University of Chicago
#5 Overall Influence#8 Desirability Rank

University of Chicago

Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

32,283

Acceptance

7%

Graduation Rate

94%

Median SAT Score

1520

Median ACT Score

34

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$55,425

Fees (in-state)

$1,581

IncomeAverage Net Cost
0-30K$3,178
30K-48K$6,325
48K-75K$7,933
75K-110K$18,782
110K+$40,853

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$103,000

Employed

90%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

12K

Under-Grads

5K

Graduates

7K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago IL 60637

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

18k per 100k

Violent Crime

1k per 100k

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#2 World Rank #2 USA Rank
Sociology
#2 World Rank #2 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#3 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#3 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Social Work
#3 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Political Science
#3 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Anthropology
#3 World Rank #2 USA Rank
Economics
#5 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Psychology
#5 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Philosophy
#6 World Rank #4 USA Rank
Biology
#8 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Mathematics
#8 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Law
#8 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Physics
#9 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Chemistry
#9 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Business
#9 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Literature
#10 World Rank #5 USA Rank
History
#14 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Communications
#15 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Computer Science
#16 World Rank #10 USA Rank
Medical
#17 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#25 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Engineering
#27 World Rank #22 USA Rank
Nursing

Influential People

Who are University of Chicago's Most influential alumni?

University of Chicago's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Sociology, Religious Studies, and Criminal Justice. University of Chicago’s most academically influential people include Milton Friedman, James D. Watson, and Carl Sagan.

Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman

American economist, statistician, and writer

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James D. Watson
James D. Watson

American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist

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Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan

American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator

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Paul Samuelson
Paul Samuelson

American economist

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Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut

American writer

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Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow

Canadian-American writer

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Joseph E. Stiglitz
Joseph E. Stiglitz

American economist, professor, and recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

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Philip Roth
Philip Roth

American novelist

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Harold Innis
Harold Innis

Canadian professor of political economy

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Erving Goffman
Erving Goffman

Sociologist, writer, academic

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Richard Rorty
Richard Rorty

American philosopher

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Gary Becker
Gary Becker

American economist

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About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Chicago is one of the foremost universities in the world academically, albeit one of the youngest in that august company. In spite of its relatively recent founding, the school has been associated with some of the world’s most important scientific achievements, above all, the first controlled, self-sustaining, nuclear chain reaction (atomic fission), which was achieved in late 1942 by a team led by the legendary Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, in a laboratory beneath a football field on the Chicago campus.

In another first, in 1952 then – graduate student Stanley Miller, with the assistance of his adviser, the distinguished University of Chicago chemist Harold Urey, demonstrated that organic molecules such as amino acids can be artificially produced in vitro from only inorganic precursor compounds. It is also worth noting that James D. Watson, the co-discover with Francis Crick of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule at the University of Cambridge—also in 1952—completed his undergraduate education at Chicago.

However, Chicago is famed for far more than its contributions to science. For example, in 1896 renowned philosopher John Dewey founded the “Lab School” on the university’s campus to put his liberal pedagogical principles into practice. For better or for worse, the Chicago Lab School has had an incalculable impact on the course of educational philosophy in America.

In 1952, former University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins and philosophy professor Mortimer J. Adler teamed up to found the Great Books of the Western World publishing project and accompanying curriculum—one of the most important ancestors of the Great Books programs that are increasing in popularity today throughout the US.

Of the approximately 90 Nobel Prize – recipients connected to the University of Chicago, no fewer than 29 have been recognized for their work in economics, including such distinguished names as:

  • Friedrich Hayek
  • Paul Samuelson
  • Kenneth Arrow
  • Herbert Simon
  • Milton Friedman
  • James M. Buchanan
  • George Stigler
  • Robert Lucas
  • Ronald Coase
  • Gary Becker
  • Eugene Fama

Friedman’s free-market views, in particular, have been identified with the university—so much so that he and his close associates (Stigler, Lucas, Coase, Becker, Fama, among others) have come to be known collectively as the “Chicago School” of economics.

The American novelist and Nobelist Saul Bellow was a professor at Chicago, as well as a longtime member of the university’s prestigious Committee on Social Thought.

Of the many other distinguished scholars associated with the Committee on Social Thought, we may mention Hans Jonas, Hannah Arendt, Mircea Eliade, Allan Bloom, and Leon Kass.

In addition, the highly influential political philosopher, Leo Strauss, held the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professorship at Chicago for 20 years.

Other distinguished Chicago-related individuals include:

  • Astrophysicist, Edwin Hubble
  • Physicists, Luis Walter Alvarez & Carl Sagan
  • Statistician, Nate Silver
  • Novelists, Kurt Vonnegut & Philip Roth
  • Philosopher, Richard Rorty
  • Essayist, novelist, and culture critic, Susan Sontag
  • Historian, Carter G. Woodson
  • Anthropologist, Clifford Geertz
  • Economist, Thomas Sowell
  • Author, radio broadcaster, and oral history pioneer, Studs Terkel
  • Actor, Ed Asner
  • Actor and film director, Mike Nichols
  • Film critic, Roger Ebert
  • Dancer and choreographer, Katherine Dunham
  • Washington Post publisher, Katharine Graham
  • 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination candidates, Amy Klobuchar & Bernie Sanders