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Life on the Quads
A Centennial View of
the Student Experience at the
University of Chicago
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Edward Kirby Putnam (MA 1896), course notes for "Social Organizations for Promoting Social Welfare," 1894.

Edward Kirby Putnam (MA 1896), course notes for "Social Organizations for Promoting Social Welfare," 1894. Charles R. Henderson's course on social organizations was one step in Edward Putnam's progress toward a master's degree in English and social science. While President Harper opposed terminal master's degrees like Putnam's, he accepted the University Senate's decision that the AM could be either preparatory to a PhD or conclusive.

 

Medical students with skeleton, undated.

Medical students with skeleton, undated. The affiliation with Rush Medical College and the formation of a separate medical school in 1927 made the University an important center for the training of physicians.

The Higher Learning

Graduate and Professional Schools
Harper expanded professional training at Chicago in 1898 by securing Rush Medical College's affiliation with the University. The merger was controversial. In all other aspects the University had forged ahead on its own, and benefactors were skeptical about Rush's academic standards. Harper was less concerned, for he believed the affiliation would raise Rush's standards, while providing the University with an established faculty and valuable medical facilities. In addition the affiliation would help defray the costs of creating a medical program, which he had estimated at $4.5 million out of a total development budget of $7.05 million. By 1927 the University had created its own medical school, which was renamed the Pritzker School of Medicine in 1968. The University and Rush medical programs existed side by side until 1941, when the final ties between the two institutions were severed. For a time, from 1934 to 1959, a University Committee on Nursing Education also offered bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing.

The School of Education was launched in 1901 with the University's incorporation of two elementary schools, a high school, and a teachers' training school, all working in concert with the Department of Philosophy headed by John Dewey and later with the Department of Education. Dissolved in 1934, the professional teachers' training program was revived in a different form in 1958 as the Graduate School of Education, which existed until 1976.

The creation of a law school was no less essential to Harper's conception of a complete university. Opened in 1902, the Law School was inspired by Harper, who wanted law to be an intellectual and not a strictly technical pursuit. He noted that "a scientific study of law involves the related sciences of history, economics, philosophy - the whole field of man as a social being," a conviction that has remained a hallmark of legal education at Chicago.

Graduate students in business were also encouraged to take a comprehensive approach toward their specialization. To promote a broader study of business, the University's business program, founded in 1898, was the first to offer a PhD. It was also a pioneer in the 1940s when it developed a part-time MBA program for those who already occupied positions in management.


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