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University of Chicago

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Title: University of Chicago  
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Subject: List of heads of state educated in the United States, Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, List of members of the National Academy of Sciences (Physics), Illinois Institute of Technology, 1924 college football season
Collection: 1890 Establishments in Illinois, Association of American Universities, Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Educational Institutions Established in 1890, Gothic Revival Architecture in Illinois, Institutions Founded by the Rockefeller Family, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in Chicago, Illinois, University of Chicago
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University of Chicago

University of Chicago
The seal of the University of Chicago. It is in the shape of a shield, with a drawing of a phoenix on the bottom and a book with the university's motto
Latin: Universitas Chicagiensis
Motto Crescat scientia; vita excolatur (Latin)
Motto in English Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched[1]
Established 1890
Type Private nondenominational coeducational
Endowment US$7.47 billion[2]
President Robert J. Zimmer
Academic staff 2,168[3]
Admin. staff 14,772 (including employees of the University of Chicago Medical Center)[3]
Students 14,954[4]
Undergraduates 5,134[4]
Postgraduates 9,820[4]
Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Campus Urban, 211 acres (85.4 ha)[3]
Colors Maroon      White     [5]
Athletics NCAA Division IIIUAA
Nickname Maroons
Mascot Phoenix
Affiliations AAU
568 Group
The University of Chicago Logo

The University of Chicago (U of C, UChicago, or simply Chicago) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois.

Founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago was incorporated in 1890; William Rainey Harper became the university's first president in 1891, and the first classes were held in 1892. Both Harper and future president Robert Maynard Hutchins advocated for Chicago's curriculum to be based upon theoretical and perennial issues rather than applied sciences and commercial utility.[6]

The university consists of the professional schools, and a school of continuing education. Chicago is particularly well known for its professional schools, which include the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Booth School of Business, the Law School, and the Divinity School. The university enrolls approximately 5,000 students in the College and about 15,000 students overall.

University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of various academic disciplines, including: the Chicago school of economics, the Chicago school of sociology, the law and economics movement in legal analysis,[7] the Chicago school of literary criticism, the Chicago school of religion,[8] the school of political science known as behavioralism,[9] and in the physics leading to the world's first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction.[10] The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States.[11]

The University of Chicago is home to many prominent alumni. 89 Nobel laureates[12] have been affiliated with the university as visiting professors, students, faculty, or staff, the fourth most of any institution in the world. In addition, Chicago's alumni include 49 Rhodes Scholars,[13] 9 Fields Medalists,[14] 20 National Humanities Medalists [15] and 13 billionaire graduates.[16]


  • History 1
    • Founding–1910s 1.1
    • 1920s–1980s 1.2
    • 1990s–2010s 1.3
  • Campus 2
    • Satellite campuses 2.1
  • Administration and finances 3
  • Academics 4
    • Undergraduate college 4.1
    • Graduate schools and committees 4.2
    • Professional schools 4.3
    • Associated academic institutions 4.4
      • Library system 4.4.1
    • Research 4.5
    • Arts 4.6
  • People 5
    • Student body 5.1
    • Alumni 5.2
  • Athletics 6
  • Student life 7
    • Student organizations 7.1
      • Student Government 7.1.1
    • Fraternities and sororities 7.2
    • Student housing 7.3
    • Traditions 7.4
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


An early convocation ceremony at the University of Chicago


The University of Chicago was created and Baptist university of the same name, which had closed in 1886 due to extended financial and leadership problems.[19] William Rainey Harper became the modern university's first president on July 1, 1891, and the university opened for classes on October 1, 1892.[19]

The business school was founded in 1898,[20] and the law school was founded in 1902.[21] Harper died in 1906,[22] and was replaced by a succession of three presidents whose tenures lasted until 1929.[23] During this period, the Oriental Institute was founded to support and interpret archeological work in what was then called the Near East.[24]

