Overview of Illinois Colleges & Schools
Illinois is a medium sized state in the heart of the continental United States and home to one the U.S.’s largest cities, Chicago. The state offers a balance of economic interests, from agricultural ventures to technology and research to manufacturing. Illinois is also home to a large number of public and private institutions of higher learning, spread throughout the state, but with a high concentration in the greater Chicago area.
From the public schools available to students, about half belong to one of two university systems. The Southern Illinois University System operates two schools and three satellite school specializing in Medicine, Dental Medicine and Nursing. OF the two main schools, the University of Southern Illinois is the second oldest public university in the state. The University of Illinois System of schools has 3 campuses and enrolls approximately 70,000 students per year.
Schools in the Southern Illinois University System School:
- Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Carbondale)
- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Edwardsville)
- Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (Springfield)
- Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (Alton)
- Southern Illinois University School of Nursing (Edwardsville)
Schools in the University of Illinois System:
- University of Illinois Chicago (Chicago)
- University of Illinois Springfield (Springfield)
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Urbana and Champaign)
The state of Illinois also operates several schools that run independently of any state established system. These schools offer a variety of curriculums as well as diverse educational methods, some offering liberal arts education while others focus on research. Some of the larger of these schools includes:
- Chicago State University (Chicago)
- Illinois State University (Normal)
- Northeastern State University (Chicago)
- Western Illinois University (Macomb)
The state of Illinois is also host to a large number of private colleges. These colleges provide diverse educational offerings for students wishing to continue their education in Illinois. Some of the schools are renowned for their overall education while others are renowned for their excellence in a particular field. Some provide a religious foundation for their educational offerings. Some of the better known private schools in Illinois include:
- Northwestern University (Evanston and Chicago)
- School of the Art Institute Chicago (Chicago)
- Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago)
- Loyola University Chicago (Chicago)
- Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington)
- Knox College (Galesburg)
Additionally, the State of Illinois operates a large number of community colleges serving various districts throughout the state. These institutions offer students vocational educations as well credits for transfer into a four year institution. Along with the community college system is the large number of privately operated vocational and technical schools that offer diplomas and certificates for completion of programs designed to impart the skills and education necessary to successfully work in the chosen field.
The most populous city in Illinois is Chicago, followed by Aurora and Rockford. While the most populous county in Illinois is Cook County with DuPage County and Lake County close in population to one another. If you are interested in visiting the state of Illinois, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.
College Degree Breakdown for the State of IllinoisSource: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online
|Doctoral or professional degree||148,910||2.5|
|Postsecondary nondegree award||333,100||5.6|
|Some college, no degree||143,780||2.4|
|High school diploma or equivalent||2,108,480||35.7|
|No formal educational credential||1,570,370||26.6|
Public Universities & Colleges
There are twelve public 4-year state universities and colleges in Illinois. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Illinois.
Private Universities & Colleges
In Illinois there are fifty-eight accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Illinois.
Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Illinois" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Illinois.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Illinois has eight accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in Illinois.
Bible & Christian Colleges
Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately forty-two such colleges in Illinois located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Illinois along with program and tuition information.
Browse Schools by Career in Illinois
Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.
Medicine & Healthcare
- Medical Schools in Illinois (M.D.) (7 Schools)
- Pharmacy Schools in Illinois (Pharm. D.) (6 Schools)
- Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois (DPT, MPT) (7 Schools)
- Veterinary Schools in Illinois (D.V.M.) (1 Schools)
- Nursing Schools in Illinois (BSN, RN, LPN, ...) (142 Schools)
Law & Criminal Justice
- Law Schools in Illinois (J.D.) (9 Schools)