University of Chicago

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Eric Cioe, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Does anyone here go there? As a highschool junior, I'm looking at this for my higher learning.

    I'm going to take a college visit day coming up in the spring to UofC.

    I will probably dual major in Philosophy and something else.

    Anyone have experience or opinions?
  2. do they have a jazz program? if so you should definitely consider that for your dual. im currently enrolled in a double major in mechanical engineering and jazz studies next year at USC :)
  3. Dear Eric,

    I was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago in the seventies. I would be more than happy to talk with you at length about my experiences and to offer some insights into the school if you would like. Please e-mail me at and we can arrange this if you are interested.

    Briefly, the University of Chicago is very intense place academically. It is primarily a graduate institution and produces more college professors as a percentage than any other school in the country. It also has produced a staggering number of Nobel prize winners. It is not a place to go if you are interested in extracurrricular activites or having a lot of fun outside of your brain. That said, you will recieve an education second to none.

    My only real qualm with the school is perhaps best illustrated with a story. The guy who lived next door to me my first year is perhaps the most gifted all around person I have ever known in my life. He was excellent at math and science, but was also a very talented writer and good at the humanities and social sciences. After his second year he had a very respectable (by U of C standards) 3.3 GPA. But he wanted to be a Veterinarian and knew that 3.3 wouldn't cut it. He transferred to the University of Illinois, did not get another B in college, was the person with the lowest cumulative GPA admitted to Vet school at Illinois. He graduated second in his class and is now the editor of the Journal of the American Veterinary Assocation. Another friend graduated from the U of C with a 3.0 GPA and was barely admitted to the Ohio State Law School. He graduated first in his class.

    Even Saul Bellow left the University of Chicago and transferred to Northwestern. He later joined the faculty and won the 1976 Nobel Prize in literature.

    Perhaps things have changed, but back in the day the U of C was like an intellectual boot camp. I was stubborn and stuck it out. When my son went to college, I was glad he chose to go elsewhere even though U of C was interested in him as an athlete.

    With regard to music, if you love blues (as I do) there is almost no place better to be than in Chicago. As far as any music programs at the University, if they existed (or do exist) I am not aware of them.

    Good luck with your decision and feel free to contact me if I can be of any further help.

  4. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    So you're going to be studying with Ndugu Chanceler, Peter Erskine, John Clayton, and Russ Ferrante? :mad:
  5. wrong USC :p

    i will be attending the University of South Carolina (not socal), and will be studying mainly with Bert Ligon, the professor of Jazz there.
  6. Dear Eric,

    I think I can make this easy on you. When I wrote the above message it was one in the morning and I was tired but wanted to respond before I went to bed. The sixth and seventh sentences of the third paragraph were originally one long sentence connected by a comma. I couldn't decide whether the sentence was run on, tired as I am, and so erring on the side of caution I decided to break it into two sentences. After I posted it I realized I left out a conjunction. The sixth sentence should read: "He transferred to the University of Illinois, did not get another B in college, and was the person with the lowest cumulative GPA admitted to Vet school at Illinois." At nearly two in the morning I was lying in bed still thinking about my grammatical choices and wanting to fix the mistake I knew I had made. (Incidentally, my wife, who is a professional blues singer, agonizes about her music in exactly the same way.)

    My point is this. If this is the type of thing that keeps you awake at night then you will fit in at the U of C just fine. If you think such concerns are misplaced and silly then keep looking.

  7. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Blues Basser:

    That is exactly what I've heard from many people: second to none education, and learning for learning's sake, not for the sake of finding a job. That's why I'm interested in a Philosophy major there: it's something I'm very interested in. I know I won't find a job in it, so I'll have to have another major that I can find work in. Still, it looks like a phenomenal place to go.

    I'm not sure about studying music in college. I think it might take the fun out of it for me. If it were to be anything musical, it would be composition.

    What I'm thinking heavily on right now is Political Science/Philosophy. That leaves a lot of career options open for me. Maybe I'd go to law school after that, but I'm not sure. At this point, I'm just trying to get an idea of where I want to go and what I want to study.

