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Valparaiso University Review

This private, coed Lutheran college offers the sleepy small-town charms of Valparaiso, Indiana, population 32,000, with proximity to the big city culture of Chicago, located just an hour west. Founded in 1859, the consistently well-ranked liberal arts school, known as "Valpo," offers more than 100 programs of study, and the college is also home to schools in business engineering, law, nursing and health, graduate studies and an honors college. The school has a stellar reputation in the Midwest for quality teaching and value, and community service and spirituality are an important part of learning at the largest Lutheran-affiliated university in the country. The school also offers study centers in England, Germany, Costa Rica and China, in addition to 17 international programs in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

  • Total enrollment:
    • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,264
    • Graduate enrollment (including law school): 1,256
  • Steps to admission:
    • Students can apply online at Valpo's website or print and mail an application; the Common Application is also accepted
    • Write a personal statement
    • Submit SAT or ACT scores, high school transcripts and any college-level test results
  • Admission deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Are transfers accepted in both spring and fall? Yes

Financial Aid

  • Is this school eligible for federal financial aid (Title IV approved)? Yes.
  • Does this school offer scholarships? Yes.
  • What percentage of students receive financial aid? 93 percent.
Student Body Demographics
Sources: The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics. Demographic data covers all enrolled students, including those at any campus of the university or studying online.
Featured Programs

Master's in Health Administration

Lutherans have a long tradition in health care work, and this graduate program prepares students for legal and ethical issues, community issues, organizational and government policy, leadership management and more. It's a degree program that students can complete traditionally or online.

Health Care Leadership

This undergraduate program informs students about management, education, leadership and supervision. Toward the end of the program, students get to test their skills in a real-life setting, preparing them for their career.


One of the most popular programs at Valpo is nursing. Students can work toward different degree types in a number of areas, including a bachelor of science in nursing, RN-BSN Program, RN-MSN Program, master of science in nursing, doctor of nursing practice (DNP), post master's doctor of nursing practice and more.



Whether pre-med, pre-dental or just seeking a strong background in the sciences, biology is a strong program at Valparaiso. Courses cover areas such as nutrition, microbiology, genetics and ecology, among others.


Valpo offers a number of engineering degrees in programs that span electrical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering. Students have the opportunity to work with professors conducting research at the school's many cutting-edge labs. Along the way, students develop an educational foundation in math, the physical sciences, engineering sciences and the liberal arts.


The education programs at Valpo prepare teachers at the undergraduate and graduate level to teach in elementary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities. Popular majors include elementary education and secondary education.


Valparaiso University is very much its own world within the city of Valparaiso. While the town of Valparaiso is rather sleepy, the natural beauty of the Indiana Dunes is nearby and Chicago is just an hour away. A little more than 30 percent of the student body identifies as multicultural, and 85 percent identifies as Lutheran, Catholic or another Christian denomination.

The student teacher ratio at Valpo is 13 to 1, and student life is strongly centered on campus. Freshman, sophomores and juniors are required to live on campus, and that's where most of the action takes place. Athletics are a big draw at this Division 1, with 19 varsity teams, and a variety of intramurals and club sports. The school is home to an energetic Greek life -- eight fraternities and five sororities strong. You'll find concerts, art, yoga and more on the 320-acre campus, and the service-oriented students are involved in more than 90,000 hours of volunteer work each year.

The school is home to an energetic Greek life, and students will find concerts, art, yoga and more on the 320-acre campus.

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  • Valparaiso is ranked in several categories by U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges rankings for 2015, including:
    • • No. 5 in the Midwest. The school has been named one of the top 10 regional universities in the Midwest every year since 1990.
    • • No. 2 in the Midwest for Best Undergraduate Teaching
    • • No. 1 (tied) in U.S. News & World Report's list of Up-and-Coming Regional Universities in the Midwest
  • The College of Engineering ranked among the top 30 undergraduate engineering schools in the nation in U.S. News & World Report in 2014.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranked the part-time MBA program in its 2013 Best Business Schools list.
  • The Princeton Review lists the MBA Program as one of its Best 296 Business Schools for 2014
  • Included on the Victory Media's Military Friendly Schools list, which recognizes the schools working well with military service members, veterans and spouses.
  • In the past decade, 26 students and alumni have received Fulbright grants to study and teach abroad. The U.S. Department of State recognized Valpo in 2012-2013 as one of the institutions responsible for producing the most Fulbright Scholars.

Notable Colleges

Valpo is home to six colleges — Arts and Sciences; Business; Engineering; Law; Nursing and Health Care and Graduate — as well as an honors college (Christ College).

The law school has an excellent reputation. At Valpo, grad students are immersed in law studies from the first semester, covering legal analysis, legal communications practical legal skills and even client interactions. With a focus on legal research and writing, clinics, experiential education and a requirement to perform 60 hours of pro bono work before graduation, the school aims to prepare students for the legal needs of the marketplace.

The College of Business Administration equips students with the tools they need to succeed, along with an education rooted in values. Students in the business school have the choice of six majors, three MBA options, master of engineering management and three certificates.

Ranked as one of the top engineering programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the undergraduate College of Engineering gives students access to nearly a dozen labs and research facilities. Students can earn a bachelor of science in civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering.

Notable Faculty/Awards

Valparaiso boasts numerous faculty members who have won awards for research, teaching and humanitarian work. These are just a few of the Valpo professors who have been honored recently:

  • Gretchen Buggeln, Associate Professor of Art History and Humanities, Winner of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
  • Rebecca J. Huss, Professor of Law, Winner of the Excellence of Advancement in Animal Law Award from the ABA Animal Law Committee
  • Andrea Lyon, Dean and Professor of Law, Winner of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' President's Commendation and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Outstanding Legal Service Award
  • Lara Pudwell, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Winner of the Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member
  • Walter Wangerin, Jr., Senior Research Professor in the Department of English, Winner of the National Book Award
  • Jeff Will, Professor and Department Chair of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Winner of the American Society of Engineering Education National Outstanding Teaching Medal

1. Valparaiso University, www.valpo.edu
2. Best 296 Business Schools, Princeton Review, Accessed Jan. 30, 2015, http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/business/BizBasics.aspx?iid=1062398
3. Valparaiso University: Overall Rankings, U.S. News & World Report, Accessed Jan. 30, 2015, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/valparaiso-university-152600/overall-rankings
4. 2015 Military Friendly Schools, Victory Media, Accessed Jan. 30, 2015, http://militaryfriendly.com/school-list

Disclaimer: Information on this page was not provided or commissioned by the featured school. Information has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the featured school.

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