Northwestern University is a private research university located near Chicago in Evanston, Illinois. Internationally recognized for its educational excellence, Northwestern consistently ranks in among the best in the country for its undergraduate programs.
Northwestern offers a comprehensive range of academic programs that lead to certificates, diplomas, degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels, and professional degrees. The acclaimed faculty include members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among others.
The thousands of prestigious alumni of Northwestern include government leaders, and newsmakers from science, medicine, education, law, the media and performing arts. A few of Northwestern's more well-known alumni include Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, actor David Schwimmer, and Julia Wallace, editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management consistently ranks among the top five business schools in the country. U.S. News & World Report considers the School of Law among the top 15 law schools, and the Feinberg School of Medicine in the top 20.
Northwestern's libraries are well-known for their holdings, which include millions of volumes, microforms, current periodicals and serials, and hundreds of databases and electronic journals.
Northwestern University was founded in 1851 to serve the Northwest Territory (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota). Land was secured for the university campus in 1853 on the shores of Lake Michigan. The land around the campus was developed, and the adjacent town was named Evanston in honor of John Evans, one of the University's founders. In 1855, classes at Northwestern University commenced with two faculty members and 10 students.
The academic format for Northwestern University follows the quarter format, with fall, winter, spring and summer quarters. The summer quarter is divided into three sessions of varying lengths.
Colleges and Schools
- Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
- School of Communication
- School of Continuing Studies
- School of Education and Social Policy
- Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
- Graduate School
- Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
- School of Law
- J.L. Kellogg School of Management
- Feinberg School of Medicine
- Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music
- Northwestern University in Qatar
There is always something to do on the Northwestern University campuses, whether it is active participation in one of the many student clubs or organizations, including fraternities and sororities, or exercising during intramural and club sports. Students can explore their interest in the arts by viewing art at a campus art gallery, catching a theatre performance or a concert. The recreation and fitness facilities at Northwestern are state-of-the art, and the events that occur on campus year-round always draw a big crowd.
On campus housing is available, including graduate housing and residential colleges. Off-campus housing is also available. There are many meal plans and dining options available on and around campus.
The traditional school colors for Northwestern University are purple and white. The mascot is the Wildcat ("Willie the Wildcat"). This mascot was chosen in 1924 after a reporter referred to Northwestern's football players as "wildcats" in an article he wrote for The Chicago Tribune. Since that time, all athletic teams at Northwestern have been nicknamed the "Wildcats." There is a popular cheer team at Northwestern University, as well as a "Ladycats" dance team.
The Land of Lincoln Trophy
A relatively new tradition, since 2009 the Land of Lincoln Trophy has been given annually to the winner of the Northwestern-Illinois football Game.
The bronze Land of Lincoln Trophy is modeled after Abraham Lincoln's authentic hat, and designed by Dick Locher, cartoonist and artist. The bronze trophy sits atop a wood base measuring 14 by 14 inches. The trophy idea resulted from an online vote by Northwestern and Illinois fans, who had to select a new trophy to be given to the winner of their traditional annual game.
The Northwestern University "Wildcats" athletic teams are charter members of the Big Ten Conference, and compete in 19 varsity sports, including:
- Swimming and Diving
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Swimming and Diving
Northwestern University has three campuses:
- Evanston Campus
- Chicago Campus
- Doha, Qatar Campus
Many of the schools and colleges at Northwestern University have programs that support and benefit the community. One example is the Chicago Community Engagement Program at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Through this program, Feinberg students interested in participating in community health activities receive support, guidance and resources. Some of the community involvement opportunities include:
- Research and service activities in Chicago
- Feinberg student group activities
- Career interest in Family Medicine and Primary Care
- Special events, classes, activities, or projects
- Global Health Initiative (GHI) travel awards in alliance with the Center for Global Health
Northwestern University encourages a dual focus on education and community service by providing strong academic support for engagement activities.
Admission Requirements & Details
The information regarding admissions below may give you an idea of the applicants Northwestern University accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, as well as any AP or college credits that may be transferred.
College Credits Accepted
- Dual Credits
- AP Course Credits
The total student enrollment at Northwestern University is about 22,000. The student body is made up of 41% undergraduate students and 9% graduate students.
Estimated Costs & Financial Aid
The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.
Tuition & Fees Information
- Annual tuition estimates are between $49,000-$58,000 for both state residents and nonresidents
- Per unit charges are around $6,300 for part time students
Financial Aid Details
The table listed below helps break down the types of financial aid students receive and the percent receiving aid, as well as the average amount of aid per student per year.
|Percent of Students||Average Amount|
|Any Financial Aid||61%||-|
|Receiving Grants & Scholarships||54%||$34,882|
|Receiving Student Loans||29%||$5,796|
Academics & Student Services
Student ServicesTo help support students, Northwestern University may provide student services like:
- Classes offered on nights and weekends
- Academic counseling for students
- Student employment
- Assistance to find work
Northwestern University has a very high graduation rate when compared to nearby similar schools.
|Number of Year to Graduate||Percent of Entering Class|
|Students Graduating in 4 Years||86%|
|Graduating in 5 Years||7%|
|Graduating in 6 Years||1%|
Specialized Programs & Accreditations
Campus: Northwestern University
- Clinical Audiology (Au.D.) Program
- Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
- Law Program
- Medical (M.D.) Program
- Music Program
- Speech-Language Pathology Program
Campus: Northwestern University - Chicago Downtown Campus
- Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
- * Accredited by the American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation (since 1972)
- Graduate Level Public Health (Outside School of Public Health) Program
- * Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (since 2000)
Northwestern University is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division I-A classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:
- Baseball (Big Ten Conference)
- Basketball (Big Ten Conference)
- Field Hockey
- Football (Big Ten Conference)
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field, X-Country
The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.
Get more information about the programs offered by Northwestern University by clicking the request information to the right.
(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Business and Marketing Studies
Communications and Journalism
Computer and Information Sciences
English Language and Literature
Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies
Family and Consumer Sciences
Foreign Languages and Literature
Health and Clinical Professions
Legal Professions and Studies
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics
Natural Resources and Conservation
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Public Administration and Social Services
Recreation and Fitness Studies
Theology and Religious Vocations
Visual and Performing Arts
Other 4-Year Private Colleges
The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Northwestern University.
- Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL (5 miles away)
- University of Illinois at Chicago in Chicago, IL (12 miles away)
- Chicago State University in Chicago, IL (23 miles away)
- Purdue University - Calumet Campus in Hammond, IN (34 miles away)
- Indiana University - Northwest in Gary, IN (38 miles away)
Also, check out our college lists below, which can help students compare schools to one another:
- Review a complete list of all the Illinois colleges
- Find out what other private colleges are located in Illinois
Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2010-2016. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Northwestern University for official up-to-date information.