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DePaul has a really great student center and quad in the lincoln park campus. The library is open until 2 am during finals. The downtown loop campus is way cool, and in a perfect spot. I think the school size is great--my biggest class has only been 30 students large. Usually the classes are 20 or less. The area surrounding lincoln park campus is great for food, bars, and things to do. It's expensive though, so if you have no income you are kind of limited to student center food. The administration has some ***ty tendencies, but what school doesn't? People's reaction to my attendance at DePaul has always been a good one, I've never gotten any negative reactions. It really is a great school.
DePaul's a different kind of college experience than what you might expect when thinking about the "typical" university with grass and quads, etc. But if you're okay with not getting that stereotypical collegiate environment and you're willing to accept something a little different, than you'll love DePaul. First off, we're in the city... our two main campuses (Lincoln Park and the Loop) are both urban and neither have any college town feel. Lincoln Park is more of a campus and is home to the vast majority of student life, student organizations, dormitories and our tiny patch of grass we refer to as a quad. This is a fun neighborhood with a lot of up-scale boutiques, coffee shops, bars, restuarants, theatres, comedy clubs and more. The loop lacks any resemblence to a campus whatsoever and is in the heart of downtown Chicago's business district with the main building (the DePaul Center) on State St. DePaul often flounts the phrase: "Chicago is our Campus" ...which is actually pretty true to life. Student go into the city on the weekends (or weeknights) for all the aforementioned entertainment options. The city is at our disposal and DePaul does a top-notch job at taking advantage of it... not just for goin' out and gettin' drunk either... DePaul's professors use the city for excursion based courses, internships and more. The only problem with all the city livin' is that it deprives the campus of active student organizations. Why would you go to a Theatre School performance when you could catch a world class performance at the Steppenwolf or Goodman Theatre. Why go to a DePaul softball game when you can walk a few blocks to Wrigley Field and see the Cubs? Because the city has so much to offer (and also because DePaul has a lot of commuters) student life & student orgs are not as lively as at your typical college.
DePaul has a large student body but it feels like a small college. In every class I have taken the professor has known my name and helped me when I asked for it. Both main campuses are very compact and in the winter when it get ridiculously cold this is good! During the fall and spring when the weather is nice students tend to get out more and explore Chicago and all the fun things that are available but in the winter students tend to stay on campus. Lincoln Park is definitely not a college town. Also, there is virtually no school spirit. We don't even have a football team. Besides that it is a great school. The way the schedule is set up is nice, from having three day a week and two day a week classes or night classes. The six week break in the winter is a little awkward but it is a good time to get an easy class out of the way or work.
I hate my life at DePaul, and know 4 others that would say exactly the same thing. In addition, a number of others are absolutely amazed at the fact that this was ever put on the "happiest students" list at PrincetonReview.com. This place is ridiculous; there are no facilities, a majority of the kids are absolute idiots, everyone's white or whitewashed (no offense; just to shed some light on the whole "diversity" bull*** campaign they keep touting), the campus is disgusting and only some 3 blocks large (but still no one can tell you where anything is), and all the alumni can only get you into crap like retail banking. DePaul administration, in respect to the staff and information desks, are absolutely useless most of the time - considering there's only some 5-10 buildings as part of the campus outside of dorms, it's just ridiculous that they can't tell you where Anything is. The faculty, as a majority, really sucks - but considering the fact taht I've heard the same from better schools, I could say relatively it's not bad... I've had 1 great teacher out of 8 classes, and 2 others that were good.. the remaining 5 either Really sucked or just sucked pretty bad.
It is hard to choose one thing about DePaul that stands out as the best. For me, DePaul's whole atmosphere is its best asset. I love the friendly students, small classes and attentive professors. If there were one thing I would change about DePaul, it would be making the winter break shorter so that our last quarter would end in May like most other colleges. DePaul is the perfect size for me, not too big, not too small. I always see familiar faces and I am always meeting new people as well. When I tell people that I go to DePaul, the most common reaction I receive is "Oh, so you must be really smart." I spend most of my time on campus hanging out in the SAC Pit or at the gym. I love the Bean Cafe! I have no regrets about not attending a college in a "college town." Chicago has so much more to offer than many other cities in the United States and never becomes boring. I would say that most people have a definite school pride. Though not everyone goes to all the sporting events and wears only DePaul colors, many students are proud of their school. The most unusual thing about DePaul for me, comes about because it defies stereotypes. DePaul is so welcoming and accepting of all religions, races, and views. Though DePaul is a Catholic school, it isolates no one, choosing instead to embrace its students' very diverse backgrounds to allow students to learn from those who are different.
