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4 College Sophomore

Academics: I really enjoy the structure of the curriculum here at the University of Chicago. I think the quarter system is great for the most part, and I like the core and the variety of classes offered.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Difficult, intense, amazing, and fulfilling. Some of the brightest students in the world come here, and intellectual life on campus is some of the best intellectual life you'll ever get anywhere.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Very easy to navigate course registration process, a really large diversity of study options, and the professors are all very smart.

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: You are a student of the university as a whole, not some annoying arbitrary sub-college, so you can take pretty much any classes you want to, using the same hassle-free form. Many, many high-paid internships.

4 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Chicago is unsurpassed academically, check the sub-score described as "academics" in any college ranking you prefer.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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If you do not want an academic challenge, the University of Chicago is not the right fit for you. There’s a reason it’s consistently ranked in the top ten universities of both the United States and the world. Classes are tough. Professors will push you every day and give you more work than you thought possible. A lot of people come from the top of their high school class and find themselves struggling to maintain decent grades. However, if you’re willing to put the time in, you will be infinitely rewarded with irreplaceable knowledge and thinking skills. Within the incredibly challenging curriculum is the Core. The Core is a certain amount of classes that you need to take in order to graduate. They cover a variety of topics, including science, foreign language, and art. You’ll find severely different opinions on the Core. Some people hate it; some people love it. If you pick your classes right, it’s a great opportunity to get a well-rounded education. There are also a lot of fun classes to take where you can be more creative. Classes like “Horror Film” and “At the Piano” balance out tougher classes like "Organic Chemistry."

The University understands that the academics are incredibly tough, so it provides a lot of resources to help you with your academic career. There are daily tutors in Harper Library that cover every subject. The writing tutors are especially helpful, and professors are typically very good. Grad students are hit or miss—sometimes they grade students very hard. The real goldmine is in the teaching assistants or TAs. They are usually upperclassmen that know what you're going through, so they’re incredibly helpful and receptive to questions. The University describes its academic rigor as, “The Life of the Mind.” It truly lives up to that reputation.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 78%
  • 20 to 49 students: 20%
  • 50 or more students: 2%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
The College (undergraduate studies)
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 13%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 3%
  • Public Policy Analysis, General: 2%
  • Social Work: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Double major
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
  • Washington semester
Best Places to Study
  • Campus coffee shops
  • A coffee shop downtown or in one of the neighborhoods-it's a great chance to get off campus and be productive.
  • Dorm study lounge
  • One of the libraries on campus, including the graduate school libraries
  • One of the many tables in Hutchinson Commons
Tips to Succeed
  • Check your email regularly, but don't get sucked into Facebook.
  • Do something you wouldn't expect yourself to do.
  • Don't sacrifice having fun for class. If you manage your time well, it's easy to do both. Enjoy college-you only have four years!
  • Get to know your housemates and go on house trips.
  • Go downtown or somewhere else in Chicago at least once a month.
  • Go to class and participate. Participation is a huge part of your final grade.
  • Join lots of clubs and try Greek life, even though it's small.
  • Meet with your adviser more than once per quarter.
Did You Know?
  • The University of Chicago has more than 80 Nobel Laureates. Some still are teaching at the University.
  • Barack Obama was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years.
  • The inspiration for Indiana Jones came from a quirky professor that used to teach at the University of Chicago.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 10 responses

  • 15% Donald Johanson - paleoanthropologist, discovered "Lucy"
  • 15% Indiana Jones (fictional) - "famous" archaeologist
  • 11% Roger Ebert - film critic, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • 7% Alberto Calderón - co-founded Chicago School of Mathematical Analysis
  • 7% John Opel - former president, CEO, chairman of IBM
  • 7% John Ashcroft - U.S. attorney general (2001-2005)
  • 4% Elenie Huszagh - first female president, National Council of Churches
  • 4% Casey Cowell - co-founder of U.S. Robotics
  • 4% Lisa Brown - White House staff secretary
  • 4% Edwin Hubble - astronomer
  • 4% Kurt Vonnegut - American Author
  • 4% Kurt Vonnegut- American writer
  • 4% David Rockefeller - Chairman of Chase Manhattan
  • 4% James Watson - Discovered structure of DNA
  • 4% Kurt Vonnegut - Author
  • 4% Carl Sagan - Astronomer
  • 0% Paul Wolfowitz - deputy secretary of defense
  • 0% Jay Berwanger - first Heisman Trophy winner
  • 0% Daniel Hertzberg - Pulitzer Prize-winner
  • 0% Scott Griffith - CEO of Zipcar

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 47 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 44 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 12 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 12 responses

  • 42% This was my dream school.
  • 50% This was one of my top choices.
  • 8% This was a school I settled for (safety school).



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