Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Get to know Northwestern University

School Profile

Suburban campus setting

8,659 undergraduate students

14,073 graduate students

2,038 first-year students

15.3% first-generation students

74% of students are from outside of Illinois


7.2% of applicants admitted in the Class of 2026

96% in top 10% of HS class in the Class of 2026


190 majors, minors, certificates and concentrations

Student-to-faculty ratio 6:1

80% of classes have fewer than 20 students

Introduction to Northwestern University

“We is our middle name.” At Northwestern, you’ll find an education tailored to you in a community powered by we. As you explore colleges, think beyond what you might study to imagine who will be teaching, learning, and thinking alongside you. And keep in mind: remarkable individuals and ideas grow in impact when they join together.

This culture of “we” is due in large part to Northwestern’s particular combination of six undergraduate schools (arts & sciences; engineering; communication; journalism; education & social policy; and music), 200+ programs of study, 4,700+ undergraduate courses, and a quarter system that affords students three versus two academic terms to fulfill degree requirements and explore elective courses across schools.

Factor in a diverse campus community that eagerly and deeply engages these opportunities, plus dedicated and knowledgeable advisors in each of the six schools, and you can imagine the one-of-a-kind educational directions that undergraduates pursue at Northwestern. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty on cutting edge research. Specialized advising and resources are available for students interested in law school and medical school.

Undergraduate Opportunities: Connecting the classroom and the world. A Northwestern education takes place at the intersections between interdisciplinary coursework, campus activities, collaborative research, and global engagement. Northwestern’s people, setting, and resources will deeply enrich your experiences, empowering you to take any direction you choose. 

Northwestern’s people include 8,000 undergraduates from all 50 states and more than 80 countries, 1,200 full-time faculty, and a worldwide network of hundreds of thousands of alumni. The setting in Evanston, IL, combines a beautiful lakeside campus with a vibrant surrounding college town and one of the world’s great cities, Chicago, just a few miles south. Students are required to live on campus for two years, and in addition to their residential communities, they make close connections via campus affinity groups and more than 500 student organizations. Resources span $350 million in annual funding for undergraduate research, more than 150 sponsored and affiliated study abroad programs, and internship opportunities in every industry across the globe. The Office of Fellowships helps students explore and pursue scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Northwestern’s Campus Culture: A tradition of spirit; a spirit of innovation. Founded in 1851, Northwestern has strong traditions that unite students, faculty, staff, and alumni with a fierce spirit of Purple Pride. They are a member of the Big Ten athletics conference, and the University community rallies behind the Division 1 Wildcats sports teams.

Alongside their strong sense of tradition is a spirit of innovation that thrives in the labs, libraries, research centers, stages, entrepreneurship hubs, observatories, and more. In recent years Northwestern has launched The Garage, an innovation incubator; built a brand new sailing center and performance complex; acquired a $100 million gift for new global initiatives; opened a satellite space in San Francisco; and renovated campus classrooms. New residential spaces and a lakeside athletics complex are also slated for construction.

+ 50 %

of students have some kind of international experience, and about a third participate in traditional study abroad.

Student Enrichment Services (SES) is a dedicated office that partners with students who are first-generation, lower-income, or DACA/undocumented.

Explore Northwestern University through photos

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