Located just an hour away from Chicago, Valparaiso is a comprehensive liberal arts university rooted in the Lutheran faith and welcoming to students of all backgrounds and identities to find their purpose and passion. Valpo’s rigorous academics and inspiring community challenge students to be their best selves and do their best work. With over 70 majors, one-on-one instruction from world-class faculty, and a graduate success rate of 97%, Valpo is the ultimate destination for bright and talented students. But a Valpo education is more than just a gateway to a successful career; it is the start of a life full of inquiry, learning, and service.
In its 150-year history, Valparaiso University has passed through three distinct phases. In 1859, the university was founded by Methodists as a leading institution for coeducation. The Valparaiso Male and Female College, as it was known then, had to shutter its doors at the end of the Civil War. The institution was then resurrected in 1873 by Henry Baker Brown. In 1906, the college was rechartered as Valparaiso University, although it was affectionately known as the “poor man’s Harvard” (due to its striking commitment to excellence in business and law. Many of its earliest alumni achieved great success as governors, legislators, scientists, and business leaders.
During the troubling times of World War I, the Lutheran University Association came to the university’s rescue. The association purchased the university in 1925 and hence marked the beginning of Valpo’s modern history. Since then, the university has exemplified the goals and values of its modern founders by establishing a rigorous and highly respected liberal arts curriculum. In 1967, the establishment of the university’s honors college marked another significant accomplishment.
Innovation hasn’t stopped there. Over the years, Valparaiso’s dedicated faculty and talented students have continued to push the boundaries of what it means to learn and serve.
Get to know Valparaiso University
VALPO CORE: THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
The Valpo Core fully engages students in what it means to live and learn at Valpo. A two-semester, eight-credit course for all first-year students, Valpo Core introduces students to their professors, their peers, and their new life at Valpo. The course also introduces them to the academic and social expectations of collegiate life to set the foundation for a successful four years and beyond. Students can expect to read thought-provoking books and watch stunning films. They engage in thoughtful and respectful discourse about what they’re learning and how it relates to the world around them. They also engage in meaningful Core Lab events, which are designed to help students explore their communities outside of the classroom.
At Valpo, a student’s education goes beyond the traditional barriers of a classroom, and all students regardless of major are encouraged to take their education to new and exciting places. That doesn’t just mean that they are helping their professors with research; it means they’re developing and executing their own passion projects. Whether it’s tracking an actual tornado in a ‘Severe Storms’ class or cooking a four-course banquet meal for a French language final, there are always exciting challenges and opportunities at Valpo.
Valpo also provides opportunities for students to share their excitement about their research with others through colloquia, the annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE), and student conferences all over the country. Students who complete undergraduate research are able to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations, meaning that Valpo graduates enter the workforce significantly more experienced, resilient, and ready to face any obstacle.
Valpo’s campus is a tight-knit community, but students are constantly encouraged to take their education to new horizons. Valpo offers numerous semester- and year-long programs around the world. All students can find a program that lets them explore new ideas, places, and cultures while satisfying their academic curiosity. 35% of students study abroad in their choice of one of 33 countries.
And the fun doesn’t stop when a student returns home. Valpo’s global network consists of 60,000 likeminded alumni, making it an extensive and robust community. Valpo believes in the power of global learning so much that the university is constantly finding ways to make it more accessible. Thanks to the generous gift from the estate of Henry and June Giebel, Valpo is able to double the funding of two scholarship funds. This incredible support increases the amount of aid provided to students who are studying in Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 135 | 10-19: 260 | 20-29: 196
30-39: 77 | 40-49: 16 | 50-99: 28 | 100+: 5
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 3%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 5%
White, non-Hispanic: 72%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
Valparaiso’s honors college, Christ College, offers highly motivated students an exciting and challenging opportunity to complete their general education requirements. Christ College students work with likened peers and designated honors professors to engage with the great questions of humanity, such as “what constitutes a good life?” or “what responsibilities do we have toward other humans?” Students look to classic texts and within themselves to engage with these significant ideas.