In the 1890s, the University of Chicago, fearful that its vast resources would injure smaller schools by drawing away good students, affiliated with several regional colleges and universities: Des Moines College, Kalamazoo College, Butler University, and Stetson University. Under the terms of the affiliation, the schools were required to have courses of study comparable to those at the University, to notify the university early of any contemplated faculty appointments or dismissals, to make no faculty appointment without the university's approval, and to send copies of examinations for suggestions. The University of Chicago agreed to confer a degree on any graduating senior from an affiliated school who made a grade of A for all four years, and on any other graduate who took twelve weeks additional study at the University of Chicago. A student or faculty member of an affiliated school was entitled to free tuition at the University of Chicago, and Chicago students were eligible to attend an affiliated school on the same terms and receive credit for their work. The University of Chicago also agreed to provide affiliated schools with books and scientific apparatus and supplies at cost; special instructors and lecturers without cost except travel expenses; and a copy of every book and journal published by the University of Chicago Press at no cost. The agreement provided that either party could terminate the affiliation on proper notice. Several University of Chicago professors disliked the program, as it involved uncompensated additional labor on their part, and they believed it cheapened the academic reputation of the University. The program passed into history by 1910.[25]


In 1929, the university's fifth president,

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
  • University of Chicago Magazine website
  • Archival Photographic Files University of Chicago Library
  • Alumnus Arley D. Cathey pledges $17 million

