Northwestern Facts


Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal, and professional growth in a setting enhanced by the richness of Chicago.


Northwestern University is a private institution founded in 1851 to serve the Northwest Territory, an area that now includes the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota. In 1853 the founders purchased a 379-acre tract of land on the shore of Lake Michigan 12 miles north of Chicago. They established a campus and developed the land near it, naming the surrounding town Evanston in honor of one of the University's founders, John Evans. After completing its first building in 1855, Northwestern began classes that fall with two faculty members and 10 students.


Two campuses located on Lake Michigan: a 240-acre campus in Evanston, the first suburb north of Chicago, and a 25-acre campus in Chicago.

Schools and Colleges (with year of founding)

  • Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (1851)
  • School of Communication (1878)
  • School of Continuing Studies (1933)
  • School of Education and Social Policy (1926)
  • Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (1909)
  • Graduate School (1910)
  • Medill School of Journalism (1921)
  • School of Law (1859)
  • J. L. Kellogg School of Management (1908)
  • Feinberg School of Medicine (1859)
  • School of Music (1895)

Full-time Enrollment by School, 2006-07

School Undergraduate Graduate/ Professional Total
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences 4,058 1,162 5,220
School of Communication 1,203 350 1,553
School of Education and Social Policy 261 214 475
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science 1,381 726 2,107
Medill School of Journalism 669 352 1,021
School of Law   942 942
Kellogg School of Management   1,846 1,846
Feinberg School of Medicine   1,313 1,313
School of Music 404 248 652
Total 7.976 7,153 15,129

Full-time graduate students are also enrolled in the Graduate School.

The School of Continuing Studies enrolls approximately 1,100 students in part-time, evening undergraduate and graduate programs. Additional part-time students bring the University's total enrollment to approximately 17,000.

Undergraduate Admissions

First-year student applications, acceptance, and enrollment (Fall 2006)

Applications 18,385
Admitted 5,434
Enrolled 2,062

Profile of First-year Class (Fall 2006)

Male 47.2%
Female 52.8%
Ethnic identity
White 59.4%
Asian American 17.2%
Hispanic 7.1%
African American 5.9%
Native American 0.1%
Multiracial 1.6%
Foreign citizens 5.1%
Other and unknown 3.6%
Geographic origin
Illinois 23.5%
Midwest (including Illinois) 42.2%
Middle States 16.0%
West 13.7%
South 10.1%
International 7.0%
New England 5.9%
Southwest 5.01%
Mean high school rank 94th percentile
Mean combined SAT score 1400

Degrees Conferred (2005-06)

Bachelor's 2,098
Master's 2,615
Professional 414
Doctorates 423
Certificates 90

Graduation rate

93 percent within six years


Approximately 2,500 full-time faculty. Faculty members include Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellowship recipients, and members of numerous honorary and professional societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Council of Learned Societies.

Full-time Faculty by School, 2006-07

School Faculty
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences 607
School of Communication 115
School of Education and Social Policy 36
McCormick School of Engineering and
Applied Science
Medill School of Journalism 50
School of Law 92
Kellogg School of Management 156
Feinberg School of Medicine 1,613
School of Music 69


Approximately 7,100 faculty and staff

Research (2005-06)

Total awards and grants of approximately $384 million.


More than 4 million volumes, 3.9 million microforms, and 38,000 current periodicals and serials. More than 480 databases and 3,600 electronic journals.


Approximately 190,000 alumni, including leaders in business, government, law, science, education, medicine, media, and the performing arts. Prominent alumni include

  • Zach Braff, actor, writer, and director
  • Elisabeth Bumiller, White House correspondent, New York Times
  • Nick Chabraja, chairman and CEO, General Dynamics
  • Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Representative
  • Heather Headley, Tony Award-winning actress, star of The Lion King and Aida
  • Garry Marshall, producer, writer, and director
  • George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate
  • Patrick Ryan, executive chairman, Aon Corporation
  • David Schwimmer, actor
  • David Skorton, president, Cornell University
  • Graham Spanier, president, Pennsylvania State University
  • John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court justice
  • Edward J. Weiler, NASA astrophysicist and administrator
  • Julia Wallace, editor, Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Wayne Watson, chancellor, Chicago City Colleges
  • Mary Zimmerman, Northwestern professor and Tony Award-winning theater director


