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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

School Spotlight: DePaul University

Updated: May 8, 2023

If students are looking for an urban campus experience that offers terrific student support, strong pre-professional preparation and graduation outcomes, numerous accelerated degree opportunities, and one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, consider DePaul University in Chicago, IL. DePaul is a great choice for students who want to study in Chicago, but are not looking for the academic rigor or competitiveness of a University of Chicago or Northwestern. While DePaul is the largest Catholic university in America, that is most evidenced by the school's "passion for service, inclusivity and diversity." DePaul's student body typically has between 37-39% students of color and is known to be pretty liberal. Here are more fun facts about DePaul:

1) DePaul has two campuses - the primary campus is in Lincoln Park, IL, a neighborhood I lived in before relocating to Columbus! Lincoln Park has a young, vibrant, hip vibe, with lots of great restaurants and shops. It has beautiful running and biking paths and is walking distance to Lake Michigan. It also has an "L" stop, making it easy to get to other destinations around the city and the airports. Lincoln Park also has a wonderful zoo. Students who are in the College of Education, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Science and Health, Music and Theatre, will have classes on the Lincoln Park campus. The Loop campus houses the Colleges of Business, Law, Communication, and Computing & Digital Media, as well as Continuing Education. There is housing available on both campuses, yet DePaul doesn't have a housing requirement, so only 1 in 5 students choose to live on campus, preferring in many cases to explore apartments nearby.

2) Interested in film? DePaul has one of the strongest film programs in the country. DePaul's School of the Cinematic Arts offers a BA or BFA in Animation or Film and Television. DePaul has state-of-the art production facilities due to its partnership with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Check out some notable alumni here. Ever heard of the infamous Second City, where recognizable names like Alan Alda, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey got their start? DePaul now offers a Bachelor of Arts in Comedy Film Making in collaboration with Second City! Also within the College of Computing and Digital Media,

DePaul's Game Design program earned a #7 ranking by Animation Career Review.

3) DePaul is known to create access for students, making a private school education affordable. 98% of students received some sort of financial aid. As early as 9th grade, students can create an account with and begin to earn scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for DePaul. DePaul also has a book loan program and a technology support fund to help students when these fundamental resources become cost prohibitive. DePaul has strong articulation programs with Illinois community colleges to facilitate transfer enrollment and they have been test optional for many years.

4) In keeping with the university's mission statement, DePaul places a strong emphasis on service and over 3,800 students complete service learning courses each year. Academic Service Learning is a hallmark of the teaching pedagogy at DePaul, and can be incorporated into many courses through projects, research, workshops, internships and other experiential opportunities. Students who are passionate about service can pursue a Community Service Studies minor, enabling them to engage more deeply with the local Chicago community and focus on areas of social justice.

5) DePaul offers numerous combined degree programs, giving students the chance to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees in an accelerated timeframe. Students can be creative about these combinations as well, as most undergraduate majors can be combined with their graduate program offerings. Maybe you want to study Biology and Data Science, Accountancy and Environmental Science, Journalism and History, or Sports Business and Entrepreneurship. So many options!

DePaul has an Early Action deadline of November 15 and a Regular Notification deadline of February 1. Students interested in the School of Music must apply by December 1 and students interested in pursuing Acting or Stage Management within the Theatre School must also apply by December 1. Visit the admissions page to understand audition requirements and portfolio requirements for the Animation program.

Click here for a walking tour!

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