Five Things to Know About University of Chicago

“Chicago, Chicago—bet your bottom dollar you lose the blues in Chicago.”

That’s how the Sinatra song goes, anyway. But what about U Chicago? Just what makes it so wonderful? Here are five things to know about U Chicago if you’re thinking of applying:

  1. The Core. U Chicago’s core is diverse and far-reaching, and takes up about a third of your undergraduate studies, but may take less depending on your AP/IB credits. In general, you take 2-3 classes in the humanities, 3 science courses, 2-3 civilization courses, 1-2 art, music or drama courses, 1-2 math courses, 2-3 courses in biological sciences, 2-3 courses in physical sciences, 1 year of foreign language, and 3 credits of physical education. But within the core requirements there are a lot of classes to choose from, so don’t feel too constrained.
  2. Chicago Arts. The Arts are a major part of your experience as an undergrad at U Chicago. With a wide variety of student productions and organizations to take part in, ranging from the Japanese Animation Society to the University Symphony Orchestra to University Theater and beyond, there are countless opportunities to get involved with the arts as an extracurricular activity. Or, if you want to dive in to the arts full-force, choose from one of the many popular majors offered by the university: Art History, Theater and Performance Studies, Music, just to name a few. It’s almost TOO easy to explore the thriving arts scene in Chicago, literally just steps from campus: The Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Goodman theatre, and so much more.
  3. Reading and Research Courses. U Chicago is so committed to helping you pursue your specific academic interests that they’ve gone beyond simply providing a great variety of courses to choose from, creating the Reading and Research Course. If there’s a specific topic you want to study that falls juuuust outside the realm of courses being offered at the university, you can work with an advisor to tailor a self-directed course of independent research. Study whatever your beautiful, nerdy little heart desires.
  4. Joint Degree Programs. Along the lines of supporting their super-motivated students, U Chicago offers certain Joint Degree programs for those who are ready to embark on a graduate course of study early on. Know what you want to do with your life? Go for it. Currently Joint BA-MA/MS programs are offered in Romance Languages, Statistics, Slavic Languages and the Committee on International Relations, though more may be offered soon. There is also a Joint MA Degree in Social Service Administration, and the Urban Teacher Education program leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching.
  5. Study Chicago. Without Chicago, U Chicago would just be the boring letter U. U Chicago prides itself on taking full advantage of all the city has to offer, and providing students with learning opportunities from the city itself through courses such as New Art in Chicago Museums and Other Spaces, Child Poverty and Chicago Schools, Process and Policy in State and City Government, and Urban Cultures, Local Politics and Globalization. The Chicago Studies Annual Journal even publishes research by undergrads about the Chicago region. If you’re obsessed with cities – and with Chicago in particular – you’ll feel more than at home.

For more information on U Chicago’s academic programs and campus life, check out their website. And as always, when you’re ready for application advice, we’re here to help out.

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