Dominican University
"We believe in inspiring our students to do amazing things personally and professionally, in...
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Dominican University

River Forest, Illinois

Whether in the classroom, the campus or out in the world, Dominican University strives to inspire students to live out our mission. This mission focus can be seen in Dominican’s four academic priorities – global citizenship, civic engagement, interdisciplinary/integrative studies and collaborative research. Students are engaged in our values-driven curriculum and our rigorous academic programs.

Student Profile

1,953 undergraduate students, 1,659 graduates; 91% full-time undergraduates and 9% part-time

Faculty Profile

160 full-time faculty members. 90% hold a terminal degree in their field. 12:1 student/faculty ratio. Average class size is 17.

Residence Life

56% of freshmen and 37% of all eligible undergraduates live on campus.

School Location

River Forest, Illinois—10 miles from downtown Chicago.


NCAA Division III, Northern Athletics Conference (NAC). 12 varsity sports (6 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, tennis: 6 women’s: basketball, cross-country, softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball).

Other Information

Dominican University is a Catholic, comprehensive, teaching university founded in 1901.

Academic Programs

Accounting, Accounting (five-year master’s degree), American Studies, Apparel Design and Merchandising, Art , Art History, Biology, Biology/Chemistry, Black World Studies, Business Administration, Business Administration (five-year master’s degree), Catholic Studies (minor only), Chemistry, Computer Science, Corporate Communication, Criminology, Culinology®, Dental (pre-professional), Dietetics & Nutrition, Digital Cinema, Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education (six-year master’s degree), Economics, Elementary Education, Engineering (dual degree), English, Environmental Science, Fashion Design & Merchandising, Finance, Food Industry Management, Food Science & Nutrition, French, Graphic Design, Health Sciences, History, International Business, International Relations & Diplomacy, Italian, Journalism, Latino & Latin American Studies (minor only), Law (pre-professional), Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Medical (pre-professional), Medical (post-baccalaureate pre-professional), Medieval & Renaissance Studies (minor only), Music, Natural Sciences, Neuroscience, Nursing, Nutrition & Dietetics, Nutrition & Dietetics (post baccalaureate pre-professional), Occupational Therapy (five-year master’s degree), Painting & Drawing, Pastoral Ministry, Pharmacy (pre-professional six-year doctoral degree), Philosophy, Photography, Physical Therapy (pre-professional), Physics (minor only), Political Science, Psychology, Rhetoric and Communication, Sculpture, Secondary Education, Social Justice & Civic Engagement (minor only), Sociology, Spanish, Special Education (six-year master’s degree), Theatre Arts, Theology, Veterinary Science (pre-professional), Women & Gender (minor only)

More Distinctions

  • Ranked by U.S. News and World Report in the top tier (#16) of all Midwestern Master's Universities.  Also cited as a high quality, low cost institution in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” section of the U.S. News rankings.

  • Ninety years ago, Dominican was one of the first two universities in the country to offer study-abroad programs for undergraduates.

  • Dominican has recently added a new PhD program in Library Information and Sciences.  DU is the only university in the Chicago area to offer a doctoral program in this field.

Engaged Students

Part of being a Dominican student is striving to become a person concerned with more than success. It’s about pursuing truth, giving compassionate service and offering skills to help create a more just and humane world…

More than Just a Credential
  • DU’s study abroad and experiential learning opportunities are particularly noteworthy. One of the first schools to provide off-campus study opportunities for its students, DU now offers programs around the world in places such as Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, El Salvador, South Africa, and China.
  • Community-based Learning programs at Dominican take advantage of the school’s Chicago-area location. These programs combine community service with academic instruction focused on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Students are involved in organized community service addressing local needs and directly linked to the curriculum. Dominican offers more than 50 Community-based Learning courses that allow students to earn credit while helping others. In 2006, Dominican’s service-learning program was recognized with the prestigious Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration.
  • DU’s internship program helps students make the most of the school’s location in the Chicago area. DU students have worked with fashion buyers, designed brochures for a park district, researched investment options for a venture capitalist firm, helped a state senator run for reelection, and worked on historic preservation projects at the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Students have interned at two hundred different sites, including a variety of businesses and local cultural organizations.
  • Recent undergraduate opportunities included:
    • Argonne National Laboratory AT & TCBS Radio–B96Chicago Police Department
    • State’s Attorney’s Office
    • Dale Carnegie–Chicago
    • Department of Children and Family Services
    • Disney World Wide Services
    • Exelon Corporation
    • Gucci America
    • Rush Oak Park Hospital
  • Dominican University’s office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Investigations (URCI) program supports student research projects in all academic disciplines. Support can work side-by-side with a faculty mentor to develop and present a project.


Great Teaching

Students are not a number at Dominican, but an individual, and the professors will come to know them well. Professors work collaboratively and individually with students to help them succeed. That sets the tone and makes for an amazing learning community…

Fresh, Individual, Compelling
  • A key advantage to the Dominican education is the relationship between faculty and students. The 12:1 student to faculty ratio allows professors to become involved in students’ individual academic pursuits. More than 2/3 of classes at Dominican have fewer than 20 students. In addition, faculty members often sponsor student organizations and clubs related to academic subjects, encouraging faculty/student interactions beyond the classroom.
  • The five most popular majors, in order, are pre-med, psychology, nursing,education, and business/accounting. A health science major prepares students in the science they need for a particular field such as nursing, occupational therapy or pre-medicine. Students can participate in programs offered through Dominican’s partnership with health-career education leaders at Rush Oak Park Hospital, Rush University and Midwestern University. Business-related major subjects appeal to many students because of their practical applications, entrepreneurial outlook, the international focus of the curriculum, and opportunities to study abroad. Choose from state-approved teacher education programs for elementary education, secondary education or kindergarten to twelfth grade to prepare for a teaching career in today’s diverse classrooms.
  • Students benefit from DU’s respect for the individual, an attitude that encourages authentic self-expression for students from all backgrounds, nationalities, and religious traditions. Faculty members work one-on-one with students to help them succeed in achieving their goals and preparing for the next stage of their lives.
  • In DU’s Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, each undergraduate student has a dedicated faculty advisor—initially the student’s freshman seminar professor and, later, a professor from the student’s chosen major field. Small class sizes allow faculty members to get to know and to encourage each of their students, regardless of their major field of study. Most DU alumni say they value their relationships with faculty above all other experiences at DU.

