Graduate Schools in Chicago: PhD & Masters Programs
Chicago is a city of fantastic stories, so for anyone at the onset of a new chapter (graduate school) this bustling metropolis is the place to start. Once you get to know the history of Chicago, and how people faced challenges, you too could be motivated to live and study at one of the many universities in Chicago. Start here to learn all about going to grad school in Chicago.
Popular Graduate Degree Programs in Chicago
written by Rana Waxman
Experience the Innovative Spirit of Chicago
Earn your graduate degree in a city known for its spirit of innovation and ability to solve problems. Incorporated in 1837, Chicago’s location on the shores of Lake Michigan made it a prime place for trade. Because of this, Chicago grew pretty fast, so in the 1850’s the city saw a building boom.
Unfortunately, most of the construction was wood, and burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Chicago rebuilt quickly and celebrated its comeback. It held the World’s Fair in 1893, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. The layout and splendor of the building facades gave rise to the name “White City” and put Chicago on the map for its architecture.
In 1900, Chicago successfully completed a massive and highly innovative engineering project. It reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that it emptied into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan.
Every year, the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Even through the Great Depression, Chicago pulled through with ingenuity and many “firsts.” Chicago is the birthplace of the refrigerated rail car (Swift), mail-order retailing (Sears and Montgomery Ward), the car radio (Motorola), the TV remote control (Zenith) and the Ferris Wheel.i
These are several of the great backdrop stories that make graduate students want to pursue Masters and PhD in Engineering degrees in Chicago. To this end, both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report 2018 as engineering graduate schools in Chicago.
Or, pursue a Master of Science in Engineering Technology at Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Purdue, a partner school, boasts alumni such as Neil Armstrong. It offers the opportunity to focus on cybersecurity and industrial espionage related to manufacturing.
DID YOU KNOW?
The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, ushering in the Atomic Age, took place at the University of Chicago in 1942.ii
Live and Learn in Chicago
Graduate schools in Chicago situate you in what is affectionately called The Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City, The City That Works, & and ChiTown.
There are over 200 neighborhoods in Chicago. Major sections of the city include the central business district, called The Loop, and the North, the South, and West Sides. The North is where you could see high rises and lakefront while the South Side encompasses about 60% of the city’s land.
Just as an FYI, the University of Chicago is located on the South Side. In the late 1920s, sociologists at the University of Chicago subdivided the city into 77 distinct communities. These then became more informally defined neighborhoods. Each of which has its own character – think food, festivals, farmers markets, music and more.
How to Get Around in Chicago
Chicago has a walkable downtown and many walkable neighborhoods connected by public transportation like the elevated 'L' trains and Metra Rail systems. One of the things to do is get to the Chicago Riverwalk to eat, drink and play. It is a 1.25-mile pedestrian stretch and has six distinct coves – sort of an adult playground.
While trains are a major player, there is also a great bicycle sharing system called Divvy. It operates in the city of Chicago, but is operated by Motivate in two adjacent suburbs. There are over 19 miles of lakefront bicycle paths too. In fact, the Lakefront trail is a great, eco-friendly way to see Chicago. Run, walk, bike or rollerblade with the blue waters of Lake Michigan to one side and lush, green parks to the other.
In your down time, you could also stroll through Millennium Park, shop the Magnificent Mile, or set sail on the Great Lakes at Navy Pier.
GET YOUR KICKS
Historic Route 66 begins in Chicago at Grant Park on Adams Street in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Explore the Four Seasons in Chicago
The City of Chicago reports that over 40 million people visit Chicago annually. So it makes sense that they have something for every season.
If you kick off your graduate study in Chicago in Fall, that’s football season for the Chicago Bears. Temperatures tend to be in the 40’s, which means you may need a coat as you head to class or catch one of the many festivals (Jazz, Fringe, Windy City Wine).
Winter is cold and snowy. Bundle up and head out with skates to the iconic rink at Millennium Park, or get to a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game. There are also plenty of great cafes where you could get your hot chocolate on.
