Located in Greencastle, Indiana, DePauw University is a private liberal arts institution founded over 175 years ago. Approximately 2,300 undergraduates attend classes on its 695-acre campus. While its setting is rural, Greencastle has a little over 10,000 residents, and Indianapolis is less than an hour away.
The overall student-teacher ratio is 10:1, 75 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, and no classes have more than 35 students. Popular majors at DePauw include journalism, music, biomedical sciences, and computer information sciences. In addition, students can apply to one of two honors programs and four fellowship programs:
- Honor Scholar Program: This program promotes increased academic rigor through five interdisciplinary seminars as well as an 80- to 120-page senior honors thesis.
- Information Technology Associates Program: Participants learn to combine the traditional liberal arts curriculum with new and emerging technologies via off- and on-campus internship and apprenticeship opportunities.
- Science Research Fellows: Undergraduates participate in graduate-level research through one-on-one internships with faculty, publish and present research findings, and utilize the latest scientific equipment and methods.
- Media Fellows: Students attend the Ubben Lectures with renown media figures such as Ken Burns and Jane Pauley as well as using state-of-the-art media equipment and labs.
- Environmental Fellows: Students gain an interdisciplinary perspective regarding contemporary issues in environmentalism.
- Management Fellows: Select students in economics and business attend seminars and have a paid, junior-year internship lasting a full semester at locations around the world, including New York, London and India. Past internship opportunities included Ernst and Young Global, Goldman Sachs Group and Cummins.
The school was founded in 1837 by the United Methodist Church as Indiana Asbury University, named after an early donor. In 1867, it became a co-ed institution with the admission of the first women students. Its name was changed to DePauw University in 1884 because Washington DePauw, another prominent donor, contributed over $600,000 (equivalent to more than $15 million today) and established DePauw’s prestigious School of Music.
DePauw also has a long history with the Greek fraternity system beginning in 1845. The first Greek sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, was subsequently founded in 1870. It’s also the birthplace of Sigma Delta Chi, now known as the Society of Professional Journalists. Almost 7 out of 10 students participate in Greek life on campus.
DePauw University focuses on developing holistic students by helping students build their skills in writing, public speaking and quantitative reasoning, and integrates instruction in these areas into coursework across majors. As a result of this philosophy, DePauw is highly ranked for generating Fulbright scholars.
DePauw’s academic philosophy centers on using the traditional liberal arts curriculum with its rigorous intellectual engagement to produce graduates with the ability to enact positive change in their communities. This is achieved through experiential learning, study abroad opportunities, research, internships and service projects. Rigorous graduation requirements include 31 courses for bachelor of arts degrees and 36 for bachelor of music degrees, successful completion of two extended-studies experiences, and a senior capstone course.
Within six months of graduation, 95 percent of DePauw students are either employed or in graduate school. Even with this record of success, the university offers The Gold Commitment: 100 percent of graduates will be productively engaged six months post-graduation, or DePauw will provide either an additional tuition-free semester or an entry-level career opportunity.
All students are required to live on campus, and there is a range of first-year, sophomore and upper-level residence halls to choose from. Students also have healthy living, LGBTQ+ and Greek residence options. In addition to the Greek system, student organizations include the National Association for Music Education, Restorative Justice Mediation and the World Cinema Club. Students are also encouraged to start their own clubs if they see a need that isn’t currently being met.
The arts are a significant component of campus life with a year-round performing arts schedule, the Kelly Writers Series which showcases award-winning authors, and ongoing original exhibits in three galleries. The Green Guest Artist Concerts is a highlight of the campus experience. This series of five concerts each year showcases both traditional and groundbreaking musical artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Julian Steckel.
DePauw offers a wide range of financial aid and scholarships that are available to both first-year and transfer students. These include automatically awarded academic merit scholarships, leadership scholarships based on demonstrated service, and audition-based music scholarships.
DePauw also offers need-based financial aid, including federally funded Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Indiana residents are also automatically considered for the Frank O’Bannon Grant Program and the Twenty-First Century Scholars Program.
Take a Tour
Want to see more of DePauw? There are a variety of on-campus visits you can schedule, such as general campus tours, classroom visits, faculty meetings and overnight stays.
What Students Say about DePauw University
“Nowhere else would I have found as transformative a college experience. During my first year, I enrolled in a Winter Term course that took place in South Africa, which exposed me to life after Mandela and conversations about race. Later, attending DePauw Dialogue and Women’s Studies classes, and serving as a First-Year Mentor, opened my eyes to issues around identity and inclusion. At DePauw, I uncovered my passion for social justice.”– DePauw Senior
“Students take the initiative to connect deeply at DePauw because of the confidence their peers instill in them to do so. DePauw has an inclusive and welcoming campus culture. There is a real sense of camaraderie between students, no matter their Greek affiliation, sport, major, or year of study. In our unity, there is a place and purpose for each and every person. I love that.”
– DePauw Junior
“I left school in the height of the recession, and many college grads were struggling to find any job, let alone one they truly wanted. I was able to land a great job in the world of political advocacy, research, and organizing largely because my current employers were impressed with the out-of-classroom experiences I had undertaken at DePauw. I’ve done quite well in my job, and I have certainly fared better than some of my peers who attended more traditional academic institutions. I attribute my success to the strong work ethic and willingness to challenge myself that I developed at DePauw.”
– DePauw Alumnus