Reviews provided by: Unigo
Our student body runs the gamut where wealth is concerned. Traditionally, DePaul is a first generation school meaning many of our students are the first people in their families to go to college and sometimes to even graduate high school. Rather makes sense, then, that some of our students don't have wallets bulging. On the other hand, we do have quite a few Lincoln Park Trixies. "Trixies?" you ask. Picture a thin bleach blonde wearing high heels $200 jeans and giant sunglasses...on her way to class with a Starbucks in hand. That, my friend, is a Trixie. That isn't to say that Trixies are bad or even always living off of Daddy's credit car. I have student loans and financial aid but I still rock the giant sunglasses. They just hide a multitude of sins, you know? Believe it or not, Chicago is definitely a college town. We're just a few miles from Northwestern, Columbia College, Loyola, The Art Institute, Robert Morris, UIC, U of C, etc etc and people in the city love to hand out a college student discounts. And I am always willing to accept. DePaul also does a great job of getting its students involved in the city from day one. All students are required to take what is known as a Chicago Quarter course in one of two ways: Discover Chicago or Explore Chicago. Discover, in my humble opinion, is by far the most rewarding experience of the two. Students move in to their residence halls (if they are living in them, it's not required or available for all freshmen) a week early and spend the next five days in an immersion course based on some element of the city. Titles I can think of include The Chicago Cubs, Theater in Chicago, Chicago Jazz, and my personal favorite (because I took it and it changed my life), the Diverse Faces of AIDS. I know it sounds depressing, but believe me it's phenomenal and it lead me to become an AIDS activist in a way. The course acclimates you to the city by taking you all over - always via your own two feet and public transportation - and in the meantime you get to know your fellow terrified freshmen. Piece of advice: strangers our age always bond over classic Nickelodeon. Explore is the same concept only it doesn't start until school officially does and you don't get the same intensive opportunities to travel or get to know one another. If you're coming to DePaul and you're already familiar with the city and how to get around it, Explore could be the best option for you. If you're coming and know not a single soul nor the difference between the Green line and the #8 Bus North (my favorite bus by far), then Discover is definitely the place for you to be. We're not very into our sport spirit, though Lord knows we're trying. As a rule of thumb, the girls do better. Our Theater and Music Schools (both conservatory programs) are amazing. Our administration is great for the most part but I do have one qualm. Perhaps its the aforementioned AIDS activist in me, but I have a problem with the fact that the administration does not allow for the distribution of condoms on campus because it does not align with our Catholic values. Loyola is Catholic and historically more conservative as a campus than we are...they hand out condoms. This does lead me to an important point that needs to be made about DePaul: yes, we're associated with the Catholic Church. Yes, you'll have to take at least one religion class no matter what your major or home college. No, you don't have to be Catholic. The second highest religious population at DePaul is Muslim - not something you'd expect from a Catholic school, right? We're open to all beliefs or non-beliefs for that matter. As long as you respect others and can articulate yourself well, more power to you, your religion, or lack of it. I'm only genetically Catholic and I've done quite well here. My religion courses didn't even discuss Catholicism. One was about how Judaism came to be what we know today, the other about women's roles in five of the world's religions. The thing that surprises people the most about DePaul is how big we actually are. We're the largest Catholic university in the nation (take that Notre Dame) and the ninth largest private university in the nation. We have two urban and four suburban campuses (the suburbs are mostly for graduate and non-traditional students, I've never even seen them) but a student to teacher ratio of 16:1. Quite honestly I recognize almost everyone in my major classes if I don't already know them by name and our general education classes have almost as many familiar faces. It's a big school by numbers but the community is small. I love it.