Chicago is well known for its rich heritage and contemporary diversity. Often nicknamed the ‘Windy City’ and filled to the rafters with a strong blues and jazz background – not to mention an exciting and extensive historical relevance to boot – many seek to take up further study in one of the city’s many educational institutions.
Much like any city boasting a number of different colleges and universities, however, it can be difficult to pick the right one from among the many. We all know that the committed student and determined thinker can do well anywhere, regardless of university ranking systems or feedback – but it’s a good place to start, nonetheless.
The University of Chicago
The obvious first, then – the University of Chicago is touted as one of the world’s most notable institutions for research and academia, predominantly focused on its Hyde Park campus (UChicago.edu).
Founded by none other than John D. Rockefeller in 1890, the university has a long withstanding cultural relevance and frequently tops many leader boards and feedback systems regarding the U.S.’ top universities. For example, on TopUniversities.com, the University of Chicago received five stars for the entire criterion: Research, Facilities, Internationalization, Innovation and Specialist Criteria (TopUniversities.com).
Illinois Institute of Technology
Ranked just below the University of Chicago on B Smrt Chicago’s Top 10 Chicago University Rankings (which is voted for by Chicagoans) – the Illinois Institute of Technology is another excellent choice for would-be undergraduate students (BSmrt).
The school was also founded in 1890, originally known as the Armour Institute. These days, it specialises in courses anchored round science, architecture, business and law – granting non-profit PHD research positions as part of its independent make-up. Additionally, the school holds a number of prominent accolades, such as its business school being ranked 26th in the U.S. by the Financial Times (Illinois Institute of Technology).
Following the same ranking system of B Smrt’s, Northwestern University is ranked at number one, above both the University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology (BSmrt). One of the earliest educational institutions of the city (formed in 1851), Northwestern University is an elite, privately run school with campuses in both Evanston and Chicago.
Best known for its medical and law faculties, Northwestern is a highly esteemed and very well respected institution amongst not only Chicago, and the U.S. – but the world. Prospective students with the determination and drive to make the most of their opportunities would fit well into Northwestern University’s outlook (Northwestern.edu.).
Another consistently high ranking university under the banner of Chicago is that of Loyola University. The most prominent thing about Loyola, from the outset, is the pride the institution takes in its multi-cultural tapestry and rich diversity of students, courses and activities available to all who attend (TopUniversities.com).
The school boasts over 140 graduate level, professional courses, as well as over 80 undergraduate and minor courses in its roster. Important to note, is that the university is one of the largest Jesuit, Catholic schools in the nation – and the only one in Chicago city, marking it as a fairly important cultural landmark for the city itself (Loyola University).
With four campuses dotted around the city, and an incredible wealth of subjects for prospective students to look into, Loyola is one of the best the city has to offer.
Again, voted highly by the citizens of the city – DePaul University is another top contender amongst the many, many schools Chicago possesses. DePaul is the largest Catholic University (by enrolment) in the United States as a whole and is slightly younger than many of its contemporaries, having been formed in 1898 (DePaul University).
DePaul has been highly lauded for its diversity and its professionalism as an entire institution, with Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranking the university amongst the top 100 universities granting degrees to minority students in 2011. In conjunction, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school as 121st amongst around 1,800 national institutions (ibid).
St. Xavier University
Another high runner amongst BSmrt’s top ten ranking is St. Xavier University, which comes in at number seven (BSmrt). With a rich heritage dating back to the establishment of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, back in 1831 – St Xavier has its own longstanding history outwith that of the city of Chicago (Saint Xavier University).
From these beginnings as a woman’s institute, into the highly lauded coeducational establishment it is today, St. Xavier has a respected, liberal environment – which strives to make itself welcoming to new students. With a long list of accolades, the school has been recognised for its online nursing graduate programs, its approach to military veterans and has even been awarded the title of “Center of Excellence” by the National League of Nursing, three times.
Although Chicago city caters to a huge number of different institutions – this handful are some of the finest on offer. This isn’t to say that any left from the list are of less worth – regardless of the school a student chooses to go to, the predominant responsibility lies with them. A university can only provide the tools; the destiny is yours to sculpt.
UChicago.edu. About. Available: http://www.uchicago.edu/about/ [accessed July 6th, 2014].
TopUniverisities.com (2014). University of Chicago. Available: http://www.topuniversities.com/universities/university-chicago/undergrad
BSmrt Chicago. Top 10 Chicago University Rankings. Availble: http://www.bgglobal.com/res/B-SMRT%20Advertisment_Red%20Eye.pdf
Illinois Institute of Technology. Quick Facts. Available: http://web.iit.edu/about/quick-facts
Northwestern.edu. Information for Prospective Students. Available: http://www.northwestern.edu/
Loyola University. Loyola At a Glance. Available: http://www.luc.edu/keyfacts/index.shtml
DePaul University. About. Available: http://www.depaul.edu/
Saint Xavier University. History. Available: http://www.sxu.edu/about/history.asp