Located in the central part of Illinois in the state capital of Springfield, the University of Illinois Springfield is a public university that is a part of Illinois' public university system. It also is the newest member institution of the public university system. The Illinois legislature established Sangamon State University in 1969 as a public liberal arts college. It became a formal and the newest member of the University of Illinois system in 1995 and offered its first online programs in 1999. Once one of the two upper-division institutions in the state, University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) later began accepting freshmen and transfer students and now offers full undergraduate as well as graduate degrees. With a population of just over 115,000, Springfield is Illinois' sixth largest city. UIS has a total student enrollment of more than 5,700 students, more than half of whom study within UIS' various online programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school highly in several areas. In 2017, it is number 54 in Best Online Bachelor's Programs, number 26 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs and number 123 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs.
University of Illinois Springfield Accreditation Details
Overall, UIS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The school also has been recognized in several areas by other groups. It is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, the American Council on Education and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Its undergraduate online business program also is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
UIS's online programs and even several online faculty members have received an array of accolades over the years. UIS received the Sloan Consortium award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning and the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education. The Society for New Communications Research recognized the school with its Award for Excellence in Online Reputation Management. The Sloan Consortium has granted awards to several individual online faculty members. In 2013, SR Education Group ranked University of Illinois Springfield as number 12 in its ranking of best online colleges.
University of Illinois Springfield Application Requirements
UIS accepts new high school graduates, undergraduate transfer students and graduate students. Those with no college experience will need to provide transcripts and standardized scores from either ACT or SAT college entrance exams. Additional requirements include:
- Four years of academic English;
- Three years of social studies with emphasis on government and history;
- Three years of college preparatory mathematics including algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus;
- Two years either of one foreign language or fine arts study;
- Personal statement essay; and
- Academic statement essay outlining personal academic goals.
Transfer students must have completed at least 30 credit hours at a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale and provide transcripts from each institution attended.
University of Illinois Springfield offers an Alternative Admission Program for those with considerable life experience but with little or no college coursework. This allows working adults to begin or return to college study without having to meet standard admission requirements.
Graduate student applicants must have completed undergraduate degrees with a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or higher on a 4.00 scale and provide transcripts from each institution attended. GRE scores are desired but not required.
Tuition and Financial Aid
UIS takes pride in keeping online study affordable. Its present tuition levels are:
- $359 per credit hour in its Online Bachelor's Degree Program
- $362 per credit hour in its Online Graduate Education Degree Program
- $403 per credit hour in its Online Graduate Business Degree Program
Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, student loans and grants. Grants are available in many forms, of course, though many carry very narrow requirements. Though the search can be tedious, the outcome can be quite rewarding.
Online Degrees Available
Given the online nature of study, most of the undergraduate degrees that UIS offers online are Bachelor of Arts degrees since there's no opportunity for lab sessions and similar components of most Bachelor of Science degrees. Undergraduate degrees in business, English, history, math, political science and others are BA degrees. Only a few of UIS' undergraduate degrees are Bachelor of Science degrees that require greater mathematical and technical study that can be more difficult to manage online, though the school offers BS degrees in Information Systems Security, Health Care Informatics and Computer Science. Undergraduate programs incorporate core study consisting of discipline theory, liberal arts and social studies in the first two years, progressing to specialization in specific degrees in the junior and senior years.
As example, the Political Science Bachelor program as well as UIS' history major begin with study in English, history, government, basic math and even some psychology. These foundational courses provide a base on which to build in upper level divisions when students increasingly focus on their selected majors.
The school offers an array of Master's programs online as well. Most of those are for MA degrees though a few offer MS degrees at completion. One degree series is of particular interest. UIS offers an MPA in Environmental Health, an MS in Environmental Science and an MA in Environmental Studies focusing on sustainability or environmental planning. Each shares a common core then expands into specific areas of focus in later study.
University of Illinois Springfield uses a masterful approach to designing and delivering its online courses and programs, as evidenced by its numerous recognition awards for design, delivery, content and quality. Each undergraduate degree program begins with a core study in the first two years applicable to all Bachelor of Arts programs. University of Illinois Springfield also uses the same approach to applicable graduate programs as seen in its Environmental Health, Environmental Science and Environmental Studies Master's programs. This is beneficial for the school, of course, but it also provides the student with flexibility for possible focus changes in the future but before completing a Master's degree.
University of Illinois Springfield offers a broad range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs online. All of the online degree programs UIS offers are in solid demand in today's labor market and can be of great value to students. With its focus on online study and degree completion, prospective students can be certain that University of Illinois Springfield strives to meet the needs of its online students.