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College of DuPage

College of DuPage Rating: 4.5/5 (12 votes)

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First established in 1867, the College of DuPage (COD) is a two year community college serving Illinois Community College District 502, which encompasses most of DuPage County, rural sections of Cook County, and Will County. The main campus is located in Glen Ellyn. There are also facilities in Carol Stream, Naperville, West Chicago, Addison, Bloomingdale, and Westmont.

With over 30,000 students, COD is the largest American community college outside of California and the second-largest institution of higher learning in Illinois. The library contains roughly a quarter-million books, 30,000 video recordings, over 20,000 sound recordings, and more than 500 periodical subscriptions. The main campus covers 275 acres with 11 buildings and ambitious plans to continue expansion.

More than 25 percent of all high school graduates in District 502 attend the college at least part-time at some point after high school. It is a popular place for continuing education; nearly 20% of students enrolled already possess at least a bachelor’s degree. Overall, there are more than 90 certificate and degree programs in 59 occupational programs and 45 programs for students intending to transfer to a four-year institution. In addition to the main campus and the six regional centers, classes are conducted at over 90 off-site locations.


All nine associate degrees require completing a general education core in communication, physical and life sciences, mathematics, humanities and the fine arts, and social and behavioural sciences. The main academic divisions are: Business and Technology; Continuing Education/Extended Learning; Health and Sciences; Learning Resources; and Liberal Arts.

The architecture department is one of their strongest programs, and many graduates go on to transfer to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois Chicago Circle, and other four year institutions with strong architecture departments. Students in architecture learn about new green design materials in the field, the intricacies of qualifying for LEED certification, and how to use computer design programs such as AutoCAD and Revit. Degrees in architecture include Architecture Certification, Pre-Architecture, and Construction Management. In recent years, the college has developed certificate programs for renewable energy, sustainable landscapes, and sustainable interiors.

The college has a highly unique and notable meteorology department—it isn’t often that a student can get credit for storm chasing! Meteorology students have a high rate of transfer to four year institutions, and many alumni work for the National Weather Service, National Severe Storms Laboratory, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and as television weather forecasters. Students in the department participate in community skywarn programs as advance spotters.

One of the newest initiatives is a Homeland Security Degree. The college had previously offered a one-year certificate in Homeland Security. With the addition of courses such as Multiculturalism and Diversity in Criminal Justice, Critical Incident Management, and Introduction to Bio-Security and Bio-Terrorism.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

Unique programs include:

Adult Fast Track, an accelerated program for adults over 21 who work or have dependents or both and need to expedite their educations while accommodating their schedules.

COD Online, a distance education program with over 200 classes in 42 fields of study. One of the advantages to online education is that students pay in-district tuition rate regardless of residency, unlike classroom-based courses. 

Cooperative Education and Internships match students with workplace opportunities for credit. Among other employers, the school partners with Disney Theme Parks & Resorts to provide paid internships in many fields of study.

Field and Experiential Learning gets students out of the classroom and into real-world activities in their field of study Field and Experiential Learning courses are grouped into four categories: Weekend and Outdoor, Natural Science, Social Science and Cultural, and International. Students can get credit for spending five days in New York exploring Broadway theater, visiting an intentional living community over the weekends while studying simple living, completing a service project in Zanzibar, cooking with master chefs in Tuscany, or watching (and analyzing) unaired episodes of I Love Lucy.

Flexible Learning (known on campus as “Flex”) is a series of more than a hundred self-directed courses across the curriculum. Students work on their classroom materials at their own pace, checking in with their professor about their progress at regular intervals. Flex courses contain the same academic material as many classroom courses and count for credit.

Honors Program is designed for students who plan to transfer to competitive four-year institutions after their studies. Classes in the Honors Program focus on creative thinking, a close reading of primary texts, and the Socratic method in classroom discussions.

Learning Communities is a program that connects courses with a common theme across the disciplines. For instance, the theme Exploring Families in a Global Classroom pairs the course Sexual Relationships, Marriage, and Family with the course Civilization and Culture of Japan. A group of students engage in Learning Communities together, bringing their discussions from each class into an integrated whole.

