DePaul provides a number of services to help students succeed academically. Some services are program-specific and provided through academic departments and others through formal workshops offered to the DePaul student body. A number of informal opportunities such as tutoring and student study groups also exist. More information can be found on your academic department website or by talking to your academic advisor and professors.
Frequently Asked Questions about Academics at DePaul
Read more below for some of the most frequently asked questions about navigating academics at DePaul.
How many classes do I have to take?
As an international student, U.S. law requires you to be enrolled in a "full course of study." What does this mean?
- Undergraduate Students must enroll in 12 credit hours per quarter
- Graduate students must enroll in 8 credit hours per quarter
- Graduate music students must enroll in 6 credit hours per quarter
- College of Law JD students must enroll in 12 credits per semester
- College of Law LLM & MJ students must enroll in 9 credits per semester
If this is your first time studying in the U.S., we recommend that you take no more than the required number of credit hours as you may find it too demanding while you adjust.
Important: Please note that the above enrollment requirements meet U.S. government regulations. However, if you are a student who is financially sponsored
by your government or other scholarship provider (e.g. SACM), you may also be required to meet the specific obligations of your scholarship, which may be above and beyond U.S. government requirements. Refer to our Sponsored Students
page for more information.
What is an academic advisor?
Your academic advisor is your primary resource for questions about classes . They will also help you make your academic plan for your time at DePaul.
- If you are coming to complete a degree at DePaul, you can find your academic advisor listed in Campus Connect.
- If you are coming for a short-term program at DePaul (1 term or 1 academic year), you will receive an email with information about how to contact your academic advisor before you arrive on campus.
Does DePaul have a quarter system or semester system?
DePaul has a quarter system and a semester system.
DePaul's academic calendar (schedule) probably looks different from what you have in your home country. The College of Law operates on semesters, but the rest of DePaul operates on a quarter system, which means classes only meet for 10 weeks. In that time, you start a new course, read a lot of material, write a lot of papers and take exams!
Typically the quarter calendar looks like this:
- Fall: September - November
- Winter: January - March
- Spring: April - June
- Summer: June - August
To find out more details on when the terms start and end and when exams are scheduled, see the full academic calendar available online.
How important is class participation?
What professors consider class participation in the United States may be very different than in your home country.
Professors at DePaul will expect you to talk and share your opinions in class to show that you have read the material and are thinking about the subject of the class. For some of you this may be really difficult - especially in English! Don't worry - you can do it! Push yourself to be active and outspoken in classes.
Strategies for Academic Success
- Meet with your academic advisor on a quarterly basis to review course selection and academic progress.
- Carefully review your course syllabi and course expectations.
- Attend all class sessions.
- Meet with your professors regularly to discuss your academic progress.
- Utilize your professor's office hours when you have questions about your coursework.
- Ask your academic advisor/department about available tutoring and study groups.
- Attend available workshops on study skills, time management and test-taking strategies.
- Utilize University Counseling Services when personal matters affect your academic performance.
- Consult with your International Student and Scholar Services (ISS) advisor if you think your academic performance may affect your lawful immigration status.
Classroom Culture and Academic Expectations
What does it mean to “work together” on a paper or project? Working together can have a very different meaning in different cultures - even within the United States. While at DePaul, you will have many group assignments and even team papers. It is important to learn what this means and what your fellow students and professors will expect of you.
Standards of academic conduct may be different at DePaul than at your prior institution in your home country.
As you review DePaul’s Academic Integrity Policy, try to identify similarities and differences between academic expectations in your home country and at DePaul.
The Writing Center is also a great resource for many DePaul students.
Academic and Campus Resources