Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University is a private, nonsectarian community of educators, scholars, and learners committed to academic, creative, and service excellence. We value differences in personal experiences and perspectives, ask the difficult questions, and promote mutual understanding, inclusion, social consciousness, and action toward social justice.

We believe that difference broadens perspectives and seek and serve a diverse, promising student body from metropolitan Chicago and around the world.

The Roosevelt University experience is characterized by strong student-faculty interaction and engagement with metropolitan Chicago as both a laboratory for learning and as an expression of the university’s commitment to social justice. Faculty members are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and creative activity, and staff members are equally focused on helping students grow and achieve their educational and life goals.

The university is an active partner in the social, economic and cultural development of the communities it serves, offering a broad array of academic programs, from the baccalaureate through doctoral levels, in an interactive environment in which students can explore, discover, and develop their unique abilities and interests.

Mission statement

Roosevelt University is a national leader in educating socially conscious citizens for active and dedicated lives as leaders in their professions and their communities. The university’s student-centered faculty and staff inspire academically qualified students from diverse backgrounds and all ages to benefit from rigorous higher education and professional development opportunities in the dynamic Chicago metropolitan environment.

Deeply rooted in practical scholarship and principles of social justice expressed as ethical awareness, leadership development, economic progress, and civic engagement, Roosevelt University encourages community partnerships and prepares its diverse graduates for responsible citizenship in a global Society.


Roosevelt’s founding in 1945 as an independent, coeducational institution of higher learning was a feat requiring considerable courage. The new school had no campus, no library, and no endowment. But its founders had an ideal that enabled them to overcome great obstacles. They were determined to make higher education available to all students who could qualify academically.

Considerations of social or economic class, racial or ethnic origin, sex, or age were, and remain, irrelevant in determining who is admitted. Originally named Thomas Jefferson College, the new school was soon renamed Roosevelt College in recognition of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s democratic ideals and values. Members of the early advisory boards included Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, Pearl Buck, Ralph Bunche, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and Gunnar Myrdal.

The Roosevelt experiment has been a success from the start. Unencumbered by tradition, Roosevelt has been free to pioneer new educational programs and democratic decision making. Student representatives are voting members of the University Senate; and faculty, alumni, and student representatives serve on the Board of Trustees.

Students meet the same high standards of academic excellence as those that characterize any first-rate university, and the university keeps its doors open to residents of Chicago, to students who work full-time to support themselves, and to students who are the first members of their families to attend college.

Current enrollment is more than 5,000 students, about 40 percent of whom are pursuing graduate studies. A large percentage of Roosevelt students also work either full time or part time.

Nondiscrimination statement

Roosevelt University has been committed in its programs and activities from its inception to a policy on nondiscrimination. No person shall be discriminated against because of age, ancestry, citizenship, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, race, religion, sexual orientation, source of income, unfavorable discharge from military service, veteran status, or as a result of being the victim of domestic or sexual violence in its programs and activities.