Chicago, IL
University of Chicago


80 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

David
What is your overall opinion of this school?

This school has been really good to me. It has taught me what I do and don't want to do after I graduate. It can be immensely...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

This school has been really good to me. It has taught me what I do and don't want to do after I graduate. It can be immensely difficult at times as it is on the quarter system. Depending on your major (the sciences are especially tough) you'll have just finished mid-terms when finals seem to be coming up next. The two things I'd change about the school: 1) the quarter system. Make it a semester system. Classes go by too quickly, it might be hard to absorb the information, it's stressful, and all your friends on the semester system start school before you and end before you (by a factor of about a month!) 2) The core curriculum is a bit over-rated in my opinion. I DID learn a lot, it WAS a good transition from high school education, and it does provide a good foundation for any college student's education. I don't want to get rid of it, it's just that they way it's taught (often, though not exclusively, by grad students and professors who don't like being stuck teaching first years). I LOVE how this school is in a city, and only a few miles by public transit or commuter rail from the downtown and North Side. The school is not gated, providing students with a more personal connection to local neighborhood life. It helps get away from the conception of the "ivory tower". There is a ton of school pride, though we don't necessarily express it at sports games. Theater performances, modeling contests, stand up comedy, acting, dancing, cultural groups, music, singing, orchestra, among others, are all well attended. Orientation week of first year was by far the best time I ever had in college in one given week. It continued throughout first year. Second year started to get more difficult, third year, with exception of study abroad, was even more intense, and I plan on making my fourth year the most relaxed and "college-like" as I can. By the way, telling people (or prospective employers) that you went to UChicago will be a huge boost! If you can make it here, you have developed a strong independence and a diligent work ethic. You can make it anywhere. Hell, even English majors graduate to become consultants in finance and trading firms.

Describe the students at your school.

The most stimulating group of people I have ever and WILL ever be with. I love it here and will dearly miss it. People are motivated and full of intellectual vigor. People generally eat food at their cafeteria's house or dorm table. It allows you to eat with a group of people you know at almost any hour of the day. Most students move out of the dorms by their second or third years and into off-campus apartments. Apartments are cheaper and teach you the life skills you'll need when you graduate. I highly recommend moving out of the dorms half way through college!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The stereotypes are as accurate as you want to make them. If you want to hang out with nerds you can see an aspect of the college community like that. If you don't want to go to parties, by all means, there are a large number of students who hang out in the library (studying or chatting). People go to off campus parties, dorm activities are abundant and fun, people hang out in each others rooms or the dorm lounge until all hours of the night. In short, don't believe the stereotypes. You make of college what you want.

What are the academics like at your school?

This school is famous for its academics. This is where we excel and why you pay such a high tuition. People may gripe about the quality of their professor's teaching skills, course content, etc. But it is ENTIRELY your responsibility to utilize resources like evaluations.uchicago.edu or talk with upperclassmen about what classes are good, what professors to steer clear of. You can certainly pick well and end up very satisfied. This institution is a research institution, period. Education of undergraduates is emphasized but you will get a number of professors who are pompous and don't want to teach undergraduates. A lot of good courses are in the graduate schools (this is NOT to say that there aren't amazing courses for undergrads, however). Dorm life at UChicago is especially different from other schools as intellectual conversations do not stop in the classroom. You are not just paying tuition for the classes. You are paying for the intelligent body of students you're surrounded by and the academic life that continues into dorm life.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

People always have the conception that our school is nerdy, "fun comes to die," that we don't party, etc.

Erin
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The students here are querky. Academics is always paramount, and the students here enjoy surrounding themselves with individu...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The students here are querky. Academics is always paramount, and the students here enjoy surrounding themselves with individuals who challenge them intellectually. Even in our spare time, conversations are peppered with bad math jokes or references to dead philosophers. We're strongly motivated and very active. Many students conduct private research during their undergrad years.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Students are the lifeblood of any college. The best way to learn about any college is to understand its students; try to arrange an overnight stay, visit classes, and ask as many questions as possible of the students you meet. Try to imagine seeing yourself with these people as your classmates and friends -- although a college visit is short, see if you can determine whether these people reflect the person you'd want to be in four years. Would you be proud to be one of them? Your first day at college is something like kindergarten all over again -- it's an entirely fresh start. Take advantage of it -- talk to the people sitting next to you in class, sign up for choir, join a pottery circle, start a journal club. You have four years to craft the individual who will set the tone for the rest of your life -- and the best time to start is right now.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

How many incredible opportunites there are here for undergrads, particularly with reference to scientific research. Virtually everyone I know who wants research experiences finds it, and they are able to have control of their individual projects. Many students become published by the time they graduate. Our professors, among the top in the world, are very approachable and highly motivated to help students, whether it's explaining a difficult problem or discussing latest advances in the field.