Northwestern is recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of its educational programs at all levels. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the University's undergraduate programs among the best in the country. Among graduate programs, the Kellogg School of Management regularly ranks among the top five business schools in the country for both its traditional curriculum and its executive master's program. U.S. News & World Report rankings placed Northwestern's School of Law in the top 15, the Feinberg School of Medicine in the top 20, and the Feinberg School's Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences in the top 10.


A charter member of the Big Ten and the conference's only private institution, Northwestern sponsors 19 intercollegiate athletic teams (8 men's and 11 women's) and numerous club sports. During the 2006-07 season the Wildcats had one NCAA team champion, four NCAA individual champions, two conference team titles, 10 teams in NCAA postseason play, 16 first-team All-Americans, one CoSIDA Academic All-American, eight CoSIDA Academic All-District selections, three conference Coaches of the Year and nine Players of the Year, and 59 All-Conference and 121 Academic All-Big Ten Athletes. Ten Wildcat teams advanced to NCAA postseason competition, including the women's lacrosse team, which captured its third consecutive NCAA championship. Men's swimmers Matt Grevers (200-yard backstroke) and Mike Alexandrov (100-yard breaststroke) won individual NCAA titles and teamed with Kyle Bubolz and Bruno Barbic to win the 400-yard medley relay national title. Wrestler Jake Herbert earned an NCAA title in the 184 lbs. weight class.

University Budget 2007-08

Revenues (in millions of dollars)

Tuition and Fees $625.3
Financial Aid (213.2)
Grants and Contracts - Direct 295.6
Grants and Contracts - Indirect 81.3
Endowment Distribution 188.7
Other Investment Income 73.5
Gifts 72.1
Restricted Funds Availed ----
Sales and Services 194.9
Appropriation ----
Capital-Related Transfers In/(Out) (74.8)
Other Transfers In/(Out) (12.1)
Total Revenues/Transfers $1,231.2

Expenses (in millions of dollars)

Academic Salaries $348.0
Staff and Student Salaries 237.0
Employee Benefits 119.3
Service and Professional Fees 208.3
Maintenance, Utilities, and Equipment 145.4
Other 173.3
Total Expenses $1,231.2


As of August 31, 2006, Northwestern's endowment and other trust funds totaled approximately $5.9 billion.

Tuition and Fees (2007-08)

Undergraduate $35,064
Graduate School $35,064
Communication $30,315
Law School $42,672
Kellogg School of Management $43,935
Feinberg School of Medicine $40,313
Medill School of Journalism $30,834

Gifts to Northwestern (year ending August 31, 2006)

Group Amount in millions
Alumni $51.5
Nonalumni 118.4
Professional foundations 30.3
Corporations 22.8
Other organizations 31.9
Total $254.9

University Officers

Henry S. Bienen, President
Daniel I. Linzer, Provost
Eugene S. Sunshine, Senior Vice President for Business and Finance
William J. Banis, Vice President for Student Affairs
Thomas G. Cline, Vice President and General Counsel
Alan K. Cubbage, Vice President for University Relations
Marilyn McCoy, Vice President for Administration and Planning
William H. McLean, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
Sarah R. Pearson, Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development
Morteza A. Rahimi, Vice President for Information Technology
Joseph T. Walsh, Jr., Vice President for Research


Thomas F. Gibbons, School of Continuing Studies
Dipak Jain, J. L. Kellogg School of Management
J. Larry Jameson, Feinberg School of Medicine
John Lavine, Medill School of Journalism
Toni-Marie Montgomery, School of Music
Aldon Morris, Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Barbara J. O'Keefe, School of Communication
Julio Ottino, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
Penelope L. Peterson, School of Education and Social Policy
David E. Van Zandt, School of Law
Andrew B. Wachtel, Graduate School