DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > School of Public Service > About


Serving professionals in service to non-profits and government agencies since 1970, we now number 11 full-time and 23 part-time faculty with more than 500 students from around the U.S. and a dozen foreign countries.

Effective leadership in all three sectors has never been more important.  Our advanced, professional degrees combine management training with practical skills to develop the next generation of leaders in nonprofit and government sectors. We challenge our students to think critically about current issues, to analyze policies that shape government and international relations. We emphasize writing skills and effective management. Students advance their careers as leaders in service to nonprofit and government sectors through the accumulation and expansion of knowledge and skills through the curriculum.

Our mission is to educate women and men to be effective public service leaders in the global community guided by the values of St. Vincent de Paul.

The key characteristics of the School of  Public Service at DePaul are these:

  • Six degree programs and two certificates.
  • Degrees are available in evening courses and Online.
  • Thirteen full-time, dedicated faculty with practical experience in nonprofits and government.
  • Faculty are diverse and multi-disciplinary: we come from six countries and hold terminal degrees in a variety of fields.
  • Students hold bachelor's degrees from more than 100 colleges and universities in virtually every field.
  • Students come from many states and several countries.
  • Students have the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development and Vincent on Leadership: the Hay Project; students and faculty have collaborated on research projects and publications for both the Institute and the Project.
  • Our programs go beyond the foundations to nurture students desire to make a difference with their lives, to inspire others and create change.
  • The nexus of management, critical thinking, policy analysis, and communication in our degrees offer students a world of thinking and doing opportunities. This rich and practical experience distinguishes our graduates.

More than anything we are about being International by Design. We offer more opportunities for international study and internships than anyone. Over a recent fifteen-month period our students studied in 15 courses in Belgium, Tanzania, India, Ireland, Colombia, Brazil and the U.S. of course. Students conduct thesis and capstone research abroad and take international internships. More than 2,000 alumni work in nonprofit and government organizations all over the U.S. and the world.

It feels like a family

Students and faculty learn together all over the world. The intense, one-week (or more) study-abroad courses create strong, personal, and professional experiences that build networks among our students and faculty as well as faculty and students in our partner institutions.

Faculty routinely hold seminars, classes and dinners in their homes and at local restaurants both for pre-departure classes for abroad courses, but also for regular courses.

Students are paired up with a faculty advisor at the time of admission; receive regular career and curricular advice, newsletters, attend career forums, attend guest lectures by prominent academics, authors, or practitioners. The strongest bonds of friendship and professional networking occurs among the students and faculty who travel together.

The best of both worlds

Our founder, Dominic Parisi, PhD, insisted that people working in nonprofit and government should be educated together because the two sectors are so interdependent. We believe his dictum makes even more sense today, nearly 40 years later. By taking core courses together, our students gain a practical understanding of each sector's challenges and objectives and understanding that serves them well in the real world where collaboration leads to positive results.