Chicago

Our nationally ranked College of Nursing in our World Class City

The College of Nursing on our Chicago campus connects students to unlimited UIC and Chicagoland resources and opportunities.

Campus Overview

The University of Illinois at Chicago is comprised of five campuses located in Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, Quad Cities and Urbana, Illinois. These campuses provide unique settings while providing access to the first-class education for which UIC is known. 

About Chicago

We welcome you to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing website.  When visiting us, in the future, we hope you will explore our beautiful landmark city and all it has to offer.

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, with a population of 2.7 million people.  It is globally recognized as a multicultural city that thrives on the harmony and diversity of its neighborhoods.  It embodies the values of America's heartland - integrity, hard work and the social fabric of its 77 distinct community areas.

The City of Chicago sits on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, the 5th largest body of fresh water in the world. It is traversed by the rivers, Chicago and Calumet, and has extensive parklands with an estimated 86 million visitors annually.

Chicago is a thriving center of international trade and commerce, a leader in reforming public schools, enhancing public safety and security initiatives, providing affordable housing in attractive and economically sound communities, ensuring accessibility for all and fostering, social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Chicago is home to...

  • 237 square miles of land
  • An estimated 2,695,598 residents
  • 77 community areas containing more than 100 neighborhoods
  • 26 miles of lakefront
  • In the metropolitan area, there are 32 universities, 15 graduate schools, 22 colleges granting bachelor’s degrees or above, 15 community colleges, 7 city colleges and 6 specialized schools.
  • Dozens of cultural institutions, historical sites and museums
  • More than 200 theaters
  • Nearly 200 art galleries
  • More than 7,300 restaurants
  • 15 miles of bathing beaches
  • 36 annual parades
  • 19 miles of lakefront bicycle paths
  • 552 parks

Did you know...

  • Nearly 40 million people visit Chicago annually.
  • Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837.
  • Chicago’s nicknames include: The Windy City, the Second City, the City of Big Shoulders, and The City That Works.
  • The area comprising Chicago (land) is the 22nd largest metropolitan area in the world, consisting of nearly 10 million people from three states – Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.
  • Chicago’s downtown area is known as “The Loop” and the nickname refers to the area encircled by the elevated (‘L’) train tracks.
  • Home to the 44th United States President Barack Obama.
  • In 1900, when residents were threatened by waterborne illnesses from sewage flowing into Lake Michigan, they completed a massive, highly innovative engineering project reversing the flow of the Chicago River so that it emptied into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan.
  • The "Historic Route 66" begins in Chicago at Grant Park on Adams Street in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • In 1884, the nation’s first skyscraper, the 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building, was built at LaSalle and Adams streets and demolished in 1931.
  • The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, at 110 stories high and 1,450 feet, is the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and its elevators are among the fastest in the world operating as fast as 1,600 feet per minute.
  • Four states, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin are visible from Skydeck Chicago in the Willis Tower.
  • The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, ushering in the Atomic Age, took place at the University of Chicago in 1942.
  • Chicago is home to eleven Fortune 500 companies, while the rest of the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies.
  • McCormick Place, Chicago’s premier convention center, offers the largest amount of exhibition space in North America at 2.2 million square feet.
  • The Ferris wheel, made its debut in Chicago at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and Navy Pier is home to a 15-story Ferris wheel, modeled after the original.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago has one of the largest and most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world.
  • Chicago was one of the first and the country’s largest municipality to require public art as part of the renovation or construction of municipal buildings, with the passage of the Percentage-for-Arts Ordinance in 1978.
  • The Chicago Cultural Center is the first free municipal cultural center in the U.S. and home to the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome.
  • When opened in 1991, the Harold Washington Library Center had approximately 6.5 million books and was the world’s largest municipal library.
  • The first televised candidates’ debate for the U.S. presidency was broadcast from Chicago’s CBS Studios on September 26, 1960, between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Milhous Nixon.
  • The Lincoln Park Zoo is the oldest public zoo in the U.S., has an estimated annual attendance of three million people, and is one of the country’s three major free zoos.
  • The first Democratic National Convention televised coast-to-coast was held in 1952 at Chicago’s International Amphitheater. (The first televised Democratic National Convention, in 1948, only reached viewers in the Northeast.)
  • Carol Moseley Braun became the country’s first female African-American U.S. Senator in 1992.
  • The late Mayor Richard J. Daley and former Mayor Richard M. Daley became the first father-son team to head the United States Conference of Mayors in 1996.
  • The Chicago River is dyed green every St. Patrick’s Day in celebration of its Irish heritage.
  • The Adler Planetarium became the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere in 1930.
  • Chicago was the birthplace of:
    • mail-order retailing (Sears and Montgomery Ward)
    • the nation’s first blood bank (Cook County Hospital)
    • the car radio (Motorola)
    • the TV remote control (Zenith)
    • the drive-up bank
    • 16-inch softball, which is played without a glove
    • the refrigerated rail car (Swift)
  • Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1949.
  • Maria Callas made her U.S. debut at the Lyric Opera in 1954.

