Our Students and Alumni
Northwestern recruits students of demonstrated academic achievement from diverse social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. More than 90 percent of undergraduate applicants rank in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, and Northwestern’s National Merit Scholar enrollment rate has recently ranked among the nation’s highest.
Full-Time Enrollment by School (Fall 2013)
|Education and Social Policy||405||84||1||490|
|School of Continuing Studies||110||1243||113||1,582|
*Total reflects number of individual students; some students are enrolled in more than one school. In addition to the full-time enrollment numbers, Northwestern University has 4,524 part-time students, bringing the total enrollment to 21,596.
**Includes Orthotics/Prosthetics/Physical Therapy programs.
|Degrees Conferred, 2012-13|
|Percent who graduate in four years||86|
|Percent who graduate in five years. Northwestern offers several five-year programs.||92|
Northwestern's approximately 200,000 alumni include leaders in government, law, science, education, medicine, media and the performing arts.
Prominent alumni include:
- Alicia Boler Davis, vice president of global quality and U.S. customer experience, General Motors Co.
- Zach Braff, actor, writer, and director
- Stephen Colbert, TV comedian
- Luke Donald, professional golfer
- Rahm Emanuel, mayor, City of Chicago
- Gillian Flynn, best-selling author
- Joe Girardi, manager, New York Yankees
- Heather Headley, Tony Award-winning actress
- Garry Marshall, producer, writer, and director
- Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News correspondent
- Virginia M Rometty, president and CEO, IBM
- David Skorton, president, Cornell University
- John Paul Stevens, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice
- Gwynne Shotwell, president, SpaceX
- Gary Steinhafel, president, CEO and chairman of the board, Target Corp.
- Margaret Sullivan, public editor, New York Times
- Manuel Valdes, president, Frontera Foods
- Michael Wilbon, ESPN commentator
- Andrew Youn, co-founder, One Acre Fund
- Mary Zimmerman, Northwestern professor and Tony Award-winning theater director