9501 S. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628-1598
p. 773-995-2000
w. www.csu.edu

Chicago State University

Chicago State University Rating: 3.4/5 (220 votes)

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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

Unique Programs

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.


Undergraduate Students

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.

Transfer Students

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

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.

Financial Aid

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

Ranks 3826th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Illinois.


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.

Local Community

One of the nation’s largest cities, Chicago is a major metropolitan area that offers students access to world-class arts and entertainment, museums, and recreation.

Professional sports teams like the Bulls, Bears, and the tradition-rich Chicago Cubs offer great opportunities for entertainment. Chicago also has a vast amount of shopping and sightseeing opportunities, including the massive Sears Tower. For the food lover, Chicago is home to its own versions of hot dogs and pizzas that will provide more than enough leftovers for any bargain-seeking college student.

Information Summary

Ranks 51st in Illinois and 1334th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Illinois and 157th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 2 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 1 0.01
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 4 0.06

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 12,408 0.46
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 431 0.02
Forcible Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 13,975 0.52
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 26,420 0.98
Larceny 72,373 2.68
Vehicle theft 19,446 0.72

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Chicago, IL 60628-1598
Surrounding communityLarge city (inside urban area, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population87,827 (87,827 urban / N/A rural)
Households27,023 (3.22 people per house)
Median Household Income$38,210
Families20,568 (3.69 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduateSingle doctoral (education)
Undergraduate PopulationMedium full-time four-year, inclusive
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium 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 requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1701

Special Learning Opportunities

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

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1350th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,456 $6,456 $12,848
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $2,576 $2,576 $2,576
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $285 $285 $535
FT Graduate Tuition $5,193 $5,193 $9,819
FT Graduate Required Fees $2,576 $2,576 $2,576
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $289 $289 $546
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $23,202 $23,202 $29,594
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $23,202 $23,202 $29,594
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $14,732 $14,732 $21,124

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $28,800 $43,170
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees $2,701 $2,701

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $9,062 $8,558 $9,062 $8,558 $15,662 $14,654
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $2,400 $1,800
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,222(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,900(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $8,222(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,900(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,900(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$25
Graduate Application Fee$30
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 5,219 (1,918 male / 3,301 female)
Admitted 1,495 (484 male / 1,011 female)
Admission rate 29%
First-time Enrollment 276 (94 male / 182 female)
FT Enrollment 225 (74 male / 151 female)
PT Enrollment 51 (20 male / 31 female)
Total Enrollment5,701

Admission Criteria

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

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Basketball Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Western Athletic Conference

ACT Test Admission

1282nd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 99%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 15 / 20
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 16 / 20
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 20

SAT Test Admission

1083rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 3%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 430 / 510
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 450 / 530
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 880 / 1040

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 Capacity330
Meals per Week19
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 761 65 28 3 81 35 973
African-American/Black Studies 1 1
Art/Art Studies, General 2 5 7
Bilingual and Multilingual Education 4 1 5
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 20 2 1 2 3 28
Business Administration and Management, General 70 7 6 3 86
Chemistry, General 11 1 1 13
Computer Science 5 21 3 29
Counseling Psychology 14 1 15
Creative Writing 2 2 4
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 61 4 1 66
Curriculum and Instruction 1 1
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 6 6
Economics, General 4 1 5
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 23 1 4 28
Elementary Education and Teaching 22 2 1 2 27
English Language and Literature, General 15 1 2 18
General Studies 77 4 1 1 1 3 87
Geography 1 1 2 4
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator 4 1 5
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 1 1 4 1 7
History, General 9 2 11
International/Global Studies
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 116 4 1 1 4 5 131
Library and Information Science 4 5 9
Mathematics, General 9 1 2 12
Music Teacher Education 1 1
Music, General 1 1 2
Occupational Therapy/Therapist 10 2 4 16
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General 2 3 3 1 9
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 4 1 3 8
Physical Therapy/Therapist 4 1 5
Physics, General 1 1
Political Science and Government, General 11 1 12
Psychology, General 79 6 1 5 91
Public Health Education and Promotion 19 1 20
Public Health, General 2 1 3
Radio and Television 17 1 2 20
Reading Teacher Education 1 1
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 22 3 1 2 28
Secondary Education and Teaching 8 3 5 16
Social Work 37 7 5 2 51
Sociology 35 1 2 2 40
Spanish Language and Literature 2 1 1 4
Special Education and Teaching, General 20 1 12 1 34
Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education 5 1 6
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1366th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $69,719 ($74,075 male / $50,497 female)
Number of FT Faculty 299 (139 male / 160 female)
Number of PT Faculty 420
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $22,024,027

Melissa Rhone+

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.

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