Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Junior

Campus Quality: One of the most beautiful college campuses I've ever seen

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Campus quality id generally good. There are a wide range of facilities to serve most needs. I have found everything that I needed here.

5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Campus is very beautiful - there are a lot of plants and beautiful things on campus. All the facilities and amenities are always very well maintained.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: Very pretty old stone buildings, everything is pretty conveniently located.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: This school is very unique. First, we have one of the latest starts in the country (late sept/early oct) and end the latest (mid-june). In addition, we have the world's largest scavenged hunt. However, the housing system is particularly unique since it has a Harry Potter style of sorting people based upon common interests, which promotes house rivalries, especially ones in the same building. For example, before Pierce was torn down, the houses had a tradition of competing in events to determine which was the best house.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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If you’re looking to step into Hogwarts, you’ve come to the right place. Everywhere you look, there is neo-Gothic architecture covered in ivy and shaded by massive trees. The University works hard to maintain these buildings, so there is usually some kind of construction going on. On the other hand, a lot of the facilities are recent additions to the campus; Max Palevsky dorms, Ratner Athletics Center, and the Mansueto Library are incredibly modern and state-of-the-art. The combination of these two styles creates a hodgepodge of architecture that is still incredibly beautiful. You’ll never be searching for a facility on campus. Combined, the two gyms offer several cardio machines, weight rooms, competition gyms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and an indoor track. There’s a library everywhere you turn. Each has a unique style, like the cathedral ceilings in Harper or the clear dome in Mansueto, so you can find a place to study that fits your needs. There are spacious lawns that are great for lounging around on that rare perfect day.

