As a Sinsinawa Dominican-sponsored institution, Dominican University prepares students to pursue truth, to give compassionate service, and to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world.
Dominican University aspires to be a premier, Catholic, comprehensive teaching university of 4,000 students.
Dominican University is a diverse, relationship-centered community rooted in a vibrant liberal arts and sciences education, offering rigorous, integrative, and innovative undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. At the heart of the University is its Catholic, Dominican tradition, grounded in the compatibility of faith and reason, which affirms the dignity of the human person and concern for the common good. The University’s curricula, research and campus life demonstrate a commitment to ethics, community service, social justice and global citizenship. Dominican University educates one student at a time in the company of others, engaging a multiplicity of cultural, religious and secular worldviews, transforming students, faculty and staff into agents of positive change.
Dominican University traces its origins to the charter granted in 1848 by the State of Wisconsin to St. Clara Academy, a frontier school for young women founded by the Very Reverend Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP. The Italian-born Dominican educator drew upon the centuries-old intellectual traditions of his order in planning what was considered in those days a revolutionary curriculum. He included subjects such as astronomy, logic, history, and natural philosophy, a reaction against the superficiality in content of courses usually given in “seminaries for young ladies.” The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, who taught in and administered the school from the beginning, were urged to open a college and founded St. Clara College in Sinsinawa in 1901. Dominican love of learning and teaching continued to build the college materially and intellectually, and St. Clara’s soon became accepted as an equal of the older eastern colleges. Many Catholic clergy and lay educators were impressed by the scholarship of St. Clara’s teachers and the excellence of its graduates. Under the leadership of Mother Samuel Coughlin, OP, the sisters moved the college to River Forest, where it opened in the fall of 1922, having been renamed Rosary College and incorporated in Illinois.
In 1920, when he laid the cornerstone of Power Hall, the first structure built on campus, Archbishop Mundelein said that higher education at Rosary would not be “confined to the few; neither wealth nor race will be any advantage, nor will they provide a hindrance to enter here.” The library science school was established as a coeducational entity in 1930, and Rosary College officially became coeducational in 1970. Rosary College changed its name to Dominican University in 1997. This change recognized Dominican’s status as a university and includes the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the Brennan School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, and the Graduate School of Social Work. It also reaffirmed the university’s commitment to the Sinsinawa Dominicans and Dominican values.
The university was an early pioneer of study abroad programs, launching a “junior year abroad” program in 1925 with the opening of its Villa des Fougères in Fribourg, Switzerland-just the second school in the United States with a study abroad program. Other study-abroad programs followed, including the Graduate School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, in 1948, the Rosary in London program in 1971, and the Strasbourg, France, program in 1987. The university has added new options for undergraduate and graduate study and service abroad at an increasing pace: the Heidelberg, Germany, in 1993; Milan, Italy, and Salamanca, Spain, in 1994; Fanjeaux, France, in 1997; Shanghai and Beijing, China, in 2000; Nantes, France, in 2002; Rome, Italy; the Silk Road; literary London; and El Salvador in 2005; and Buenos Aires, Argentina; Limerick, Ireland; Paris, France; Ghana, West Africa; and Stellenbosch, South Africa; in 2007.
The Graduate School of Library and Information Science celebrates 80 years of library science education in 2010. Library science at Rosary began in 1930 as an undergraduate department of the college that awarded the degree Bachelor of Arts in library science. In 1949, the graduate curriculum leading to the degree Master of Arts in Library Science was inaugurated, and in 1970, the Department of Library Science became the Graduate School of Library Science. To better reflect the growth and scope of its programs, it became the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1981 and began awarding the degree Master of Arts in Library and Information Science. In 1993, the name of the degree was changed to Master of Library and Information Science. In 2009, the university introduced its first doctorate program with the Doctor of Philosophy in library and information science degree.
