In general, the University of Chicago is a very accepting environment. The University community obviously encompasses a lot o...
In general, the University of Chicago is a very accepting environment. The University community obviously encompasses a lot of different backgrounds. Most students fit in perfectly and find their own niche in terms of apt cultural, ethnic, racial and other student groups. The unique House system of the University initially helps you acclimate to the social challenges of the University by providing you with a close-knit community of 50-80 students who you live with and can say hi to anywhere you see them on compass. It should be noted that these are the students that you normally sit with at the dining tables (though it is certainly not mandatory), especially when you first arrive on campus and feel daunted by the amount of people you meet. Moreover, it is important to remember that the University of Chicago is made up of a diverse group of students. Of the student body, most are middle to upper class and, surprisingly, 30% of the student body is made up of international students. It seems that every student at the University is united, however, by the common bond to learn in a competitive environment, obtain a quality education, and one day become a successful and productive member of their respective societies. Additionally, most students are very politically aware and- while the school, institutionally speaking, seems to be conservative in standing, most of the students are indeed more liberal and progressive. In fact, LGBT rights and racial tolerance seldom prove themselves as hotly contested issues as most students are very accepting and broadminded. Overall, the student body is incredibly varied; to be sure, it is in this diversity that there is strength.
Make no mistake, academics are the biggest part of one’s experience at the University of Chicago. Luckily, your academic experience is bound to be a great one given the University’s faculty and facilities. Not only has the University been home to more Nobel Laureates than any other schools, but it is also in the process of revamping its infrastructure (meaning gyms, labs, libraries, and all the other good stuff). The classes offered at the University, moreover, are more interesting in reality than they sound on paper. Students share a reciprocal feeling for their classes and often talk about them out of class. Surely, it is not uncommon for students to be discussing their classes in the dining hall (or their GPAs for that matter). Of course, the academic rigor also means a lot of studying with the average student probably doing about 4-5 hours a night (that is given a regular course load which is 4 classes). These 4-5 hours a day do not include, furthermore, the time one spends at problem sessions and/or meeting with one’s professors (who are usually very flexible and try and see you whenever necessary). Overall, I’ve noticed that the University of Chicago fosters learning for the sake of learning and- through its mandatory Core Curriculum- ensures that every student receives a fulfilling liberal arts education. At the University of Chicago, then, it is possible to get the advantages of a big city and the research facilities and the benefits of a great engaging education.
The most common stereotype of the students at the University of Chicago is that they are mostly nerdy or geeky. I feel as though this stereotype is rooted in the fact that the University of Chicago is a very competitive school with a very rigorous academic environment. Also, it is true that the University of Chicago has a very high mean ACT and SAT score acceptance rate. Nevertheless, I find that this stereotype is not completely accurate and assuredly does not do justice to the University. Indeed it is true that many of the students- my peers- are witty and clever, but they are as “normal,” engaging, and eager to have a fun and fulfilling college experience (in the social and academic spheres) as any other college students. Thus, while the University definitely has an aura of wittiness about it, it certainly is an enjoyable and productive community of which to avail. In essence, it is not necessarily the place “where fun comes to die.” In fact, I see this stereotype put to the test each and every day with our intriguing dining hall conversations, interesting intramural sport opportunities, and entertaining Saturday nights.
The University of Chicago is very academically rigorous. If you decide to attend UChicago, you have to be prepared for four y...
The University of Chicago is very academically rigorous. If you decide to attend UChicago, you have to be prepared for four years of hard work. A UChicago degree will definitely set you apart from other job and graduate school applicants, however. Not only do employers know you are intelligent, but they know how hardworking and creatively thinking you really are. Although work load can be tough here, you will have so many opportunities to explore campus and the city of Chicago. During undergrad, I was a varsity athlete, tour guide, editor-in-chief of a campus fashion magazine, and volunteered for numerous organizations. I also held a few internships during the course of the school year. You really can become involved in different organizations, and make meaningful contributions to them, all while balancing your school work. I think UChicago students are unique from other leading institutions in that way. One aspect of your college life doesn't dominate the rest.