In addition to having great facilities, there’s also always something happening in them. You’ll find intramurals happening nightly in both Ratner Athletics Center and Henry Crown. If you’re not up for intense house competition, you can check out nightly movies at Doc Films hosted in Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes. But if film noir isn’t your thing, you can spend the time at the Pub, which is the University-run bar in the basement of Ida Noyes. And if you’re behind on your studies, there are 24-hour study spaces where you’re sure to be joined by some of your friends and lots of coffee. Less regular events are put on a student activities calendar and sent out in a weekly email. When it comes down to it, you’ll never be bored with the facilities or events at the University of Chicago.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
211 acres
Student Centers
Hutchinson Commons
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • Joe and Rika Mansueto Library
  • John Crerar Library
  • Joseph Regenstein Library
  • William Rainey Harper Memorial Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • The A-level of the Regenstein Library
  • Bartlett Quad
  • Einstein Bro. Bagels
  • Hutchinson Commons
  • Hutchinson courtyard
  • Main quad
  • Medici on 57th
Bar on Campus
  • The Pub
  • The Woodlawn Tap (aka "Jimmy's")
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Classics CafĂ©
  • Cobb Hall coffee shop
  • Divinity School Coffee Shop
  • Ex Libris
  • Hallowed Grounds
  • Starbucks in Barnes & Noble bookstore
Movie Theater on Campus
Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes
"Green" Initiatives
The Sustainable Building Policy, Sustainability Council, "recycles," SAGE (Sustainable Actions for a Greener Environment), and e-waste recycling are green programs already in place. A student favorite is "recycles," which lets you rent bikes for the day from major places on campus, like Ratner Athletics Center.
School Slang
  • A.B.: An A.B. is awarded upon graduation; it stands for "Bachelor of Arts" or "B.A."
  • B.A.: The final paper required by many concentrations (often a length exceeding 40 pages) for graduation
  • B.J.: Don't get too excited. These initials almost always refer to the Burton-Judson dorm or dining hall.
  • Bart Mart: The Maroon Market, an on-campus convenience store located in Bartlett Hall
  • Civ: Civilization, the historical portion of the core
  • Concentration: Major, in state-school speak
  • Co-Op: The Seminary Co-Op, the main student bookstore on campus
  • Core: Courses required for graduation. The core is one third of all courses taken (one third remaining for the concentration, the other third for electives).
  • H.C.: Henry Crown Field House, the other gym on campus
  • Hum: Humanities, the literature portion of the Core
  • Hutch: Hutchinson Commons
  • Med: Medici on 57th, a student hangout two blocks east of the quads on 57th
  • Metcalf: A Metcalf is part of the Metcalf Fellows Program. Alumni donate funds to provide University of Chicago students with stipends for their summer internships.
  • NatSci: Natural Science, a PhySci sequence commonly known as "Rocks for Jocks"
  • PhiSci: Physical Sciences, the hard sciences portion of the core
  • Quad: The main quadrangle, or the area between 57th and 59th, and University and Ellis
  • Rat: Ratner Athletics Center, also known as the "U.S.S. Ratner" for its three main masts
  • Reg: Joseph Regenstein Library
  • Reynolds: The Reynolds Club; part student center, part venue-all fun
  • SoSc (pronounced "sosh"): The social science aspect of the core curriculum-a complicated web of economics, psychology, and anthropology
  • South: South Campus; the dorm on 61st and Ellis, and its dining hall
  • Stagg: Stagg Field, the main athletic field on 56th Street next to Ratner Athletics Center
  • That Kid: The know-it-all in each class who talks like he or she already has a Ph.D. If you cannot point out the "that kid" in your class, it's probably you.
  • "Top of the World" Reception: Every year, the College rents out the 98th floor of the Hancock Observatory, one of the tallest buildings in the world, for a reception for the incoming class. Spectacular views of the city, catered food, and house bonding make this one of the most memorable O-Week experiences of most Chicago students' careers.
  • Bagpipe Procession: On the first day of O-Week, after the initial move-in, parents and students are invited to a "Welcoming Convocation," at which various officers of the University speak about what it means to be a Chicago student, what the next four years will be like, and other things sentimental in nature. At the end, there is a bagpipe procession at Rockefeller Chapel (the location of the speech) and up University Avenue. However, at 57th Street, the bagpipers stop, and so do the parents. The students continue walking until 58th Street, where they assemble on the football field for the official class picture. While parents are certainly allowed to stay after, this symbolic and unilateral separation of parent and child is a hallmark of the Chicago tradition-the separation from one family and the continuation of life with the new family.
  • Dollar Milkshake Day: On Wednesdays in C-Shop you can get a milkshake for just one dollar. The flavors are all over the place, ranging from your typical chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla to cookies and cream, mint, and coffee.
  • Kuviasungnerk/Kangeiko: Also known as the "winter festival," this week-long celebration includes "morning samurai training" (in the snow), snacks on the quad in the afternoon, a polar bear run, and other college-sponsored events. Students who participate in the early-morning yoga for all five days get a free T-shirt.
  • O-Week: For the better part of a century, the University of Chicago has held an exhausting orientation process. Currently, it is a week-long "New Student Orientation" called "O-Week." It is essentially an extravaganza complete with lectures on the academic disciplines (usually attended by more than 90 percent of the incoming class), how to pick classes, and how to plan your course of study.
  • The Scavenger Hunt: Every spring, the University puts on the largest scavenger hunt in the world. It takes place over three days, multiple states, and involves a large percentage of students on the campus. Past items include: a nuclear reactor (119 points), a letter of reprimand from John Ashcroft (70 points), beat-boxing Bach while on a box (25 points), and an elephant (92 points).
  • Summer Breeze: Every spring quarter, the University puts on a music festival. They bring in some pretty big names. Recent performers have included Crystal Castles, Cake, Damian Marley, NAS, and Wale. The concert happens at night. During the day, there are events all over the main quad. There's a fraternity cook-off, inflatable rides, and a mechanical bull.
Urban Legends
  • If you kiss someone on the bridge over Botany Pond, that's the person you'll marry.
  • If you step on the University seal in Reynolds Club, you won't graduate in four years.
  • Students commiserate over the eerily believable horror story that it has been more than 60 years since anyone has graduated from the University with a 4.0 GPA. Some academic advisers deny the tale's truth, but proof is yet to be found.
Favorite Things To Do
Nightly movies at Doc Films, Tuesday trivia nights at the Pub, and intramural sports are some activities students enjoy. Students enjoy wasting time on the A-level pretending to do work, checking out different lectures on campus, and spending time on Lake Michigan.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Chicago Maroon
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
The University has almost 450 RSOs (recognized student organizations) on campus. You can join any of them or start your own. Some of the most popular RSOs are University Theater, Model United Nations, Student Government, Off-Off, Greek organizations, and Best Buddies. There are RSO fairs at the beginning of each school year where both incoming and older students can learn about different groups and sign up for meetings. Most students join at least one group. They're great opportunities to have a leadership position on campus and to work for something you're truly passionate about.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • The campus is home to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Robie House.
  • The Second City, the comedy club in Chicago where great comedians like Tina Fey, John Belushi, and Steve Carell have performed, was once an RSO at the University of Chicago.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 62 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 19 responses

  • 17% Hanging out with house
  • 13% Constant talks by world leaders and experts
  • 11% Dancing! Swing, Blues, Contra, Formal, clubbing...
  • 11% Organizing events
  • 9% Volunteering
  • 9% Generously funded student clubs
  • 8% Working with kids
  • 8% Work out at ratner
  • 4% Singing
  • 4% Smoke weed
  • 4% Bike
  • 2% Starbucks

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 19 responses

  • 27% Dollar Milkshake Day
  • 24% O-Week
  • 18% Summer Breeze
  • 14% The Scavenger Hunt
  • 8% Bagpipe Procession
  • 4% Homecoming
  • 2% "Top of the World" Reception
  • 2% Kuviasungnerk/Kangeiko

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 20 responses

  • 35% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 50% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 10% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 5% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 61 responses

  • 33% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 56% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 11% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.



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