As a liberal arts college, Elmhurst College seeks to give students a broad range of knowledge and general life skills, but vocational education is also an important part of the college’s offering. Students are encouraged to take part in internships to give them experience of the world of work.
When Elmhurst first opened in 1871, it was known as Elmhurst Proseminary and all classes took place in German. It was established by the German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest as an all-male school for teachers and students of theology. It wasn’t until almost 50 years later that English became the language of instruction. In 1924 the school was renamed Elmhurst College and in 1930 the first female students joined.
The college provides a full range of undergraduate and master’s degree programmes, from accounting to religious studies.
Elmhurst College was one of the few higher education universities to accept Japanese-American students during the Second World War. It aims to uphold this tradition of progressive social justice. It was also the first American College to allow students to disclose their LGBTQ identity on their application.
The campus lies half an hour from downtown Chicago, Illinois by train, providing access to one of the United States’ major population centres and cultural hubs. Elmhurst is a suburban retreat from the city, with its own arboretum of 800 species from around the world.