University of Chicago in Chicago

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Satellite campuses

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. The University of Chicago also opened a new center in Beijing in fall 2010.

Administration and finances

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. Directly beneath the President are the Provost, fourteen Vice Presidents (including the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Investment Officer, and Dean of Students of the University), the Directors of Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab, the Secretary of the University, and the Student Ombudsperson. As of August 2009, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Andrew Alper, and the President of the University is Robert Zimmer.

The University's endowment was the 12th largest among American educational institutions and state university systems in 2010 and as of July 2010 is valued at $5.578 billion.


The University is considered an "Ivy Plus" institution, denoting a school that competes academically with Ivy League universities.

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 and Argonne National Laboratory. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Undergraduate college

The College of the University of Chicago grants Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 49 academic majors and 22 minors. 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. 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.

Undergraduate students are required to take a distribution of courses to satisfy the University's core curriculum known as the Common Core. Most of the Core classes at Chicago contain no more than 25 students, and are generally led by a full-time professor (as opposed to a teaching assistant). As of the 2009–2010 school year, 15 courses, tested proficiency in a foreign language, passage of a swim test, and up to three physical education courses (depending on results of an entrance examination) are required under the Core.

Graduate schools and committees

The University graduate schools and committees are divided into four divisions: Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. In the spring quarter of 2009, the University enrolled 3,633 graduate students: 485 in the Biological Sciences Division, 1,076 in the Humanities Division, 732 in the Physical Sciences Division, and 1,340 in the Social Sciences Division.

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

Professional schools

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.

Associated academic institutions

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), the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (a residential treatment program for those with behavioral and emotional problems), and four public charter schools on the South Side of Chicago administered by the university's Urban Education Institute. In addition, the Hyde Park Day School, a school for students with learning disabilities, maintains a location on the University of Chicago campus. 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. 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. The University also operates the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States.

Library system

The University of Chicago Library system encompasses six libraries that contain a total of 8.5 million volumes, the 12th most among library systems in the United States. The largest of the University's libraries is the Regenstein Library, which will be the largest collection of print volumes in the United States once its expansion is completed in 2010. 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. 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.


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

The University operates 12 research institutes and 113 research centers on campus. 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, and although formally unrelated, the National Opinion Research Center is located on campus.

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 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. 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, and of the development of radiocarbon dating.


There have been 87 Nobel Laureates affiliated with the University of Chicago, 17 of whom were pursuing research or on faculty at the University at the time of the award announcement.

In addition, many Chicago alumni and scholars have won the Fulbright awards and 44 have matriculated as Rhodes Scholars.

Student Body Demographics, Spring Quarter 2009
By gender
College Graduate
Male 50.3% 56.6% 60.9% 55.1%
Female 49.7% 43.4% 39.1% 44.9%
By race
College Graduate
International student 8.8% 28.4% 21.2% 18.3%
African American 5.7% 3.3% 5.4% 4.9%
Native American 0.3% 0.4% 0.2% 0.4%
Arab/Middle Eastern/
North African
0.4% 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%
Asian 13.8% 4.6% 14.7% 11.6%
Pacific Islander 0.06% 0.02% 0.06% 0.06%
Hispanic/Latino 8.6% 3.0% 4.2% 5.4%
Multiracial 0.4% 0.9% 1.1% 0.8%
White 44.2% 47.9% 47.7% 46.5%
Unspecified 17.7% 11.3% 5.17% 11.9%

Student body

In the 2009 Spring Quarter, the University of Chicago enrolled 4,920 students in the College, 3,633 students in its four graduate divisions, 5,088 students in its professional schools, and 14,000 students overall. In the 2009 Spring Quarter, international students comprised about 18% of the overall study body, at least 23% of students were domestic ethnic minorities, and 45% were female. the average MCAT score of students in the Pritzker School of Medicine is 36, and the median LSAT score for students entering the Law School in 2009 was 171.


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


The University of Chicago hosts 19 varsity sports teams: 10 men's teams and 9 women's teams, all called the Maroons, with 585 students participating in the 2008–2009 school year. Among notable RSOs are the nation's longest continuously running student film society Doc Films, organizing committee for the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, the twice-weekly student newspaper The Chicago Maroon, and the University-owned radio station WHPK-FM.

Fraternities and sororities

There are fourteen fraternities and six sororities at the University of Chicago, In 2002, the Associate Director of Student Activities estimated that 8–10 percent of undergraduates were members of fraternities or sororities. The student activities office has used similar figures, stating that one in ten undergraduates participate in Greek life.

Student housing

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 10 residence hall buildings and to a smaller community within their residence hall called a "house". There are 35 houses, with an average of 70 students in each house Freshmen are required to participate in the house system, and housing is guaranteed every year thereafter. About 60% of undergraduate students live on campus.<ref name="housing2"/>

For graduate students, the University owns and operates 28 apartment buildings near campus.


Every May since 1987, the University of Chicago has held the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, in which large teams of students compete to obtain notoriously esoteric items from a list. Since 1963, the Festival of the Arts (FOTA) takes over campus for 7-10 days of exhibitions and interactive artistic endeavors. The University also annually holds a summer carnival and concert called Summer Breeze that hosts outside musicians, and is home to Doc Films, a student film society founded in 1932 that screens films nightly at the University. Since 1946, the University has organized the Latke-Hamantash Debate, which involves humorous discussions about the relative merits and meanings of Latke and Hamantash.



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