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Is Northwestern University an Ivy League School? Ranking and Acceptance Rate

Today, we will be providing an answer to the most frequent question that’s been asked by aspiring students of Northwestern University on if the school is an ivy league school or not.

We will also look at the Ranking and Acceptance Rate of the school in this article. Keep on reading for the information you need.

Founded in 1851, Northwestern University is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois. Check if Georgetown is Ivy League School.

Northwestern University as the oldest chartered university in Illinois, is known for its focus on interdisciplinary education, extensive research output, and collaborative student culture.

The university provides instruction in over 200 formal academic concentrations, including various dual degree programs.

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 University is an NCAA Division I school in the Big Ten athletic conference and has remained the only private university in the conference since 1946. It has hundreds of campus organizations to fulfill students’ varied interests.

Notable alumni include the 55th mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel; retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex; ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon; comedian Stephen Colbert; and president and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell.

Is Northwestern University an Ivy League School?

Northwestern University is not technically an Ivy League university. However, it is a very prestigious private university and provides education on par with that of the Ivy League.

It is necessary to note that when the Ivy League was officially established in 1954, it was an athletic conference – like the Big Ten (which Northwestern University is a member of).

At the time of the creation of the Ivy League and through to the present day, there have only been eight members of this conference: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, and Cornell.

While many other universities seem deserving of the Ivy League label, such as MIT, Stanford, Duke, and Caltech, only the original eight are actually Ivies.

Notwithstanding that Northwestern University is not an ivy league school, it has some similarities with the Ivies in some important ways.

First of all, Northwestern University is a private institution; all of the Ivies are private. See what Northwestern University is known for

Secondly, Northwestern University has a small undergraduate population like the Ivies; Northwestern University’s undergraduate population is about 8,494, while Ivy League undergraduate enrollments range from about 4,500 to 15,000 at the high end.

Thirdly, Northwestern University is as selective as the Ivies. It tends to accept about 7% of applicants just like most of ivy league schools.

Northwestern University Acceptance Rate

Northwestern University is one of the most challenging universities in the country (and the world!) to get admission into.

For the past few years, its acceptance rate has been around 9%, but in 2021 – due in part to an increase in applications thanks to pandemic-related test-optional policies – Northwestern University’s acceptance rate dropped to 7%. This means that for every 100 applicants, only 7 are accepted.

This acceptance rate is on par with that of Ivies such as Cornell, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, and Brown, all of which had only slightly lower acceptance rates than Northwestern in 2021.

Northwestern University Ranking

According to US News and World Report, which is the most widely consulted ranking system in the US, Northwestern University ranks 9th nationally, tied with Johns Hopkins University and Caltech and beating out the Ivies Dartmouth, Brown, and Cornell.

However, Washington Monthly, a competitor to US News, ranks Northwestern lower: #30 nationally, behind all of the Ivies except Dartmouth and Brown. See Northwestern University Transfer Acceptance Rate.

The popular website ranks Northwestern University favorably in a number of categories, most notably 1st Best College for Communications in America, 2nd Best College for Performing Arts in America, 7th Colleges with the Best Professors in America, 10th Hardest Colleges to Get into in America, and 10th Colleges with Best Academics in America. 

While Northwestern University’s national rankings vary a bit from publication to publication, there is non denying the fact that the university is in high demand and therefore utilizes an incredibly selective admissions process.


This is the end of the article and we believe you have gained access to the answer to if Northwestern University is an Ivy League school or not. If your response is yes, we are glad you did.

Last Updated on July 15, 2023 by Admin

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