Founded in 1977, the School of Business at Dominican University was named in 2006 in honor of Edward A. Brennan, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and his wife, Lois L. Brennan, an alumna of Dominican. Today the Brennan School of Business is one of the leading small business programs in the Chicago metropolitan area. Approximately 600 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of accounting, business, economics, international business, and information systems. The student body, with representatives from more than 30 countries, is diverse in terms of both business experience and cultural backgrounds.
In recent years, the Brennan School of Business has expanded its global reach by partnering with top-ranked universities abroad to offer Executive MBA programs in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Since its inception, the Brennan School of Business has offered a curriculum that addresses issues of business ethics. The establishment of the Christopher Chair in Business Ethics in 2003 and, more recently, the development of a Center for Global Peace through Commerce reflect the School’s continuing commitment to preparing business leaders to have a positive impact in their communities and around the world.
The School of Education has its roots in programs to prepare undergraduates candidates to teach in secondary and elementary schools, which were initiated in the 1930s and 1940s, respectively. The first education program offered on the graduate level was a Master of Science in learning disabilities, which was inaugurated in 1978, and was followed two years later by a second program in behavior disorders. In 1981, the Graduate School of Special Education was formed, with Illinois State Board of Education approval to offer the Master of Science degree in special education with certification in learning disabilities and social/emotional disorders. At this same time the program of study in gifted education was incorporated into the special education program. These programs were incorporated into what became the Graduate School of Education in 1987. New degree programs that followed included a Master of Arts in early childhood education (1990), a combined program in Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science in Special Education for undergraduate candidates (1990), Master of Arts in Educational Administration (1991) and Master of Arts in Teaching (1994). In 1994, the undergraduate teacher certification programs and the graduate programs were incorporated into the School of Education. In 1996, the Teaching Certificate for College Graduates program, a non-degree graduate program, was established to prepare college graduates for certification in elementary and secondary education. At the same time, an ESL/Bilingual program was initiated to prepare candidates to teach students who are English language learners. In 2000, the Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction, received approval from the Illinois State Board of Education. The first online master’s degree program, with a focus on literacy was approved in 2003. A new reading specialist certification and master’s degree program received Illinois State Board of Education approval in 2004. Also in 2004, the School of Education introduced its first undergraduate major in early childhood education for students seeking certification in that area.
In 1997, the university established the adult learning curriculum currently administered by the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Originally called the Institute for Adult Learning, the program was established to provide accelerated programs for adults completing their degrees. The school administers a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution, and a Master of Arts in Family Ministry degree.
The university initiated the Graduate School of Social Work in 2001 with courses leading to the Master of Social Work degree. The Graduate School of Social Work received full accreditation in 2004 through the Council on Social Work Education. The school emphasizes a global focus and family-centered practice, and MSW students have the option to participate in domestic and international field placements. The Graduate School of Social Work is one of 75 outstanding social work education programs selected to participate in a unique training opportunity through the Council on Social Work Education’s National Center for Gerontological Social Work Education. The MSW program is enriched with gerontological competencies embedded into the foundation curriculum and structure of the program, and the Gerontology Graduate Certificate in Aging Care program is offered to address the need for professionally trained social workers to meet the needs of the older adult population. The Graduate School of Social Work also offers Type 73 School Social Work Certification, which prepares students to become professional school social workers in the K-12 education setting, and a Gerontology Graduate Certificate. The Graduate School of Social Work and the Brennan School of Business offer a Master of Social Work/Master of Business Administration (MSW/MBA) dual degree program designed to prepare entrepreneurs for leadership roles in social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit institutions.
In 2002, the university purchased the Dominican Conference Center located eight blocks east of the Main Campus. Renamed the Priory Campus, this facility houses the Graduate School of Social Work, the School of Leadership and Continuing Studies, and the St. Catherine of Siena Center, which the university established in 2003 to provide a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary study, dialogue, and services, bringing the Catholic tradition to bear on contemporary issues.
