Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private institution of higher education in Evanston, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1851. This university is also known as NU.

The Motto of this university in English is “Whatsoever things are true” (Philippians 4:8 AV) and “The Word full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  This institution was established to serve the historic Northwest Territory.

Northwestern University History

Founding & Early Years

On May 31, 1850, the establishment of this university can be traced to the meeting of 9 prominent Chicago Businessmen, Attorneys, and Methodist leaders who had given the idea of founding a university to serve what had been known as the Northwest Territory from 1787 to 1803.

Illinois General Assembly approved a charter to the Trustees of the North-Western University making it the first chartered university in Illinois. Before launching their first organizational meeting, the 9 founders of the school all of whom were Methodists bowed down in prayer and worship.

Evanston College for Ladies combined with Northwestern and Frances Willard who later achieved a reputation as a Suffragette and as one of the founders of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

In 1869, Northwestern admitted its first female students in and the first woman graduated in 1874. In 1882, Northwestern fielded its first intercollegiate football team which was later becoming a founding member of the Big Ten Conference.

20th Century

Northwestern had developed in stature to become the 3rd largest university in the United States after Harvard University and the University of Michigan by the turn of the century.

Northwestern began the construction of an incorporated campus in Chicago designed by James Gamble Rogers renowned for his design of the Yale University campus to house the professional schools under the presidency of Walter Dill Scotts from 1920 to 1939.

The great Depression in the United States from 1929 to 1941 had a brutal impact on the finances of the university. This university was transformed by World War II like other American Research universities.

The first and second Unabomber attacks occurred at Northwestern University in 1978.  President Arnold R. Weber was able to soothe university finances which led to a renewal of its campuses after government support for universities declined in the 1970s and 1980s.

21st Century

In the 1990s and 2000s, as the admissions to colleges and universities grew increasingly competitive, President Henry S. Bienen's tenure saw an increase in the number and quality of undergraduate applicants continued extension of the facilities and faculty, and renewed athletic competitiveness.

In a speech at Northwestern School of Law Lincoln Hall on January 11, 2003, Governor of Illinois George Ryan announced that he would commute the sentences of over 150 death row inmates. A five-year capital campaign resulted in a replacement building for the business school, a new music center, and a $270 million athletic complex in the 2010s.

Queen Maxima and King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands visited Northwestern to announce research partnerships between Northwestern and numerous Dutch institutions focused on the study of aging in 2015.

President of the Northwestern University

Michael H. Schill is the President and Kathleen Hagerty is the Provost of this university.

Student Enrolled at Northwestern University

In the fall of 2021, this university enrolled a total of 23,410 students out of which 8,816 were Undergraduate students and 14,684 were Postgraduate students. Also, it has 4,018 academic staff in the fall 2021.

Admission Requirements/Criteria at Northwestern University

For Graduate Admissions

Application Fees: 50-125 USD

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelors Degree
  • GPA: 3.0
  • English Language Proficiency:
  • TOFEL IBT: 79-100
  • IELTS: 6.5-7.0
  • GMAT: 620-780
  • GRE: 150-160
  • Statement of Purpose
  • School Report or Transcripts
  • 2 or 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Interview

For Undergraduate Admissions

Application Fees: 75 USD

Admission Requirements

  • Official Secondary School Transcripts & School Reports
  • GPA: 4.1
  • English Language Proficiency:
  • TOFEL IBT: 79
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • SAT: 1460-1560
  • ACT: 33-35
  • A Counselor Recommendation
  • Academic Letter of Recommendation
  • Early Decision Agreement
  • Mid Year Transcripts

Cost of Attendance at Northwestern University





Books & Supplies

Other Fees


Room & Board


Other Expenses Budget


Northwestern University Campuses

Evanston Campus

The main campus of this university is situated in the suburb of Evanston, Illinois just north of Chicago. This campus is spread over an area of almost 240 acres. The Evanston campus of the NU where the undergraduate schools, and the Graduate School.

Also, the Kellogg School of Management is situated and runs north-south from Lincoln Avenue to Clark Street west of Lake Michigan along Sheridan Road. North Campus is home to the fraternity quads, athletics facilities involving the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Norris Aquatics Center, Dearborn Observatory.

More, the Technological Institute, the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Hall for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center amongst others.

South Campus is home to the humanities buildings and music buildings of the university like the Pick Staiger Concert Hall, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, and Sorority Quads.

