College Spotlight – University of Chicago

College Spotlight: University of Chicago

College Expert at Exploring Educational Excellence

Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
June 1, 2015

University of Chicago

“Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched” is the motto of the University of Chicago (aka UChicago), founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller. For the 5,800 undergraduate students on campus, it’s all about scholarship. Not surprising, there currently are ten Nobel laureates on staff.

UChicago is located on the south side of Chicago, about seven miles from downtown, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Sixty percent of the faculty live and raise their families in the surrounding neighborhood. Undergraduates are guaranteed university housing for all four years. The housing system is unique in that undergraduates of all ages live together. Eleven residence halls — broken down into 38 houses – are communities that eat, play, and debate together. Students from the same house share a cluster of individual rooms and common areas with their own traditions, House Council, and resident staff.

For UChicago undergraduates, academic life revolves around a core curriculum, specialized courses within one’s major, and elective courses to pursue perhaps a minor or a second major. There are 50 majors and 30 minors available, and a 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The university operates on a quarter system. The Chicago School – a neoclassical school of economic thought – has its roots at UChicago. Considered one of the world’s foremost academic enclaves, the UChicago Department of Economics has fielded more Nobel Prize laureates and John Bates Clark medalists in economics than any other university. UChicago also is known for its management of two U.S. Department of Energy laboratories – Argonne and Fermilab – and the world-renowned Marine Biological Laboratory.

When it comes to play, UChicago held the Guinness record for the world’s largest scavenger hunt, Scav Hunt, from 2011-2014. It takes place over four days in May, with the last day always being Mother’s Day.  For each team, an up to 2000-mile road trip is involved, along with a blood drive benefiting University of Chicago Medical Center, Scav Olympics, and a complicated list of items to collect.

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