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Choosing Study Spaces, Where in UChicago is Best for You?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Chicago chapter.

If there’s one thing that UChicago students do a lot of, it’s study, but sometimes where you study is almost as important as what you study. We all have different learning styles, and we all have different kinds of homework. Naturally, certain environments are more fostering to certain categories of work or certain dispositions of students. If you are a first year or newcomer—or if you’re a seasoned student searching for a change of scenery—here is an archetypal guide to some of the study spaces on campus and their peculiar “personalities” that make them favorable to certain characters or certain types of work. Choose a place, and start exploring! Why wouldn’t you want to set yourself up with the best possible environment conducive your scholarly success?

The Reg

While the Brutalist architecture of the library should be inviting enough, the Reg possesses many attributes that make it a haven for the work-logged student. It is the home for the truly industrious or for the hopelessly procrastinative; it’s where you go if you intend to put the nose to the grindstone and really get some A LOT of work done. Amongst it’s seven levels, you’re sure to find a work environment that suits your needs. The lower levels are more lax, and you’re more likely to find more open conversation amidst the studies. The upper levels progressively get quieter and more cloistered, in case you need total isolation to get serious. Finally, Ex Libris on the first floor provides a more genial environment if you’re not one for the onerousness of the Library.


You can think of Mansueto as the domed paramour of The Reg. If the austerity of Regenstien is not enough for you, then Mansueto is the the pinnacle for extreme studying. That’s not to say that it’s only for all-nighters or crash-courses, it’s just a environment conducive to total immersion in one’s studies. It’s also a nice place for those with an appreciation for the aesthetics of science fiction. Under the glass dome, one feels like their onboard some futuristic spacecraft. That, coupled with the stark silence of the bubble, creates a space not unlike the realms of science fiction, in which time stands still and all there is is you and your essay.


Harper is for the fan of the English Gothic style and for those who like to approach their work swaddled in a degree of comfort. For places to set done, one can choose between upholstered armchairs or wooden long tables. The scenic attributes of Harper are not to be forgotten, with chandeliers that beget a classy air, and high vaulted ceilings that lend themselves to soaring windows streaming in generous amounts of sunlight during the day. If crackling fire places where allowed in Harper there would be one, but it’s almost unnecessary because the reading room itself is usually so toasty. It’s the best place to cozy up and get fifty pages of reading done.


“If you’re not easily oppressed by the science, then Crerar is the best,” so says a friend of mine.  This sentiment is sort of true; Crerar is a nice place for STEM-minded students for whom just being in the presence of such an array of science books is an enlivening feeling. That’s not to say that the not so mathematically/technologically/scientifically inclined won’t fare well in Crerar. Since it’s one of the less frequented libraries on campus, it means that you can certainly find a quite, almost completely private place to study. Maybe keep to the theme and take a crack at some lab reports or something in there, in case the latent knowledge from all those science books might spur you on.

The Logan Center

If you’re a devotee of any of the fine art forms, than you are no stranger to Logan. This is a great area to study if you seek a place that is vibrant and artsy, yet still pretty chill. The glass terraces on the east and west side of the building are cozy places to lay out (on the couches) and read, write, or take notes, and on a sunny day it is simply invigorating being bathed in the solar glow. Another casual place to study is in Café Logan. The noise level rarely surpasses an audible hum, and the seating comfortable, contemporary, and plentiful. Plus, one should never underrate a study place with access to good refreshments. Most of all, study at Logan if you find that an environment steeped in the arts positively stimulates you.

Outside on the Quad

This study site is the most seasonal and most dependent on weather conditions, but you’ll find that when the opportunity is there, you mustn’t pass up the chance to study out on the lawn. This is for the student who embraces nature, who wants to breathe in fresh air and lay in a bed of grass or under a tree. That said, with all the potential distractions and the inherent lackadaisical nature of laying out under the open sky, the Quad really isn’t the most conducive for hard-core working or studying. Save it for your lighter work, or for that infamous “social studying” we all do in the company of friends.


This is a classic if you are looking for a coffee-shop-study-space vibe. Some people like to have the subtle murmur of voices and music to help them concentrate while they work, and C-Shop certainly has that sort of buzz. Another plus: it’s one of the on-campus cafés that has an ample amount of tables or “desk space” for actual working. The benefit of a coffee shop environment is that it is more inviting to group work and all around feels more casual and relaxed. And for a pick-me-up you can use meal exchanges or maroon dollars for some coffee or bagels from Einstein Bros, or run by Hutch for more substantial sustenance.




Peyton Walker is a Visual Arts/Art History Major at th University of Chicago. In addition to being a CC for HerCampus, she is also a StyleGuru on CollegeFashionista.com; needless to say, she has a passion for fashion and is a self-declared Pinterest Board Personified. She is also a dedicated thesbian, an amateur yogi, and a certifiable choco-holic.