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Valparaiso University: History

Facts and Statistics

University Type

Coed, four-year, private, selective, founded in 1859

Religious affiliation

Independent Lutheran


Total enrollment for 2007-2008 academic year was approximately 4,000 students, including 3,000 undergraduate students, 500 law students and 400 graduate students from most states and more than 40 other countries


U.S. News & World Report; Peterson’s Competitive Colleges; Princeton Review’s “The Best 366 Colleges; The Barron’s 300; Best Buys in College Education; The Templeton Guide; Colleges That Encourage Character Development



Academic Programs

More than 70 areas of study in five undergraduate colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Nursing, and Christ College- The honors college.

Graduate Studies

More than 20 programs in 12 areas of the Graduate Division, including the MBA degree, Chinese studies, education, international commerce and policy, law, liberal studies, nursing, psychology and sports administration, plus several dual degree programs.

Financial Aid

Approximately 92% of students receive financial aid — more than $57 million awarded annually.

Demographic Information

In-State to Out-of-State Ratio: 37:63
Undergraduates come from 41 countries and 44 states.


More than 370 approximately 90% of whom hold a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field

Student-Faculty Ratio


Average Class Size



Valparaiso, Indiana (population 30,000) established in 1836 as Portersville and renamed Valparaiso (Vale of Paradise) in 1837 after Valparaiso, Chile, where David Porter, county’s namesake, battled in the War of 1812


320 acres; more than 60 academic and residential buildings


1 hour southeast of Chicago; 2 ½ hours north of Indianapolis; 15 minutes south of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan




NCAA Division I
18 teams and nearly 500 student-athletes
Women: basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and volleyball
Men: baseball, basketball, cross-country, football (Division I-AA), soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track

School Colors

Brown & Gold

Athletics Mascot


Chapel at night