Here's a little peg for my organization: MODA is one of the largest organizations on campus. It puts out two magazines each year which includes student models, writers, stylists, and layout specialists. MODA also has two well-attended fashion shows each year, and students can walk the runway or design the clothes. Other top student groups include University Theatre, Rhythmic Bodies in Motion (a dance group), and a Capella groups. And Scav Hunt is HUGE. We were just included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest scavenger hunt. Past items included bringing wild animals (elephants, lions, tigers) to campus, designing all sorts of cool projects (including a nuclear reactor, which some kid accomplished in his dorm room), going on road trips (one had students headed to Las Vegas with only a bathing suit, ball gown or suit, and an ID!), and more. So popular on campus, and you can be as involved as you want to be (or steer clear entirely).
It's pretty hard to describe the typical student at the University of Chicago, because each student is so different from another. That's what makes the University of Chicago such a fantastic academic and social experience, because you have the opportunity to get to know so many diverse individuals. I was an athlete, but also was involved in a fashion magazine. This put me in contact with two very different groups of people on campus. But then again, I was a tour guide, and tour guides tended to be absolutely amazing, quirky, incredibly involved individuals. UChicago has so many different people that it's hard to stereotype them. Even at the frat parties, I'd see people who would have been deemed way too nerdy at my high school-- yet here they were the life of the party. That's because UChicago tends to treat people based on their personalities, and not on their looks, which is awesome. We're a very welcoming bunch of people, and I think that's why UChicago gets typecast as an incredibly quirky/nerdy school. It's not that we necessarily are-- we just welcome those people, and they don't need to change their quirkiness or nerdiness to fit in. They're welcome here regardless.
Course work at the University is very difficult, but professors are incredibly accessible, both inside and outside the classroom. Many of the classes are arranged in the Socratic seminar style of learning, without a podium in sight. This way, students and professors sit as equals around a table, and students are able to engage not only with the text, but also can learn from professors and their peers at an equal rate. It really enables you to get to know your professors and classmates on a greater level. Students may study a lot, but they truly do love it. There is a love of learning that permeates the air at UChicago, and it's true that discussions of academic topics often can be overheard while eating in the cafeteria. Though that is true, many students are very normal in their everyday lives, and a math genius in the classroom. It is truly remarkable how much your peers have accomplished, and how humble they are about these accomplishments. You can definitely learn as much from your peers as you can in any classroom. Additionally, UChicago has very good pre-professional programs called Chicago Careers In ________ (business, science and technology, health professions, journalism, and more). One of UChicago's former criticisms was that the school was too theoretical. Now, students have the opportunity of enrolling in these programs to receive practical instruction in their intended careers. Through CCI programs, students meet with advisers to discuss resumes and cover letters. They often work with mentors in the field, job shadow over spring break, and hear about unique internships. There are also recruiting fairs and guest speakers, both of which are incredibly useful.
Many prospective students assume that UChicago is where fun comes to die. Time and time again I've tried to battle this stigma. University of Chicago students have incredibly diverse interests, which means that there are tons of activities to join on the weekends and plays, concerts, sporting events to attend, as well. Joining an activity (we have over 400 registered student organizations) will definitely enhance your social life on campus. There are over 70 volunteer groups, which will definitely give you something fun to do on the weekend, as well as dance groups, literary magazines, student government, and even a zombie readiness task force! The housing system at UChicago is also conducive to having a good social life. At UChicago, every first year student is required to live in the dorms. Each dorm is split into a few houses, and houses typically have 70-100 students each. Those students live together, and often eat and play together, too. As a first year, I went to a Bulls basketball game with my house, on the annual ski trip, to a few plays in the city, and joined them for many, many meals both in the cafeteria and out and about in Chicago. All activities are subsidized using house funds, so an amazing musical can cost you on $5!
