Extra Credit

DePaul’s expansive program offerings, combined with the students’ flexibility to major and/or minor across colleges, add up to a wonderful advantage: our students are the “authors of their own experience.” Whether they spend all their undergraduate years at DePaul or bring in transfer credits, our students can build programs both rigorous and personally meaningful.

A case in point: the class of 2011 totaled 1976 graduates; among these, 860 completed the requirements for more than one major or minor. Specifically:

  • 232 earned at least two majors (133 of these graduated with honors)
  • 153 earned a combination of three majors or minors (93 of these graduated with honors)
  • Eight earned a combination of four majors or minors (seven of these graduated with honors)
  • Five earned two B.A. degrees
  • 351 earned some credit through transfer
  • 433 students graduated with more than the required 192 hours

Students say a flexible curriculum allows the credit hours to add up, while engaged advisors encourage their diverse interests and pursuits. Here, a few share their stories.


Steven Lance (’11)

Major: Biology
Minors: Chemistry, Religious Studies, and Community Service Studies


“I started as biology major, and then I got a community service studies scholarship. I took a religious studies class that I really liked, so I ended up finding classes I could ‘double count’ to satisfy requirements for minors in both. Then, chemistry fit right in with biology: I took so many chemistry classes to complement my major that I had to add on only a few more to get a minor. I was also king of the ‘triple count’ with two or three classes counting towards three major or minor requirements. Because I was following my interests, at the end of the day it wasn’t that hard to earn three minors because I enjoyed all the subject areas. Now, I’m participating in Teach for America. Last year 50,000 people applied for roughly 5,000 spots. Having multiple minors definitely made my application look different from everyone else’s. Because of my wide-ranging education at DePaul, I have a lot of roads I can take now; I just need to figure out what I want to do next.”

Natalie Hengstebeck (’11)

Major: Psychology
Minors: Professional Writing, Sociology, Communication and Media Studies

“As a psychology major, I had a lot of electives. I decided that a focused plan would be the best way to make the most of them. But just one minor wasn’t enough, so I decided on three. First, I selected professional writing because I knew it would be beneficial in any career. Second, though I loved learning about people in my psychology classes, I also wanted a better understanding of group dynamics, so I decided on sociology. Third, I realized that my major and minors shared a theme of interpersonal relationships, so I added communication and media studies. My study abroad trip sparked my interest in public policy and, had I traveled sooner or had I not graduated a year early, I would probably have added that as a fourth minor! Now, I’m in a MS/PhD program in human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro studying relationships among individuals, couples, and societies. My major/minors combination at DePaul surely helped my graduate school applications stand out and prepared me for the interdisciplinary nature of my current program. My graduate program is unusual, and so was my education at DePaul.”

Amanda Lawrence (’11)

Majors: Economics, International Studies
Minor: Accountancy, International Business

“My decision to double major came from my experience studying abroad. I entered DePaul as an accounting major, but living in Budapest sophomore year got me interested in international studies. Back in Chicago, I took a gen-ed class in economic theory, really enjoyed it, and decided on economics as a second major (I knew I wanted a business degree, even if it wasn’t in accounting). I picked a minor in international business as a way to tie the two together. At the same time, I had completed enough accounting courses to earn a minor there as well. Within international business, I was able to count electives to satisfy requirements across two colleges — LAS for international studies and the College of Commerce for economics. My advisor in International Studies was great; he did all the work required to get my economics classes approved as electives for international studies. Earning two majors from two different colleges was more work, but well worth it. I definitely believe my diverse education experience helped me get a job right after graduation; I’m now working as an economic research assistant for the FDIC.”

Kevin Dolezal (’12)

Majors: Biology and Philosophy (two degrees)

“In a way, my two majors are very complementary. In 2004, I started studying philosophy at Southern Illinois University, basically because in high school I had found it fun to talk about ideas. After a bit, I enrolled at Portland State University, where my interests started to take shape. While I’d always been good at math, it had never interested me. But when I took a few classes in the philosophy of science, I started seeing the human side behind the numbers. So, I got interested in neuroscience. In 2008, I met with a career counselor at DePaul; he suggested I take a few classes in biology, see how that felt. So, I signed up for BIO 101 and started volunteering at Rush University hospital. Right from the start, I knew I’d found my path. I worked with an LAS advisor — she was great, she connected everything for me — she was the key to my success at DePaul. She was able to take a step back and make things fit from each side, from philosophy and biology. My two degrees from DePaul helped me get into Tulane University Medical School.”