Ryan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Chicago is a place where you'll get a vigorous education, which is why it surprises me when I get mixed reactions when I tell...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Chicago is a place where you'll get a vigorous education, which is why it surprises me when I get mixed reactions when I tell people where I go. Some have never heard about it, some immediately talk about how windy it is, and others are really impressed. It's a mixed bag, overall. Chicago has a perfect size: you know a lot of people, but it's still big enough so you don't know the intimate details of everyone's lives. The mix of people on campus really makes the difference for me, though. Everyone has such varied interests and passions that you learn a lot from your classmates in addition to your classes. From bhangra to abstract algebra, this school has one person who knows a whole lot about something really unique, and that's why I love this school so much.

Describe the students at your school.

What I like about the U of C is that it's hard to pin down a specific "type" who goes here. Sure, they've probably got tiny nerd molecules floating around in there somewhere, but walking on the quads you see so many different types of people walking together: you've got the hipsters, the nerds, the preppy kids, the athletes, etc. There is no mold for a U of C student. I look at it this way: if the U of C were a person, I would love to be friends with it. With so many different personalities, ideas, and ideals, it's not hard to find your niche here.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I'm really sick of the reputation we have--fun doesn't die here! We have plenty of fun, just sometimes you have to make your own kind of fun. If the school is right for you, you'll know.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

No. I guess if you wanted to spend your entire time studying in the library, you wouldn't be the only one doing it, but most people have very balanced lives between their studies and what is fun for them (besides their schoolwork). We do work hard, but we play hard, too. People on campus aren't ugly, most guys aren't jerks, and this definitely isn't the place where fun comes to die. College is really what you make out of it, and I wanted to have fun, so I do.

What are the academics like at your school?

"As knowledge grows, thus the life is enriched." Our school motto couldn't express this place any better. People here are really passionate about learning and teaching, and it shows. Students put a lot of effort into their assignments, and professors really want to make sure you're understanding and liking the material. Discussions are frequently continued outside of class, be they between student and professor or student and student. There's so much enthusiasm for learning here, and that is one thing that makes the school so unique.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

House life is the cornerstone of your social life. In your first year, your housemates will be your first friends and your connection to apartment parties, upperclassmen, and overall amazing people. Parties are pretty easy to come by with the fraternities having parties every weekend (and even one has bar night on Wednesday) and apartment parties galore. RSOs have parties, too, where conversation will come easily. The dating scene is pretty non-existent; a lot of people hook up at parties or are in serious committed relationships, so there's little middle ground. Greek life is a part of my life on campus--about %15 of campus goes Greek. Greek life is without hazing and very low key, so being a part of one here doesn't necessarily translate to you being straight out of "Legally Blonde." Greek life isn't going to bother you if you're not into it, though. There are plenty of things to do on campus, from theater to music to hanging out in your house lounge with your housemates. Movie marathons with your house will be amazing times. You can always go downtown, too--Chicago is a great city!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Nerds who don't know how to have fun. Oh, and thanks to Tucker Max, that all the girls are ugly. Also thanks to Tucker Max, all the guys are jerks. The stereotype ultimately comes down to this is the place "where fun comes to die."

Allison
Describe the students at your school.

Students here are driven to succeed and very interested in what they study- one of the things I liked best about this school ...

Describe the students at your school.

Students here are driven to succeed and very interested in what they study- one of the things I liked best about this school is that if you are walking around campus, you will hear kids in a variety of conversations, from plays and events in the city to parties that weekend to intense academic debates about mathematical theorums. Students here are very passionate about everything they do, and most students have a broad span of interests

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This school is very focused on theory- we don't have "practical" majors. In fact, my major is very new because of the fact that it is considered to practical for the school. Despite this, kids get plenty of hands on experience through school sponsered internships with some of the best companies in a student's field of interest: you get one of the best educations in the nation AND you walk out of the University with an extremely well-built resume.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Always visit your college campus- I didn't even consider going to the University of Chicago as an option when I was looking at colleges. My mom convinced me to take a look while I was visiting schools in the area, and it turned out that I hated the other schools I thought I wanted to apply to, but when I stepped onto the Univeristy campus, I knew that it was the college for me. You can't ever know how much you will like or dislike a school until you are actually there and can experience it for yourself- I was surprised by this school, and it became my top choice! Once you are at college, make the most of the opportunities offered to you. Anyone can go through college sitting in thier dorm rooms. That experience will be the same at and school. Once you get into a school, it's up to you to take advantage of all the wonderful things that the college has to offer!

