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Governors State University

Governors State University Rating: 4.0/5 (17 votes)

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Founded in 1969, Governors State University (GSU) is the only public university in Chicago’s south suburban area. GSU is an upper-division university that offers undergraduate courses at the junior and senior levels, which makes it a popular choice for students who have transferred from community colleges. The university also offers master’s and doctoral degree programs. The school is divided into four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Business and Public Administration, and the College of Health and Human Services.

Students can choose from many bachelor’s, graduate, and doctoral degree programs. The university also offers over 20 certificate programs. The most popular majors include: Business Administration and Management; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Criminal Justice; Elementary Education and Teaching; and Psychology.

All of the university’s programs have earned appropriate professional accreditation (if such accreditation exists), and are recognized by their respective professions. The university itself is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Eighty-five percent of the faculty members at this school hold a Ph.D. or the highest degree in their discipline, and most of the classes have fewer than 30 students.

The university also offers flexible class schedules with evening, weekends, online, and media courses.The online program is flexible and affordable. The online learning program is also fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Students in Service program is a part-time program offered in conjunction with AmeriCorps. The program is designed to encourage students to enroll as part-time AmeriCorps members and do meaningful community service work. SIS members make a difference in their communities, gain civic and workforce skills and earn an education award after completing their service.


Students who wish to apply must first complete an online or print application form. Undergraduate applications can be evaluated for admission once an official transcript demonstrating that the student has earned, or will soon earn, 60 semester hours of college level courses is submitted. Each applicant must also submit an official college transcript and any AP or other credit transcripts (where applicable). Certain programs also have additional requirements. Prospective students should contact the school for specific dates. It typically takes about two weeks to process and evaluate applications once a complete file has been received. There is a nonrefundable application fee.

Adult students, non-degree seeking students, transfer students, home-schooled students, and international students may need to use different procedures, so they should refer to the university’s website or contact the Office of Admission for more information about the admissions process and application requirements.

Financial Aid

Governors State offers the most affordable undergraduate tuition rate in the Chicago area. The majority of the students receive some form of state, federal, private or institutional financial assistance. Forms of aid that are available for students include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. The college also offers a limited number of scholarships and grants for students. Some are based on merit; others require applicants to demonstrate evidence of financial need. All students who wish to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1st each year. The priority deadline date for completing the FAFSA application is by early April. If selected for verification, students will also need to complete a Federal Verification Worksheet and/or submit additional documents.

Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for more information and assistance with completing the financial aid application process. Students should also note that financial aid applications must be renewed each year.

Student Financial Aid Details

Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Illinois.


GSU has a diverse student body. There are plenty of academic and social support services to help students make the transition to college. There are also numerous diverse clubs, organizations, and activities that include academic, professional, political, social, talent, athletic, student government, media, religious, service, multicultural, special interest, and honor groups. Popular organizations include the Alpha Eta honor society, the Art Forum, the Association of Latin American Students, the Black Student Union, the Communicators Network, the Human Resource Management Club, the Japanese Philosophy Art and Culture Club, the Presidents Club Council, and the Computer Science Club.

Some popular special events that are held at the university include Alcohol Awareness Week, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Family Day, Lunch and Learn, Welcome Days, Salute to Grads, and the Governors State University Graduate Celebration with the Picnic by the Lake and Luau.

While the university does not offer on campus housing facilities, the university does provide students with housing information that should help students find affordable housing near the university. The Title V Cooperative Grant Latino Center for Excellence provides support services for Hispanic students. The Family Development Center (FDC) provides child care and support services for families. Academic Computing Services (ACS) provides computer facilities and support to the university’s students, faculty, and staff. Students have wide access to PCs and MACs with diverse software applications, scanners, and printers.

Student Enrollment Demographics


Students can participate in a number of intramural sports. All students are encouraged to participate. Available athletic programs include men’s and women’s intramural basketball, handball, racquetball, soccer softball, table tennis, and women’s intramural volleyball.


Alumni of GSU include:

  • Debbie Halvorson, former Senator from Illinois and member of the US House of Representatives
  • Melody A. O’Neal, founder, president and CEO of Melmedica Children’s Healthcare Inc.
  • Brian Middleton, popular Chicago radio DJ

Information Summary

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University Entrance :: Governors State University The Center for Performing Arts :: Governors State University John Tuohy Administration :: Governors State University Logo :: Governors State University

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, high graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time four-year
EnrollmentMajority undergraduate
Size & SettingSmall four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work required2
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1702

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,120 $6,120 $12,240
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,442 $1,442 $1,442
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $255 $255 $510
FT Graduate Tuition $5,022 $5,022 $10,044
FT Graduate Required Fees $1,148 $1,148 $1,148
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $279 $279 $558
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family N/A N/A N/A

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees N/A(N/C) N/A(N/C) N/A(N/C)
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open AdmissionsN/A
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1039th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $74,371 ($77,392 male / $70,511 female)
Number of FT Faculty 224 (93 male / 131 female)
Number of PT Faculty 450
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $18,790,903

Brooke Bright+

Brooke Bright graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She currently resides with her family in Northern Illinois. When she is not chasing her two sons around you can find her organizing something or reading a mystery novel.

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1 University Pky
University Park, IL 60484
p. 708-534-5000
w. www.govst.edu

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