External links

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  4. ^ a b c "Facts for Journalists". UChicago News Office. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Traditions". University of Chicago Office of College Admissions. Retrieved September 10, 2009. 
  6. ^ "University of Chicago". Encyclopedia of Education. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ "History of Law and Economics". University of Montreal. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  8. ^ "The Chicago School". Britanica Academic Edition. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ Hanson, John Mark. "Building the Chicago School". 
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  11. ^ "Duffy is named Director of the University Press". The University of Chicago Chronicle. April 27, 2000. Retrieved April 30, 2006. 
  12. ^ "Nobel Laureates". 
  13. ^ "US Rhodes Scholarship Winners by institution (1904-2013)". The Rhodes Trust. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Fields Medalists". University of Chicago. 
  15. ^ "National Humanities Medalists". 
  16. ^ Janhavi Kumar Sapra (August 11, 2010). "Billionaire Universities".  
  17. ^ Goodspeed, Thomas Wakefield (1916). A History of the University of Chicago. Chicago: The  
  18. ^ "History". University of Chicago. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Rudolph, Frederick (1962). The American College and University: A History. Knopf. p. 351.  
  20. ^ "Chicago Booth History". University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  21. ^ "History of the Law School". University of Chicago Law School. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  22. ^ "History of the Office:William Rainey Harper". University of Chicago. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  23. ^ "History of the Office". University of Chicago. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  24. ^ "A Brief History of the Oriental Institute". The Oriental Institute. Since its establishment in 1919, The Oriental Institute has sponsored archaeological and survey expeditions in every country of the Near East. 
  25. ^ Gilbert Lycan, Stetson University: The First 100 Years at 70-72, pp. 165-185 (Stetson University Press, 1983)
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  27. ^ "The Common Core". University of Chicago Office of College Admissions. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  28. ^ "The University of Chicago proposal". Northwestern university. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  29. ^ "A Brief History of the Medical Center". The University of Chicago Medical Center. Retrieved September 14, 2009. 
  30. ^ a b "University of Chicago Met Lab". Atomic Heritage Foundation. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  31. ^ "The First Reactor". December 1982. Retrieved July 15, 2009. On December 2, 1942, in a racquets court underneath the West Stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi created man's first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. 
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  43. ^ Cochrane, John. "Comments on the Milton Friedman Institute Protest letter". 
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  45. ^ Pridmore, Jay. "Make No Little Quads". University of Chicago Magazine. 
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  54. ^ Robertson, David Allan (1919). The University of Chicago: An Official Guide (3rd ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 48. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
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  57. ^ "Of Milestones and Momentum". The University of Chicago Magazine 100 (6). July–August 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  58. ^ The University of Chicago Magazine. Retrieved on 2013-08-15.
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  60. ^ "About Us". Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  61. ^ "Room 405, George Herbert Jones Laboratory". National Historic Landmarks Program. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
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  65. ^ "The University of Chicago Center in Paris". University of Chicago. 
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  67. ^ "University Organization Chart". The University of Chicago. Retrieved August 16, 2009. 
  68. ^ "Andrew Alper Elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees". The University of Chicago. Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  69. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012 (Revised February 4, 2013)". 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
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  79. ^ a b "The University of Chicago Academic Calendar". Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
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  82. ^ "Minors". University of Chicago Office of College Admissions. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  83. ^ "Departments and Academic Degree Programs in the College". University of Chicago. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  84. ^ "New Collegiate Division". University of Chicago. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  85. ^ "Another Chapter in the Life of the College". The University of Chicago Magazine. Retrieved September 3, 2006. 
  86. ^ "The Core". University of Chicago Office of College Admissions. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
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  89. ^ "Enrollment by Academic Unit, by Academic Status: Spring 2009 Census". University of Chicago Office of the Registrar. Retrieved July 29, 2009. 
  90. ^ "About the Lab Schools". The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. 2005. Archived from the original on September 4, 2006. Retrieved September 3, 2006. 
  91. ^ "About the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School". The University of Chicago. Retrieved September 9, 2009. The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School is a coeducational residential treatment program for children and adolescents in need of support for profound emotional issues...As an affiliate of the University of Chicago, the School is committed to fostering inquiry into the clinical and treatment needs of troubled children and youth 
  92. ^ "About the University of Chicago Charter School". University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. Retrieved August 13, 2009. 
  93. ^ "Chicago School for Children with Learning Disabilities". Hyde Park Day School. Retrieved September 9, 2009. The Hyde Park Day School (HPDS) is a private, not-for-profit day school serving the needs of children with learning disabilities... With two Illinois locations on the University of Chicago campus in Chicago and north suburban Northfield, HPDS is the only school of its kind in the Chicago area. 
  94. ^ "The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP)". The University of Chicago. Retrieved May 28, 2006. 
  95. ^ "about CAS". The Council on Advanced Studies. November 17, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007. 
  96. ^ "Academic publishing veteran to direct the University Press". The University of Chicago Chronicle. July 12, 2007. Retrieved July 12, 2007. 
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  99. ^ "visited January 25, 2007". 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
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  106. ^ Marine Biological Laboratory to affiliate with University of Chicago - Health & wellness. The Boston Globe (2013-06-12). Retrieved on 2013-08-15.
  107. ^ Kasper, Sherryl (2002) The Revival of Laissez-Faire in American Macroeconomic Theory: A Case Study of Its Pioneers. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 1-84064-606-3
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  110. ^ Cox, John D. (2005). Climate crash: abrupt climate change and what it means for our future. National Academies Press. p. 27.  
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  113. ^ "Nobel Laureates and Universities". Nobel Foundation. 2008. 
  114. ^ Harms, William (June 8, 2006). "Graduate students win Fulbright-Hays fellowships" 8. University of Chicago Chronicle. Retrieved July 30, 2009. 
  115. ^ "Rhodes Scholars". University of Chicago. Retrieved July 30, 2009. 
  116. ^ a b "Spring Quarter 2012 Statistical Report". Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  117. ^ "Enrollment by Race/Ethnic Categories and Gender, Spring 2012". Department for Institutional Research, University of Chicago. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  118. ^ Office of the Registrar (June 21, 2012). "SPRING QUARTER 2012 STATISTICAL REPORT". Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago. Table 7. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  119. ^ "Profile for the Class of 2015". The University of Chicago. 2011–2012. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  120. ^ "Admissions FAQs". Pritzker School of Medicine. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  121. ^ "FAQs: About the Law School". The University of Chicago Law School. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  122. ^
  123. ^ Yoe, Mary Ruth (February 2004). "Everybody's a critic". University of Chicago Magazine 96 (3). 
  124. ^ a b c "Quick Facts: 2012–13 Summary". 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 
  125. ^ McNeill, William Hardy (1991). Hutchins' university: A Memoir of the University of Chicago, 1929–1950.  
  126. ^ "Student Activities". University of Chicago Office of College Admissions. 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2009. 
  127. ^ a b "UChicago Student Activities Database". Retrieved June 27, 2009. 
  128. ^ "UChicago SG". University of Chicago Student Government. 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  129. ^ a b "Greek Life On Campus". University of Chicago Office of Registered Clubs and Student Activities. 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2007. 
  130. ^ "Fraternies and Sororities". University of Chicago Admissions. 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2007. 
  131. ^ a b Golus, Carrie (October 2002). "Geeks Go Greek". University of Chicago Magazine 95 (1). 
  132. ^ "Fraternities of the University of Chicago Interfraternity Council". Retrieved June 27, 2009. 
  133. ^ "Houses and Halls". The University of Chicago. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  134. ^ a b "Housing and Dining". University of Chicago Office of College Admissions. Retrieved September 10, 2009. 
  135. ^ "About Graduate Housing". Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  136. ^ "World's largest Scavenger Hunt begins in Chicago" (Press release). University of Chicago News Office. Retrieved June 13, 2005. 
  137. ^


