A public university located in Illinois, Chicago State University (CSU) was initially founded as the Cook County Normal School in 1867. The former teacher training institution went through numerous location, administration, and name changes, eventually becoming Chicago State College in 1967 and Chicago State University in 1971.
CSU has retained its emphasis on teaching and general education in the humanities, and also emphasizes its record of academic achievement for African Americans. The school now awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as various professional certificates.
The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Individual colleges and programs are accredited by industry-specific organizations. CSU is also a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit that raises scholarship money for its members.
Chicago State is comprised of the following colleges:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Health Sciences
- Honors College
- College of Pharmacy
- School of Graduate and Professional Studies
Students can pursue undergraduate degree programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, and through the Honors College. Majors such as African-American Studies, Criminal Justice, and Speech are just some of the fields available to study at CSU.
Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a wide variety of disciplines including art and design, African American studies, music, mathematics and computer science, accounting, finance, education, health information administration, nursing, and occupational therapy. Minors are also awarded in many of these fields.
Master’s degrees are also awarded in various fields, such as counseling, English, history, criminal justice, library science, and occupational therapy. The university awards an MFA in creative writing, an MSW in social work, numerous master’s degrees in education, and certificates in health information administration, school counseling, community development, and geographic information systems.
CSU doctoral programs includes the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership degree.
Most Popular Fields of Study
CSU is proud to offer the 21st Century Graduate and Professional Students’ Academic Studies Initiative. This six-year initiative is one of only five in the country that is funded by the Department of Education. This special program’s goal is to enhance the educational experience of graduate students pursuing biological sciences, occupational therapy, math / computer science, and geography.
The university periodically hosts special events and conferences for students, staff, faculty, and the community.
Prospective undergraduate students who have never attended college must submit a completed CSU application, official high school transcripts, and official standardized test scores along with a required application fee. Applications may be completed online or in paper format. Writing samples, letters of recommendation, and in-person interviews may also be requested in some cases.
Students wishing to transfer earned college credits to Chicago State University must complete the CSU application, provide official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended after high school, and pay the required application fee. Freshman admissions requirements and a 2.0 GPA minimum on all college-level work must be met in order to gain acceptance.
Graduate students must provide a completed application and corresponding fee, official transcripts, a statement of goals and objectives, and any program-specific requirement. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are “generally admitted.”
Admissions requirements may vary for international students, students pursing a second bachelor’s degree and anyone wishing to attend as a visiting student or enroll in classes not for credit.
CSU students who wish to apply for financial aid such as grants, loans, work-study, and scholarship opportunities must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FAFSA can be completed online. Undergraduate Illinois residents who file the FAFSA are also applying for the Illinois Monetary Program (MAP) grant.
The state of Illinois, as well as CSU itself, also offer several other opportunities for aid. Special consideration may be given to student employees or veterans.
Students are also advised to apply for outside private scholarships, which are available based on merit, financial need, and many other criteria.
The Chicago State University Office of Student Financial Aid can assist students with the FAFSA and questions related to paying for college.
Student Financial Aid Details
There are numerous ways for CSU students to get involved on campus as well as in the community.
The Office of Student Activities oversees the student government, student clubs and organizations, and the Student Activities Center on campus, as well as the Game Room and Movie Room. The CSU campus is home to a variety of student organizations, including a chess club, the Chicago Broadcast club, Models Club, Tempo student newspaper, and a number of fraternities and sororities.
Campus events include student debates, lectures, and charitable fundraisers for the local community. Upcoming events are posted regularly on the CSU Web Calendar.
The university radio station, WCSU, broadcasts Cougar home games and provides other programming in music, fine arts, public affairs, and news. The station is operated by students and alumni. CSU-TV, Chicago State University Television, is run by the Department of Communications, Media Arts, and Theatre.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Chicago State Cougars are a member of the Western Athletic Conference of the NCAA’s Division I. Proudly bearing school colors of evergreen and white, Cougar sports teams include men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, and both indoor and outdoor track and field. There is also a men’s baseball team and women’s softball and volleyball teams. Women’s soccer will also commence in 2014.
Athletics facilities include the Jones Convocation Center for basketball, the Jacoby Dickens Center for volleyball, Chicago State Tennis Courts, Harborside Golf Center, Chicago State Baseball Stadium, and the Chicago State track.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.