The Campus: Its History and Philosophy
UIS is a campus that attracts students who want to earn a U of I degree in a supportive environment where classes are small and faculty members truly know their students, serving as advisors, mentors, and friends as well as teachers. The UIS curriculum cuts across disciplines and emphasizes civic engagement. As a result, course work in every major is relevant to today’s world. Students learn new skills and develop an understanding of their responsibility to lead and improve their communities. They test these new abilities in the real world, through a myriad of hands-on internships, fellowships, and research opportunities open to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
UIS is home to students beginning their first year of college as well as to those finishing their doctorate. Our students include traditional-aged residential students, older commuter students with full-time jobs and families, and more than 1,600 students who earn degrees entirely online. They number approximately 5,000, and they come from all parts of the globe. Not surprisingly, our more than 100 student organizations reflect a variety of tastes and interests.
Just as varied is our range of academic and professional programs – 31 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees, and one doctoral program (in public administration). Students can choose a traditional discipline such as history, psychology, or biology; a more career-oriented path such as business administration and management information systems; or an inter-disciplinary program such as environmental studies or communication.
UIS is located in Springfield, the capital city of Illinois and the hometown and final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, whose legacy is still strong in the community. UIS’ spacious, wooded campus is just minutes from downtown, near the shoreline of Lake Springfield. UIS joined the University of Illinois System in 1995, and the campus marked its 45th anniversary in 2015.
The Learning Environment
UIS’ learning environment includes the community, as the academic programs and public affairs activities are structured to make good use of the resources a capital city has to offer, especially government agencies that can provide internship, experiential, and research opportunities – and not just for graduate students. Many undergraduate programs require students to complete an internship or off-campus work experience. UIS is also a national leader in online education, with several bachelor’s completion programs, several master’s programs, and several certificate programs offered fully online.
At UIS, a great deal of learning takes place outside the classroom. Students of politics can see it all, from the day-to-day functioning of the legislature to special interest groups demonstrating on the Statehouse lawn. Majors in health professions can capitalize on the facilities of the area’s largest medical center, with ties to the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. History and archaeology students alike can take part in the investigations at New Philadelphia, the first American town founded by an African-American man. Students interested in the legal system can work in the Illinois Innocence Project to exonerate people wrongly convicted of crimes. Aspiring journalists can spend a six-month internship reporting for the major media bureaus of the Capitol Press Corps. Whatever their majors, students leave UIS with solid, real-world experience, skilled as well as educated.
At UIS, we have a long history of emphasizing public affairs instruction, research, and service. Many campus outreach efforts are coordinated and administered through units housed within the College of Public Affairs and Administration. The Center for State Policy and Leadership, a major research and service center, sponsors applied research and educational programs on a variety of public policy issues and topics.
On an individual level, students are encouraged to widen their perspective on public affairs and service through course work in the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience.
In short, UIS students are shaped by their time here in many ways and acquire a different perspective on their world. At UIS, our focus is on preparing students for lives of meaningful work, and lives of meaning.
The University of Illinois at Springfield provides an intellectually rich, collaborative, and intimate learning environment for students, faculty, and staff while serving local, regional, state, national, and international communities.
UIS serves its students by building a faculty whose members have a passion for teaching and by creating an environment that nurtures learning. Our faculty members engage students in small classes and experiential learning settings. At UIS, the undergraduate and the graduate curricula and the professional programs emphasize liberal arts, interdisciplinary approaches, lifelong learning, and engaged citizenship.
UIS provides its students with the knowledge, skills, and experience that lead to productive careers in the private and public sectors.
UIS serves the pursuit of knowledge by encouraging and valuing excellence in scholarship. Scholarship at UIS is broadly defined. Faculty members are engaged in the scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and teaching. Excellence in teaching and meaningful service depend on a foundation of excellence in scholarship.
One vital area in which UIS extends its scholarship, teaching, learning, and expertise beyond the campus is in the broad area of public affairs. From its location in the state capital, UIS shapes and informs public policy, trains tomorrow’s leaders, and enriches its learning environment through a wide range of public affairs activities, programs, and organizations.
UIS empowers its students, faculty, and staff by being a leader in online education and classroom technology. UIS uses technology to enhance its distinctive learning environment and extend that environment beyond the boundaries of the campus.
Governance and Accreditation
The three University of Illinois campuses – Springfield, Urbana-Champaign, and Chicago – are governed by the U of I Board of Trustees and are among 12 public university campuses in the state, all coordinated by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Internally, UIS is governed by the chancellor with advice from administrators and the Campus Senate.
UIS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Commission in writing at:
UIS has implemented a number of policies, including those relating to affirmative action, religious observances, sexual harassment, use of drugs and alcohol, human rights, and possession of weapons. An overview of these policies, as well as the Campus Safety Policy and campus crime statistics, is available on the UIS Human Resources website. Students may also wish to review the list of various university and campus policies available on the Office of Records and Registration's website.