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What Makes Us Unique

Northwestern is truly a place unlike any other. Students consider themselves fortunate to have so many opportunities while pursuing their academic passions. Whether watching a Big Ten football game in the students’ section of Ryan Field, applauding peers in musical theater productions that rival Broadway shows, attending lectures from world famous professors, or dancing for thirty consecutive hours in Dance Marathon—the nation’s largest wholly-student-run philanthropy—Northwestern offers a variety of experiences outside, as well as inside, the classroom.

Northwestern has over 80 majors and 4,000 classes. World-class professors lecture to average class sizes of 25 students, with office hours and e-mail as options for communication outside of the classroom. With 7,800 undergraduate students and six different colleges within Northwestern, the school manages to retain a very personal, small school feel, while offering the resources of a prestigious university.

Students come from all 50 states and nearly 50 countries from around the world to join the Northwestern community, adding to the diverse and welcoming feel of the student body. Students have said that it is impossible to walk through the campus without seeing friends on the street, or having complete strangers smile at you.

With private beaches for Northwestern students to enjoy (especially during the spring months) and located within the confines of Evanston, the dining capital of the North Shore of Chicago, Northwestern provides a safe, enjoyable environment. And with the city of Chicago twenty minutes away, internship and job opportunities are extraordinary, as well as cultural options ranging from theater to museums to sporting events.

Famous Alumni

  • Clinton Bristow - President, Alcorn State University
  • Jack Fuller - President and CEO, Tribune Publishing Company
  • Luke Donald - Professional golfer
  • Richard Gephardt - U.S. Representative
  • Stephen Colbert - Comedian; host of "The Colbert Report"
  • Teruaki Aoki - CIO, Sony Corporation
  • Vincent Skowronski - Grammy-nominated violinist
  • Warren Beatty - Actor / director; films include "Bulworth", "Bonnie and Clyde", and "Reds"
  • Zach Braff - Actor and filmmaker

Fun Facts

Northwestern students can see tomorrow’s stars perform today in the annual Dolphin Show. The nation's largest student produced musical and one of the largest student organizations at NU, the Dolphin Show was originally an aquatics show presented as a fundraiser for the Dolphin Club. Now in its seventh decade, the Dolphin Show has moved to dry land with students producing a different Broadway show each year. Their professional quality performances have been a stepping-stone for such famous alumni as David Schwimmer, Ann Margret, Tony Randal, and Warren Beatty.

Traditions / School Myths

The Rock is one of Northwestern's best-known landmarks, a huge chunk of stone set in a plaza in the middle of campus. Painting the Rock with colorful (in both senses of the word) slogans is perhaps Northwestern's best-known tradition. The Rock has served as the campus’ low-tech message board since 1957, and displays messages about upcoming events, issues of the day, and even the occasional marriage proposal.

Colleges to Consider

Can I Get In? Polls

Students interested in Northwestern University also expressed interest in the following colleges:
1. University of Chicago
2. Columbia University in the City of New York
3. Cornell University
4. Stanford University
5. Brown University
6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
7. Duke University
University of Pennsylvania
9. Harvard University
10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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