  • ^ "Graduate school" figures are totals of the data from each of the four divisions. "Professional school" figures are totals of Booth, the Divinity School, the Law School, Harris, SSA, and Pritzker. The Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, "Graduate Affairs", and "Special Programs" are included in the "university total" figures, but not in any other category.


Every May since 1987, the University of Chicago has held the Latke-Hamantash Debate, which involves humorous discussions about the relative merits and meanings of latkes and hamantashen.

Qwazy Quad Rally, Scav Hunt 2005, item #38


For graduate students, the university owns and operates 28 apartment buildings near campus.[135]

On-campus undergraduate students at the University of Chicago participate in a house system in which each student is assigned to one of the university's 11 residence hall buildings and to a smaller community within their residence hall called a "house". There are 38 houses, with an average of 70 students in each house[133] Freshmen are required to participate in the house system, and housing is guaranteed every year thereafter.[134] About 60% of undergraduate students live on campus.[134]

An orange brick building with pink window frames and a blue roof
Max Palevsky Residential Commons, a dormitory constructed in 2001 designed by postmodernist Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta

Student housing

There are fifteen fraternities and seven sororities at the University of Chicago,[129] as well as one co-ed community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.[130] Four of the sororities are members of the National Panhellenic Conference,[131] and ten of the fraternities form the University of Chicago Interfraternity Council.[132] In 2002, the Associate Director of Student Activities estimated that 8–10 percent of undergraduates were members of fraternities or sororities.[131] The student activities office has used similar figures, stating that one in ten undergraduates participate in Greek life.[129]

Fraternities and sororities

All Recognized Student Organizations, from the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt to Model UN, in addition to academic teams, sports club, arts groups, and more are funded by The University of Chicago Student Government. Student Government is made up of graduate and undergraduate students elected to represent members from their respective academic unit. It is led by an Executive Committee, chaired by a President with the assistance of two Vice Presidents, one for Administration and the other for Student Life, elected together as a slate by the student body each spring. Its annual budget is greater than $2 million.[128]

Student Government

Students at the University of Chicago run over 400 clubs and organizations known as Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs).[126][127] These include cultural and religious groups, academic clubs and teams, and common-interest organizations.[127] Among notable RSOs are the nation's longest continuously running student film society University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, the twice-weekly student newspaper The Chicago Maroon, the alternative weekly student newspaper South Side Weekly, the nation's second oldest continuously running student improvisational theater troupe Off-Off Campus, and the university-owned radio station WHPK-FM.

Student organizations

The university's Reynolds Club, the student center

Student life

The Maroons compete in the NCAA's Division III as members of the University Athletic Association (UAA). The university was a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and participated in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball and Football and was a regular participant in the Men's Basketball tournament. In 1935, the University of Chicago reached the Sweet Sixteen.[124] However, the university chose to withdraw from the conference in 1946 after University President Robert Maynard Hutchins de-emphasized varsity athletics in 1939 and dropped football.[125] (In 1969, Chicago reinstated football as a Division III team, resuming playing its home games at the new Stagg Field.)

