Universities in Chicago - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities


By Staff Writer

Updated March 15, 2021 Updated March 15, 2021

QS Best Student Cities ranking: =41th

A fast-paced, high-rise economic hub, Chicago is also a city that famously knows how to let its hair down. Nicknamed 'The Windy City', Chicago saw an explosion of blues and jazz music during the 20th century which earned it a reputation as the northern US's answer to New Orleans.

Chicago is also home to two of the nation's – and the world’s – most prestigious universities, the University of Chicago (ranked 10th in the world), and Northwestern University (31st), plus one more university within the global top 400.

In the QS Best Student Cities ranking Chicago scores strongly across several indicators, including employer activity, reflecting the robust reputation of its institutions among graduate employers. As with other US cities, the weak point is affordability, due to the high tuition fees charged by leading private institutions such as the University of Chicago.

However, the city scores extremely well in the employer activity rank, increasing by four places this year, indicating that Chicago’s graduates are highly sought after by employers.

For many students, the exceptional academic facilities on offer, alongside the many social and cultural opportunities offered by this bustling metropolis, make studying in Chicago well worth the investment. In our student survey, one respondent praised “The variety of cultures and activities present throughout all its neighborhoods.

Would Chicago get your vote? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in Chicago

University of ChicagoNorthwestern UniversityUniversity of Illinois, Chicago (UIC); Illinois Institute of TechnologyLoyola University Chicago

More about Chicago

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Chicago (10th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in March 2021

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