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  • Swati Chopra

Case Western Reserve University

This is a series of posts on campuses I've visited. At times I've had the chance to meet up with admission officers and have included specific majors and data here. Please keep the date of my visit in mind as admission requirements and freshmen profiles change annually and updating these posts will not always be possible. To see other schools' profiles, please visit my website.

April 2024 - Counselor Tour

This past week I visited Cleveland to tour Case Western Reserve University and a few other schools. CWRU (pronounced crew) was founded in 1826 in Hudson, Ohio, about 30 miles southeast of Cleveland. It has a rich history stemming from the merger of two distinguished institutions: Western Reserve College and Case School of Applied Science. The collaboration between these two schools laid the foundation for CWRU's reputation as a leading research university. When these institutions came together they created a stronger academic community and by the end of the 19th century, CWRU stood out as one of only a few institutions that sought innovation and embraced the sciences.

Location and surroundings: CWRU is a quick 45 minute drive from Cleveland airport and is located in a beautiful area on the east side of the city. A quiet residential area is to the north and to the south is the bustling University Hospital.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is located next to the Botanical Garden on the west side of campus, near University Circle.

A quick 15 minute bus ride on excellent public transportation takes you to the famous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, professional sports, Lake Erie, and the historic Warehouse District - just to name a few. Cleveland is home to 50+ museums and cultural destinations and the nearby neighborhoods, including Little Italy, provide dozens of shops, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment options.

My first impression of CWRU was 'friendly'. While walking to the admissions office, we saw many students and staff walking towards the campus and even though finals were only 10 days away, students seemed relaxed - not really what I expected at such a top tier STEM school. As you can see from the pics, the campus

is filled with beautiful buildings, some old and majestic, some new and sleek. It all comes together pretty well and makes for a beautiful campus.

Hospitals affiliated with CWRU: CWRU School of Medicine is primarily affiliated with University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, and the MetroHealth System.

The University Hospital takes up the south side of the campus and MetroHealth Medical Center houses a level 1 trauma center as well as the Seidman Cancer Center. Cleveland Clinic serves as an outstanding clinical teaching site for all medical students in the School of Medicine, in addition to being the site for pre-clerkship education in the College Program. The Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center is a major teaching hospital of CWRU School of Medicine, it's also the third-largest VA hospital in the country

Business School: Case has an accelerated program for MBA in which students can accelerate their education by earning their BA/BS degree and a Master of Business Analytics and Intelligence degree in five years or fewer from Weatherhead School of Management.

Nursing: CWRU offers direct entry nursing. Students are able to experience 1,000 clinical hours to prepare for med school and more importantly - this opportunity starts in the first semester as soon as they enroll (which very few universities offer). CWRU also boasts having three major medical centers within 1 mile of first-year residence halls. Nursing students can easily walk to and access some of the nation's top medical facilities in the University Circle neighborhood.

Opportunities: More than 41% of CWRU students study abroad at some point, that's three times more than the national average, 40% of job placement is from co-op opportunities. Even though it's a Tier 1 research university, they put emphasis on strong writing, entrepreneurship, and building teams. And with the help of the think[box] students have launched startups early in their undergrad years which in turn has changed the trajectory of their careers.

Research: Sears think[box] is a world-class innovation center, makerspace and entrepreneurship ecosystem that is housed in an iconic seven-story, 50,000-square-foot facility ( the largest of it's kind in the nation)- it is open to everyone at no cost. Every floor has a purpose as shown in the image. They claim 99% of students take advantage of experiential learning including co-ops, internships, and research.

Engineering students can make the most of co-op programs and are actively involved in these companies, many times finding jobs at the same place they interned the minute they're out of school. In fact, 84% of engineering students take part in research and creative endeavors, including the think[box]. Similar to nursing, individual and team projects across the engineering fields give students substantial lab time in their first semester, where they also build and test a personal project like a piezoelectric crystal or water sensor. First semester, hands-on opportunities are not very common at other universities similar in size.

Pre-med: Students who are interested in med school will find CWRU to be a good fit with all that they have to offer. As mentioned below, students who want to pursue medicine work directly with their dedicated health career advisor through the 4 years. 64% of CWRU undergrads who applied to medical school in the last 5 years were accepted to some of the nation's top med schools including Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, to name a few. (42% acceptance rate to medical school, Association of American Medical Colleges)

Academics: Every student has a 4 year advisor and starting from the second year every student will have a faculty advisor as well. For students who are on the pre-med track, they'll have one more advisor to help them plan their way to med school. Students also have the opportunity to double major or even build their own major. CWRU offers well over 100 programs and 145+ dual degree programs throughout several colleges.

Admissions: CWRU admits to the university in general. Students are encouraged to look into the different schools once they're enrolled. Everything is open to every student →Nursing, Engineering, Business, etc. Applications are accepted through EA, RD, and two ED rounds and one counselor letter of recommendation is required. CWRU is planning to stay test optional for a few more years. This past cycle they received 37,500 applications to fill 1,550 seats so admission is understandably difficult and competitive. There are 3 levels of review: Is the student capable? Are they competitive? Is the application compelling? Demonstrated interest matters as do extracurricular activities. They're looking for students who will give back to the community and students who are interested in being a part of something bigger than themselves.

Student Body: Overall, for a student to thrive here, they need to be intellectually curious and competent. Not all students take advantage of the opportunities CWRU offers but the faculty works hard to ensure that they do. It's a diverse campus with something for everyone. Athletes have 3 gyms at their disposal and play in 17 NCAA DIV III sports. They can also play in intramural or club sports. There are a variety of programs for women of color and the LGBTQ+ community. There are over 550+ organizations to pursue passions and interests.

The undergrad population is around 6,000. Just a few years ago CWRU was dominated by Ohio residents, Case now gets three quarters of its students from other states and about 15 percent from other nations. Students come from all 50 states and close to 90 countries. Approximately 35% is White and 25% Asian. International and Hispanic students make up another 25% of the undergrad population.


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