Chicago is home to the Bulls, so Spring is about March Madness. The weather is mild, but you may need an umbrella.
Summers are warm to humid which pairs well with baseball and beaches. There are two baseball teams – the Chicago Cubs play in Wrigley Field on the North Side, and the Chicago White Sox play on Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side.
Of course, you’ll also find about 15 miles of beaches.
Chicago for Foodies
The cuisine in Chicago reflects the city’s ethnic and working-class roots, and the jury is still out on whether its nationally renowned deep-dish pizza beats out Chicago-style thin crust.
Then there is the Chicago-style hot dog. Pile toppings like pickle relish, yellow mustard, pickled sport peppers, tomato, dill pickle, celery salt onto a poppy seed bun. Also try a classic Italian beef sandwich, kielbasa, and some sticky Garrett Popcorn.
You can also eat your way through Chinatown, Greektown, Pilsen and other foodie neighborhoods.
Or drink your way through. At least six Chicago neighborhoods have craft beer trails. Check out the trendier microbreweries or go to a historic pub.
Music, Comedy and Nightlife in Chicago
As a multicultural city, music lives big in Chicago. No matter what your musical tastes – house music, mainstream pop, indie rock, hip hop, punk, blues or jazz – you'll find it live in Chicago any night of the week. That said, you could start a Chicago Blues and Jazz bucket list.
Prefer improv? Chicago's theater community generated modern improvisational theater (think – The Second City). There are also more than 200 theaters where you could take in everything from Broadway world premieres to edgy original productions.
Take in Chicago’s Art and Architecture
Beyond theatre, Chicago prides itself on its beautiful architecture. There are many cool art and architecture events and some of them are free. Also, just a walk through the city is an adventure, with all the public sculptures. Among the places you will want to take a selfie is Cloud Gate. It is a huge, mirrored bean-shaped sculpture that is not to be missed. (Check it out in the photo above.)
The Art Institute of Chicago has one of the largest and most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world.
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.
Get Down to Business in Chicago
Chicago is home to 11 Fortune 500 companies, while the rest of the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies, per the city’s website.i As an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation, Chicago could be full of opportunity for graduate students. In fact, recent Census data indicates that there are over 24,500 people over the age of 25 with a graduate or professional degree. iii
You may therefore want to consider graduate schools in Chicago for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The Goodwin College of Business at Benedictine University, a partner school offers seven graduate-level programs in business along with numerous joint degree programs such as MBA/Juris Doctor.
The Crime Scene: Chicago Then and Now
On the topic of law, crime and justice, Chicago does have a high crime rate in some areas along with a history of organized crime that is woven into its pages.
That said, graduate schools in Chicago have some offerings in terms of helping the community. Study for a Master of Social Work at Loyola or Erikson Institute. Or, pursue a Master of Science in Criminal Justice or Master of Science in Computer Science with a focus on cyber security at Lewis University.
These are some of the partner universities in Chicago that have graduate programs in these (and other) broad disciplines.
Sponsored Graduate Schools & Programs in Chicago
Since the 1850s, Chicago has been a world center of higher education and research with several universities that are in or near the city proper. The Windy City also has a high proportion of post-baccalaureate institutions, graduate schools, seminaries, and theological schools.iv
Below is a cheat-sheet of several partner universities in Chicago. Each school may offer you multiple formats such as online or part-time as well as a unique menu of graduate programs, faculty, and resources.
- Argosy University
- Adler University
- Saint Xavier University
- The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
- University of Illinois at Chicago
Find graduate programs from our partner schools in Chicago to align with your interests and goals, and experience the city from an insider’s point of view.
Popular Graduate Programs in Chicago
M.S.W. / J.D. Dual Degree
Ph.D. or Psych.D.
PsyD Programs in Chicago
You may choose to study psychology or mental health counseling at the Masters, Education Specialist, Certificate or Doctoral (PhD or PsyD) levels.
One example is a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. Candidates could tap into immersive field experiences in local agencies, community-based organizations as they network with other psychology and behavioral science professionals.
