Normal, IL
Tuition (in-state)
$20,016 ($12,726)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Academics: ISU has a lot of TEC classes to offer and I feel like I'm getting a great variety of classes and using programs that will really benefit me in the future. I don't think my workload is anything out the ordinary and I'm notified of the many internship opportunities.

4 College Junior

Academics: I am a COM Studies- Organizational and Leadership major. The program is good and the workload is manageable. The faculty I have experienced has been great.

5 College Freshman

Academics: The professors here are great! the curriculum is great especially for Education majors! The registration process is pretty easy, the only problem is having enough seats in the classes you want to take. The workload is pretty steady but some weeks are harder than others. We have the best study abroad programs!

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The College of Business at Illinois State offers many amazing opportunities for the students both in and out of the classroom.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The teachers are awesome and will help you whenever you need it


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 182nd
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 233rd
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 383rd
    Most Manageable Workloads
  • 517th
    Best Course Variety
  • 530th
    Best Online Course Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Elizabeth Nelligan
Lake Zurich, IL
View all previous student authors

Even though ISU has a reputation of being a large party school, a lot of students are concerned with their academics, as well. There are six major colleges at ISU: the Mennonite College of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Applied Science and Technology, College of Business, and the College of Fine Arts. Originally, ISU was strictly an education-based college, where students went to get their teaching degrees. Since it was founded in 1857, ISU has grown to offer more opportunities to students with other interests. There is a list of general education classes that each student must complete before graduating, but students get their choice of courses that interest them within each level, of which there are three: inner core, middle core, and outer core. These classes are in addition to students' major and minor courses. Students are able to pick classes per level when they register for each semester, or they can keep track of them on the iCampus portal Web site.

Recently, ISU has become one of the most popular colleges in Illinois and has joined the ranks of such competitive schools as the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. One of the main reasons this has happened is because of the relationship between the professors and students. Many of the professors are highly recognized for their craft and are willing to help students whenever possible. For example, most professors in the English department are skillful, published writers who can offer some advice. This connection between advocacy and friendship helps take ISU to the next level.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 31%
  • 20 to 49 students: 57%
  • 50 or more students: 12%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Applied Science and Technology
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
  • Mennonite College of Nursing
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Accounting: 2%
  • Elementary Education: 3%
  • English Language Studies: 2%
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
Online courses vary by subject at Illinois State University. Numerous general education classes can be taken online. But just because a class is online does not necessarily mean that it's easier. Some professors provide video lectures while others ask students to read books. Papers and timed tests can be submitted online with ease. The only problem may be forming a relationship with your instructor; this can be difficult when it comes to needing help with the subject matter.
Best Places to Study
  • Bone Student Center
  • ISU quad
  • Milner Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Become close with the professors in your major.
  • Become friends with people in your classes.
  • Become friends with your roommate.
  • Carpool with others that live close to home.
  • Don't be shy-be yourself.
  • Don't just study for tests the night before!
  • Eat breakfast before going to class.
  • Get an internship during your junior year.
  • Go to class.
  • Go to professors' office hours or e-mail them whenever you need help.
  • Hang out at Watterson Food Court during freshman year.
  • Hang out on the quad.
  • If you get a job, work on campus.
  • Join clubs that relate to your desired career.
  • Learn the bus schedule and don't be afraid to take the bus when you need to.
  • Read before class-even lecture classes.
  • Spread out general education courses throughout your four years in college.
  • Talk to your adviser whenever you are unsure of a class.
  • Tempting as it may be, don't go out every night. Freshman year GPAs are hard to raise.
Did You Know?
  • ISU is the second-largest degree producer of teacher education candidates in the nation.
  • Students who are tired of walking to class now have the option of taking certain classes online.
  • One of the ways students can practice their farming skills is with ISU's 360-acre farm in nearby Lexington.
  • ISU was originally named Illinois State Normal University and was for teachers only.
  • The Department of Communication has recently been named the School of Communication.
  • Student organization TV-10 is constantly in the running for a variety of broadcasting awards.
  • ISU's forensics (speech and debate) team has won the national championship two times in the last five years.
  • "The Innocence Project," created by ISU, is a documentary about people sitting on death row who have been wrongly accused of crimes. The project was created after ISU assistant professor of communication John McHale produced a documentary that helped release Joe Amrine, a convicted murderer from death row.
  • Illinois State placed 79th in the 2008 BusinessWeek magazine rankings of the best undergraduate business schools in the nation.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 11 responses

  • 29% Jane Lynch - award-winning actress
  • 17% Doug Collins - NBA player, Olympic athlete
  • 12% John Malkovich - actor, Academy Award nominee
  • 12% Laurie Metcalf - actress, Emmy Award-winner
  • 12% Gary Cole - actor
  • 8% Natasha Leggero - Actress and stand-up comedian
  • 4% Sean Hayes - Emmy Award-winning actor
  • 4% Neal Cotts
  • 0% Felissa R. Lashley, Ph.D. - nursing educator
  • 0% Suzy Bogguss - award-winning country singer
  • 0% Donald McHenry - American diplomat
  • 0% Dan Roan - sports anchor, WGN
  • 0% Robert Wagner

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 69 responses

Very poor
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 76 responses

Very poor
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants


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