DePaul University

DePaul University is the largest Catholic University in the United States. It’s also the largest private institution in Chicago, Illinois, serving nearly 23,000 students. Originally named St. Vincent’s College, DePaul University was founded in 1898 by members of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul.

The university takes its name from the 17th-century French priest Saint Vincent DePaul, the patron saint of charity. Following in the footsteps of its founders, DePaul University places special emphasis on recruiting first-generation college students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. The university also accepts homeschool applicants.

DePaul has two campuses, one in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and the other in the downtown Loop area. Owing largely to its compact urban form and its free public transportation passes for students, DePaul has one of the lowest reported carbon footprints of any college or university. This is in spite of about 90% of DePaul’s students commuting or living off campus.

Lincoln Park Campus

DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus (main campus) is the older and larger of the university’s two campuses. Located on 36 acres in Chicago’s historic Lincoln Park neighborhood, this campus offers a traditional university environment. Approximately 2,400 students live on campus in DePaul’s twelve residence halls.

The Lincoln Park campus is home to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; the College of Science and Health; and the College of Education. It also houses the School of Music, the Theatre School, and the John T. Richardson Library.

Loop Campus

The Loop campus houses the College of Communication; the College of Computing and Digital Media; and the College of Law, as well as the School of Public Service and the School for New Learning. It is also home to the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, the Loop Library, the Rinn Law Library, and the Barnes and Noble Student Center.


DePaul is classified as “R2: Doctoral University – High research activity.” A list of the university’s 130+ majors is available here. The most popular undergraduate major at DePaul is General Studies followed by Accounting and Finance. Other popular majors include Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Communications, Cinematography and Video Production, Health Service Preparatory Studies, Psychology, Marketing, Management and Information Science.

DePaul offers 11 online undergraduate degrees including programs in the College of Communication, College of Science and Health, College of Computing and Digital Media, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. DePaul’s online bachelor’s degree and graduate education programs were ranked among the best by U.S. News & World Report for 2022.

Student Life

The DePaul student body represents a wide array of religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds, including over 60 foreign countries. DePaul is home to more than 350 student clubs and organizations dedicated to a variety of interests and industries. Students may choose from science and health academic clubs, religious/spiritual groups, social organizations, and others that focus on athletics, service, and social justice.

There are no traditional fraternity or sorority houses at DePaul, but there are 10 male fraternities, 16 female sororities, and 1 co-educational organization not part of traditional Greek Life (Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity). 11 organizations are identified as being culturally-based: 6 are Latino-based, 4 are historically Black Greek letter organizations, and 2 are Asian-based.

DePaul’s College of Communication runs four student-run media organizations: the Good Day Depaul television program, The DePaulia traditional print newspaper, 14 East online multimedia magazine, and Radio DePaul 24-hour web-based radio station.

DePaul competes in NCAA Division I athletics and is a member of the Big East Conference. DePaul’s intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Blue Demons.

In 2016, DePaul university required a campus Republican group to redesign posters reading “Unborn Lives Matter” before granting permission to post them on the campus. University administrators said they objected to the poster because it was provocative toward the Black Lives Matter movement, but said that they were open to the group posting other pro-life flyers at DePaul.

A notable DePaul alumnus is Todd Beamer (Class of 1993), who will be forever remembered as the “Let’s Roll” hero on United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11th attacks.

Kristin Boos, a homeschool graduate, is a star player on the DePaul Women’s Soccer team.

Homeschool Applicants

Students who have been homeschooled through high school will need to submit the following materials with their application for admission consideration:

  • A homeschool transcript showing courses taken and credit earned
  • Official transcripts for any community college courses taken

Optional materials that they recommend submitting include textbooks used, especially for math and science.

New students applying to enter the Animation BA or Animation BFA degree programs are required to submit a Creative Statement and a Creative Portfolio. DePaul’s School of Music and The Theatre School require additional steps for admission, including auditions and interviews.

For more information about DePaul’s freshman student admission process, click here.

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