Northwestern is located on 231 acres 12 miles north of Chicago in Evanston and runs for a mile along Lake Michigan. The campus is split into North (Tech) and South (Arts). It’s mid-sized with 8,000 students and has is preprofessional. Students talk about the work hard, play hard environment and are curious, passionate, and creative. Northwestern’s varied undergraduate schools draw students who have a wide range of interests.
Half of students are enrolled in arts and sciences, other half are in there preprofessional schools- Engineering, Communications, Music, Theater, Journalism and Education and Social Policy. Students are encouraged to enroll or major in studies across schools and Northwestern students pride themselves on their ability to move into any of these schools once they are enrolled. The theater program does not require auditions. The music school is conservatory style and requires auditions. Northwestern is known for its undergrad Journalism program; the only school of its kind in the U.S.
The most popular majors are economics, political science, journalism, engineering, visual and performing arts, education and premed. I am always struck by the student panels at Northwestern; students truly can chart their own path in their majors and choice of studies. Each school has general requirements including science, math, social behavior, history, values and the fine arts.
Unique to Northwestern, students take 4 courses each quarter (instead of 3 at most schools). Academics are challenging and students take school seriously. Most classes have fewer than 20 students, but the introductory level courses can be large.
50% of students live on campus, and there is a wide range of housing options. Most of the social life seems to revolve around greek life (about 30-40 percent of students join a fraternity or sorority). Northwestern is a division one school and is also strong in club sports.
Northwestern is a special place as its academics are on par with the most selective schools in the country, division one sports, and has the school spirit and midwestern sensibility. Access to Chicago is also appealing when students want to explore beyond Evanston.