【School profile】Northwestern University

Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois, with campuses in Chicago, Illinois, San Francisco, California and Doha, Qatar. Composed of twelve schools and colleges, Northwestern offers 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees.

Northwestern is a large research university with a comprehensive doctoral program and attracts over $550 million in sponsored research each year. In 2016, the university accepted 10.7% of undergraduate applicants from a pool of 35,099.

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History

The foundation of Northwestern University is traceable to a meeting on May 31, 1850 of nine prominent Chicago businessmen, Methodist leaders and attorneys who had formed the idea of establishing a university to serve what had once been known as the Northwest Territory. Northwestern admitted its first women students in 1869, and the first woman was graduated in 1874.Northwestern fielded its first intercollegiate football team in 1882, later becoming a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. In the 1870s and 1880s, Northwestern affiliated itself with already existing schools of law, medicine, and dentistry in Chicago. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is the oldest law school in Chicago. The result was a modern research university combining professional, graduate, and undergraduate programs, which gave equal weight to teaching and research.

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Curriculum

Northwestern University is composed of 12 schools and colleges. The faculty for each school consists of the dean of the school and the instructional faculty. Faculty are responsible for teaching, research, advising students, and serving on committees. Each school's admission requirements, degree requirements, courses of study, and disciplinary and degree recommendations are determined by the voting members of that school's faculty (assistant professor and above).

Northwestern is a large, residential research university. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the respective national professional organizations for chemistry, psychology, business, education, journalism, music, engineering, law, and medicine, the university offers 124 undergraduate programs and 145 graduate and professional programs.

The four-year, full-time undergraduate program comprises the majority of enrollments at the university and emphasizes instruction in the arts and sciences, plus the professions of engineering, journalism, communication, music, and education. Although a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences is required in all majors, there is no required common core curriculum; individual degree requirements are set by the faculty of each school. Northwestern's full-time undergraduate and graduate programs operate on an approximately 10-week academic quarter system with the academic year beginning in late September and ending in early June. Undergraduates typically take four courses each quarter and twelve courses in an academic year and are required to complete at least twelve quarters on campus to graduate. Northwestern offers honors, accelerated, and joint degree programs in medicine, science, mathematics, engineering, and journalism.

Undergraduates with grade point averages in the highest three percent of each graduating class are awarded degrees summa cum laude, the next 5 percent magna cum laude, and the next 8 percent cum laude.

The five most commonly awarded undergraduate degrees are in economics, journalism, communication studies, psychology, and political science. While professional students are affiliated with their respective schools, the School of Professional Studies offers master's and bachelor's degree, and certificate programs tailored to the professional studies. The Kellogg School of Management's MBA, the School of Law's JD, and the Feinberg School of Medicine's MD are the three largest professional degree programs by enrollment.

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