Report Examines How Innovative New Programs Impact DePaul’s Enrollment Portfolio

DePaul’s reputation as an innovative institution is demonstrated by its ability to create academic programs that respond to a rapidly changing marketplace. With 60 new programs in the last five years—almost 30 percent of which began in fall 2015—the university is introducing new academic programs at an impressive speed and scale. But how do these programs impact enrollment at DePaul? A recently released report from EMM’s Institutional Research and Market Analytics (IRMA) offers some insight.

The Enrollment in New Program Offerings Report, released in Dec. 2015, examines the ways in which new program enrollment impacts total enrollment at both the university and college level. The report looks at new programs introduced since 2004 and the initial enrollment outcomes.

EMM is committed to supporting new program development to help the university reach its enrollment targets. In addition to reporting after programs launch, EMM provides market research to explore the viability of new program offerings before they are introduced.

Report Highlights
Eighteen new programs enrolled their first class this year—six undergraduate programs, 11 graduate programs and one professional program. These programs enrolled a total of 84 students.

The proportion of undergraduate students enrolling in new programs is up from 6.1 percent in 2008 to 8 percent in 2015.  Students in new programs also account for 8 percent of graduate enrollment, a level that has remained consistent since 2012.


  • The BS in health sciences started with 117 students in fall 2011, and this year enrolled 788 students; health sciences accounted for 30 percent of the College of Science and Health’s total undergraduate enrollment this fall.
  • Exercise science (started in fall 2013) and special education (started in fall 2014) now account for more than 11 percent of undergraduate enrollment in the College of Education.
  • The BFAs in animation (started in fall 2013) and graphic design (started in fall 2011) now account for more than 10 percent of undergraduate enrollment in the College of Computing and Digital Media. 


  • The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences launched several new graduate programs in the last five years, including sustainable urban development, refugee and forced migration, critical ethnic studies and several modern languages.  These programs account for 10 percent of graduate enrollment in the college.
  • Enrollment in the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) enrolled 81 students and accounts for 11 percent of graduate enrollment in the College of Science and Health. 

What Constitutes a “New Program”?
This report defines a new program as an academic plan that began enrolling students within the last five years. In this context, academic plan includes more than just major. For example, concentrations and new degree types are included; however, renamed programs, new combined bachelor’s/master’s programs, new delivery methods, and new academic subplans are not included in the total numbers.

A new program may have started before the fall term. For consistency, each new program is reported during the first fall term that occurs after the program began enrolling students.

The Enrollment in New Program Offerings Report is available on IRMA’s website under Regular Reports. Contact Jasmine Ahmad, research associate for IRMA, if you are unable to access the Regular Reports section or with additional questions.