University Type


University Type

US News National rank


US News National rank

Average Living Expenses


Average Living Expenses

Illinois State University (ISU) is a public university located in Normal, Illinois, about 130 miles southwest of Chicago. It was founded in 1857 as the Illinois State Normal University, and it is the oldest public university in Illinois. ISU has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,000+ students, and it offers 200+ degree programs in various fields, including arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, and technology. Illinois State University fees for international students are $50,822 (INR 42,31,150) per year for undergraduate courses and $44,180 (INR 36,78,180) per year for graduate programs.

What is the acceptance rate of Illinois State University?

The Illinois State University acceptance rate is 92%, which makes it less selective and competitive to get into. ISU is consistently recognized as one of the best public universities in the nation. In the 2024 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges, Illinois State University ranking is #209 among national universities. ISU is also ranked among the top 10% of all public schools in the nation for retention rate, graduation rate, and loan repayment rate.

Overall, Illinois State University is renowned for its strong academic programs, its commitment to student success, and vibrant campus life. The university offers many student support services, and has several student organizations and clubs, allowing students to participate in activities that interest them and make new friends. Illinois State University QS ranking in 2024 is 1401+.

Top Reasons to Study in the Illinois State University

Several reasons add to the popularity of international students' demand to study at Illinois State University. Here are some of the top reasons:

  • Academics: Illinois State is a top-ranked public university with over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from. The school is known for its strong programs in business, education, health, and the arts.
  • Retention and graduation rates: Illinois State University has one of the highest retention and graduation rates in the nation. This means that students are more likely to stay in school and complete their degrees on time.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Illinois State is a diverse and inclusive campus with students from all over the world. The school is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all students.
  • Affordability: Illinois State University is a very affordable university, especially compared to other public and private universities in the Midwest. The school offers many financial aid options to help students pay for college.
  • Location: Illinois State is located in the town of Normal, Illinois, which is just a short drive from Chicago and St. Louis. This gives students easy access to both big-city and small-town life.

These reasons are just a glimpse of what you will learn and explore at Illinois State University. To know more, click here.


Cost of Studying at Illinois State University

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Living expenses

Average living expenses (Bachelors)


Average living expenses (Masters)


Average on-campus living expenses


Average off-campus living expenses


Admissions at The Illinois State University

Avg acceptance rate (Bachelors)


Application Fee

$50 - $83

How to Apply at Illinois State University

Illinois State University offers 200+ degree programs in various fields, including arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, and technology. International students must follow these steps to smoothen the application process to ISU:

Be an early bird: Illinois State University admissions deadlines vary program-wise, and missing them can severely affect your chances of getting in. Hence, thoroughly check the deadlines before applying.

Admission Intake

Application Deadline for UG courses

Application Deadline for Graduate courses

Summer Intake (May/June)

Apr 1, 2024

Apr 1, 2024

Fall Intake (August)

Rolling Basis

May 1, 2024

Spring Intake (January)

Nov 1, 2023


Review the admission requirements for international students: The eligibility criteria for international students vary slightly from domestic students, in terms of GPA, English proficiency, and standardized scores.

Submit your application online: Applicants can apply through the Illinois State University Application Portal and the Common Application.

Submit all required supporting documents, including:

  • Official transcripts from all high schools and universities attended.
  • English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS).
  • Standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT).
  • A financial statement.
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors.
  • A personal statement.
  • Additional documents like a copy of your passport and financial statements.

Pay the application fee: Illinois State University application fee for international students is $55 (INR 4,580).

Documents Required to Apply to Illinois State University

Illinois State University acceptance rate is 92%, making it less selective and competitive to get into. However, international students must keep the following documents handy to make the application process hassle-free:




High School Transcripts

Official transcripts, translated into English.

Statement of Purpose

Talk about your extracurriculars and how you are competent to study at ISU, in 500 words.

Financial Statements

Showcase your ability to fund your education and other utilities for at least a year.

