University of Illinois


Degrees Offered at the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Online Universities You Can Start Anytime.

The University of Illinois offers a full range of accredited degree programs from three physical campuses and an online university. Students can acquire professional skills in subjects as diverse as psychology, history, healthcare, law, engineering, natural science, art, design, and education. U of I is institutionally accredited to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from all of its academic departments. Most departments are independently accredited to ensure that credits earned in any program will be recognized by other institutions. Whether a student is looking for a non-degree certificate in Web programming, an associate’s degree in nursing or a Ph.D. in Political Science, U of I is one of the top educational institutions in the state of Illinois.

All of the online programs at U of I are graduate programs, and the most popular choice for most students is the Master of Education in Educational Leadership. Education students can choose from several master’s programs as well as a wide array of doctoral leadership programs in e-learning, diversity and equity, global studies, human resource management, and other subjects. The most popular campus-based program is the Bachelor of Business Administration program, which can prepare a student for a high-paying career in global business or a Master of Business Administration graduate program. Students enrolled in residential programs on any of the physical campuses can augment their classroom schedules with flexible online courses designed for convenience and efficiency in learning.

About the University of Illinois

U of I was founded in 1868 as Illinois Industrial College, and its original purpose was to educate a newly emerging industrial workforce. Illinois Industrial College was created with funds from the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, which provided state funds for agricultural and industrial colleges across the country. The college’s first president, John Milton Gregory, wanted the school to focus on a wide range of liberal arts subjects, but voters and legislators in the region chose to put the concentration on industrial training.

In 1868, classes began at Illinois Industrial College. The faculty consisted of two professors, and the student body included 77 students. The oldest building on campus, the library, housed 1,039 books at first and grew slowly until 1912 when it was greatly expanded into a public research library that gradually became the world-renowned facility it is today. The original land grant provided funds for a university to be built in the twin-city region of Champaign-Urbana, and that original location became the central campus of the University of Illinois system.

The name of the school was changed to the University of Illinois in 1967, and new campuses were built in Chicago and Springfield. By 1982, the central campus was known as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and today, the full name of the school is used to distinguish it from the Chicago and Springfield campuses. Degree programs have expanded from the small selection of industrial and engineering programs available in the 1860s to the complete range of liberal arts, science and vocational programs offered to students from all over the world today. In the 2000s, an online college was added to the U of I system, and it has grown into a competitive and prestigious online graduate school over the years, offering a wide range of master’s and doctoral degrees in the arts and sciences.

University of Illinois Accreditation Details

U of I is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The HLC is a regional agency that is federally approved to accredit universities throughout the Midwest. HLC accreditation must be renewed every 10 years, and all of the requirements must be met and reviewed by academic peers selected by the HLC for the accreditation process. The HLC is one of six U.S. regional accreditation agencies, and it offers the highest level of institutional accreditation. Credits from U of I can be transferred to any university for graduate school or bachelor’s completion programs.

Many departments at U of I are independently accredited by specialized accreditors. The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association. The psychology department is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The audiology programs are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Veterinary programs at U of I are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. English language programs are accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. The public health programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Fine arts programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Many other programs and departments are specially accredited. Specialized accrediting agencies often create councils specifically to accredit particular degree programs, such as the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

University of Illinois Application Requirements

U of I is a competitive school with a rigorous admissions program. Applications are reviewed by multiple faculty members and administrators to find the students with the best chance of success. Admissions are based on several factors related to academic performance and personal character. The requirements for admission are slightly different for undergraduate, graduate, online and residential programs. Freshmen applicants need to include a high school transcript that shows the student’s cumulative grade point average and graduating rank. Undergraduate students applying to transfer to U of I must provide a college transcript with at least 30 hours of college credit. Graduate school applications must include evidence of a bachelor’s degree as well as written recommendations from previous professors. The application deadline for spring enrollment is October 15, and the deadline for fall enrollment is March 1. The enrollment period for online programs is more flexible, and many programs have rolling start dates to accommodate students’ schedules.

Tuition and Financial Aid

At U of I, in-state residents can expect to pay around $15,000 per year in tuition. Non-residents typically pay around $30,000 per year. The price of books, room, board and living expenses can increase the cost of education by around $20,000 per year. After financial aid is calculated, most students pay around $18,000 for a four-year education at U of I. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid website provides access to federally supported public loans and Pell Grants. Federal student aid is based on the financial need of a student’s family. For access to scholarships, grants, private loans, and work-study programs, students can speak to an enrollment counselor at one of the University of Illinois campuses.