University Of Chicago Booth
  • EduScore 91 /100

University of Chicago: Quick Overview

Quick Stats
  • Year founded1890
  • Number of students enrolled14,095
  • Average cost (in total)$75,735
Application Info
  • Acceptance rate8.7%
  • Application dateDecember 1st

History and Mission

The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 as a coed college by the American Baptist Education Society, who donated $400,000 to go with a donation of $600,000 buy oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. The land for the university was donated by Marshall Field and the wealthy elite of the city of Chicago made donations for the buildings on the campus, which was located at Hyde Park. The Hyde Park campus was financed from wealthy and carried on in what the previous University of Chicago, which closed in 1886 after a fire. A single stone was taken from the old university and placed at the new campus at Hyde Park as an homage to the old school.

The first president of the University of Chicago was William Rainey Harper and the new campus at Hyde Park began classes on October 1, 1882. In only two years Harper had recruited a faculty that numbered 120 and he recruited the cream of the crop, which included eight former presidents of universities. Harper was part of the Baptist clergy and he was under the belief that the University of Chicago being one that was faith based. In order to do this, he brought the Seminary from the old University of Chicago to its new location at Hyde Park. In 1891 this became the Divinity School, which was the first professional school at the new college. In 1898 the university business school opened their doors and in 1902 the law school opened.

With the money that was raised by the University of Chicago in the 1920’s along with financial help from the Rockefeller Foundation the institution stayed afloat during the Great Depression. Enrollment and applications into the university began to decrease because of the poverty and crime that was in the Hyde Park area. The university helped change the area with the urban renewal project for Hyde Park, which accomplished its goals, but was not without controversy. The University of Chicago is also known as UChicago, U of C, and simply Chicago and the undergraduate college is simply known as “The College.”

While there is no official mission statement, the main goal of the university is to give students the chance to come up with original ideas by challenging conventional thinking. The students at the University of Chicago will foster skills in critical thinking, analysis, and writing through the uncompromising core curriculum. In the school’s graduate programs the students will be able to put their ideas to the test with scholars from the university, which will help shape them into leaders in the fields of academics, industry, non-profit organizations, and government. While the University of Chicago does not have an official mission statement the graduate programs do.

Areas of Study

In the undergraduate division of the University of Chicago they offer Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in around 50 areas of study. In addition, there are also around 30 minors for undergrads. The undergraduate division of the university is divided into five divisions, which are:

  • Social Sciences Collegiate Division
  • Humanities Collegiate Division
  • Biological Sciences Collegiate Division
  • Physical Sciences Collegiate Division
  • The New Collegiate Division

All of these divisions except the New College Division also have a graduate division. The graduate schools are in five division at the university, which are Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and the Institute for Molecular Engineering. The seven professional schools at the University of Chicago are:

  • Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Booth School of Business
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Chicago Divinity School
  • University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Pritzker School of Medicine

The Pritzker School of Medicine is located on the main Hyde Park campus and it was established in 1927. They offer a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, joint degree programs, graduate level medical education, as well as continuing education in the medical field.

Booth School of Business

Booth School of Business was founded in 1898 and is the 2nd oldest business school in the United States. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to business schools in America and offers several graduate degree programs.

University of Chicago Law School

The law school was founded in 1902 and they are not only one of the best law schools in the United States, but in the world as well. They offer a Juris Doctor program as well as law degrees in Master of Laws, Master of Studies in Law, and Doctor of Juridical Science.

The Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies offers non-degree courses and certificates as well as degree programs

There is also the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, which offers courses for degree programs, certificates, and non-degree courses. The award levels that the university offers are Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral.

Online Program

The University of Chicago offers online courses to their students so they can work remotely in the goal of earning a degree. The university does not offer an official formal program for earning a degree in all of the departments. The only departments that currently have formal online comprehensive programs are the Oriental Institute and the Graham School. There are not many other departments that offer online programs for degrees.

Online courses that require registration are Online Courses through the Basic Program offering liberal arts courses from the Graham School and Hybrid Courses through the Oriental Institute, which offer courses that have both onsite and online sections. There are also various online offerings for alumni of the university. Through the Graham School students can earn certificates online in Business Analytics, Clinical Trials Management and Regulatory Compliance, Editing, and Medical Writing and Editing.

How do I apply to the University of Chicago?

For first year students, the University of Chicago accepts both the Coalition Application and the Common Application and for transfer students only the Coalition Application is accepted. Besides submitting either of the two applications prospective students also have to submit the UChicago Supplement and they can do this in unison with submitting an application or through a student’s UChicago Account. To expedite the application process, the Office of College Admissions suggests that all of the documents in the Coalition Application or Common Application are to be submitted electronically. Any other documents in a student’s application should be sent to the University of Chicago by:

  • Direct Upload to UChicago Account: (fastest way to submit documents)
  • Fax to 773.702.0661: (if busy secondary fax is 773.834.5297)
  • Mail documents to: The Office of College Admissions, 1101 E. 58th St., Rosenwald 129, Chicago, IL 60637

The university prefers sending sensitive documents by fax or mail to make sure the documents arrive in a safe and secure manner.