Vibrant Communities

A diverse campus and plethora of opportunities through clubs, sports, service projects and performances assures that a student’s life at Dominican will never be dull. The fact that campus is only 10 miles from downtown Chicago adds to its appeal…

Giving Compassionate Service
  • Dominican University welcomes students from all faith backgrounds and values diversity among its students, faculty, and staff. DU students are culturally aware and active in the world beyond the campus. DU’s convenient location—a twenty-minute ride via public transportation or an easy drive from downtown Chicago—allows the student body to take advantage of the Windy City’s unique and multifaceted cultural life, including museums, professional sports, and theater, as well as many diverse communities.
  • As the cultural and financial hub of the Midwest, Chicago offers a wide range of excellent museums, restaurants, sporting events and cultural activities. Chicago Transit Authority and Metra Rail stations are conveniently located just a few minutes away from campus. Chicago’s diverse communities and thriving business environment provide a broad spectrum of opportunities for DU students seeking jobs or internships.
  • DU’s atmosphere is energetic and diverse. Its small campus size encourages intimacy among different groups of students, and opportunities for all students to intermingle with the faculty. In a recent survey, students said they loved DU’s size, small learning groups, teamwork, and student diversity. Most students join at least one group, participating in athletics or a club such as the Service Club, gospel choir, the Italian Club, History Honor Society, or the Theology Club. Involvement transcripts record students’ participation in service or activities outside the classroom. The campus activities board sponsors many campus-wide activities, ranging from music and comedy nights, trips to Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox games, casino nights, and dances.
  • Many students choose Dominican for the opportunity to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Dominican is a member of the NCAA Division III and the Northern Athletic Conference. Eight of the Dominican teams qualified for their respective NAC Tournaments in 2011 with four having advanced to NAC Championship Automatic Qualifier games. For 2011, the women’s teams claimed the NAC All-Sport Championship, just the third institution to win a NAC All-Sports Title. Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, and tennis. Women compete in basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The nationally ranked men’s soccer team has advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament for the last ten seasons, and the men’s club volleyball team also competes successfully at the national level.
  • Dominican University offers students many opportunities to participate in the arts. The performing arts series brings a wide variety of musical acts to campus. Students can participate as stage crew and ushers or take advantage of discounted student tickets. The theater arts program mounts at least three major productions a year, including a popular musical. Students build sets, make costumes, and perform.

Successful Outcomes

From their first step onto campus, students begin to prepare themselves for life after graduation. Access to a personal and extensive career center allows students to prepare their resumes and job skills, not to mention contact and visit alumnae/i who are willing to encourage and help with the preparation…

A Superior Start

  • DU graduates have an advantage in a competitive job market and the graduate school application process because of their service and internship experiences. Dominican University not only provides students with a solid foundation to any further educational pursuits they may choose to follow, it also helps students develop skills that will prepare them for a global job market. Dominican graduates are perceived to be desirable candidates as they search for employment or post-graduation education.
  • Alumni say that the theme of providing service and giving back to the community is common across all DU programs. Regardless of occupation, DU alumni feel compelled to live out the school’s mission—“to pursue truth, to give compassionate service and to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world” —in everything they do.

Admissions and Financial Aid

2012 – 2013: Tuition is $27,480, Room and Board starts at $8,500. In 2012, 100% of first-year students received some form of financial aid with an average award of $25,600.

For freshman applicants, a minimum of 16 units of college preparatory work is required and should include coursework in:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Language
  • Natural Science
  • Social Studies


A completed application for admission includes:

  • A completed Dominican University application form
  • $25 application fee required
  • Official high school transcript
  • 200-300 word personal statement about the applicant
  • Official ACT or SAT test scores
  • A personal visit to Dominican to explore personal interests with an admission counselor (optional but highly recommended)


Application for admission deadlines:
The Office of Admission at Dominican University operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning students may apply starting in the fall all the way through the late winter and early spring. As always, interested applicants should apply as early as possible.

Financial Aid
2012 – 2013 costs: Tuition is $27,480, Room and Board starts at $8,500.  In 2012, 100% of first-year students received some form of financial aid with an average award of $25,600.

Freshman Scholarship Opportunities

Merit Scholarships for freshmen range from $6,500 – $15,000. These are awarded automatically upon admission based upon ACT/SAT score, class rank and GPA.

Transfer Scholarship Opportunities
Merit Scholarships for transfer students range from $6,000-$10,000. These are awarded automatically upon admission based on grade point average and a minimum of 24 transferable hours.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship: $1,500 scholarship awarded to transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa.

Legacy Scholarship: This scholarship in the amount of $2,000 is awarded to students who have a parent or grandparent who is/was a Dominican University graduate.

Brechtel Scholarships: This scholarship in the amount of $7,500 is awarded to students pursuing a Chemistry or Biology-Chemistry major.

Skilling Scholarships: This scholarship in the amount of $7,500 is awarded to students pursuing visual arts major.

You can reach admission staff at Dominican with questions about the application or financial aid processes by calling (708) 524-6800, (800) 828-8475 or emailing


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