Probably the two most telling characteristics of the University of Chicago from an outside perspective. Scav Hunt is an oppor...
Probably the two most telling characteristics of the University of Chicago from an outside perspective. Scav Hunt is an opportunity for U of C students' relentless erudition to climax into its full absurdity, bringing tigers onto campus, building breeder reactors in sheds, and driving across the country to find pictures of the largest feet that are unavailable on the internet. Despite its notoriety, though, Scav Hunt's presence on campus is largely avoidable for the uninterested, say, third to two-thirds of campus. Similarly, although Econ is the most popular major on campus and undeniably influenced by economic precepts of the Milton Freedman school, there is no dearth of variety in political dispositions even among students in the department. The idea of the "Paul Wolfowitz Douche" at U of C, as articulated by GQ however many years ago now, is largely unfounded.
This school is amazing! Many students say that you either love the school or you hate it, but either way you can never deny t...
This school is amazing! Many students say that you either love the school or you hate it, but either way you can never deny the great academic institution it is. One of the things that is so awesome about the school is the eagerness and determination that people here have for learning everything they can about the world, and then going out there and changing it. Everyone who has gone to this school or has heard about it knows that it is an impressive place to be at. Population-wise, this school is just the right size, so there is an even number of small classes as well as lectures. The neighborhood around it makes it feel a little bit like a college town, but there's also that urban feel from being so close to the city.
The school is relatively diverse in relation to their students. One doesn't just meet students from all over the country, but also from around the world. Every student can find at least one way to immerse themselves in what the School has to offer. There are different groups of peoples here, with a wide range of ethnic, social and political groups.
One of the things that the school is known for is their strict Undergraduate class requirements. Commonly called "the Core", it is a guideline and list of classes that all undergraduate students are required to take, in addition to classes for the major. They emphasize the necessity of being a well-rounded person, so the core is filled with classes ranging from physical sciences and mathematics to art and physical education. Outside the core, however, there is such a diverse range of classes that people can take. Sometimes they offer classes about Lord of the Rings, modern and ancient civilizations, among countless other subjects.
People say this is "The place where Fun comes to die". There is the constant stereotype that everyone here is a geek or a nerd, that all we do is work, study and sleep (in that order, too). It all couldn't be farther from the truth. While, admittedly, students here are intensely focused on their studies (and on everything else we do), there's a passion here for learning and thinking that I doubt many places in the world could top. Everyone pushes each other to do the best that they can, and while it can sometimes feel overwhelming, the rewards are well worth everything we go through. We study hard, but we also know how to have fun just as much. There are countless things to do around campus, many student organizations, clubs and events. And last, but certainly not least, we have the amazing city of Chicago nearby, and it's certainly one of the main attractions.
I might say that the best thing about UofC is that it is full of bright people who are ready to share and receive knowledge. ...
I might say that the best thing about UofC is that it is full of bright people who are ready to share and receive knowledge. It is really exciting in the sense of learning for the sake of learning; however, this learning environment sometimes prevents the university administration to invest in sports. At the end, once they built a library (Regenstein) over the football field. I personally believe that having more competitive varsity teams and more school spirit would make the university more interesting and exciting. Apart from that, the administration led by President ZImmer is doing a great job by being very liberal and respecting different opinions. Recently, the Occupy Movement became a bit of a sensation on campus and unlike some other schools in the East, University Police respected students' protests. The UCPD is very nice and understanding protecting the UofC community.
Model United Nations is very intense at UofC. A lot of students are involved in MUN and the MUN team is ranked as one of the best in the country. Apart from that, ethnical student organizations like South Asian Student Organization or Turkish Student Organization are very active. They always organize events. Even though a lot of varsity teams are division 3, there are also lots of athletes at UChicago. Speaking of sports, I am a rower and doing crew is definitely awesome at the University of Chicago. Rowing on the Chicago River and seeing downtown Chicago every morning are just perfect! I am also a representative for my class hence a member of Student Government. SG works a lot organizing events, distributing money to Registered Student Organizations (RSO) and reviewing RSO applications. It is demanding and at the same time an honor to be in SG.