Chicago Campus

This campus of the university is situated in the Streeterville city neighborhood near Lake Michigan. It is home to the nationally ranked medical school, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the law school, the part-time MBA program, and the School of Professional Studies.

The professional schools were sprinkled through Chicago established at varying points in the history of the university. Mrs. Montgomery Ward contributed almost $8 million to the campaign to finance the construction of the Montgomery Ward Memorial Building which would house the medical and dental schools.

The university created an endowment for research grants, faculty chairs, scholarships, and building maintenance in 1923. This campus continued to expand with the addition of Thorne Hall in 1931 and Abbott Hall in 1939.

Education City Campus

This university opened a campus in Education City, Doha, Qatar in the fall of 2008 joining 5 other American universities which are:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Georgetown University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development which is a private charitable institution established by earlier emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his wife and mother of the current emir Sheikh Moza bint Nasser provided funding for construction.

Administrative costs as well as support to hire 50 to 60 faculty and staff. NU has also received condemnation for accepting money from a country with a poor human rights record like other universities with campuses in Doha.

Northwestern University Ranking

Nationally, this university is ranked #20th and 30th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is ranked as # 9th nationally and #26th globally by Times Higher Education. Also, it is ranked as #9th nationally and #24th globally by U.S. News & World Report.

Popular Majors at Northwestern University

  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Social Science
  • Computer Science
  • Chemistry
  • Political Science
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Journalism
  • Business
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Communications
  • Anthropology
  • Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

Northwestern University Academics

Undergraduate & Graduate Schools

  • Evanston Campus
  • Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Communication
  • Bienen School of Music
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Medill School of Journalism
  • School of Education and Social Policy
  • School of Professional Studies

Graduate & Professional

Evanston Campus

  • Kellogg School of Management
  • The Graduate School

Chicago Campus

  • Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • Pritzker School of Law
  • School of Professional Studies

Libraries and Museums at Northwestern University

The library system of this university comprises 4 libraries on the Evanston campus involving:

  • Main University Library
  • Mudd Library
  • Boas Mathematics Library
  • Deering Library

The libraries of NU host a total of almost 8,198,268 printed or electronic volumes. Further, its libraries contain 229,198 maps, 103,377 printed journals, 211,127 audio files, 196,716 electronic journals, 36,989 manuscripts, 4.6 million microforms, 91,334 movies or videos, and almost 99,000 periodicals.

Collections & Sections

  • Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies
  • Transportation Library
  • The Music Library
  • Styberg Library
  • Charles Deering McCormick Library
  • Northwestern University Archives
  • Seeley G. Mudd Library
  • Charles Deering Memorial Library
  • Boas Mathematics Library
  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art
  • Holocaust Educational Foundation

Northwestern University Research

In 1917, this university was selected as an early member of the Association of American Universities. It is a research university and classified as a very high research university. The schools of engineering, management, and communication at the NU are the most academically productive in the nation.

In 2022, this university received almost $923.8 Million in research funding and $421 Million in NIH funding. It houses more than 90 school-based and almost 40 university-wide research institutes and centers. NU is home to the:

  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center
  • Materials Research Center
  • Center for Quantum Devices
  • Institute for Policy Research
  • International Institute for Nanotechnology
  • Center for Catalysis and Surface Science
  • Buffet Center for International and Comparative Studies
  • Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern
  • Argonne/Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center

Northwestern University Student Body Composition as of May 2, 2022

Race & Ethnicity








Foreign National





Economic Diversity

Low Income




Academic Affiliations of the Northwestern University

  • Association of American Universities (AAU)
  • Consortium of Financing Higher Education (COFHE)
  • International Association Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU)
  • Universities Research Associations (URA)
  • Space Grant

Contact Us


633 Clark St, IL 60208, Evanston, United States

Phone No

+1 847-491-3741

Official Website

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What good GPA is required at NU?

This university requires a GPA of almost 4.1.

What is the acceptance rate of this university?

The acceptance rate of this university is almost 7%.

What is the gender distribution ratio at NU?

The gender distribution at this university consists of 46% male students and 54% female students.

What are the core values at NU?

  • Integrity
  • Social Justice
  • Collaboration
  • Stewardship
  • Innovation
  • Build Organizational Health
  • Enrich the Northwestern Experience
  • Further Student Learning
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