Illinois State University

United States

Illinois State University was founded in 1857 as Illinois State Normal University, making it the state’s oldest university. It gained its current name in 1967 and is still based in Normal, Illinois. There are currently over 20,000 students including more than 500 international students from around 74 countries.

It has been ranked as the best-value public university in Illinois by US News & World Report. The same report ranked Illinois State University as 219th in a list of the USA’s best 440 private and public universities and 112nd in the list of public universities. Forbes magazine ranked it as the 259th best university in the country.

What is the Illinois State University acceptance rate for International Students?

The Illinois State University acceptance rate is 81%.

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Campus Life

Illinois State University provides a range of first-rate facilities to its students. The Milner Library is the main library on campus and offers impressive amenities such as computer labs, research assistance, study spaces, and over 2 million books and other materials. The Student Fitness Center houses various fitness equipment and sports courts and allows students to participate in exercise classes to stay active on campus.

The Science Laboratory Building provides ample research and teaching facilities for the College of Arts and Sciences, while the College of Business has state-of-the-art facilities. The Redbird Arena hosts both athletics and concerts along with other large-scale events, as sports is a big part of the camaraderie of campus life at the University. The Student Center is comprehensive in how it provides for its students, as there are dining options, a movie theater, a bowling alley, and the usual event spaces to provide a well-rounded student experience.

International Outlook

Illinois State University is undertaking a comprehensive internationalization effort, including expansion of internationally-oriented courses. It is also introducing more campuswide programs, student organizations, student services, civic engagement opportunities aimed at spreading an international focus.


Normal has ranked as one of the top 5 college towns in America based on its quality of life. It has also been ranked highly among the nation's best small cities for affordability, arts and entertainment opportunities and safety. It has also ranked as one of the Best College Towns in America and among the Best Places to Live in the United States.

Retention & Graduation

Over the past decade, Illinois State University’s retention and graduation rates have been in the top 10% in the USA. Its retention rate is at 83.2% with a graduation rate of 67.3%, both well above the national average.

City Life

Illinois State University is situated in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. The campus is a short walking distance from the many restaurants and bars in the scenic downtown area of Bloomington-Normal. Many local shops and family-owned restaurants line the streets, but there are food chains and big-name music and arts events in this area too. The area is safe, with a low crime rate and excellent job opportunities to look forward to after graduation. Still, it also boasts of a youthful atmosphere due to the number of students residing in the area.


Ilinois State University’s Careers Services team can work with students to help them understand their career options. They can also advise on how to get jobs and internships to build experience and how to translate classroom experience into skills employers are looking for. They also organise regular careers events, fairs and employer sessions aimed at helping students network and connect with employers. There are also Career Chats with alumni and employers and Career Readiness Series workshops designed to help students prepare for the world of work.


The approximate student-to-faculty balance is 17:1.
Career services, academic advising, disability, and mental health services are all available to students at Illinois State University.
The job placement rate is very high for graduates of Illinois State University. In 2020 it was reported as 94%.

The Illinois State University is ranked #1201-1400 in QS World University Rankings.


Approx. 1857

No. of international students


  • by QS