Northwestern University
#30 Overall Influence#24 Desirability Rank

Northwestern University

Private research university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, United States

Connect to Northwestern University

By clicking the Connect button I acknowledge that I am at least 14 years of age and that I am sending my information to Northwestern University and may be contacted by them and by its partners

Moresee more
By James Barham, PhD

The founding of Northwestern University was spearheaded by the physician and politician John Evans, for whom the town of Evanston, Illinois, is named. The school is a private institution whose campus lies along Lake Michigan, just north of Chicago.

Northwestern was originally intended to serve the needs of the geographical area corresponding to the former Northwest Territory (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and eastern Minnesota)—hence the school’s name.

The university is particularly renowned for its many distinguished professional schools, including the:

  • Bienen School of Music
  • Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Pritzker School of Law
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • Feinberg School of Medicine
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Northwestern is also home to several multi-disciplinary and more-focused research initiatives, including the:

  • Institute for Global Health
  • Institute for Sustainability and Energy
  • Global and Research Opportunities
  • Pritzker School of Law’s celebrated Exoneration Initiative

In addition, Northwestern is a premier research university in the arts and sciences; its enormous library holdings comprise some five million volumes.

Now with campuses in Chicago itself (including the state-of-the-art Northwestern Memorial Hospital complex only blocks from Lake Michigan) and in Doha, Qatar, Northwestern is one of the top private research universities in between the East and West Coasts. Situated as it is on the Great Lakes, Northwestern contributes greatly—together with the University of Chicago several miles to the south—to making the greater Chicago area the intellectually vibrant “third coast” of the United States.

Altogether, some 19 Northwestern-connected individuals have received the Nobel Prize, including:

  • George Stigler—economics
  • Franco Modigliani—economics
  • Robert Lucas—economics
  • Saul Bellow—literature
  • Ralph Bunche—peace

Northwestern’s Department of Philosophy was the long-time home of the distinguished Canadian philosopher, Charles Taylor, while Northwestern University Press played a pivotal role in introducing the translated writings of Continental authors working in the phenomenological, existentialist, poststructuralist, and postmodern traditions to an English-speaking philosophical audience.

Other notable Northwestern alumni and faculty include the:

  • Anthropologist, Mary Douglas
  • Actors, Patricia Neal, Jennifer Jones, Charlton Heston, Warren Beatty, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, & Zooey Deschanel
  • Television personalities, Jerry Springer & Stephen Colbert

From Wikipedia

Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, Illinois. Chartered in 1851, Northwestern was established to serve the Northwest Territory and is ranked among the top universities in the world.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


IncomeAverage Net Cost

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


633 Clark St, Evanston IL 60208

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

11 per 100k

Violent Crime

1 per 100k

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

22 per 100k

Violent Crime

2 per 100k

What is Northwestern University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#14 World Rank
#27 World Rank
#40 World Rank
#57 World Rank
#21 World Rank
#47 World Rank
#21 World Rank
#16 World Rank
#44 World Rank
#26 World Rank
#28 World Rank
#85 World Rank
#28 World Rank
Political Science
#36 World Rank
#55 World Rank
Computer Science
#29 World Rank
#17 World Rank
#96 World Rank
#23 World Rank
#84 World Rank
Religious Studies
#83 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#23 World Rank
Social Work
#73 World Rank

Influential People

Who are Northwestern University's Most influential alumni?

Northwestern University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Business, Medical, and Literature. Northwestern University’s most academically influential people include Susan Bies, Peter Barris, and Joseph P. Kerwin.

Susan Bies
Susan Bies

American Federal Reserve System governor

view profile
Peter Barris
Peter Barris


view profile
Joseph P. Kerwin
Joseph P. Kerwin

American astronaut

view profile
Aleksandar Hemon
Aleksandar Hemon

Short story writer, novelist, columnist

view profile
Wande Abimbola

Nigerian linguist

view profile
David Weigel
David Weigel

American journalist and blogger

view profile
Gabriel Okara

Nigerian writer

view profile
James Oberg
James Oberg

American journalist

view profile
Gordon D. Kaufman
Gordon D. Kaufman

American academic

view profile
Lera Boroditsky
Lera Boroditsky

American psychologist

view profile
Val Logsdon Fitch
Val Logsdon Fitch

American physicist

view profile
George Rathmann

American chemist

view profile

Want to be an Academic Influence Insider? Sign up to get the latest news, information, and rankings in our upcoming newsletter.