At the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a partner school, there is a 5-year full-time APA-accredited program. Students could major in child and adolescent psychology, neuropsychology, forensic psychology and other areas.
MSN Programs in Chicago
Chicago is home to several healthcare headquarters such as the American Medical Association (AMA), American Osteopathic Association, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
This really sets a stage for graduate programs in nursing, public health, epidemiology, osteopathy and of course, medicine. If you are already a registered nurse in Chicago, for instance, you might want to consider an online MSN – Master of Science in Nursing.
Saint Xavier University, a partner school offers an MSN in three areas of emphasis: (1) clinical leadership, (2) executive leadership, (3) nurse educator.These nationally recognized, CCNE-accredited online MSN programs could enable you to study evidence-based practices with new technologies as you study to develop new strategies to bring into patient care.
MBA and Masters in Finance Programs in Chicago
Either an MBA or Master of Science in Finance could be a great investment in this major financial center. Can’t decide?
Loyola, a partner school offers students with the opportunity to combine an MBA with a Master of Science in Finance (MSF). This may provide the breadth and depth of knowledge often required of finance professionals. Students who complete a dual degree will earn an MBA with an emphasis in finance and an MSF degree.
Choose a Graduate School in Chicago
There is really no end to the things to see, do, learn and research in ChiTown. Use the degree finder on this page to help you get matched with schools.
Set filters such as degree level, program format and subject with the help of the menu bar. Choose from among graduate programs in Chicago based on your preferences. Then just apply with the on-page form. You're in the game!
[i] cityofchicago.org/city/en/about/facts.html | [ii] cityofchicago.org/city/en/about/history.html | [iii] factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_5YR_S1501&src=pt | [iv] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago
Benedictine UniversityMaster of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Dual Master of Public Health/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Accelerated MSMOB Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Accelerated Masters in Business Administration Master of Business Administration Master of Science in Accountancy Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Health Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology Master of Public Health - Health Education & Promotion Graduate Certificate in Emergency Preparedness Master of Public Health Internet Marketing Certificate Graduate Certificate in Health Management and Policy Master of Public Health - Health Management & Policy Graduate Certificate in Health Education and Promotion Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness Dual MBA-MSN Master of Science in Nursing Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Executive Leader Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Focus
Loyola University ChicagoMaster of Science in Medical Physiology Master of Public Health Master of Science in Infectious Disease and Immunology Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology Master of Science in Neuroscience Master of Science in Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics Master of Science in Health Informatics Master of Science in Clinical Research Methods and Epidemiology Master of Science in Dietetics Dual Degree MD/MPH in Public Health and Medicine Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science Master of Science in Exercise Science
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyM.A. International Psychology M.S. Clinical Psychopharmacology M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A. Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track AND Master of Legal Studies M.A. Industrial & Organizational Psychology: ARP Track M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis Master of Health Services Administration M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology: ARP Track AND Master of Legal Studies M.A. Organizational Leadership M.A. Behavioral Economics M.A. Psychology M.A. Psychopharmacology Ph.D. International Psychology Ph.D. Business Psychology, I/O Track Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis Ph.D. Organizational Leadership Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track Crisis-Informed Care for a Diverse, Globalized World Certificate Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program Master of Public Health M.A. Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track Child and Adolescent Psychology Certificate Dual Enrollment: Master of Health Service Administration and Master of Public Health Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