The University of Chicago hosts 19 varsity sports teams: 10 men's teams and 9 women's teams,[124] all called the Maroons, with 502 students participating in the 2012–2013 school year.[124]

The athletic logo used by the University of Chicago Maroons


Notable former students who did not graduate include novelist Saul Bellow, film critic Roger Ebert, Oracle Corporation founder and CEO Larry Ellison, and director, writer and comedian Mike Nichols.

In academia, alumni include astronomer Carl Sagan, economists Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell and Eugene Fama, astronomer Edwin Hubble, Africanist Marimba Ani and international relations scholar Samuel P. Huntington.

In literature, novelists Philip Roth, Tucker Max, and Kurt Vonnegut are graduates, as well as Lauren Oliver, author of the best-selling Delirium Trilogy.

In journalism, notable graduates include New York Times columnist David Brooks, Washington Post columnist David Broder, Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, investigative journalist Seymour Hirsch, The Progressive columnist Milton Mayer, statistical analyst Nate Silver, writer and activist Richard B. Spencer, and CBS News correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.

In business, Goldman Sachs and MF Global CEO Jon Corzine, Arley D. Cathey, Bloomberg L.P. CEO Daniel Doctoroff, Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan, Morningstar, Inc. founder and CEO Joe Mansueto, and businessman and author Dick Stoken are all alumni.

Notable alumni in the field of government and politics include community organizer Saul Alinsky, Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod, Attorney General and federal judge Robert Bork, Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine, Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, former minister of economy and finance in Haiti Leslie Delatour.

In 2004, the University of Chicago claimed 133,155 living alumni.[123]


In the fall quarter of 2014, the University of Chicago enrolled 5,792 students in the College, 3,468 students in its four graduate divisions, 5,984 students in its professional schools, and 15,244 students overall.[88] In the 2012 Spring Quarter, international students comprised almost 19% of the overall study body, over 26% of students were domestic ethnic minorities,[116] and about 44% of enrolled students were female.[118] The middle 50% band of SAT scores for the undergraduate class of 2015, excluding the writing section, was 1420–1530,[119] the average MCAT score for entering students in the Pritzker School of Medicine in 2011 was 36,[120] and the median LSAT score for entering students in the Law School in 2011 was 171.[121] In 2014, the College of the University of Chicago had an acceptance rate of 8.4% for the Class of 2018, the lowest in the college's history.[122]

Student body

Student Body Demographics, Spring Quarter 2012[A]
By sex[116]
College Graduate
Male 51.3% 58.3% 61.2% 56.3%
Female 48.7% 41.7% 38.8% 43.7%
By race[117]
College Graduate
International student 9.7% 31.2% 20.6% 18.9%
African American 4.5% 2.8% 4.8% 4.3%
Native American 0.1% 0.3% 0.1% 0.2%
Arab/Middle Eastern/
North African
0.6% 0.5% 0.1% 0.2%
Asian 16.9% 4.9% 13.5% 12.4%
Pacific Islander 0.06% 0.00% 0.00% 0.02%
Hispanic/Latino 9.0% 3.7% 4.8% 6.0%
Multiracial 4.0% 2.9% 2.0% 2.9%
White 42.8% 42.0% 48.2% 44.2%
Unspecified 12.4% 11.6% 5.9% 10.7%

In addition, many Chicago alumni and scholars have won the Fulbright awards[114] and 49 have matriculated as Rhodes Scholars.[115]

There have been 87 Nobel laureates affiliated with the University of Chicago,[112] 17 of whom were pursuing research or on faculty at the university at the time of the award announcement.[113]


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. [111] 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

Saieh Hall for Economics, housing the Department of Economics and the Becker Friedman Institute


The University of Chicago has been the site of some important experiments and academic movements. In economics, the university has played an important role in shaping ideas about the free market[107] and is the namesake of the Chicago school of economics, the school of economic thought supported by Milton Friedman and other economists. The university's sociology department was the first independent sociology department in the United States and gave birth to the Chicago school of sociology.[108] In physics, the university was the site of the Chicago Pile-1 (the first self-sustained man-made nuclear reaction, part of the Manhattan Project), of Robert Millikan's oil-drop experiment that calculated the charge of the electron,[109] and of the development of radiocarbon dating.[110]