The University of Chicago is very diverse indeed. There are a lot of people with different ideas, religions, ethnical and financial background. Here, everybody is interesting! I do not think that someone would feel out of place at UChicago. Chicago is cold so students wear a lot of layers to class. There are definitely preppy, hipster or casually dressed students in a class. But, different people here always interact. It is not surprising to see a football player speaking to a math geek. Furthermore, UChicago students and professors are politically aware. For example, in my Hum class last week, we discussed the reaction of UC Davis Police against student protestors. Students are predominantly liberal however there are also very conservative students. All in all, as it is aforementioned: the university is very diverse.
Yes, UofC is academically challenging but it is very manageable. Here, professors and other members of the university help students a lot. They always invite students to their office hours and they answer student e-mails within hours. We also have very talented TAs who are always there to help us. With those in mind, students here spend minimum 4-5 hours studying every day. My favorite class so far is Media Aesthetics. It is a Humanities Class. Students take Humanities to meet the requirements for the Core Curriculum. I really enjoy Media Aesthetics because the class is very small and it is led by a very skillful, knowledgeable professor. The academic environment of the class is mind blowing making students to ask questions and answer those questions during discussions. Moreover, I am very undecided about my major right now but probably, I will be a biology major. Biology department in the University of Chicago is very good. Often people know UofC with its Econ Department but biology, biological research and biochemistry are very well taught in the University. For example, for first year students with an early interest in biology and with an AP 5 score who want to research, there is an intense biology sequence offered by the department . It is very hard to find such an opportunity in other schools.
The University of Chicago has a reputation as the place where fun comes to die. As a first year student, I question that a lot. I came to UofC with the same stereotypical beliefs: students are studying all the time, workload is so heavy and there is no fun on campus. Unfortunately, It turned out to be not that accurate after all. The students of UofC are definitely studious but it does not mean that they are not having fun. First of all, Greek life is expanding rapidly . This year Delta Gamma had a record number of new sisters. In addition to that, not only Sigma Chi is rising as the new fraternity of UChicago but also other frats are much larger this year. These all mean that there is definitely a party scene on campus. We even have bar-nights on Wednesdays. Apart from the activities of fraternities, there are always apartment parties, house/dorm activities, regular downtown trips and shows/activities of Registered Student Organizations such as but not limited to the shows of South Asian Student Association, downtown Restaurant Week of the Student Government (ChewChicago), tea parties of International Student Organization. All those in mind, it is definitely true that a UChicago student is intellectual. Yes, we are intellectual and yes, we are proud of that! It is very easy to see a UofC student talking about Plato, Kant, Mozart, Occupy Movement or economic crisis in Greece in the dining hall or in a coffee shop. At the end, we know that crescat scientia; vita excolatur, thus we we will be enriched by the knowledge. All those might seem a lot to do; however, at UofC you learn how to organize yourself. Here students are social, intellectual and hard-working therefore multi-tasking. It might come as a surprise but UofC students also love sports. One can always see the gyms (Ratner and Henry Crown) with full of people.
What matters most about college will be the people-- not the classes or professors, not the parties, not the dining halls and...
