Undergraduate Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and each neighborhood has a unique story to tell. They also each have a unique zip code, most starting with the numbers 606.

Whether the underscores are filled with a 25 (Albany Park) or 22 (Humboldt Park), those numbers make each experience unique and meaningful in its own way.

Every Wednesday, there’s the opportunity to fill in the last two digits, like the coordinates in an ethnographic map. Using these coordinates, students will learn from the city and contribute to a body of knowledge that will honor and support community goals.

An afternoon class that takes advantage of the open Wednesday afternoon built into the North Park schedule. Courses will utilize two to three Wednesday afternoons as an experiential learning opportunity throughout the semester. The afternoons are designed to allow enough time for students to travel to their Chicago destination and experience the city. A total of 37 courses are identified as Catalyst Courses for the fall semester.

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A learning community of commuter and residential students who take two or more Chicago focused classes together, work a practicum at a Chicago community organization, and take advantage of at least eight Wednesday afternoon experiences.

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Activities held at North Park on Wednesday afternoons, 12:30pm-2:30pm to invite the city of Chicago to the campus for those faculty, staff, and students who are not out in the city at that time.

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A command center to support the Catalyst 606_ _ initiative at North Park University, including Catalyst Courses, the Catalyst Semester, and Catalyst on Campus; this is the place to look for ideas of what to do and logistical support to get it done.

While some class times remain the same, many teaching blocks are new. Morning classes are now offered M/W/F from 8:00am-9:05am and 9:15am-10:20am; T/TH from 8:00am-9:40am and 9:50am-11:30am; M/T/Th/F 11:40am-12:30pm. Afternoon classes are now M/F or T/TH at 12:40pm-2:20pm and 2:30-4:10pm. Many afternoon classes will participate in “Catalyst 606__” on Wednesdays from 11:40am-4:10pm.

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The “Catalyst block” will take place on Wednesdays between 11:40 am–4:10 pm. Each Catalyst class will participate in a Catalyst experience twice a semester.

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Evening and weekend class times remain the same.

Yes, Chapel is before Catalyst programming and is still held at 10:30 am on Wednesdays.

Dining hall hours will remain the same. In the event a session causes you to miss lunch or dinner, a meal may be provided.

Various departments and schools across campus will make accommodations for these students to participate in their designated Catalyst sessions. There may be exceptions such as games, meets, or performances. For these situations, please inform your professor.

The Schools of Nursing and Education will maintain the former schedule.

In case you’re wondering how your class will travel to all of these activities and experiences, all traditional, full-time undergraduate students will receive a Ventra U-Pass.


There is no additional fee for Catalyst 606__, including the Catalyst Schedule or Catalyst Semester. The Catalyst Hub will typically cover the cost for admission, food, etc.

Absolutely. The Catalyst blocks are allocated by time slots. As long as you don’t take two classes during the same time block (which Web Advisor won’t let you do). If you take two Catalyst classes, you can expect to go on four experiences instead of two.

Attendance is mandatory. Faculty are encouraged to integrate Catalyst sessions into their syllabi, which means your grade will likely be affected. If you miss a session, each professor will determine how to make it up.

Taking a Catalyst 606__ class means doing an activity in the city with your class two times during the semester. At the beginning of the semester, your professor will let you know which Wednesdays your class will participate in Catalyst 606__ sessions.

According to a 2015 University of Chicago study, students who physically experienced more scientific concepts understand them more deeply. Catalyst 606__ allows you to see and experience theory in real-time. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to creating experiences that reflect our Christian values, seeing the best in every community and individual, and purposefully contributing something back to our neighbors. Catalyst 606__ will create a unique profile for our graduates as they interview for jobs and within their careers.

Please contact Rich Kohng if you have any specific questions.