The university operates 12 research institutes and 113 research centers on campus.[104] Among these are the Oriental Institute—a museum and research center for Near Eastern studies owned and operated by the university—and a number of National Resource Centers, including the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Chicago also operates or is affiliated with a number of research institutions apart from the university proper. The university partially manages Argonne National Laboratory, part of the United States Department of Energy's national laboratory system, and has a joint stake in Fermilab, a nearby particle physics laboratory, as well as a stake in the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico. Faculty and students at the adjacent Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago collaborate with the university,[105] In 2013, the University announced that it was affiliating the formerly independent Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.[106] Although formally unrelated, the National Opinion Research Center is located on Chicago's campus.

In fiscal year 2006, the University of Chicago spent US$305,301,000 on scientific research.[102] It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as an institution with "very high research activity"[103] and is a founding member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the Association of American Universities.

Aerial view of Fermilab, one of the science research laboratories partially operated by the University of Chicago


The University of Chicago Library system encompasses six libraries[97] that contain a total of 9.8 million volumes, the 11th most among library systems in the United States.[98] The University's main library is the Regenstein Library, which contains one of the largest collections of print volumes in the United States. The John Crerar Library contains more than 1.3 million volumes in the biological, medical and physical sciences and collections in general science and the philosophy and history of science, medicine, and technology.[99] The university also operates a number of special libraries, including the D'Angelo Law Library, the Social Service Administration Library, and the Eckhart Library for mathematics and computer science, which closed temporarily for renovation on July 8, 2013.[100][101]

Library system

The Joseph Regenstein Library

The university runs a number of academic institutions and programs apart from its undergraduate and postgraduate schools. It operates the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (a private day school for K-12 students and day care),[90] the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (a residential treatment program for those with behavioral and emotional problems),[91] and four public charter schools on the South Side of Chicago administered by the university's Urban Education Institute.[92] In addition, the Hyde Park Day School, a school for students with learning disabilities, maintains a location on the University of Chicago campus.[93] Since 1983, the University of Chicago has maintained the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, a mathematics program used in urban primary and secondary schools.[94] The university runs a program called the Council on Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities, which administers interdisciplinary workshops to provide a forum for graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present scholarly work in progress.[95] The university also operates the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States.[96]

The University of Chicago Lab Schools, a private day school run by the university

Associated academic institutions

The Law School is accredited by the American Bar Association, the Divinity School is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, Pritzker is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.[78]

The university contains six professional schools: the Pritzker School of Medicine (which is a part of the Biological Sciences Division), the Booth School of Business, the Law School, the Divinity School, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, and the School of Social Service Administration (SSA). The total enrollment for these six professional schools was 5,086 students in the 2009 spring quarter: 2,878 students in the business school, 344 in the Divinity School, 452 in the medical school, 269 in the Harris School, 494 in SSA, and 649 in the Law School.[89]

Professional schools

The university is home to several committees for interdisciplinary scholarship, including the Committee on Social Thought.

The university graduate schools and committees are divided into four divisions: Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. In the autumn quarter of 2014, the university enrolled 3,468 graduate students: 461 in the Biological Sciences Division, 819 in the Humanities Division, 1,024 in the Physical Sciences Division, and 1,164 in the Social Sciences Division.[88]

Graduate schools and committees

Eckhart Hall houses the university's math and statistics departments.

Undergraduate students are required to take a distribution of courses to satisfy the university's core curriculum known as the Common Core. In 2012-2013, the Core classes at Chicago were limited to 17 students, and are generally led by a full-time professor (as opposed to a teaching assistant).[85] As of the 2013–2014 school year, 15 courses and demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language are required under the Core.[86] 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."[87]

The College of the University of Chicago grants Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 50 academic majors[81] and 28 minors.[82] 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.[83] 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.[84]

Undergraduate college

The university runs on a quarter system in which the academic year is divided into four terms: Summer (June–August), Autumn (September–December), Winter (January–March), and Spring (April–June).[79] Full-time undergraduate students take three to four courses every quarter[80] for approximately eleven weeks before their quarterly academic breaks. The school year typically begins in late September and ends in mid-June.[79]

