About the University
Located in the community of Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side, just 15 minutes from the city center, the University of Chicago is uniquely positioned to contribute to, and draw from, the strength and diversity of this world-class metropolis. We have also made an indelible mark on the world at large.
Changing the World
Our faculty and students are pioneers, discoverers, teachers, scholars, and change agents. We ask tough questions, engage the world around us, and pursue knowledge with rigor because we believe in the transformative power of ideas.
Our undergraduate program is known for its emphasis on critical thinking and broad interdisciplinary exposure to the full range of intellectual discovery. Our College classrooms have a reputation for being hotbeds of exhilarating discourse. Discussions that start in the classroom often move to the lunch table, to the residences, and into the community. A Chicago education is a life-changing experience.
Creating New Disciplines
As the nation’s celebrated teacher of teachers, we place particular emphasis at the graduate level on the training of students for careers in academia and research. Committed to scholarship of the highest order, our faculty has made major contributions to existing bodies of knowledge and to the creation of new fields of study. Chicago scholars seek to break down artificial disciplinary barriers and frequently explore research and coursework outside their selected fields. We have long thrived in an atmosphere of free and open inquiry, which has led to classic studies of literary criticism and urban sociology, the development of ecology, and the study of religions as an academic field.
Leading in Law and Economics
Our legal scholars have pioneered the analysis of legal issues from an economic point of view; and more than any other university in the world, ours has made its mark in the reshaping of modern economics.
Leading in the Sciences
It was at Chicago that REM sleep was discovered and carbon-14 dating was developed. Our scientists laid the mathematical foundations of genetic evolution; executed the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction; conceived the study of black holes; and performed the nation’s first living-donor liver transplant. Researchers here have also expanded our understanding of dinosaur evolution; reconstructed the evolution of the early universe in astonishing detail; proved that chromosomal defects can lead to cancer; and pioneered scientific archaeology of the ancient Near East.
Winning Awards and Accolades
Eighty-nine recipients of the Nobel Prize have been students, researchers, or faculty here. Since 1979, 12 of Chicago’s faculty have been honored with the prize—three in physics, eight in economics, and one in literature. Our creative writers and scholars have recently won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Grammy Award, and the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, among other major awards. Even undergraduates have the opportunity to study with a Nobel laureate here.
Changing the Face of Education
Our impact on American higher education is legendary. It was here that the four-quarter system was developed and adult extension courses in the liberal arts were first conceived. We forever changed business education with the first executive MBA program, in 1943. Our coherent program of general education for undergraduates has been copied all over the nation, and college curricula throughout the country reflect our conception of the liberal arts undergraduate education.
At Chicago, campus and community are interconnected in partnerships that serve both to support the community and train future policymakers, social workers, artists, and social and political leaders. The University of Chicago Charter School, run by the Center for Urban School Improvement, serves Chicago public school students with four campuses for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. The Mandel Legal Aid Clinic assists indigent clients while teaching Law School students advocacy skills, professional ethics, and the effect of legal institutions on the poor. While the University of Chicago contributes specifically to the metropolis, the city in turn serves as a living laboratory for addressing social issues on a national and global scale.