About Valparaiso University
Established in 1859, Valparaiso University is a comprehensive, independent Lutheran university and Northwest Indiana’s oldest institution of higher learning.
In its more than 150-year history, Valparaiso University has passed through three distinct phases. Founded by Methodists as an institution pioneering coeducation, the Valparaiso Male and Female College was forced by the reverses of the Civil War to close its doors in 1871. It was revived in 1873 by an enterprising educator, Henry Baker Brown, as the Northern Indiana Normal School, renamed Valparaiso College in 1900, and rechartered in 1906 as Valparaiso University.
Despite its decades of success, the University again experienced financial hardship as the United States entered World War I. The Lutheran University Association, a group of clergy and church laity who saw a bright future for the University, purchased it in 1925, ushering in the modern era of Valpo’s history. Distinguished by its Lutheran heritage of scholarship, freedom, and faith, Valparaiso University continues to fulfill the dreams of these modern founders.
The University’s 350-acre campus is located one hour southeast of Chicago, 15 miles from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and within walking distance of downtown Valparaiso, Indiana, where you can enjoy more than 30 restaurants, cafés, and ice cream shops as well as independent boutiques, entertainment, and cultural experiences.
Valpo is home to more than 3,100 undergraduate and graduate students hailing from nearly all regions of the United States and more than 30 other countries.
Valpo offers more than 70 undergraduate degree programs and interdisciplinary options throughout five undergraduate colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Nursing and Health Professions, and Christ College — The Honors College. The Graduate School offers more than 20 graduate programs that are fully integrated into three academic colleges and hold the appropriate accreditation in their field.
Students complement their classroom experiences with applied, practical experiences to prepare for their careers. They work closely with their peers, are mentored by accomplished faculty, and reach across disciplines, putting theory into practice. Whatever the degree path, students receive an innovative, rigorous education within the liberal arts tradition and learn to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems with creative solutions.
Valparaiso University consistently receives national recognition for academic excellence, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its students, faculty, and staff.
Notable rankings by U.S. News & World Report include:
- No. 4 in the ranking of Best Regional Universities in the Midwest, which evaluates academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate, and alumni support.
- No. 1 among regional universities in the Midwest for best undergraduate teaching, with a student-faculty ratio of 12:1.
- No. 1 in the Best Value category in the Midwest regional universities, with 93 percent of undergraduate students receiving financial assistance through grants, scholarships and other sources.
- No. 3 Best College for Veterans in the Midwest.
- The ABET-accredited College of Engineering is the No. 14 best undergraduate engineering program in the country.
- The AACSB-accredited College of Business is included as one of the Best Business Programs in the nation.
“Valparaiso University, a community of learning dedicated to excellence and grounded in the Lutheran tradition of scholarship, freedom, and faith, prepares students to lead and serve in both church and society.”
At Valpo, we embrace our distinctive Lutheran character through our pursuit of academic excellence informed by faith and reason. The interaction of faith and learning provides a solid foundation for our educational community, where we are dedicated to serving humanity through the vigorous pursuit of truth and the transmission of knowledge.
Our University strives to be a place where fundamental issues are explored from all angles with intellectual rigor, integrity, openness, and respect — a place where faith and learning are held together in lively interaction.
A Valpo education encourages students to pursue paths God’s light illuminates, igniting promise and possibility, sparking an inner flame for all who learn here. It is about preparing good people to do great things in a world that needs them.
Passion is Who We Are
At Valpo, students are inspired to discover their passions and pursue a life of purpose.
Valparaiso University is an institution dedicated to preparing women and men who are highly sought for their knowledge, character, integrity, and wisdom. At Valpo, students receive an education global in scope and grounded in faith, designed to prepare graduates to lead and serve where needed, impacting their lives and improving our world. We are a community of people who seek Truth, serve generously, and cultivate hope.
The University is composed not only of extraordinary students, but faculty and staff who trust in and support the University’s mission to grow and guide students on their journey.
We have a responsibility at this University to provide the support systems and opportunities — academic and extracurricular — needed to prepare more of the kind of leaders the world needs. With this in mind, we embrace the opportunity to welcome new employees to the Valpo family who embrace the Valpo experience, elevate and transform the lives of students while on campus, and shape their futures for the better.
The University’s nearly 60,000 alumni living around the world excel in a number of fields and are well-known for their service work and efforts to improve the world. In order to continue this legacy, we seek to build a faculty and staff who will shape the next generation of Valpo women and men, propelling them to even greater levels of achievement and distinction.