Commuter Students

Commuter Student Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Threshold, our orientation program, is for both resident and commuter students. This is where you’ll get your student ID, finalize any administrative details, take placement tests, and meet all your classmates who are also at North Park for the first time. We’ve also got a special commuter student welcome event with snacks and free North Park swag.

If you have too much to carry around all day, you can rent a locker in either Brandel Library – 1st floor or the basement of the Johnson Center. Stop by either the library’s circulation desk or the Center for Student Engagement during business hours for more information and to rent one.

  • Library: 52 lockers; Johnson Center: 45 lockers
  • Can be checked out for an academic year
  • $15 deposit when checking out; returned when student returns the locker key

The library is a space where you can check out laptops, have a quiet space to study, and find many outlets to charge your laptops and phones. The Collaboratory in Sohlberg is a great social space to hang out at. There is a television, a microwave, and free snacks for students. Many student clubs often meet there, so it is a great way to get to know other students.

North Park’s campus is full of small and large hangout and meeting spaces. Brandel Library has study carrels with outlets, group study rooms, comfortable chairs and couches, worktables, and more—it’s the perfect place to study on your own or with a group. They also have laptops, headphones, chargers, and more available to check out. You can find a list of all the things you can check out on Brandel’s website. Added bonus: you’ll be surrounded by all the research tools you’ll need.

Other spaces to hang out during your downtime include:

  • The Johnson Center — Couches, tables, and booths galore are available in the first-floor Bickner Bistro, and there are also comfortable workspaces, and small lounges all over the building.
  • Carlson Tower Lobby — Couches and tables make a great space for a quick break between classes.
  • Viking Café — This grab-and-go store also features plenty of chairs, tables, and big-screen TVs.
  • The Collaboratory in Sohlberg — There are couches, snacks, and a TV, and since it is the main hub for the diversity clubs, there is always something fun going on.
  • Java Haus — In the basement of Burgh Hall, this student-run coffee and snack shop is open late and is the prime location for student performances and open-mic nights.
  • Burghatory — Also in the basement of Burgh Hall, Burghatory has both a study space and a rec room with pool and ping pong tables.
  • Magnuson Campus Center — The first floor is home to a small lounge room with vending machines, a change machine, and a photocopier; the campus dining hall is on the second floor.
  • In the dorms or apartments with your on-campus friends — Befriend students that live on campus and you could have a comfortable place to kick back, enjoy a coffee, play a board game, or whatever your friends are into (during visiting hours, of course).

North Park has some nice dining options: The dining hall in Magnuson Campus Center, Bickner Bistro and Einstein Bros Bagels in the Johnson Center, and Viking Café in Carlson. There is also a Flex Dollar credit system linked to North Park ID’s that students can use at all of the locations. See the commuter student only options below or read more about Campus Dining.

Block 25 — Commuter only: The ideal plan for commuter students on the go. Includes 25 visits to the Dining Hall and $100 Flex Dollars. $315/semester.

All Flex $275 — Commuter only: $275 Flex Dollars that can be used in the dining hall, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Viking Café. $250/semester.

Yes, there are many community microwaves listed below:

  • Viking Café inside Carlson Tower
  • Brandel Library’s commuter lounge is located to the immediate left of the entrance and also contains tables, chairs, sporks, salt, and pepper, and a vending machine.
  • Sohlberg Hall has a microwave, fridge, and even a stove!
  • Magnuson has a microwave located on the first floor, near the bathrooms.

Yes, as one of Student Government Association’s many initiatives, they installed ice and water dispensers in the Anderson Kitchen, Burgh Lobby, and Ohlson Lobby for everyone to get clean fresh water as well as ice. There are also drinking fountains throughout campus.

Yes! Foster Ave has a variety of options right across the street from campus. You’ll find Swedish food, Asian food, and three different taco places! If you’re in the mood for a walk, Lawrence Ave has many great spots as well.

We have detailed directions to campus if you are planning on driving. North Park is about four blocks north of both the Kedzie and Kimball Brown Line stops, and is also easily accessible by the Foster (92), the California-Dodge (93), and Kimball (80) bus routes.

If you are planning to drive to campus, read over North Park’s Parking Regulations and Procedures before your first day. You can purchase a semester parking permit for North Park lots online or in the Student Services building for $100 (reduced fee is for commuter students only). For daily options, there is paid street parking on Foster Ave and sometimes free parking on Carmen Ave. There are three commuter parking lots, all on Kedzie. Note that there is a two-week grace period to purchase and hang parking permits, so parking tends to be more full during the first two weeks of classes.

Traditional undergraduate students can enroll in our UPass program. It costs $150 per semester and the card is good for unlimited rides through December 19th. If you lose it, it costs $50 to replace. Emails will be sent to qualifying students to opt-in for the U-Pass at the start of the fall and spring term.

  • Once returning student’s U-Passes have been activated, they will receive a confirmation email.
  • Once new student U-Passes have been delivered, they will receive an email with instructions for pick up.
  • Yes! Counseling support services offers mental health consultations, individual counseling, group counseling, and referrals.
  • You can call at (773) 244-4897 or visit the office Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The university nurse can provide some over-the-counter medications and conduct some tests under the direction of a doctor from Swedish Covenant Immediate Care.
  • Office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Email the nurse at
  • Helwig is a two-story gym open to commuters and residents alike. There are lockers but they are not available overnight. Consider renting one in the Johnson Center or Brandel.
  • The wellness and recreation staff also assist in coordinating a wide range of group fitness and wellness opportunities, including intramural sports; our cheer, dance, and step teams; group fitness classes, and wellness challenges.
  • Yes! On-campus jobs are open to commuter students and residential students alike.
  • Check the bi-weekly email announcements as well as the student employment website for on-campus job opportunities.
  • Voyage Activities Board — Our student led event planning team facilitates events both on and off campus. Attend their signature Viking Fair event where they bring together many organizations on campus!
  • MyNPU-Engage — By going to the events tab, you’ll be able to see all of the meetings and events going on throughout campus.
  • Instagram — Follow us @northparkthreshold, @npustudent life, and @voyage_npu for constant announcements and updates.