Colorado Technical UniversityMaster of Business Administration - Project Management Master of Science in Criminal Justice Master of Business Administration - Global Leadership Master of Science in Information Technology Master of Science in Management - Cybersecurity Management Doctor of Management - General Concentration (Executive Format) Master of Science in Homeland Security Master of Business Administration - Health Care Management Master of Business Administration - Operations and Supply Chain Management Master of Science in Information Technology - Security Management Doctor of Computer Science - Big Data Analytics (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Homeland Security (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Environmental and Social Sustainability (Executive Format) Master of Science in Management - Project Management Master of Science in Homeland Security - Emergency Management and Public Health Master of Business Administration - Data Analytics Master of Science in Management Doctor of Management - Higher Education Teaching and Learning Master of Science in Healthcare Management Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management Doctor of Management - Global Leadership (Executive Format) Doctor of Management - Healthcare Management and Leadership (Executive Format) Master of Science in Information Technology - Project Management Master of Business Administration - Marketing Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
American InterContinental UniversityMaster of Science (MSIT) - IT Project Management MBA - Management Master's - Healthcare Management MBA - Operations Management MBA - Marketing MBA - Healthcare Management MBA - Human Resource Management MBA - Accounting MBA - Finance Master of Science (MSIT) - Information Assurance and Security MBA - Project Management
Northcentral UniversityDoctor of Philosophy in Education - Leadership in Higher Education Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Teaching Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Culture, Diversity & Social Justice in a Global Context Doctor of Education - English Language Learning Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Special Education Doctor of Education - Leadership in Higher Education Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Doctor of Philosophy in Education - English Language Learning Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - General Family Therapy Doctor of Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Doctorate of Marriage & Family Therapy - Therapy with Military Families Doctorate of Marriage & Family Therapy - Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship Education Specialist - General Education Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology - Trauma and Disaster Relief Education Specialist - International Education Doctor of Education - International Education Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Public Administration Doctor of Criminal Justice - White Collar Crime Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science Doctor of Philosophy in Technology and Innovation Management - Computer Science Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Management Information Systems Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Sport and Athletic Management Doctor of Business Administration - Advanced Accounting Doctor of Business Administration - Health Services Doctor of Business Administration - Management Information Systems
North Central CollegeMaster of Arts in Sports Leadership Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership Master of Financial Management Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Master of Human Resource Management Master of Business Administration
Loyola University ChicagoDoctor of Juridical Science in International and Comparative Law Dual Degree JD/MA in Law & Comparative Education Full-Time Juris Doctor Master of Laws in Business Law Master of Laws in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Dual Degree JD/MBA in Law and Business Dual Degree JD/MEd in Law & Education Policy Master of Laws in Child and Family Law Master of Laws in Tax Law Master of Laws for International Lawyers Weekend Juris Doctor Dual Degree JD/MPP in Law and Public Policy Dual Degree MA/JD in Law and Political Science
Garrett-Evangelical Theological SeminaryDivinity Music Ministry Christian Education Pastoral Care and Counseling Religious and Theological Studies
Ellis UniversityMaster of Business Administration (MBA) Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching - Teacher as a Leader Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care Administration Master of Science (MS) in Management - Leadership Master of Science (MS) in Management - Marketing Master of Science (MS) in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Leadership Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Project Management Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching - Thesis Track Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching - Early Childhood Education Master of Science (MS) in Management - Project Management Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management of Information Systems Master of Science (MS) in Management - Health Care Administration Master of Science (MS) in Instructional Technology - Pre-K to 16 Educators Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Global Management Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Risk Management Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance Master of Arts (MA) in Communication Arts - Advertising and Public Relations Master of Science (MS) in Management - Non-Profit Management Master of Science (MS) in Management Master of Science (MS) in Instructional Technology - Instructional Technology for Trainers Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources Management Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Professional Accounting
Indiana UniversityKelley Direct Online Consortium MBA Program Office Language Education (emphases in Elementary or Secondary Reading, TESL or Adult Literacy) Human-Computer Interaction Instructional Systems Technology Music Technology Master of Science in Adult Education Graduate program in Music Technology Therapeutic Recreation Learning Sciences Master of Business Administration School Library Media Certification Gerontology Graduate programs in Music Technology and Music Therapy Master of Science in Health Sciences Distance Learning Informatics Doctoral Program Master of Science in Nursing Administration Therapeutic Recreation / Recreation and Park Administration
