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College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) home to the most wide-ranging and diverse set of academic offerings at the university: 31 undergraduate majors, 63 minors, 27 graduate programs, and 17 combined degrees that allow students to earn both a BA and MA in just five years. Our faculty are actively engaged intellectuals who guide students to become thoughtful citizens whose skills and knowledge make them attractive to employers across a broad spectrum of public- and private-sector fields. Our staff offer holistic support and advising to facilitate student success from matriculation to graduation and beyond. Our graduates stand out for their sense of purpose and their readiness to critically tackle complex issues in real-world settings. 

  • LAS students develop deep knowledge in their chosen fields, many of which are interdisciplinary, as well as key skills in critical thinking, creative collaboration, and ethical decision-making—all highly-valued by prospective employers.
  • LAS has deep ties to Chicago and its environs and offers all of its students – from their first year through graduation – myriad opportunities for paid internships, study abroad programs, and service learning courses.
  • LAS houses eleven dynamic and nationally-recognized centers, institutes, and studios, and intellectual and cultural hubs through which our faculty and students engage with partners within DePaul, the city of Chicago, and across the world.
  • LAS is home to seven academic journals, a publishing imprint, and numerous print and online venues that showcase our students’ scholarship and creative work.
  • In 2018, LAS launched its innovative new Urban Studies Cluster, where both undergraduate and graduate students can pursue inquiry into cities, urban life, and urban policy in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment in the Loop. Key programs in the Cluster include Community Service Studies, Criminology, Geography, Master of Public Health Program, Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, the School of Public Service, Master of Social Work, Sustainable Urban Development, and Sociology. 
  • LAS’s Urban Studies Cluster is the 2018-2020 host of the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative, comprised of a wide range of Chicago institutions and dedicated to sharing evidence-based solutions with those working to address the gun violence crisis in the city. Faculty and students do this by cataloging and sharing existing research, conducting new research on community-identified issues, and hosting forums to bring people together to address gun violence.
  • In 2019, LAS will introduce a groundbreaking new program in Applied Diplomacy, which reflects the transprofessional reality of the field in the 21st Century, where diplomacy is no longer practiced only by nation-state diplomatic corps, but is the domain of scientists, business people, artists, community organizers, activists, clergy and educators.  
  • LAS faculty and students have been part of DePaul's Inside-Out program since its inception seven years ago. In partnership with the Community Service Studies Minor Program and the Steans Center for Community-based Service learning, these courses bring DePaul students and detainees together to learn as peers, engaging in a variety of topics depending on the faculty member and the course offering.  The program is a unique embodiment of the University's Vincentian mission to respect the dignity of each person. 
  • LAS has partnered with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago History Museum to provide free admission for all DePaul students. On two special Art Institute “DePaul Nights” each year, we feature rich faculty and student led programs in the galleries and behind-the-scenes learning experiences for our students.  
  • LAS has a long-standing membership in the Newberry Library Undergraduate Research Seminar, through which our students have access to rich, interdisciplinary seminars in the humanities at Chicago’s Newberry Library, one of the most distinguished public research libraries in the world. 
  • Eight LAS students were awarded scholarships in the 2017-2018 Fulbright and Boren award competition under the guidance of Phillip Stalley, Fulbright Advisor and Associate Professor of Political Science. LAS has one of the highest success rates in Fulbright in the country. 
  • The college supports student research through two grant programs for undergraduate students, the Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program (URAP) and Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) and, for graduate students, the Graduate Research Funding (GRF) program.
  • Creating Knowledge, the LAS journal exclusively devoted to undergraduate research, published its eleventh volume in 2018, showcasing the scholarship and creative work of 31 students representing all LAS disciplines and programs. 
  • Big Shoulders Books continues its mission to disseminate, free of charge, quality works of writing by and about Chicagoans whose voices might not otherwise be shared by releasing Write Your Heart Out, edited by Michele Morano, Professor of English, and Beth Catlett, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. LAS students collaborate with their faculty to publish all works at Big Shoulders. 
  • LAS’s newest center, Studio χ (Chi - Computer and Humanities Interface) was launched in 2017 to construct networks of faculty interested in exploring and developing the links between the Humanities and Computing to enhance their ability to teach with digital methods across the curriculum. 


Guillermo Vásquez de Velasco is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS).  He previously served as Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, and as Executive Associate Dean of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.  

He joined DePaul University as Dean and Professor of Art, Media, and Design in 2016.  Prior to his tenure at DePaul, Ball State, and Texas A&M, Dr. Vasquez de Velasco held teaching and/or research positions at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and the Sagrado Corazón University in Lima, Peru.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning in 1979 from Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru; his master’s degree in architecture in 1982 from the University of Toronto in Canada; and his doctoral degree in architecture from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands in 1991.

Recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, Vásquez de Velasco has combined professional practice in architecture and urbanism, with teaching, scholarship, and academic administration into a career that celebrates Design Thinking, multidisciplinary collaboration, and the constant exploration of digital technologies in design and education.  He is a passionate advocate of the critical mission of the Liberal Arts in the 21st century and its key function in the education of future leaders.  In recognition of his seminal work in the early development and use of digital technology in education, he received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University.  Also, for the development of a wide variety of innovative international programs in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, he was recognized with the TAMU International Excellence Award.  And, most recently, he received the 2016 Arturo Montagu Lifetime Achievement Award from the Iberoamerican Society for Computer Graphics, known as SIGraDi.  The organization gathers researchers, educators and professionals in the fields of architecture, urban design, interior design, graphic design, product design and art whose work involves digital media. 

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