Acceptance rate

The acceptance rate for the University of Chicago is 8.7%. While not as difficult to get into as other colleges such as Stanford and Harvard it is still very selective. The university has a great academic reputation and students can expect to earn a significant income with a degree from the University of Chicago. The acceptance rate for the graduate and professional programs differ, but they are also not easy to get into.

Student life at University of Chicago

The University of Chicago offers a rich student life and also so much more being an urban college located in the city of Chicago. The university is residential one with many residential houses around the campus. There are many dining options for students and there is no lack of activities on campus when it comes to the arts, athletics, and other various school-related activities. There are quite a few infamous traditions and superstitions at the university such as the Reynolds Seal Club, where it is rumored that if a student steps on the gold seal that is on the floor at the Reynolds Club, they will not graduate in four years. There are many unique events at the college such as the Scav Hunt, a university wide scavenger hunt, Summer Breeze summer campus festival, University Symphony Orchestra’s Halloween Concert, and various cultural shows to just name a few. At the university, there are also 11 eleven fraternities and five sororities as well as Alpha Phi Omega, which is a co-ed community service fraternity.

The University of Chicago has 20 varsity sports and they compete in Division III. The Maroons is the nickname of the sports teams. The university was actually one of the founding members of the Big 10 conference, but in 1939 the school dropped the football program and varsity sports were de-emphasized with, then, President Robert Maynard Hutchins wanted the school to focus more on academics than athletics. There are also over 500 intermural teams as well as almost 40 club sports. There are many sporting facilities around the campus and in Chicago itself there is no lack of sporting action with historic pro teams such as the Cubs, White Sox, and Bears to name just a few.

While the University of Chicago is known as a party school per say there are many places on campus and off where students can have a good time. There are frat parties and group-based parties and meetings always going on and being in Chicago and the Hyde Park area there are many restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs to enjoy.

University of Chicago Campus

The University of Chicago is located in the Hyde Park area that encompasses 217 acres. The college is a very beautiful in an urban setting with many older buildings, not as old as the universities back east, as well as fascinating modern ones. Many of the buildings have Victorian Gothic and Collegiate Gothic styles. The university is easily accessible, have many walking trails and paths, and being in the urban area there are various public transportation options. The area where the university is located is rather safe with one of the main reasons being that there are many police officers patrolling it since it is in a tourist area.

Costs of Studying at University of Chicago

The costs are relatively high to attend the University of Chicago, but that is not surprising being an elite school where graduates can make a significant amount of money. There is financial aid available for both undergraduate and graduate students and the median cost for a year at the university as an undergrad is $75,735 with tuition making up most of that cost. The costs of the graduate programs differ. Here is the breakdown of the costs for one year for undergraduate students at the college.

  • Tuition and Fees $54,825
  • Room and Board $15,726
  • Books and Supplies $1,800
  • Other Expenses $2,175

The University of Chicago offers an installment plan and travel expenses have to be factored into the account depending on where the student is from.


The University of Chicago is located in the Hyde Park area of the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is situated on the shore of Lake Michigan and is eight miles away from downtown Chicago. The college is unique in that it has the feel of a college town within the bigger city of Chicago being an urban university with many amenities all around the university.

Q: How much money will I make with a University of Chicago degree? A: When someone graduates from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree they can expect to make an average of $64,000 in the first year. The mid-career salary average is around $125,000 with a B.S. and the university is in the top 12% of colleges in the United States when it comes to return on investment. The graduation rate of the college is 92% and many employers look to hire graduates from the university because of its solid academic reputation. The average salary for a graduate or professional degree will differ depending on the school, but it is significantly higher than those with a bachelor’s degree from the university. Q: How does the accreditation process work?A: There are many ways that students can transfer into the University of Chicago whether it be from another college to finish undergraduate work or to enter one of the graduate and professional programs. Students that are currently enrolled at the University of Chicago can take classes at other universities and they can be transferred back to Chicago, but the coursework must follow the transfer guidelines. The same expectations are for new students that want to transfer into the University of Chicago. In the College Catalog on the main university website it lays out all the information for transfer students and what they need to do. Incoming undergrad students should be aware that coursework taken at other institutions will not count toward the overall GPA at the University of Chicago. Both undergrad and graduate applications will have to provide transcripts from the colleges they previously attended. Q: What is the weather like at the University of Chicago? A: At the University of Chicago students can expect to feel four different seasons throughout the year. Springtime is pleasant and can be wet and on the cooler side, the summers can be hot and rather humid, the fall is very pleasant and mild, and the winter can be very cold and snow is often in the forecast. The area of Hyde Park where the university is situation can be very windy, as it is on the shores of Lake Michigan and as a whole there is a reason they call Chicago the Windy City. However, because of the warming effect with the lake nearly temperatures below freezing are less common than in other parts of the city.

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