The academic bodies of the University of Chicago consist of the College, four divisions of graduate research, six professional schools, and the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies (a continuing education school). The university also contains a library system, the University of Chicago Press, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, and the University of Chicago Medical Center, and holds ties with a number of independent academic institutions, including Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.[78]

University rankings
ARWU[71] 8
Forbes[72] 24
U.S. News & World Report[73] 4
Washington Monthly[74] 53
ARWU[75] 9
QS[76] 11
Times[77] 11


The university's endowment was the 12th largest among American educational institutions and state university systems in 2013[69] and as of 2012 was valued at $6.571 billion.[70]

The University of Chicago is governed by a board of trustees. The Board of Trustees oversees the long-term development and plans of the university and manages fundraising efforts, and is composed of 50 members including the university President.[66] Directly beneath the President are the Provost, fourteen Vice Presidents (including the Chief Financial Officer, [67] As of August 2009, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Andrew Alper,[68] and the President of the university is Robert Zimmer. In December 2013 it was announced that the Director of Argonne National Laboratory, Eric Isaacs, would become Provost.

Administration and finances

The University of Chicago also maintains facilities apart from its main campus. The university's Booth School of Business maintains campuses in Singapore, London, and the downtown Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. The Center in Paris, a campus located on the left bank of the Seine in Paris, hosts various undergraduate and graduate study programs.[65] In fall 2010, the University of Chicago also opened a center in Beijing, near Renmin University's campus in Haidian District. The most recent addition is a center in New Delhi, India, which opened in 2014.

Satellite campuses

[62].National Register of Historic Places, an undergraduate dormitory, is on the Hitchcock Hall [61] The site of

After the 1940s, the Gothic style on campus began to give way to modern styles.[51] In 1955, Eero Saarinen was contracted to develop a second master plan, which led to the construction of buildings both north and south of the Midway, including the Laird Bell Law Quadrangle (a complex designed by Saarinen);[51] a series of arts buildings;[51] a building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the university's School of Social Service Administration;,[51] a building which is to become the home of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies by Edward Durrell Stone, and the Regenstein Library, the largest building on campus, a brutalist structure designed by Walter Netsch of the Chicago firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.[55] Another master plan, designed in 1999 and updated in 2004,[56] produced the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center (2003),[56] the Max Palevsky Residential Commons (2001),[51] South Campus Residence Hall and dining commons (2009), a new children's hospital,[57] and other construction, expansions, and restorations.[58] In 2011, the university completed the glass dome-shaped Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, which provides a grand reading room for the university library and prevents the need for an off-campus book depository.

The first buildings of the University of Chicago campus, which make up what is now known as the Main Quadrangles, were part of a "master plan" conceived by two University of Chicago trustees and plotted by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb.[51] The Main Quadrangles consist of six quadrangles, each surrounded by buildings, bordering one larger quadrangle.[52] The buildings of the Main Quadrangles were designed by Cobb, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, Holabird & Roche, and other architectural firms in a mixture of the Victorian Gothic and Collegiate Gothic styles, patterned on the colleges of the University of Oxford.[51] (Mitchell Tower, for example, is modeled after Oxford's Magdalen Tower,[53] and the university Commons, Hutchinson Hall, replicates Christ Church Hall.[54])

Many older buildings of the University of Chicago employ Collegiate Gothic architecture like that of the University of Oxford. For example, Chicago's Mitchell Tower (left) was modeled after Oxford's Magdalen Tower (right).

The main campus of the University of Chicago consists of 211 acres (85.4 ha) in the Chicago neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Woodlawn, seven miles (11 km) south of downtown Chicago. The northern and southern portions of campus are separated by the Midway Plaisance, a large, linear park created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. In 2011, Travel+Leisure listed the university as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.[50]

The campus of the University of Chicago.
The campus of the University of Chicago. From the top of Rockefeller Chapel, the Main Quadrangles can be seen on the left (West), the Oriental Institute and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics can be seen in the center (North), and the Booth School of Business and Laboratory Schools can be seen on the right (East). The panoramic is bounded on both sides by the Midway Plaisance (South).


