Western Illinois University


Western Illinois State Normal School was established as a public university in 1899. The school focused on teacher training just as many similar institutions did at the time. The school’s student body was relatively small in the beginning, but the institution increased in population over time. The school later became Western Illinois State Teachers College. The school is currently called Western Illinois University and the institution offesr a wide variety of academic program.


Information Summary

Ranks 39th in Illinois and 946th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 80.9
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $25,997
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 23 / 1110
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 13 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 65% / 33%
Enrollment Total (all students) 8,502


Western Illinois University is a public university located in Macomb, Illinois. The Higher Learning Commission-North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Western Illinois University. The university is comprised of 4 colleges and 44 academic schools and departments. The colleges are the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Technology, College of Education and Human Services, and College of Fine Arts. The Centennial Honors College is also affiliated with the 4 colleges. There are 8 school, which include School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach; School of Graduate Studies; School of Agriculture, School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; School of Computer Sciences and Information Systems; School of Music; School of Nursing, and School of Engineering.

A few of the academic departments include Department of African American Studies, Department of Instructional Design and Technology, Department of Art, Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Museum Studies, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Dietetics, Fashion Merchandising and Hospitality.

Western Illinois University offers 66 bachelor’s degrees, 37 master’s degrees, 16 post-baccalaureate certificates, 1 doctoral degree, and 2 post-master’s certificates. A few of the undergraduate degrees that the university offers include Literature and Language, Clinical Laboratory Science, Musical Theatre, Construction Management, Broadcasting, Zoology, and Graphic Communication. Graduate level degrees include Reading, Counseling, Accountancy, Geography, Elementary Education, Computer Science, Health Science, Theatre, and Sports Management.

The university also offers online learning opportunities. The Bachelor of Arts in General Studies is offered completely online. Students can also take various courses online and new courses are added every day. Professional development opportunities are also available online.

Most Popular Fields of Study


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Regular admission for first year students interested in applying to Western Illinois University includes a completed application, SAT score of 940 or ACT composite score of 20, and a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 of a 4.0 scale (the school accepts a higher GPA if the ACT/SAT score is lower and vice versa). Freshman must meet the following high school coursework requirements for admission: 3 years of science (laboratory sciences such as earth science and other college prep sciences), 4 years of English ( course that emphasis literature and oral and written communications), 3 years of mathematics (trigonometry, geometry, advanced algebra), 3 years of social studies (courses with an emphasis in government and history), and 2 years of electives (speech, religion, vocational education, foreign language).

Transfer students applying for undergraduate admission with more than 24 semester hours must be in good standing with the previous university or college and have a combined average of a “C” in all credits from previous universities. Students with less than 24 semester hours must meet the same requirements, and meet the freshman admission standard of 2.5 GPA in high school courses.

Students applying for admission into graduate school must complete an application and submit the non-refundable application fee. Students must also hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, complete prerequisite courses; submit GMAT, MAT, or GRE scores; and meet GPA requirements for undergraduate coursework and any graduate level coursework.

International students must hold a comparable degree to a U.S. degree in order to receive admission. Students must also provide TOEFL scores of 213 or greater of the computer-based version, 550 or greater on the paper version, or 80 or higher of the Internet version; complete the Declaration of Finances form, provide documentation of evidence of adequate assets, and submit the application and non-refundable application fee. International students may also be required complete undergraduate coursework if deficits in previous coursework from other institutions exist.

Financial Aid

Students may begin completing the FAFSA application after January 1st. The priority deadline is early February. This application must be completed to receive federal aid and the Illinois Monetary Award. Students may receive loans, grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and other sources of financial aid to pay for an education.

Grants are one of the financial aid sources that do not have to be repaid. Students may qualify for the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Federal Pell Grant, and State Map Grant. The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program offers up to $4,000 per year for those who plan to teach students in low-income schools for at least four years. The qualifying teaching areas are science, math, special education, and foreign language or bilingual education for undergraduate studies, and reading specialist and special education for graduate studies. A 3.2 cumulative GPA is required.

