, highly respected and even cutting edge companies in Chicago, but there are numerous smaller off-Loop resident theatres, such as Bailiwick Repertory, that are also highly regarded by the arts community. Combined with the national theatre and dance companies that tour the city, these are all important additional resources for the School of Theatre and Dance and are important adjuncts to the school's professional training program.
DeKalb, NIU's home, offers three distinctive environments -- easy access to a major metropolitan area, the warmth and security of small town living, and the range of shopping, living accommodations, and entertainment associated with a campus town.