On May 1, 2014, Barack Obama's White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault publicly named the University of Chicago as one of many higher education institutions under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights "for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints."[47] "Fourth-year Olivia Ortiz filed the original complaint on the claim that the University had mishandled disciplinary procedures after she was sexually assaulted by her then-partner, who has since graduated, over the course of the 2011–2012 academic year. OCR accepted her case in June 2013, based both on the content of Ortiz’s original complaint and on the Maroon Sexual Assault Investigative series from fall 2012, which was cited in the original complaint."[48] The complaint was reported originally by the Chicago Maroon in a 2012 student newspaper investigation of University of Chicago's history of under reporting and mishandling sexual violence complaints filed by students since 2007.[49]

Since 2009, a two-billion dollar campaign has brought substantial expansion to the campus, including the unveiling of the Max Palevsky Residential Commons, the South Campus Residence Hall, the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center, a new hospital, and a new science building. Since 2011, major construction projects have included the Jules and Gwen Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, a ten-story medical research center, and further additions to the medical campus of the University of Chicago Medical Center.[46]

In the past decade, the university began a number of multi-million dollar expansion projects. In 2008, the University of Chicago announced plans to establish the Milton Friedman Institute which attracted both support and controversy from faculty members and students.[39][40][41][42][43] The institute will cost around $200 million and occupy the buildings of the Chicago Theological Seminary. During the same year, investor David G. Booth donated $300 million to the university's Booth School of Business, which is the largest gift in the university's history and the largest gift ever to any business school.[44] In 2009, planning or construction on several new buildings, half of which cost $100 million or more, was underway.[45]

In 1999, then-President Hugo Sonnenschein announced plans to relax the university's famed core curriculum, reducing the number of required courses from 21 to 15. When The New York Times, The Economist, and other major news outlets picked up this story, the university became the focal point of a national debate on education. The changes were ultimately implemented, but the controversy played a role in Sonnenschein's decision to resign in 2000.[38]

View from the Midway Plaisance


In 1978, Hanna Holborn Gray, then the provost and acting president of Yale University, became President of the University of Chicago, a position she held for 15 years.[37]

In 1969, more than 400 students, angry about the dismissal of a popular professor, Marlene Dixon, occupied the Administration Building for two weeks. After the sit-in ended, when Dixon turned down a one-year reappointment, 42 students were expelled and 81 were suspended,[35] the most severe response to student occupations of any American university during the student movement.[36]

The university experienced its share of student unrest during the 1960s, beginning in 1962, when students occupied President George Beadle's office in a protest over the university's off-campus rental policies. After continued turmoil, a university committee in 1967 issued what became known as the Kalven Report. The report, a two-page statement of the university's policy in "social and political action," declared that "To perform its mission in the society, a university must sustain an extraordinary environment of freedom of inquiry and maintain an independence from political fashions, passions, and pressures."[33] The report has since been used to justify decisions such as the university's refusal to divest from South Africa in the 1980s and Darfur in the late 2000s.[34]

In the early 1950s, student applications declined as a result of increasing crime and poverty in the Hyde Park neighborhood. In response, the university became a major sponsor of a controversial urban renewal project for Hyde Park, which profoundly affected both the neighborhood's architecture and street plan.[32]

Money that had been raised during the 1920s and financial backing from the Rockefeller Foundation helped the school to survive through the Great Depression.[26] During World War II, the university made important contributions to the Manhattan Project.[30] The university was the site of the first isolation of plutonium and of the creation of the first artificial, self-sustained nuclear reaction by Enrico Fermi in 1942.[30][31]

A group of people in suits standing in three rows on the steps in front of a stone building.
The University of Chicago team that worked on the production of the world's first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction, including Enrico Fermi in the front row and Leó Szilárd in the second.

, an institution distinctive of the university, was created. Committee on Social Thought Also, the [29]) finished construction and enrolled its first medical students.University of Chicago Medical Center During his term, the University of Chicago Hospitals (now called the [28] into a single university.Northwestern University In 1933, Hutchins proposed an unsuccessful plan to merge the University of Chicago and [26]

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