The CC First-Year Program is a two-semester sequence of courses designed to introduce honors students to the rigor of the college. Through critical reading, careful research, and persuasive writing, students begin to lay the foundation for their future academic and professional success. Ultimately, the Christ College is merely a stepping stone on the road to success for Valpo students. Over the past two years, 8 Fulbright scholarships were awarded to Christ College students. These bright and talented students are using their knowledge and skills to make a true difference in the world.
Valpo students have big ideas to share with the world. That’s why Valpo prioritizes written and oral communication in the Valpo Core. Each student will develop their writing skills over their four-year academic career. What starts with the first-year writing experience and culminates in ‘Capstone’ will teach students how to think critically and write persuasively.
- First-Year Writing Experience: The Valpo Core curriculum and its faculty will guide incoming freshmen and help them develop the skills necessary to thrive in their studies.
- Second-Year Writing Experience: This writing and information literacy course builds upon the foundational skills of the first-year writing experience. At the end of this course, students successfully complete 15-20 pages of prose over two writing assignments. Students meet this goal through a process of drafting, peer-review, editing, and instruction from the Writing Center.
- Third-Year Writing Experience: The third-year writing-intensive course develops a student’s ability to write in their discipline. These courses are specific to each major, so students can apply their information literacy skills to their field of study.
- Capstone: In their fourth year, students complete a capstone project that demonstrates the research and writing skills that they have been developing over their academic careers at Valpo. Students pick a topic, typically a problem in society, and begin to research and identify its key components. Over the course of the project, students will create a series of texts or presentations meant to educate and influence an audience as well as propose a solution for the problem.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Cooperative education program
Exchange student program (domestic)
Liberal arts/career combination
Teacher certification program
At Valpo, service is in the DNA of the school and its students. It’s more than fluff to make a résumé look good; the Valpo community actually has a true desire to help others. Service so ingrained in the Valpo identity that many of the courses in all areas of study have service-learning components built in. Over 250,000 hours of service are provided by Valpo students each year. Whether it’s a neighborhood food bank or a trip to New Orleans for first-year students to help rebuild and restore homes still affected by Hurricane Katrina or a trip to Gulfport, Miss., where students work with Gulfport Habitat for Humanity, Valpo students are using their powers for good.
The City of Valparaiso is a community of nearly 34,000 nestled at the edge of Northwest Indiana. Valparaiso University prides itself on the close connections to the surrounding community and continues to forge strong partnerships with local organizations. Beyond the local community, students can take advantage of Chicago’s abundant cultural and professional experiences. The city is just an hour’s drive away, but the university often charters buses so students and faculty can experience the theaters, museums, and other educational benefits of this great city.
Fifteen miles to the north, on the shore of Lake Michigan, are the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park, important recreational and scientific resources that offer a combined 17,000 acres of varied natural landscape.
Valpo offers students a robust athletic program full of fun opportunities to engage in camaraderie and competition. From varsity athletics to esports, Valpo has something for everyone. Valpo has 17 NCAA Division 1 teams.
Varsity Men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, and track & field
Varsity Women’s: basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball
Valpo also has numerous intramural sports for students who are seeking a more casual way to stay fit and make friends.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 78%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for students with disabilities
INTERNSHIPS AND FELLOWSHIPS
Students come to Valpo for a world-class education and leave with the experiences and insights necessary to shape their world. Valpo graduates are prepared for more than their first job; they’re prepared for a lifelong dedication to learning and meaningful work. The Career Center is the ultimate destination for students as they begin to identify their goals and navigate the paths needed to accomplish them.
The dedicated team of professionals at the Career Center have years of experience helping students achieve their goals, giving students expert instruction and a four-year plan specifically tailored to them. The staff work hard to help students obtain skill-building, relevant experience through an internship or fellowship, leveraging Valpo’s key partnerships with business and organizations in neighboring Chicago and even as far as Germany or China. No matter what students want to do or where they want to go, Valpo helps get them there.
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Standardized test scores
Class rank | Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability
Character/personal qualities | Alumni/ae relation
Application Essay | Recommendation(s) | Interview
First generation | Religious affiliation/commitment
Racial/ethnic status | Volunteer work | Level of applicant’s interest
25th Percentile: 1090 | 75th Percentile: 1290
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 540 | 75th Percentile: 640
25th Percentile: 530 | 75th Percentile: 650
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 29
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 28
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 29
Tuition & Cost
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