About Dominican University
Dominican University ranks in the top tier of Midwest regional universities, according to U.S. News & World Report—which also cited Dominican as a best value for nine years in a row.
Small by design, we're rich in resources and opportunities. Class size average is only 15, the student-faculty ratio is only 12 to 1 and professors, not teaching assistants, teach all classes.
We offer more than 50 academic programs, nine pre-professional programs and four graduate schools in library and information science, business, education and social work. Our beautiful main campus is located in River Forest, just 10 miles west of downtown Chicago. We also offer classes in 12 other locations to make our programs as accessible as possible.
Dominican is a Catholic university committed to independent thought and respect for divergent opinions. Whatever your personal beliefs, you'll appreciate our values-centered approach to education that embraces the whole person.
If you're searching for a rigorously intellectual and professionally indispensable education, you haven't finished looking until you've considered Dominican.
Dominican University aspires to be a premier, Catholic, comprehensive, teaching university with an enrollment of 4,000 students.
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 is a distinctively relationship-centered educational community rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. It is known for its rigorous and engaging academic programs, the care and respect with which it mentors students, its enduring commitment to social justice, and the enriching diversity of its students, faculty, and staff. Integral to Dominican’s success and distinction is the ongoing exploration, clear expression, and shared experience of its Catholic Dominican identity.
Dominican University was founded as St. Clara College in Sinsinawa, WI in 1901 by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary. In 1922, under the leadership of Mother Samuel Coughlin, the sisters relocated the institution to its current location in River Forest, IL, where it was renamed Rosary College. The new college began immediately instituting new programs and improving its curriculum, establishing one of the first study abroad programs in the country in 1925 and offering courses in library science leading to the university's first master's degree in 1949. Recognizing its responsibility to all students, Rosary College became coeducational in 1970. In May 1997, in the context of an aggressive strategic plan, the school name changed to Dominican University, communicating the increasingly comprehensive nature of the university's programs and, at the same time, its continued commitment to its Catholic Dominican mission. There are currently six schools affiliated with Dominican University.
November 4, 2006 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP, founder of the community of Dominican sisters of Sinsinawa, WI and of St. Clara Academy, the school that grew into Dominican University. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, we prepared a brief history of our community’s first leader.