Standardized Scores


Application Fee

Non-refundable application fee of $55 (INR 4,580).




Bachelor’s Degree (US Equivalent)

Official transcripts, translated into English.

Letters of Recommendation

From academic counselors or others.

Statement of Purpose.

Talk about your extracurriculars and how you are competent to study at ISU.

Resume or CV

Talk about your work experience, certifications, and other achievements. 3+ years of work experience is recommended.

Other Supporting Materials

Work/Writing samples, portfolio work, and research proposal.

Standardized Scores


Application Fee

Non-refundable application fee of $55 (INR 4,580).

Exams Accepted By Illinois State University

Illinois State University accepts the following English proficiency and standardized test scores from international students:

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Rankings for The Illinois State University

US News Ranking


US News National rank

QS World University Rankings


QS World University Rankings

More rankings for this university

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Students Illinois State University


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International Students

% of international students in the university


Total International Students in the university


Alumni at Illinois State University

Illinois State University has 150,000+ alumni living around the world. ISU alumni are active in all fields, including business, government, education, and the arts. Some of ISU's most notable alumni include:

  • Judith Ivey: Tony Award-winning actress
  • David Foster Wallace: Author.
  • Syleena Johnson: Grammy-nominated R&B singer
  • James Burke: Former CEO of Johnson & Johnson.
  • Diane Dahlmann: Retired Executive Director of MizzouRec Services & Facilities
  • Jim Edgar: Former Governor of Illinois.
  • Misia Grzybowski: Senior Specialist for Peer Education and Advocacy in the Health Promotion and Wellness Office at Illinois State University.
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Olympic gold medalist in track and field.

Would you want to study at something other than such an illustrious university? Connect with Yocket to get tips on acing your TOEFL and SATs, understand the application process, know about the scholarships, and get all the assistance from start to finish!

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Related Discussion for the Universities

Ask, post and discuss!

Have a question? Ask and discuss with your fellow aspirants!

Nannapaneni Sumana
Nannapaneni Sumana

a month ago

Is southern Illinois University in Illinois State safe for indian's ????
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Cereal Eater
Cereal Eater

4 months ago

Illinois State University
Project Management
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Sai Teja
Sai Teja

5 months ago

Illinois State University
Information Systems - Systems Development
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Shreya Pradeep
Shreya Pradeep

5 months ago

Confused between ISU and University of Michigan -Dearborn for masters in HCI as an international student from India
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Ajit moses Chaparla
Ajit Moses Chaparla

5 months ago

Which one is best fo ms in IS as per ranking illinois state university is high and springfiled is little low
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Reviews for Illinois State University

Campus life

Number of campuses the university has

Campus locations

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Transportation in the city

Normal, Illinois has many transportation options available to residents and visitors alike, including:

Public Transportation: There are some public transportation options available in Normal:

  • Connect Transit is a public bus system that serves Bloomington and Normal. 22 fixed routes operate Monday through Saturday, and paratransit service is also available.
  • Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Normal through the Uptown Station. The Illinois Service and Texas Eagle Service both stop at Normal daily.
  • Burlington Trailways provides intercity bus service to Normal. There are daily buses to and from Chicago, St. Louis, and other major cities.
  • Driving: Normal is located at the intersection of two major highways: Interstate 55 and Interstate 74. This makes it easy to get to and from Normal by car. There is also a good network of state and local roads within the town.
  • Biking and Walking: Normal has a growing network of bike lanes and bike paths. The Constitution Trail is a paved trail that runs through the heart of Normal and connects to other trails in the Bloomington-Normal area.
  • Taxis and Ride-Hailing Services: There are several taxi companies and ride-hailing services operating in Normal. These can be a convenient way to get around, especially if you don't have a car.

