Northwestern University Reviews
74% would recommend to a friend
(3306 total reviews)
79% approve of CEO
Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "Great benefits for both exempt and non" (in 360 reviews)
- "And the people are great." (in 176 reviews)
- "Beautiful campus and a lot of supporting facilities for all kinds of student and staff activities." (in 114 reviews)
- "Flexible hours and smart and collaborative professors" (in 70 reviews)
- "Great colleagues and students to work with" (in 69 reviews)
- "Low pay unless you start getting into senior scientist positions; but that's the same for almost all academia positions" (in 181 reviews)
- "Top down administrative style does not work well for a learning institution where salaries are low and expectations are high" (in 128 reviews)
- "poor management" (in 48 reviews)
- "There is not any 360 feedback so if you have a bad manager, chances are you are stuck." (in 28 reviews)
- "No communication" (in 22 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of Northwestern University and is not affected by filters.
Found 3,306 of over 4K reviews
Updated Dec 6, 2023
- Most Recent
- Highest Rating
- Lowest Rating
- 5.0Oct 9, 2023Research AssistantCurrent Employee
Research Experience: As a research assistant, you gain valuable hands-on research experience, which can be essential for your academic and professional development. Mentorship: You have the opportunity to work closely with experienced professors or researchers who can provide guidance and mentorship, helping you build your skills and knowledge. Networking: You can establish connections with professors, fellow researchers, and professionals in your field, which can be beneficial for future collaborations and job opportunities. Access to Resources: You often have access to research facilities, resources, and databases that may not be available to others, enhancing your research capabilities. Contribution to Knowledge: Your work as a research assistant can contribute to the advancement of knowledge in your field, which can be personally fulfilling. Financial Support: Many research assistant positions offer stipends or tuition assistance, which can help offset the cost of your education.
Workload: Research assistant positions can be demanding, with long hours and tight deadlines, which may affect your work-life balance. Uncertainty: Research projects can sometimes be unpredictable, and there is no guarantee of success. You may invest a significant amount of time and effort in a project that doesn't yield the expected results. Limited Autonomy: You may have limited control over the direction of the research project, as it is typically determined by your supervisor or principal investigator. Pressure to Publish: In academia, there can be pressure to publish research findings, which may lead to stress and competition among research assistants. Financial Dependency: If your research assistantship includes financial support, you may become financially dependent on the position, making it challenging to explore other opportunities or career paths. Limited Time for Other Activities: The demands of a research assistant role can sometimes limit your ability to engage in other extracurricular activities or coursework.
- 4.0Nov 6, 2023Research Study CoordinatorCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsChicago, IL
My experience with NU has been fantastic. I've had the freedom and flexibility I need when working and I am challenged in the best way. My colleagues are great and the benefits are outstanding. The PPO insurance they offer is a life-saver. The retirement plan could be matched higher but it's not bad at all. PTO rolls over and is great. PIs (for me) have been incredibly supportive in furthering my career and pursuing higher education.
The parking is difficult downtown and expensive. It's not an easy area to get to via public transit either. The pay for staff positions that are not higher up are poor. Staff positions like research assistant and research coordinator are well below average. It's low enough to knock my rating down to 3, even with excellent benefits. Was originally remote, but NU required 3 days in-person now, even though many jobs clearly did not need that.
- 2.0Aug 23, 2023Senior Program CoordinatorFormer Employee, more than 3 years
• Great Coworkers. Everyone’s super mission-oriented, smart and resourceful. Really some of the most engaging, interesting people I’ve had a chance to work with in my career. • Great Students. The student body is also brilliant, highly engaged and genuinely fun to interact with. • The Campus. The Evanston Campus (and even the downtown Chicago campus) are beautiful. Everything you’d expect from a classically, collegiate environment. • The Benefits. Health, Dental, HSA, + tuition benefits are terrific (esp. for those with children or families to support)
• The Culture. Very status conscious culture. I was routinely patronized, gaslit and condescended to by select faculty and senior-level leadership. • Work/Life Balance. Senior leaders lean on middle management to work excessive amounts of overtime. Everybody has a constant scarcity mindset, and yet there’s no effort to scale back program scope (lest students wonder where all their tuition dollars are going). • Institutional Priorities. The casual dismissal of the local Evanston community, the benefiting from (tax-free) real estate speculation, and the massive capital projects that have absolutely nothing to do with its mission (even as their staff and student workers are driven to distraction) overall signaled to me an institution profoundly out of touch with its environment. • Compensation. COLA (even in the best of times) rarely made up for the rate of inflation, so you can expect your purchasing power to decrease every year you stay in your job. Promotions will come with a one-time 10-15% increase in your pay, but usually at the cost of more hours.1
- 3.0Oct 30, 2023ManagerFormer Employee
I learned and grew so much while working at NU, and used my tuition benefits to further my education, but in the end I was iced out by an incompetent supervisor, a tale as old as time in higher education. I will always treasure my time here, but I will also always remember how little I was valued. Pros: great benefits, learned a lot, got to work on lots of innovative projects, got the chance to have positive impacts on people’s lives
My work was rarely appreciated by people with power, always worked above my title from day one with very little acknowledgement or credit, reached a career ceiling I couldn’t break through, vindictive power games among school leadership.1
- 5.0Nov 28, 2023Senior Program ManagerFormer Employee
Northwestern University has a great benefits package. Northwestern University has a generous policy for paid vacation, paid holidays, and other paid time off, such as a paid Winter Break from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day.
As a large institution, Northwestern University can at times feel impersonal, and one can easily get lost in the shuffle.
- 4.0Dec 3, 2023Postdoctoral FellowCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsEvanston, IL
Good resources. Nice environment. A lot of experts. Many connections and opportunities. National labs around.
Expensive living cost. Safety might be an issue. Salary is not really competitive. Space is crowded. Sport courts are limited.
- 2.0Nov 30, 2023Program CoordinatorFormer Employee, less than 1 yearChicago, IL
Decent benefits (better retirement benefits after a year of employment)
Extremely disorganized. Coordinators are sometimes treated more like a personal assistant rather than a program coordinator. Expected to do multiple people's jobs in one. Poor pay scale.
Northwestern University Reviews FAQs
Northwestern University has an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5, based on over 3,614 reviews left anonymously by employees. 74% of employees would recommend working at Northwestern University to a friend and 59% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -2% over the last 12 months.
74% of Northwestern University employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Northwestern University 3.8 out of 5 for work life balance, 3.9 for culture and values and 3.9 for career opportunities.