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Serious academics wanted. Must have warm coats.
The Intellectual Capital of the World
The University of Chicago isn’t for the faint of heart. Students here are incredibly driven and able to endure academic pressure. The university’s core curriculum stresses interdisciplinary thinking and different perspectives and requires students to complete classes in the humanities, civilizations, mathematics, art, natural sciences, and social sciences. Students find that this foundation helps immensely when taking upper-level courses, as well as the many graduate-level classes that are open to undergrads. The university operates on a quarter system. Professors are demanding and aren’t apt to spoon-feed students—nor are they likely to inflate grades. That said, Chicago professors are the best of the best and include some of the world’s most influential scholars (including a number of Nobel laureates). While sleep is a rare commodity on this campus, Chicago students can at least rest easy knowing they’re receiving one of the very best educations around. Students seem to be up for the challenge: 98 percent of freshmen return for their sophomore years.
Caution: Intensity Ahead
If we had to summarize Chicago students in one word, it would be
Chicago’s breathtaking Gothic-style architecture, complete with gargoyles galore, will make you forget that you’re in the middle of a major city. Just a few blocks from Lake Michigan, the campus is gorgeous year round, featuring flowers in the spring, colorful foliage in the fall, and an ice-skating rink in the winter. The university is located in Hyde Park, a predominantly African American neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. While the neighborhood isn’t particularly student-friendly, there are a number of restaurant options as well as the University of Chicago Seminary Bookstore and Powell’s bookstore, two independent favorites. Downtown Chicago can be reached in about fifteen minutes by train or about twenty-five minutes by bus. In the winter months, when the temperature hovers around zero degrees, students often prefer the warmth of campus environs to making the trek downtown.