John Marshall Law SchoolIntellectual Property Law Global Legal Studies Law Programs International Business and Trade Law Employee Benefits Real Estate Law Programs Center for Tax and Employee Benefits Information Technology Law General Practice Fair Housing
Lewis UniversityCurriculum and Teacher Leadership, M.Ed. Certificate of Advanced Study in Education Master of Science in Nursing School Counseling and Guidance Graduate School of Management Educational Leadership
Lake Forest CollegeLiberal Studies
Illinois College Of OptometryOptometry
Saint Xavier UniversitySecondary Education (MA plus Type 09 certification) Educational Administration & Supervision (MA plus Type 75 Certifcation) Spanish Education (MA plus Type 10 certifciation) Music Education (MA plus Type 10 certification) MSN/MBA Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Master of Arts in Education-Curriculum and Instruction School Counseling (MA plus Type 73 certification) Reading (MA plus Type 10 certification) Early Childhood Education (MA plus Type 04 certification) MBA Certificate Programs Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Speech/Language Pathology Elementary Education (MA plus Type 03 certification) Master of Science (Business) Community Counseling Approval and Certificate of Advanced Studies MBA/MACS (Master of Applied Computer Science) Master in Applied Computer Science Multicategorical Special Education (MA plus Type 10 certification) Teaching and Leadership (Field Based Master's Program)
Loyola University ChicagoInfection Prevention Certificate Oncology Nursing Certificate
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyM.A. Forensic Psychology, Professional Counselor Licensure Track
Rush UniversityPharmacology Residency in Medical Physics, PhD & Master's Perfusion Technology Religion Health and Human Values Anatomical Sciences Health Care Ethics Respiratory Care Occupational Therapy Physician Assistant Studies Audiology Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Nurse Practitioner (NP) Immunology and Microbiology Clinical Laboratory Sciences Speech-Language Pathology Neurosciences Molecular Biophysics and Physiology Respiratory Care RRT Advanced Standing Biochemistry Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Biotechnology Doctor of Medicine Clinical Research Generalist Entry Master's (GEM) in Nursing for Non-Nurses Radiological Sciences Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship
Governors State UniversityEnglish Multicategorical Special Education Education Business Administration (MBA) Nursing (MSN) Art Addictions Studies Early Childhood Education Communication Disorders Environmental Biology Psychology Accounting Analytical Chemistry Public Administration Educational Administration Computer Science Social Work Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Health Administration Communications and Training Occupational Therapy Counseling Management Information Systems Reading Political and Justice Studies
St. James School of MedicineDoctor of Medicine
University of ChicagoInternational M.B.A. Program Ph.D. Program Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology Master of Arts Program in Latin American Studies Social Thought Public Policy Studies Physics Divinity (Ph.D.) Geophysical Sciences Astronomy and Astrophysics Medical Doctor Mathematics Medical Physics Masters Program in Computer Science Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences English Language and Literature Music Chemistry Germanic Studies Microbiology Economics Biomedical Sciences Cluster Neurobiology Visual Arts Master of Divinity
Dominican UniversityManagement Information Systems Teaching in Secondary Education MSW Program with Global and Family Centered focuses Organizaton Management Special Education Teaching Elementary Education Master of Business Administration Early Childhood Education Accounting Educational Administration Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignInformation Systems Human Resource Development Math Teacher Link Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Community College Teaching and Learning Online Materials Master of Computer Science LEEP: Library and Information Science Global Studies in Education Theoretical and Applied Mechanics - Online Networks and Distributed Systems Professional Development Sequence in Financial Engineering and Risk Management Educational Organization and Leadership - Online Master of Computer Science Hazardous Waste Risk and Remediation Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform Materials Engineering Mechanical Engineering - Online Strategic Technology Management - Online Power and Energy Systems Business Management for Engineers (BME) Professional Development Sequence in Translation, French Professional Development Sequence in Community College Teaching and Learning Systems Engineering Integrated Circuits
Argosy UniversityEducational Leadership Counselor Education & Supervision (EdD) MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology Clinical Psychology (MA)
Pacific College of Oriental MedicineMasters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine
University of Saint Mary Of The Lake Mundelein SeminaryTheology
Spertus CollegeJewish Studies
Seabury-Western Theological SeminaryTheology
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and LeadershipJewish Studies Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies Master of Science in Nonprofit Management