Services offered by the university

Illinois State University offers several services to its students, including:

  • Academic services: These include registration assistance, enrollment verification, transfer credit evaluation, application for graduation, testing services, and academic advising.
  • Student support services: These include the Dean of Students Office, which provides support for students in areas such as academics, personal development, and financial aid; the Student Health Services, which provides medical and mental health care to students; and the Center for Student Access and Accommodation Services, which provides support to students with disabilities.
  • Residential life services: These include housing, dining, and recreational activities.
  • Campus involvement services: These include student government, clubs and organizations, and intercollegiate athletics.
  • Career services: These include career counseling, resume and cover letter writing assistance, and interview preparation.

These are some basic services provided by Illinois State University. However, some special services are also offered for international students, the disabled, and individuals belonging to the LGBTQ+ community.

Student life at Illinois State University

With an array of activities, clubs, and cultural events offered by Illinois State, you are sure to feel involved. Let us look at the factors that contribute to the vibrancy of the student life at Illinois State University:

  • Housing and Dining

Illinois State University offers various housing options for students, including traditional residence halls, apartments, and Greek housing. The residence halls are home to over 9,000 students and offer many amenities, including laundry facilities, kitchens, and study rooms.

Illinois State University also has many dining options available to students. The university's dining program is rated among the top 10 percent of all dining programs in the U.S. Students can choose from various meal plans, including unlimited dining and flex meal plans.

  • Get Involved

There are over 300 student organizations at Illinois State University, so there is something for everyone to get involved in. Students can join organizations based on their academic interests, hobbies, or social causes. Some of the most popular student organizations include:

  • Greek life
  • Student government
  • Honors societies
  • Cultural organizations
  • Performing arts organizations
  • Recreational sports clubs
  • Volunteering organizations


  • Health and Wellness

Illinois State University is committed to providing students with the resources they need to stay healthy. The university has a student health center that offers many services, including medical care, counseling, and pharmacy services. The university also has a state-of-the-art student fitness center that is free to all students.

  • Hometown

Illinois State University is located in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, which is a great college town with all the comforts of home. Bloomington-Normal is home to various restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. The city also has some parks and recreation facilities.

These are just a few factors that make Illinois State University’s student life so happening. If you go there, you will feel involved and get various opportunities to shine as an individual.

On campus accomodation at Illinois State University

Illinois State University offers many on-campus accommodation options for undergraduate students. These options include:

  • Residence halls are the most popular type of on-campus housing at Illinois State. They offer various room types, including single rooms, double rooms, and triple rooms. Residence halls also offer many amenities, such as common areas, kitchens, and laundry facilities.
  • Cardinal Court is an apartment-style housing complex that offers students the opportunity to live in their apartments with the benefits of living in university housing. Cardinal Court apartments are furnished and offer various amenities, such as full kitchens, washer and dryer units, and private patios or balconies.
  • Fell Avenue and School Street apartments are also apartment-style housing complexes that offer students the opportunity to live in their apartments with the benefits of living in university housing. Fell Avenue and School Street apartments are unfurnished and offer many amenities, such as full kitchens, washer and dryer units, and parking.

In addition to these on-campus housing options, Illinois State University also offers a limited number of university-owned houses and apartments for rent.

To apply for on-campus housing at Illinois State University, students must submit a housing application and pay a housing deposit. The housing application process usually opens in February for the following fall semester.

For more information about on-campus housing at Illinois State University, please visit the University Housing Services website.

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1. How many colleges does Illinois State University have?

There are six colleges at Illinois State University, and 36 departments regulate it.

2. What courses are offered by the University?

The University offers programs like BE, MFA, BBA, MS, MA, MBA, B.Sc, and BTech for its undergraduate and postgraduate students.

3. Is there On-Campus accommodation at the University?

Illinois State University provides both On-Campus and Off-Campus housing to its students. 

4. How many credit hours is a full time in this institution?

An undergraduate student carries around 12 to 17 credit hours for a full time at Illinois State University.

5. Which companies are the top recruiters of the colleges of this University?

The top 5 recruiters of this University are M/I Homes: Welcome to better Logo, ADM Logo, Northwestern Mutual - Chicagoland Logo, Enterprise Logo, and Growmark Logo.