    My buddy took a college visit day to Chicago (he's going there next fall). He said that he attended the track practice, and between runs people would be reading Plato's Republic. That's what I want to be around- people like me, who want to learn just to know.

    I will email you soon, once I figure out what questions I need to ask.
  8. via satellite

    via satellite

    Sep 16, 2003
    I'm a second year undergrad in music and political science at the U of C. feel free to email me, if you have any specific questions.

    Yes, it is an intellectual bootcamp. It is an antisocial place of coldness and pompousness.

    Yes, it's the best school in the world. :ninja:
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Learn these words, and learn them well: "Would you like that supersized, sir?"
  10. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Zzzzing. Eric, unless you plan on teaching or being some kind of street corner philospher, I would make that "something else" a major that lends itself to a more reliable source of income.
  11. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    That's the plan. I want to dual major because I'm interested in philosophy and want to learn more about it, but I want my other major to be something a little more practical.
  12. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Have you considered a philosophy minor, then?
  13. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Hear, hear.

    Eric, I commend you on your interest in attending an institution that has an excellent reputation for academics.

    UC is a top school, yes! However, it is heavily defined by the excellence of its graduate schools such as its School of Law.
    Notwithstanding that, I think that a Major in Philosophy is not
    something to avoid because it is 'impractical'.

    The cornerstone of classic Liberal Arts concentrations is the
    concept the a University can stimulate rigorous discourse among its student body, develop outstanding writing and communications skills, and hone critical thinking and analysis.

    This is not vocational school, you aren't going there to learn a trade. You are going there to learn to think. And when you can reason well, you can learn any field you choose, and enter
    it successfully.

    Case in point: I ran into a man the other day who owned a
    body shop locally. He was running for Town Council. As we were talking, he mentioned how he had majored in Classics.
    Useless major? He had an undying love for Cicero, etc.
    Think having a good education hurt his chances in business,
    his employees, his family, his community? I think not.

    My alma mater, a primarily liberal arts college, has produced,
    with one small exception, me, many highly successful people
    in business, writing, government, law and medicine, to name a few fields. Forget the fries, supersize the education.

    After you are out of there, you will be able to:

    *Reason effectively
    *Think critically
    *Perform under pressure
    *Work well within teams
    *Communicate effectively
    *Solve problems

    to name a few things a difficult school like that will
    develop in you.

    I can't, as an employer, see much in the above list I wouldn't
    like to see in an employee.

    Grads from my local state U are hard pressed to write a cover letter in good English, and can't load paper into a copy machine without help. I have the best computer skills in the office, you know why? I sat down and read the books on DOS 3.3 when that came out, then Windows. I had to teach them Ctrl-C Ctrl-V. ! Not because I am a computer geek, but, after intellectual boot camp, it was not so hard.

    So go for the gold, and don't look back.

    Eric, you should have a wider list than this, PM me, amd I will
    discuss with you how to define a good college match list
    that will work for you. IMHO, H/S guidance couselors are worse than useless at this. But as an Alumni Interview
    Committee Chair for my alma mater, I have a fair bit of experience in the college application process, and what highly selective schools are looking for today.

    There are a lot of other schools you should be looking at if you feel that you are U of C material. There is no guarantee
    that you will get into the highly selective school you want, you have to put more irons in the fire.

  14. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    Eric, I recently went through the college application process(I am now a freshman in college) and would be happy to help you out with any questions you have. I did not personally apply to U of C, but I did apply to many schools of that caliber(Northwestern, Cornell, Washington University, Vanderbilt). I'm glad I didn't go to a school as competitive as U of C, for several reasons I'll get into on PM if you'd really like to know but I don't feel like posting here for fear of starting a battle of alma-maters. I have a friend who does go to U of C, and she says it is much as others have described; extremely competitive and difficult. She is taking 3 classes and is working very hard, and she is a very very intelligent girl. Just ask if you have any application questions, I'd be happy to help you out.