Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in Illinois.
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- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in Illinois. Please note that this list does not include organizations that accredit schools in specific programs, such as a business school accreditation, and instead only lists institutional accrediting bodies. For details on program-specific accreditation, look through our subject pages.
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
For more information about higher education reforms and propositions in Illinois, visit the state’s higher education boards and council websites. In addition, contact them or individual schools for more general college and university information.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of institutions there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for online colleges in Illinois. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
Illinois is home to some of the largest universities in the midwest, which offer a wide range of academic programs as well as NCAA Division I athletics. Learn more about public universities of note in Illinois below.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is ranked 41st on the list of National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, and encompasses 17 schools and colleges in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. The school is known for its NCAA Division I varsity sports, and the “Fighting Illini” teams are part of the Big Ten Conference in football. The university has the world’s largest Greek system, and almost a quarter of the student body belongs to a fraternity or sorority. It has 44.520 students enrolled, making it the largest university in the state.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Founded in 1965, University of Illinois at Chicago has a total enrollment of 27,875. It is extremely popular among Chicago’s urban residents – about 1 in 20 Chicago residents attend the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to school estimates. The university’s Research Experience allows undergraduates to pair up with a faculty expert for an intensive research project in a chosen subject area. A major focus at the University of Illinois at Chicago is healthcare and medicine, and the school operates the state’s major public health center and is a prominent educator of healthcare personnel in the state.
Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University was founded in 1899 and is ranked 48th on the 2014 Regional Universities List by U.S. News and World Report. With 12,205 students enrolled in 2013-2014, the school offers several unique signature programs of study, including forensic chemistry. Western Illinois University offers the largest law enforcement program of its kind in the U.S, and also was the first school to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater at a public institution in Illinois.
Illinois is home to some of the largest private universities in the nation, many located in and around the exciting urban area of Chicago. Discover some notable Illinois private universities and colleges below.
DePaul University has six campuses located in and around Chicago, allowing its 24,966 students to enjoy everything the city has to offer. It is also one of the ten largest private universities in the U.S., offering nearly 300 academic programs of study. The school prides itself on its faculty, many of whom are Chicago-area professionals with real-world experience to offer students. Notable alumni include actress Gillian Anderson; President, Publisher, and CEO of the Tribune Company, Tony Hunter; and Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin.
Northwestern is ranked 12th on the U.S. News and World Report list of National Universities. Founded in 1881, the school has grown to become one of the nation’s most respected academic and research institutions. The school has 21,215 students enrolled in a dozen schools and colleges, including the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication, which are considered among the strongest and most challenging in the U.S.