DePaul is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the U.S. with a history going back to the 19th century. It is also the largest Catholic institution of higher learning in the country with a student enrollment of over 23,000.
The university is named after the 17th century French priest St. Vincent de Paul who belonged to the Congregation of the Mission or Vincentian order and whose teachings inspired the creation of the institution.
To cater for its huge number of students, DePaul University has six campuses. Lincoln Park Campus, which is built on 40 acres in the neighborhood of Chicago’s Lincoln Park, is the largest and most active of the six. Other campuses are located in Naperville, Illinois, Loop, downtown Chicago, Oak Forest on the south side of Chicago and the suburban location of Rolling Meadows. The O’Hare campus, which relocated to the Triangle Plaza, Chicago, has been in existence since 1977.
In its long history, DePaul University has continued to increase the number of academic programs that graduate and undergraduate students can enroll into. Today, the university runs over 270 undergraduate and graduate programs covering very diverse areas of study.
The university has nine schools and colleges. Of the nine, the one college that sticks out is the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S). It is not only the largest college but was also the first to be established and it offers both graduate and undergraduate programs. That the college is large is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that it employs over 430 full-time faculty in a university where the student-faculty ratio is 17:1.
LA&S is divided into a number of academic centers. These include the Center for Community Research, the Humanities Center, Center for Latino Research and the Center for Black Diaspora.
The college’s graduate study program covers subjects such English, history, liberal studies, international studies, physics, chemistry and applied mathematics. Other traditionally popular disciplines that are taught include social work and sociology as well as psychology and writing and publishing. In total, this college has over 20 departments which offer master’s degrees and certificates. The college also offers doctoral degrees in philosophy and psychology.
The undergraduate college is equally diverse and has over 6,000 students pursuing studies in over 30 different areas of study.
A college that deserves special mention is DePaul’s University College of Law. This college offers various law degrees such as the Juris Doctor (JD) degree. A student enrolled for JD can acquire it by studying full-time for three years – part-time students take four years. Students enrolled full-time have the option of transferring to part-time status after the first year. This arrangement has been put in place to take care of adult working learners who are the main target of the majority of the college’s programs.
The college of law also offers Mater of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in four areas – Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, Property Law and Taxation. As these programs target working attorneys, they can be taken either full-time or part-time.
Students in the college of law who desire to obtain an additional qualification are able to so through the college’s Joint Degree Program. This opportunity is open to full-time students enrolled in the JD degree program.
To join the joint degree program, the applicant is required to complete the first year of study and to earn 31 law credits achieving a grade point average of 3.0 or more. In addition, the student is required to fulfill the qualification requirements set by the college offering the additional degree. Some of the joint degrees a student could apply for include Masters in Business Administration, Master of Science in Computer Studies, Master of Arts in International Studies and Master of Science in Public Services Management.
DePaul law graduates are respected and over 200 judges serving in Chicago are graduates of the University.
Other schools and colleges include the College of Computing and Digital Media, the School of Education, the College of Commerce, the School for New Learning and the Theatre School.
DePaul University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Moreover, some of its programs have been accredited by various professional organizations. Some of the accrediting professional bodies include the American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Most Popular Fields of Study
DePaul University has varying admission requirements depending on the kind of education the applicant wishes to pursue. To be admitted as a freshman, the applicant has to be 24 years or younger and should have completed six semesters of high school. Applications should be sent by February 1st (this is known as the Regular Notification) or by November 15th (the Early Action Plan).
Some schools (such as the School of Music) have different application deadlines and it would be wise to check each school’s website before applying. The application should be accompanied by the student’s ACT or SAT scores. Students applying as freshmen but who have obtained their education via alternative learning such as Home School are required to present an official transcript showing courses taken and a standardized test score.
To be admitted as a Graduate Student, the applicant must have acquired or be in the process of acquiring an undergraduate degree. Different schools have different application requirements. Students applying to the Graduate Psychology Program, for example, are required to submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts from every institution attended, graduate record examination scores (verbal, writing, quantitative) and a resume.
Many study programs at DePaul are aimed at adult learners and those applying as adult students are required to be at least 24 years old. Adult learners who hold an associate degree benefit from the University’s Adult Accelerated Degree Completions Programs which enable the learner to earn a bachelor’s degree in 24 months by attending classes one night per week. These programs can also be taken online.
The university charges a non-refundable fee of $40 for paper applications and $25 for online applications.
Students attending DePaul University have many sources of financial aid. Gifted students with financial need stand a good chance of obtaining one of the ten scholarships provided by external sponsors.
The Emma Nylen Trust Scholarship Program assists students who are under 30 years of age and have at one time been residents of Ventura County, California. Students pursuing careers in an accounting-related field could apply for the AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students. Female and minority students pursuing degrees in computers or degrees that will lead to a career in video games could apply for the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program.
Other scholarships include the Polish Women’s Civic Club Scholarship (for graduate students permanently resident in Illinois), the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the WyzAnt College Scholarship.
Several grants are also available to students attending DePaul. Undergraduate students benefit from the Federal Pell Grant which is awarded to needy students through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. The State of Illinois operates the Illinois State Monetary Award Program (MAP) which awards grants of varying amounts to needy students attending Illinois schools.
To supplement the grants awarded by other organizations, DePaul University awards the DePaul University Grant to undergraduate students whose financial needs are considered significant. Other grants available include the Federal Supplemental Grant (SEOG) and the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACT).
Students with the ability to repay borrowed money could apply for either the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan or the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan. Students also have access to private loan givers such as educational financing institutions and banks. While private lenders are an option, a student should take advantage of federal loans as the interest rates are lower and the repayment terms flexible.
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Athletic students who choose DePaul University have a huge variety of athletic activities to choose from. The university competes in the Big East Conference and its teams participate in varying athletic activities including basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, golf, volleyball, cross country and a host of track and field sports. Some of the sporting teams have gained recognition. For the 2011 season, for example, the DePaul’s Men’s tennis team earned the fourth seed in the Big East Championship.
The DePaul Women’s basketball team, the Blue Demons, had a 19-game winning streak during the 2010-11 season and in a poll of coaches conducted by USA Today/ESPN, the team was ranked tenth nationally.
On its part, the Men’s soccer team had by 2010 qualified for five consecutive Big East Championship tournaments. Recent achievements that indicate the quality of the university’s track and field teams include their sterling performance at the Indiana State University Dual Meet, 2011, where six of its athletes finished first. The college’s athletes won in women’s 800m, men’s 3,000m steeplechase and men’s javelin.
Additional School Information
The campuses of DePaul University have students from allover the world and in the institution’s long history over 140,000 students from over 55 countries have graduated. In appreciation of the need for students to interact with people from different cultures, the university has a Study Abroad Program which enables it students to spend a term or more in another country. The locations abroad are diverse and include Europe, Asia and South America.
“About DePaul: Key Facts”. DePaul. 25th Apr. 2011
“DePaul University”. Chicago Tribune (Apr. 25, 2011). 25th Apr. 2011
“DePaul University”. US News, Education. 25th Apr. 2011