What matters most about college will be the people-- not the classes or professors, not the parties, not the dining halls and residence halls-- it'll be who you're spending the next 4 or so years with. What attracted me to this school are the people who are passionate about something incredibly detailed or quirky, who are are able to have a deep conversation about everything, who have overtime acquired a large number of hobbies and interests. We are all intellectuals, but we are often artists at heart. We are ambitious in a non-standard way, and we want to do everything. As I write this response, I am sitting at the front of a student-run cafe, Hallowed Grounds, listening to the Open Mic-- a night where numerous student volunteers come to perform improv comedy, or slam poetry, or serenade us with their guitar. We enjoy beauty and expression, despite our rumored focus on academics. Tomorrow, I dance Argentine Tango outdoors and practice with the student circus, playing with fire, bodies, feathers, and stilts for a future show. Last Friday, I organized 40 people to give free hugs to everyone on campus. And in 6 hours of class today, I questioned the learning of number and language, the views of the world by Greek philosophers trying to decide if there is an answer to "What is?" and explored topology. We are not that big for a college, slightly over four thousand, but our number of activities is almost unmanageble. Sometimes, that is our weakness-- everyone is a leader or an idealist, and too much happens on those individual plots of land. We are still working on collaborating across groups. We are headstrong-- we WILL do what we have set out to do-- in fact, we dedicate 75k in school funds to fund these uncommon projects. I love that about us.
First-years begin in their houses-- they pick their dorm and are typically related by a love of similar things and personality. These are the people typically spend late nights with, study with, and play intramural sports with. Often, this is where the friends come from. Right away, students are thrown into our mix of 350 registered student organizations. We have a large variety, from modern to shakespearean theater, to quidditch and archery, to drinkers with a writing problem and figure drawing, to circus and capoeira. It is very easy to create a club and get events funded once you have several people interested. The biggest events on campus are live concerts and shows, improv and sketch comedy, theater of various kinds, circus, the Lascivious ball, and various cultural shows. There are study breaks, info sessions, or smaller shows almost every day, and therefore opportunities for food. Our traditions are a major part of school spirit. On the smaller end, we have things like $1 Wednesday milkshakes and a capella arch sings. On the bigger end, we have Scav, a 4 day weekend that involves students answering ambiguous clues by traveling cross country, doing creative sports, building reactors, painting giant murals, and gluing large googly eyes to the tops of buildings; and Kuviya, a winter week of 6am aerobics, running naked through the quads, and going to sunrise at the point. Off-campus, Chicago is a city of art and commerce. We are a heart of music, of pubs and restaurants, of tourist attractions, and kayaking. We have everything another big city would have, but live about 15 minutes away, in a quieter lakeside area. It is balance.
Aside from a common passion and intellectualism, we are reasonably diverse. For our backgrounds and races you could look through our statistics, but I believe we are nearly 60% white, and a even mix of Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans. We have high religious diversity and secularism-- though there is a predominance of Jewish and Christian religions-- and almost students would view the world is a nearly secular way. We have an extremely active and supportive LGBTQ community, as well as cultural groups, Greek organizations, and multi-cultural Greek organizations. Our financial backgrounds are diverse as well, though the skew would probably be toward the upper-middle class. I'd say that our populations are generally more concerned with philosophy and theory behind the little things in life, rather than celebrities, pop music, or make up. Dining halls are filled with students discussing everything from Mad Men or Glee, to the meaning of life, to music, to worst tests. Politically, we might be less active and aware than other schools, though those groups are still quite large. We have a large number of human rights, green awareness and sustainability, etc activists who are making a lot of progress. I wouldn't say that many people are conservative, but that everyone has their beliefs and is open to other ones. Most importantly, our students are accepting of their uncommonness, their interest in academics, their random side athletic or artistic hobbies, and are generally less interested in money as a primary concern. We want to keep our thoughts provoking.
We are reputed the school that has grade deflation-- we'll make sure your GPA is a below a certain limit. While that is not true, we do hold all of our students to high standards, and require a depth or amount of writing that is not typical. Our classes are meant to use the Socratic method-- leading learning and discussion with questions and our own initiative. We often delve into things that people might consider ridiculous such as what an image says about the nature of images, or the views of sex by various Greek authors, or applications of calculus you'd never dream of. And yes, sometimes you'll have professors that are quite the personality, or perhaps another that treats you as a PHD student. That's the trade-off with having the most nobel laureates. Once you've come to terms with that, the fact that you will not always get an A, you'll realize that after all that you've been inspired to do and change, that it does not matter. We seek to teach you how to break down the world and it's parts, how else to think, to open your eyes. We don't want to just usher you through with a sheet a paper.