Scholarships are available based on a number of different criteria, including university wide, honors, transfer students, freshman, graduates, and international students. Students can also qualify for scholarships by program. These scholarships include Jean S. and M. Morrow Award, Dr. Olive Fite American Literature Scholarship, Foreign Language Alumni Scholarship, Grove B. And Olive Tyson Scholarship, and Wrenn R. and Evelyn Grice Scholarship in Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Federal Work-Study program offer over 250 students campus jobs. The program accounts for $2.4 million in university funding. Please note that the federal work-study program is not available during the summer sessions.

Other programs that Western Illinois University students may participate in include Illinois Future Teacher Corps (IFTC) Program, Merit Recognition Scholarship (MRS) Program, Grant Program for Dependents of Police or Fire Officers, Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access (IIA) Program, and Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3217th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Illinois.


Students who plan to live on campus must submit the housing application by early May for the fall semester. Freshman halls consist of Tanner Hall and Thompson Hall. Sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate halls include Bayliss and Henniger Hall, Higgins Hall, Corbin and Olson (under renovation), International House, Higgins Hall, Lincoln and Washington Hall, and Grote Hall. Graduate and family housing includes Lamoine Village, East Village, and University Village. University halls come with cable TV, computer and Internet access (wireless Internet zone), and live in staff.

The Greek community on Western Illinois University’s campus is proud of its tradition of excellence. There are 21 fraternities and 9 sororities on campus. Sororities and Fraternities include Sigma Chi, Theta Xi, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Rho Eta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Delta Zeta, Chi Omega, and Alpha Sigma Tau. These groups are involved in many community and campus sponsored events, including Greek Week, Order of Omega, and Rho Lambda.

The university has its own newspaper. The Western Courier serves the students of Western Illinois University and staff members. The newspaper publishes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the school year, and Wednesdays only during the summer. This free newspaper can be found at over 80 locations on the campus.

Students have the opportunity to participate in the campus beautification program. The volunteers consist of faculty, staff and students who plant flowers, spread mulch, clean up the front entrance, pick up trash, and other miscellaneous work. Student organizations are available on campus. Participants get a chance to meet new people and become leaders on campus. Students may participate in organizations such as Black Student Association, Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), Counseling Association, Graduate Experience in Museum Studies (GEMS), Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Organization (LASSO), Toastmasters, Student Government Association (SGA), Society of Educators (SOE), Society of Accountancy, and Society of Business and Technology (SOBAT).

Students may participate in recreational sports and activities in one of the following facilities: Spencer Student Recreation Center, Harry Mussatto Golf Course, and Sipolt Memorial Disc Course. Intramural sports include indoor soccer, racquetball doubles, disk golf, men’s and women’s softball, sand volleyball, badminton doubles, men’s and women’s basketball, fantasy football, and men’s and women’s tennis.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The athletic teams participate in the NCAA Division I Summit League and the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The university athletics once participated in the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1914-1970). The school colors are purple and gold. The mascot is the bulldog, and the team is known as the Fighting Leathernecks. The school received permission from the Department of the Navy to use the official mascot and seal of the U.S. Marine Corp. The women’s teams were once known at Westerwinds, but both men’s and women’s teams decided to go under the Leathernecks name. Rocky the Bulldog gets his name from Ray “Rock” Hanson a former marine and athletic director at Western Illinois University. The school has 15 varsity teams, which include baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, swimming/diving, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The athletic facilities include, Hanson Field, football and outdoor track and field; Western Hall, men’s and women’s basketball; John MacKenzie Alumni Field, men’s and women’s soccer; Mary Ellen McKee Stadium, softball; Alfred D. Boyer Stadium, baseball and tennis; Spring Lake, cross-country; and Harry Mussato Golf Course, golf.


  • Hancks, Jeffrey W and Adam J. Carey. Western Illinois University (IL) (Campus History Series). Los Angeles: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. Print.
  • Hicken, Victor. The Purple and the Gold: The Story of Western Illinois University. Macomb: Western Illinois University Foundation, 1970. Print.
  • Western Illinois University. 1 May 2011. Web. 1 May 2011

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