Chicago Lake Shore


Chicago ranks number three for population United States, and the city is inevitably a highly diverse place. This diversity is shown through the education systems throughout the city. From grade school to higher education, the dedication to academic excellence throughout the city is tremendous.


The city’s economy is continuing to grow and prosper as thousands of companies across multiple industries move to the Windy City. These companies are continually looking for talented workers and routinely scout the city’s local universities for the next generation of skilled students. So how great are Chicago’s Universities? We’ve scoured the streets of the Chicago area to bring you the breakdown of the top universities near Chicago. 


Education in Chicago


Graduates throwing caps in the air.

Chicago boasts a rich history of education and innovation. 


Before we dive straight into the specifics of Chicago’s universities, we need to take a step back and acquaint ourselves with the city’s education scene as a whole. 


Chicago is one of the biggest educational epicenters of the world. Through its diverse economy, the city can support a bustling community of both private and public universities. These universities, in turn, help the city become even more diverse by housing students from across the globe. From significant institutions to local community colleges, Chicago’s education scene has something for everyone. 


Is Chicago a Good Place to Study?


Child reading a book.

Would you consider studying in Chicago?


While we’ve already established the fact that the city of Chicago dedicates itself to the success of its university students, the question remains: is Chicago the right place to study? For people who love the big city environment, the answer is a resounding, “yes!” Here are some of the reasons why studying in Chicago is a great opportunity. 


1. Location

Chicago is a very diverse city. With all four seasons and beautiful (but cold) winters, you’ll get a full weather experience in this city. Additionally, Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States with a highly diverse population. With neighborhoods such as Little Italy, you’ll always have a chance to sample different cultures within the city. The city is a constant bustling hub of activity and students will never tire of extracurriculars. 


2. Innovation

Chicago is a bustling hub of activity with everyone working on perfecting their crafts. The city is built on innovation and is continuously host to significant conventions and industry talks. The Windy City works to grow its prosperous economy as the drive to innovate increases. 


3. Job Prospects

Chicago is home to a variety of industries, including a prosperous finance and tech industry. The job prospects in the Windy City are endless and provide a wide range of opportunities for students in the area. 


Top Universities Near Chicago


Three men laughing at a computer screen.

These are just a few of the many educational opportunities in Chicago! 


1. Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private, research-based university in Evanston, Illinois. The organization also has campuses in Chicago and Doha, Qatar. The school has a highly selective undergraduate program, accepting only 9% of students. The university is also known for the Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, and much more. The school boasts one of the best nationally ranked hospitals in the United States, Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 


2. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a private, non-denominational, research university. The school, founded in 1890, rests on 217 acres of land in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood near beautiful Lake Michigan. The school’s graduate and undergraduate programs have ranked amongst the best in the United States. The university has additional campuses in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, and downtown Chicago. 


3. Wheaton College – Illinois

Wheaton College is a Christian, liberal arts school located in Wheaton, Illinois. The college was founded back in 1860 and has come a long way to become one of the most popular liberal arts colleges in the United States. The college has a rich history and was notably a stop on the Underground Railroad. The college also graduated one of Illinois’ first African American college graduates. 


4. Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology (often coined Illinois Tech or IIT) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the college has programs in a variety of subjects, including architecture, business, communications, design, engineering, information technology, law, psychology, science, and more. The institute runs four campuses in the Chicago area. 


5. Loyola University of Chicago

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) is a private Catholic research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1870, Loyola is one of the largest Catholic universities in the United States. The school includes a total of 11 different colleges and schools of study. There is a total of 80 undergraduate and 140 graduate/professional degrees offered at the university. The organization has campuses in Rome, and programs in Beijing and Ho Chi Minh City. 


6. Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago is a private nonprofit college specializing in arts and media disciplines located in Chicago, Illinois. The organization offers over 60 undergraduate degrees. The degrees are divided into three different schools of learning, including The School of Fine and Performing Arts, The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and The School of Media Arts. The campus is located across the downtown sector of Chicago and includes 16 different buildings, such as galleries, residence halls, academic buildings, and more. 


7. DePaul University

DePaul University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1898, the university has since grown to become the largest Catholic university in the United States. The school takes special care to recruit first-generation and disadvantaged students. DePaul’s two campuses are in Lincoln Park and the Loop. The university has 13,000 undergraduate students and over 7,000 graduate students, making it the 13th largest private college by enrollment in the United States. 


What’s the Takeaway?


Person hiking.

Could you see yourself studying in the Windy City?


Chicago is a bustling city with educational opportunities at every corner. Its population is diverse, and it only makes sense that the educational outlets in the area would exemplify this diversity. The city recognizes that the world of education is only going to continue to grow. With additional funding in public universities and the continued success of universities throughout the city, Chicago’s education scene is only going to continue to grow.


The city has a rich history of education and continued dedication to excellence amongst the learning community at all levels. The city places a high priority on both the arts and STEM communities. Regardless of your academic interest, there’s something for everyone in Chicago’s education scene.

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