In 2016, the College of Health Sciences was formed, reflecting the university’s growing emphasis on offering academic perparation for health-related fields. The new college combined the Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree program and undergraduate majors in nursing and nutrition, both of which had previously been offered through the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, a Master of Medical Sciences degree was introduced to prepare graduate students as physician assistants.
Dominican University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as a baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution.
The Master of Library and Information Science program is accredited by the American Library Association. The accounting, business administration, and undergraduate international business programs in the Brennan School of Business are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The Graduate School of Social Work is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education. The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. In addition, the university’s education programs are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The university is approved by the Illinois Department of Registration and Education and the State Approving Agency for Veterans Affairs. The program in nutrition and dietetics has development accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.
Dominican University holds membership in the Association of American Colleges, the American Council on Education, the Council of Independent Colleges, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, the Associated Colleges of Illinois, the College Entrance Examination Board, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the National Catholic Educational Association, the National and Midwest Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the National Association of College Admission Counseling, the National Society for Experiential Education, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Women in Development, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
The university’s Main Campus is at 7900 West Division Street, River Forest, Cook County, IL, 10 miles west of the Chicago Loop and eight miles south of O’Hare Airport. The Priory Campus is at 7200 West Division Street, River Forest. The university also offers classes at sites across the Chicago area. All campus buildings are smoke free.
Dominican University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, marital status, or sexual orientation.
The Rebecca Crown Library is a campus destination for work, study, and reflection. Students, faculty, and staff have access to a collection of more than 230,000 volumes and subscriptions to over 100 online databases with access to more than 30,000 unique full-text periodicals. Materials have been chosen largely by the faculty to support the curriculum, and consist of books, reference materials, newspapers, journals, and audiovisual materials. Electronic resources are accessible on and off campus to all enrolled students, faculty, and staff. The library also has several digital collections accessible through the library catalog as well as a digital repository for scholarly works known as Constellation.
The media center and university archives are also housed within the library. The media center houses films, CDs, DVDs, and audiotapes. The archives comprise primarily administrative and institutional records and ephemera related to the history and functioning of the university; Dominican students and faculty are invited to explore research opportunities using the archival collections. The Butler Children’s Literature Center is located on the second floor of the library. The Butler Center serves as an examination center for children’s and young adult books.
The library’s membership in CARLI (an online network of academic libraries throughout the state) and LIBRAS (a consortium of 17 liberal arts colleges in the metropolitan area) provides additional access to 10 million volumes and more than 80,000 current serial titles. With interlibrary loan through I-Share, a network of 76 academic libraries in Illinois, and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), materials and information from many additional libraries-public, academic, and special-are easily accessible. Librarians are available to help with research in person, by phone, email, and chat services. Scheduling individual consultations with librarians is encouraged. Librarians also create course pages, library subject guides, and tutorials for individual classes or subject areas.
The library houses approximately 60 PCs on four floors and a Library Instruction classroom on the first floor with 24 computer workstations. All the PCs in the library have access to library resources, internet, and to all the campus software. Wireless capability is available throughout the building. There are three group study rooms with whiteboards on the second floor. In addition, the beautiful and historic Noonan Reading Room provides a quiet study space option. The library is open seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to midnight (108 hours per week), and the Noonan Reading Room is open 24/7. Students are able to grab a bite to eat, or a coffee to go in the Cyber Café, located in the lower level of the library.
More information about circulation policies, borrowing privileges, reference help, how to access your library account, or any other questions is available on the library website.
Students have access to computers with Microsoft Office and internet access throughout the campus: in classrooms, labs, the library, and other public areas. All of these areas offer black-and-white printing: students are given a quota of prints at the beginning of every semester. Wireless access is available throughout campus, including the Residence Halls.
Online, students can search course schedules, register for classes, view grades, and print unofficial transcripts, as well as view student billing and financial aid information. In addition, all students are assigned a DU email account which includes cloud storage capabilities.
The university’s computer network is a shared resource used by faculty, staff, and students for educational and administrative purposes. Computer security is everyone’s responsibility. Students with their own computers can link to the university’s network. At a minimum, they are required to run antivirus software on their computer and ensure that their computer’s operating system is up to date. For policy information and how-to documentation, visit the Information Technology department website.
The Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education
The Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education, directed by the School of Education, demonstrates Dominican University’s commitment to provide quality early childhood education to children two to five years of age. Programs at the center are open to children of Dominican University students, faculty, and staff, as well as the local community. The Center also provides a learning environment for School of Education students.
The Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education is located in a stand-alone building on the university’s Priory Campus and is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Because the center offers a full developmental program, it requires that children are preregistered. Admittance is based on availability. Parents can choose from several attendance plans; however, the center is not available for occasional use. Further information and registration forms are available from the Goedert Center at (708) 524-6895.
Art, Lectures, and Concerts
Artists and prominent speakers visit the Dominican campus, and theatricals, films, and exhibitions are often featured through the university’s public events program or sponsored by various departments to supplement regular academic exercises. Dominican University features a full season of professional and student performances in Lund Auditorium and Eloise Martin Recital Hall.
The O’Connor Art Gallery offers several exhibits each year. The Performing Arts Center at Dominican features musical and theatrical performances throughout the year. Regularly scheduled concerts by the Chicago Sinfonietta are offered at Dominican University. The university’s ideal location just west of Chicago gives students access to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Oriental Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, and performances of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There are also a number of galleries, libraries, institutes, and theatres, as well as recreational and cultural events at the many colleges and universities in and around the metropolitan area.
- Theotokeion, Rosary College of Arts and Sciences academic honor society, founded in 1926. Membership awarded for high academic achievement and community service.
- Alpha Chi, a national college honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to juniors and seniors in the Mazzuchelli Scholars Honors Program. Kappa chapter installed April 17, 2012.
- Pi Delta Phi, national French honor fraternity. Alpha Tau chapter installed April 11, 1951. Membership awarded for superior scholarship in French.
- Sigma Delta Pi, national Spanish honor society. Beta Xi chapter installed June 3, 1948. Membership awarded for overall academic excellence and superior scholarship in Spanish with an active enthusiasm for things Hispanic.
- Phi Alpha Theta, national honor society for history. Iota Tau chapter installed February 21, 1965. Membership awarded for active interest and superior scholarship.
- Pi Gamma Mu, international social science honor society. Kappa chapter installed December 2, 1952. Membership awarded for superior scholarship in one or more of the following fields: history, political science, sociology, economics, or psychology.
- Kappa Delta Pi, international education honor society. Psi Chi Chapter installed April 13, 1998. Academic achievement and commitment to the teaching profession.
- Kappa Gamma Pi, national honor society. Open to qualified seniors.
- Kappa Mu Epsilon, national mathematics honor society. Zeta chapter installed February 26, 1967. Open to qualified seniors.
- Gamma Kappa Alpha, national Italian honor society. Theta Kappa Pi chapter installed October 26, 1976. Membership awarded for overall academic excellence, particularly in Italian language and literature, and an active interest in Italian culture.
- Psi Chi, national honor society in psychology. Chapter installed April 30, 1980. Overall academic excellence and superior scholarship in psychology.
- Theta Alpha Kappa, national honor society for religious studies/theology. Alpha Alpha Zeta chapter installed October 1983. Membership awarded for active interest and high academic average.
- Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society. Alpha Beta Pi chapter installed 1992. Membership awarded for active interest in English language and literature and high academic average.
- Sigma Iota Epsilon, national honor society for management. Epsilon Nu Chapter installed April 8, 1994. Membership awarded for superior scholarship in accounting, business, economics, and international business.
- Phi Sigma Tau, International Honor Society in Philosophy. Mu chapter established in 1995. Membership awarded for excellence in philosophy.
- Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association Honor Society, was founded in 1985. Membership awarded for outstanding scholastic achievement in communication.
- Alpha Sigma Lambda, national honor society for adult learners. Mu Rho chapter installed in 2007. Membership awarded to high-achieving undergraduates in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.