Michael
Describe the students at your school.

Many of the classmates seem isolated and often gravitate to "clicks" of culture and race.

Describe the students at your school.

Many of the classmates seem isolated and often gravitate to "clicks" of culture and race.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Try to get the names of the major contacts for deadlines for registration and payments as soon as possible. Parents and students will need to do follow-up on paperwork submitted. Often times the school will not acknowledge that they have not received the paperwork. You will often times find out in the form of nothing showing on registration, late fees with no details. Red tape is constantly a major issue. Pick a school that gives the degree you are looking for but couple it with the right size of student population and geographical area. Always have two or maybe even three schools picked out that are comparable in size and costs as options in the event something hasn't gone right with the first choice.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Financial cost is becoming more difficult to work with. Often deadlines for financial submission s become a struggle in order to not incur late fees. Late fees are too high. Individuals to be contacted are really not made obvisous on the web-site as well as any other information given to students. Communications from the school seems to be more of a "buyer beware" philosophy. You as the student need to know who to contact and when but are not given this information. Several phone calls and pieces of information in each succeeding conversation help pull the pieces together eventually.

Banke
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Students going through the college process should stay true to themselves and make sure they go to a school that fits them to...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Students going through the college process should stay true to themselves and make sure they go to a school that fits them to a "T", not their parents. It was too late when I found out that my top choice school (which I am now attending) didn't fit me at all; it only fit my father's dreams and the life that he has planned out for me. Students should also try an attend an institution that provides a large variety of majors to choose from; the school I am attending has a limited list of majors to pick from (I thought that this would help me focus and choose a major faster, but I now realize that I'm more interested in the arts, a major that they don't have). It's also very important for students to make themselves known to their professors by going to office hours, for they are the ones to help you write recs for internships and for graduate school. Last, but not least, make sure to take time off for yourself and take walks to clear your head when school gets too intense, with either school work or drama with friends.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Financial aid is probably the worst thing about my school. They are unwilling to assist students going through tough financial situations and will make students borrow all of their tuition and go into debt (they expect students to borrow a considerable amount of money in order to pay tuition even though they have an endowment in the billion of dollars). Night life and the social scene on campus is kind of poor too; frat parties are only source of fun. The lack of majors is really frustrating. There isn't a fine arts major or any communication/advertising/marketing majors.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

Most people at the university, students as well as professors, are extremely pompous and pretentious. It's just frustrating at times because I don't feel that smart and sometimes feel as if I don't deserve to be at such a prestigious institution. Also, the lack of diversity in terms of social activities and things to do around campus and majors and extra-curricular activities makes me feel a little closeted in sometimes.

Connie
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

On the Quads at University of Chicago during Summer Breeze Festival 2005. (Ramon, Adam, & Shane)

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

On the Quads at University of Chicago during Summer Breeze Festival 2005. (Ramon, Adam, & Shane)

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

This is the Holloween Concert by University Of Chicago Symphony Orchestra on 10/28/06 at Mendall Hall.

Natalie
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Students out on a spring day in Bartlett.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Students out on a spring day in Bartlett.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A student from Italy tells us why she chose UChicago.

Adam
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I think that people end up being happy basically where ever they go. So don't get so worked up about it. It will be fine. Pr...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I think that people end up being happy basically where ever they go. So don't get so worked up about it. It will be fine. Promise.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Someone who is only interested in partying would not do well at UChicago, nor would someone who wants to go to college to learn how to do some specific practical job i.e. Communications, Engineering, Journalism etc.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

Students tend to get stuck in Hyde Park and not make good use of resources in downtown Chicago.

John
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This school, and the people that attend it, are very academically driven. The University of Chicago is more rigorous than th...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This school, and the people that attend it, are very academically driven. The University of Chicago is more rigorous than the other schools I considered.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Pick a place that matches what you want. All schools have good qualities, but find the ones that are good in the areas you want. All the same, there is no 'perfect' school, so don't flip out if you don't get into your first choice.

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