The University of Chicago (UChicago, U of C, or Chicago) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre (88-hectare) campus in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top positions in various national and international rankings.
The university is composed of the undergraduate college as well as various graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into five academic research divisions.
Beyond the arts and sciences, Chicago is also well known for its professional schools, which include the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Booth School of Business, the Law School, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, the Divinity School and the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, as well as the recently launched Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering.
The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.
The University of Chicago has an extensive record of producing successful business leaders and billionaires. ARWU has consistently placed the University of Chicago among the top 10 universities in the world, and the 2020 QS World University Rankings placed the university in 10th place worldwide.
The university’s law and business schools rank among the top five professional schools in the United States. The business school is currently ranked first in the US by US News & World Report and first in the world by The Economist, while the law school is ranked fourth by US News & World Report and first by Above the Law.
Chicago has also been consistently recognized to be one of the top 15 university brands in the world, retaining the number three spot in the 2019 U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings. In a corporate study carried out by The New York Times, the university’s graduates were shown to be among the most valued in the world.
The College of the University of Chicago grants Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 51 academic majors and 33 minors. The college’s academics are divided into five divisions: the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, the Physical Sciences Collegiate Division, the Social Sciences Collegiate Division, the Humanities Collegiate Division, and the New Collegiate Division.
The first four are sections within their corresponding graduate divisions, while the New Collegiate Division administers interdisciplinary majors and studies which do not fit in one of the other four divisions.
Undergraduate students are required to take a distribution of courses to satisfy the university’s general education requirements, commonly known as the Common Core. In 2012–2013, the Core classes at Chicago were limited to 17 courses, and are generally led by a full-time professor (as opposed to a teaching assistant).
As of the 2013–2014 school year, 15 courses and demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language are required under the Core. Undergraduate courses at the University of Chicago are known for their demanding standards, heavy workload and academic difficulty; according to Uni in the USA, “Among the academic cream of American universities – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and the University of Chicago – it is UChicago that can most convincingly claim to provide the most rigorous, intense learning experience.
The UChicago Arts program joins academic departments and programs in the Division of the Humanities and the College, as well as professional organizations including the Court Theatre, the Oriental Institute, the Smart Museum of Art, the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago Presents, and student arts organizations. The university has an artist-in-residence program and scholars in performance studies, contemporary art criticism, and film history.
It has offered a doctorate in music composition since 1933 and cinema and media studies since 2000, a master of fine arts in visual arts (early 1970s), and a master of arts in the humanities with a creative writing track (2000).
It has bachelor’s degree programs in visual arts, music, and art history, and, more recently, cinema and media studies (1996) and theater and performance studies (2002). The College’s general education core includes a “dramatic, musical, and visual arts” requirement, inviting students to study the history of the arts, stage desire, or begin working with sculpture.
Several thousand major and non-major undergraduates enroll annually in creative and performing arts classes. UChicago is often considered the birthplace of improvisational comedy as the Compass Players student comedy troupe evolved into The Second City improv theater troupe in 1959.
The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts opened in October 2012, five years after a $35 million gift from alumnus David Logan and his wife Reva. The center includes spaces for exhibitions, performances, classes, and media production. The Logan Center was designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.
This building is entirely glass. The brick is a facade designed to keep the glass safe from the wind. The architects later removed sections of the bricks when pressure arose in the form of complaints that the views of the city were blocked.