Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


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Weinberg College Facts

With twenty-five departments and as many specialized programs, Weinberg College intersects with every part of the University and enrolls students from all of Northwestern’s undergraduate schools. Our students, in turn, may take courses from faculty in the schools of Engineering, Communication, Journalism, Education and Music, as well as in Northwestern’s professional schools of Management, Law and Medicine. As the heart of Northwestern’s diverse intellectual cultures, the College of Arts and Sciences rightly sets the high standard by which the University’s greatness is judged.

Curricular choices

The academic year is divided into three ten-week quarters, which retain the depth of semesters but encourage greater breadth. Students take as many as 50% more courses than the two-semester system provides, and they enjoy a more diverse educational experience.

A wide range of majors and minors

The required College major concentration, selected from 40 fields, ensures depth of study. More than forty optional minors foster breadth. Faculty advisers help students navigate the abundant choices.

Staying at Northwestern and graduating on time

Freshmen return for their sophomore year (96%) and graduate from Northwestern (91%). No student's graduation is delayed by overcrowded or canceled courses.

Career choices of recent graduates

According to our most recent exit survey, 61% of the class planned immediate employment. Of those searching for positions, 70% had jobs or job offers by graduation. Of those planning further study, 90% were admitted to one or more schools (63% to their first choice); 41% sought a medical degree, 22% a law degree, 14% a Ph.D., and 23% a master's degree.

What our graduates liked

Weinberg College graduates reported highest satisfaction with library and athletic facilities; courses in the humanities, social sciences, and their major field; opportunities for extra-curricular activities and intramural athletics; overall quality of instruction; lab, computer, and foreign language facilities.

What our graduates learned

Graduates said the abilities and knowledge most enhanced at Northwestern were thinking analytically and logically; acquiring knowledge and skills on their own; understanding their own abilities, interests, and personalities; working independently; gaining in-depth knowledge of a field; synthesizing ideas; writing effectively.

Long-term success

Most recent graduates (75%) plan eventually to take a post-graduate degree. Northwestern ranks ninth among universities educating the nation's leading business executives, and it is seventh among the institutions from which individuals listed in Who's Who in America have graduated.

Professors who teach

Students work with leading scholars. All faculty members in Weinberg College teach undergraduate students. Less than 3% of student enrollments are in courses taught exclusively by teaching assistants, and those are mostly small introductory courses in foreign languages.

Encouraging and rewarding excellent teaching

Superior teaching is recognized and rewarded. Students evaluate courses and those assessments are part of each faculty member's performance evaluation for raises in salary and promotion. Nine College faculty members occupy professorial chairs expressly honoring excellence in teaching.

A diverse student body

The numbers of men and women in Weinberg College are nearly equal; 30% of undergraduates belong to racial or ethnic minorities. Students come from all 50 states, more from California (followed by Ohio and New York) than from any state except Illinois; 7% are from other countries.

Special programs for talented, highly focused students

Fifteen interdisciplinary programs offer minors or majors. American Studies, European Studies, Integrated Science, Legal Studies, Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, and the Writing Major are programs with competitive admissions for superior students with special interests.

For freshmen, two small courses and a wide variety of choices

Each freshman takes two Freshman Seminars, 15 or 16 students in each, focused on the development of first-rate writing and discussion skills. A freshman's typical schedule each quarter includes a small class of 15 students, a class of 20-25 students, and two larger lecture courses. Last year fewer than 10 of more than 2000 courses in Weinberg College enrolled over 300 students.

Many small-enrollment courses for juniors and seniors

Last year more than half of advanced undergraduate courses enrolled fewer than 10 students. Special, small-enrollment courses include Junior Tutorials and Junior Research Seminars, research-oriented classes taught by faculty, and Professional Linkage Seminars, bridging the gap between academic training and real-world application and taught by members of the Chicago business and the professional communities.

Participation in faculty research and off-campus study

Recent graduates have averaged 2 enrollments in research seminars, independent studies (one-on-one with a faculty member), and other on-campus research opportunities. Credit-bearing internships, field-study experiences, and study abroad are popular options.

Electives in Northwestern's undergraduate professional schools

Faculty associated with the Kellogg Graduate School of Management offer courses in accounting, finance, and marketing especially designed for Weinberg students. Law School faculty each year teach several undergraduate courses in Weinberg. The College has special agreements with Chicago's major cultural institutions, including the Field Museum, Art Institute, Adler Planetarium, and American Bar Foundation, to offer courses taught by experts. Each year Weinberg students represent over 2000 enrollments in undergraduate courses in Northwestern's professional schools of education, engineering, journalism, music, and speech. In turn, undergraduate students in these professional schools are enrolled in numerous Weinberg College courses.

OFFICE OF THE DEAN (August 2003)