Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851, Northwestern is the oldest chartered university in Illinois and is ranked among the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.
Chartered by the Illinois General Assembly in 1851, Northwestern was established to serve the former Northwest Territory. The university was initially affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but soon grew to be non-sectarian. In 1896, Northwestern became a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, and later joined the Association of American Universities as an early member in 1917. The university was the third largest university in the United States by the 1900s under Henry Wade Rogers.
The university is composed of eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, which include the Kellogg School of Management, the Pritzker School of Law, the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Bienen School of Music, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Medill School of Journalism, the School of Communication, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Education and Social Policy, and The Graduate School. Northwestern's campus lies along the shores of Lake Michigan in Evanston. The university's law, medical, and professional schools, along with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, are located in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. The university also maintains a campus in Education City, Qatar and academic centers in Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.