Northwestern University Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
502 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
4.0
502 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
189 Ratings

Pros
  • People are friendly, pay is decent and they're generally pretty good about work-life balance (in 26 reviews)

  • Great Benefits- Can get great tuition assistance and healthcare benefits (in 37 reviews)

Cons
  • Ability to have work life balance most likely depends on the department with some departments being very high stress (in 10 reviews)

  • Not enough compensation for graduate students, some students take competition very negatively (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. The medical school's clinical research department would benefit from less bureaucratic organizational structure

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Pros

    The research is great, mentor is superb

    Cons

    There was no room for career advancement. While some colleagues were great, some were difficult to work with.

  2. I am a PhD student in Engineering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Student
    Current Employee - PhD Student

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice campus
    Great research resources
    Good health insurance

    Cons

    too much work load
    bad weather
    very poor student advocacy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    improve student advocacy specially in engineering majors
    PhD students' first year salary is very low
    add dental insurance for PhD students

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. Nice place to work and get experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues and fabulous students!

    Cons

    Salaries could be better for Lecturers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. A great place to work if you've got a great boss, but otherwise a pretty standard experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Current Employee - Research Associate

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Benefits are good, including insurance options for every budget. University/non-profit environment and culture, if you like that: good work-life balance. Several options for educational development, with very generous tuition benefits. Organized employee and workplace improvement initiatives.

    Cons

    Standard HR experience: attempts to deny benefits, with administrators conveniently interpreting imprecise written policies in ways that just happen to go against you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. A supportive environment for graduate students

    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Locally, Northwestern has an excellent reputation. The name carries a lot of prestige. As a graduate student, you have access to a lot of benefits, like a u-pass (discounted pass for unlimited CTA travel), gym membership, access to excellent health facilities (including counseling) and a variety of student organizations and activities (although I haven't participated in very many besides intramural sports). The graduate school has an office of fellowships to help students secure outside funding. The graduate school also has (limited) travel funds available to students. Individual departments often have separate travel grants as well. Evanston borders Chicago, so there is plenty to do outside of academics.

    Cons

    Departmental logistics can sometimes be slow and inefficient. I've had payroll issues (e.g. erroneously receiving only a fraction of my paycheck) three times in 5 years. Reimbursements are painfully slow, but at least they are an option (as opposed to paying out of pocket for all expenses). Financial support for travel varies greatly across labs and departments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Faster turn around for payroll issues and reimbursements.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. I have had a pleasant experience working in one of Northwestern's labs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Among the smartest people I have ever met, with flexible hours and very intellectually demanding. I would highly recommend joining a lab here at Northwestern

    Cons

    Although the work can be very demanding, sometimes your supervisors don't care that much at all and the work can become tedious at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more time and effort in undergraduate students to train them to become future researchers. Also, it would be nice to foster a community among the coworkers.

    No opinion of CEO
  8. Mostly Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Assistant III in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Program Assistant III in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Work-life balance is very good, particularly for support staff but also for management. Excellent benefits. Lovely campus. Can be a very interesting group of people to work with and learn from, especially the faculty.

    Cons

    Poor hourly pay for support staff. If you come in as a department or program assistant it can be very difficult to move up the ladder. NU leadership and school leadership in turn are very stingy but consistent. Expect 2-3% increase each year but don't expect higher. Staff are definitely seen as second class citizens compared to faculty and leadership but it can also depend on the department you're in.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Terrible Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Top research university in a nice downtown location

    Cons

    The sense of entitlement and poor management skills among tenure track professors is deplorable. The good old boys club is alive and well in the culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start a development program to teach some of the old dogs new tricks otherwise you will continue to lose employees, staff, and grants

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Options to move and grow according to your needs and interests.

    Cons

    Slow Human Resources Department process.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Graduate student at Amaral Lab

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent research environment.
    Great studying opportunity.

    Cons

    Expensive tuition
    Everything else is fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

Northwestern University Photos

Work at Northwestern University? Share Your Experiences

Northwestern University

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.