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Founded in 1901 as St. Clara College in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, home of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, Dominican University began as a women's college under the fundamental values that continue to guide us today—rigorous education, diversity of thought, a commitment to social justice, and close mentoring of students to enable them to make a positive difference in the world.

In 1922, under the leadership of Mother Samuel Coughlin, the institution relocated to its current location in River Forest, Illinois, where it was renamed Rosary College. The new college rapidly expanded its curriculum and reach over the next decades, establishing one of the nation’s first study-abroad programs, launching graduate programs and becoming coeducational. To reflect its stature as a respected, comprehensive and modern university, the school was renamed Dominican University in 1997.

Today, Dominican is a premier Catholic university that ranks among the top master’s-level universities in the Midwest. While maintaining its core Catholic identity, the University enrolls and mentors students of all faith backgrounds. Living out the ideals of our founding sisters and those of Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, founding father of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, the University is committed to giving compassionate service and to participating in the creation of a more just and humane world.