Where the fun goes to die-- you've all heard it-- the rumor that UChicago is a place to go be with a lot of anti-social, unattractive, book-absorbed, and awkward folk. You can let the fun die whereever you'd like, that is always your choice. People most often reference the party scene, so I'll say now-- Our Greek life has increased dramatically in the past years, and there are multiple parties every night, of different types, starting Wednesday nights. We study hard, party hard-- turn all of the meters up to 11 out of 10. But that is generally not the kind of fun that we care most about, though it does matter to us. We look for the UChicago moment-- the philosophy behind the popular show, different ways to understand time, outrageousness from our professors, theater and the circus arts, pub crawls and city life, Scav and three days of madness, the polar bear run and other brave Winter traditions...We want to push the boundaries and break them, and that is what is fun to us. Yes, we are intellectual, even when intoxicated, but we are not afraid. And we are certainly not for everyone.
The University of Chicago is known for, well, being intense. This is pretty true - we're hard working, ambitious and dedicate...
The University of Chicago is known for, well, being intense. This is pretty true - we're hard working, ambitious and dedicated to the Life of the Mind, and you'd be hard pressed to find a student here who doesn't go to the library, or isn't a bit of a genius. But if you come to UChicago and expect 'fun to die' the second you step on campus, please don't. Because despite the nerdy stereotype, we aren't just nerds about our academics. We're nerds about EVERYTHING. Nerds are people who are dedicated, fascinated and compelled by a subject. True, this can be taken to apply to the kind of subjects you can get homework in, but we also love Scavenger hunts, athletics, circus skills, gourmet cooking, Greek life, creative writing, orchestra and fashion shows. We go dancing downtown and on apple picking trips. We study in Paris and South Africa. We do yoga at sunrise by Lake Michigan, laugh at the on-campus comedy groups, sing. We ice-skate and roller-skate and know our Plato back to front. If you're interested learning lessons that expand beyond the (ivied) walls of your classrooms, this is the plac
Intelligent, hardworking people.
Intelligent, hardworking people.
Apply to a few schools - 4 at most. Don't apply to schools based on their ranking; GO to the campus and experience the people and then decide! Theres'a good chance if you get bad vibes from the students on campus during your visit, you won't end up loving your education there as much as you might. Don't discount a school just because it's not one of the top 10 in the nation. Don't get into a serious, long-term relationship, especially not with anyone who makes you feel inferior to them. It makes everything harder; especially when you then are faced with finals, a breakup and a flu. Don't ignore your social life; destressing is just as important as studying. Don't worry about taking the easier courses. No one is going to look to make sure you took all the honors courses that you could. Don't feel stupid in a class; if you're having trouble, everyone is probably having trouble, and that's the truth! And last but not least...don't worry about your GPA. College is different than high school. Take math courses, because you'll need them.
Lack of tolerance for others with different economic backgrounds. Even the dorm-planned events are expensive.
Otherwise, yes, it's expensive and there are a lot of geeks. Be prepared to bust your butt to get an OK GPA.
Otherwise, yes, it's expensive and there are a lot of geeks. Be prepared to bust your butt to get an OK GPA.
I am African American and don't understand the review stating racial issues here. This is a very "liberal" university, and as you might expect, essentially everyone here seems very neutral with respect to race. Race seems a non-issue. Not sure what the reviewer is talking about.
My classmates are very intelligent for the most part.
My classmates are very intelligent for the most part.
Actually there is nothing. I feel my high school prepared me well for the academic world of The University of Chicago.
I do not consider any of my school to be labeled as being bad.
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