Program 8 is an intensive course of study that condenses classes normally taught during a 16 week semester into 8 weeks. This program is designed for highly motivated students who wish to either graduate more quickly or create flexibility in their schedules.

Study Abroad options take students all around the world through field studies in various disciplines, summer language immersion sessions, and semester-long programs in partnership with other schools. Specialized scholarships are available to students who pursue studies abroad.

Vocational Skills offers courses to students in their catchment area who live with the challenges of mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Classes include Basic Employment Skills, Keyboard Skills, Automotive Skills, Horticultural Skills, and more.


For all student applicants, the fall application deadline is at the beginning of June. For priority students, financial aid applications are normally due no later than early April—check the website for the exact dates for your year of application.

Financial Aid

In addition to the usual range of grants and loans available to college students in the United States, College of Dupage offers over a hundred targeted scholarships for their students. Unique and notable scholarships include several John Belushi scholarships for theater and music students (continuing the Blues Brothers tradition), scholarships for single parents, a number of scholarships for future professional gardeners, scholarships for studying abroad, and a whopping 40 half-tuition scholarships for adult students.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5129th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Illinois.


Clubs and Organizations

There are several dozen student clubs on campus, including many academic and pre-professional clubs, culture and ethnic clubs, faith-based clubs, honors societies, literary and performing arts clubs, political clubs, and service oriented clubs. The main campus houses National Public Radio affiliate WDCB 90.9 and the widely acclaimed literary magazine Prairie Light Review. In addition to the biannual Prairie Light Review, Publications include the Courier, a weekly student newspaper, and the Chaparral, a monthly themed magazine.

Facilities for Students with Disabilities

In order to make college education accessible to everyone in their catchment area who wishes to take advantage of it, the school offers reading pens, oversized computer monitors, mobility assistance, preferential seating, sign language interpreters, an FM system, TTY, voice-activated assistive technology, large print and Braille texts, barrier-free parking, and both manual and electric wheelchairs.

Student Enrollment Demographics


The Chaparral (known more commonly as a roadrunner) is the college’s mascot, allegedly because students had to run quickly from building to building in order to get to classes on time back in the late 1960’s. The Chaparrals belong to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Competitive sports include football, baseball, softball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, cross-country, track and field, swimming, diving, tennis, golf, and volleyball. The men’s and women’s basketball teams, tennis teams, and outdoor track and field have strong winning records with several division III championships to their names.


Well known alumni include:

  • Brothers Jim and John Belushi
  • Animal rights activist, author, talk show host, and philosophy professor Steven Best
  • Fulbright Scholar and professor Werner Krieglstein
  • Actress Marisol Nichols
  • Writer and actor Bob Odenkirk
  • Olympic athlete Tom Pukstys
  • NFL football player Paul Spicer

Information Summary

Ranks 93rd in Illinois and 2896th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Learnig Resource Center :: College of DuPage Library :: College of DuPage

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Illinois and 57th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 2 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 5 0.02
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 20 0.08

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 7 0.03
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.00
Forcible Rape 4 0.01
Robbery 5 0.02
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 47 0.17
Larceny 329 1.19
Vehicle theft 8 0.03

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599
Surrounding communityLarge suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population38,026 (38,026 urban / N/A rural)
Households13,991 (2.71 people per house)
Median Household Income$74,335
Families10,314 (3.22 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Suburban-serving Single Campus
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingVery large two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1706

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 2990th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,429 $9,413 $11,653
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,051 $1,051 $1,051
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $140 $327 $397
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $6,050 $12,034 $14,274
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $18,265 $24,249 $26,489
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $10,008 $15,992 $18,232

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $4,224 $4,352 $10,208 $10,336 $12,448 $12,576
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,456 $1,511
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $7,710 $7,775
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,765 $3,860
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,765 $3,860

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NJCAA

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 270th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $96,678 ($98,232 male / $99,770 female)
Number of FT Faculty 275 (136 male / 139 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,520
FT Faculty Ratio 0.2 : 1
Total Benefits $9,358,412

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599
p. 630-942-2800
w. www.cod.edu

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