Chicago History

Chicago began as a small trading post and is now the United States third largest city.  Its name was derived from the French version of the Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa which means "stinky onion" named for the plants common along the base of the Chicago River.  The city’s first non-native permanent settler was a trader, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man from Haiti who arrived in Chicago in the late 1770s. During the mid-18th century, the Chicago area was inhabited primarily by the Potawatomi Indians, who displaced the Miami, Sauk, and Fox tribes who had previously controlled the area.

Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago was ideally situated to take advantage of the trading possibilities created by the nation’s westward expansion. The completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 created a water link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, but the canal was soon rendered obsolete by railroads. Today, 50 percent of U.S. rail freight still continues to pass through Chicago, even as Chicago has become the nation’s busiest aviation center due to O’Hare and Midway international airports.

As Chicago grew, its residents took heroic measures to keep pace. In the 1850s, they raised many of the streets five to eight feet to install a sewer system – and then raised the buildings, as well. Unfortunately, the buildings, streets and sidewalks were made of wood and in 1871, most of the city burned in the Great Chicago Fire.  Damage from the fire was immense; 300 people died, 18,000 buildings were destroyed and nearly 100,000 of the city's 300,000 residents were left homeless. The fire led to the incorporation of stringent fire-safety codes that included a strong preference for masonry.

In 1893, Chicago was the site of the World’s Fair, officially The World's Columbian Exposition in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World.  It lasted six months and drew 27.5 million visitors and is considered among the most influential world's fairs in history.  The Exposition affected art, architecture and design throughout the nation along with having a profound effect on Chicago’s self-image, sanitation and American industrial optimism. It was in large part, designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted and was the prototype of how Burnham and his colleagues believed a city should be designed involving symmetry, balance and splendor.

The exposition covered more than 600 acres, featuring nearly 200 new but purposely temporary buildings of predominantly neoclassical architecture, canals and lagoons, and involved people and cultures from 46 countries.  Of the buildings erected for the fair, the only two which still stand in place are the Palace of Fine Arts, now the Museum of Science and Industry and the World's Congress Auxiliary Building which was one of the few buildings not built in Jackson Park, but rather downtown, and is now the Art Institute of Chicago.

Most of the buildings of the fair were designed in the classical style of architecture. The area at the Court of Honor was known as The White City with its buildings clad in white stucco, and were illuminated due to the extensive use of street lights. One of the many visitors to the fair was a Wellesley College English teacher named Katharine Lee Bates who said that the White City later inspired the reference to "alabaster cities" in her poem "America the Beautiful". The White City, with its comprehensive design scheme, is largely accredited for modern city planning with its highly integrated design of landscapes, promenades and structures.

Chicago continued to rebuild and over the next thirty years grew from 299,000 to nearly 1.7 million, at the time the fastest-growing city ever. Chicago's flourishing economy attracted huge numbers of new immigrants from Europe and migrants from the eastern states. Many of the newcomers were Irish Catholic and German immigrants. From 1890 to 1914 migration to Chicago continued to swell, attracting especially unskilled workers from Eastern and Southern Europe to work in its factories and meatpacking plants.  These immigrant workers included Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Greeks Italians, and Jews.

During and after both world wars, rural Americans arrived to Chicago from the South—whites from Appalachia and blacks from the cotton country of the Deep South. The near south side of the city became the first Black residential area, as it had Chicago’s oldest and least expensive housing. After World War II, the city built public housing for working-class families to upgrade residential quality.

Beginning in the 1940s, waves of Hispanic immigrants began to arrive. The largest numbers were from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba.  During the 1980s, Hispanic immigrants were more likely to be from Central and South America.

After 1965 and the change in U.S. immigration laws, numerous Asian immigrants came; the largest proportion were well-educated Indians and Chinese, who generally settled directly in the suburbs. By the 1970s gentrification began in the city, in some cases with people renovating housing in old inner city neighborhoods, and attracting singles and gays.

The Chicago flag commemorates four historical events represented by the four red stars which are 1)United States' Fort Dearborn, established at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1803, 2) the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed much of the city, 3) the World Columbian Exposition of 1893, by which Chicago celebrated its recovery from the fire and 4) the Century of Progress World's Fair of 1933–1934, which celebrated the city's centennial. The flag's two blue stripes symbolize the north and south branches of the Chicago River, which flow through the city's downtown and neighborhoods. The three white stripes represent the North, West and South sides of the city, Lake Michigan being the east side.

Today, Chicago is a global city, a thriving center of international trade and commerce, and a place where people of every nationality visit and come to pursue the American dream.