A large research university in Evanston, along the shores of Lake Michigan just 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, composed of twelve schools and colleges. Northwestern offers 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees.with a comprehensive doctoral program and attracts over $550 million in sponsored research each year. In addition, Northwestern has one of the largest university endowments in the United States, currently valued at $10.5 billion. In 2015, the university accepted 13% of undergraduate applicants, making Northwestern one of the most selective universities in the country. 

Northwestern is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and remains the only private university in the conference. The Northwestern Wildcats compete in 19 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA's Division I Big Ten Conference.