About UIS

The Campus: Its History and Philosophy

UIS attracts students who want to earn a University of Illinois degree in a supportive environment where 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 myriad hands-on internships, fellowships, and research opportunities open to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

UIS is home to traditional-aged residential students, older commuter students with full-time jobs and families, and more than 1,900 students who earn degrees entirely online. In Fall 2023 there were 4,661 students enrolled in classes at UIS from all parts of the world.   

Just as varied is our range of academic and professional programs. Students can choose a traditional discipline such as history, psychology, or biology, a career-oriented major such as business administration or 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, and near the shoreline of Lake Springfield. UIS joined the University of Illinois System in 1995, and the campus marked its 50th anniversary in 2020.

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.

At UIS, a great deal of learning takes place outside the classroom. Students of government, politics, and public policy can see it all in Springfield, from the day-to-day functioning of the Illinois General Assembly to the workings of special interest groups advocating in the Rotunda or on the Statehouse lawn. Majors in health professions can gain experience utilizing the medical facilities in one of the region’s largest centers of health care. History students have access to some of the nation’s most priceless historic sites. 

Students in business and technology have access to the entrepreneurial expertise of Innovate Springfield, UIS’ business incubator. Students interested in the legal system can work in the Illinois Innocence Project on cases 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. Students in the sciences have access to state-of-the-art labs and equipment, and two field research stations – on Lake Springfield, and in the heart of The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon wetlands restoration project along the Illinois River.   

Public Affairs

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 Education. 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.   

Mission, Vision, Values

The University of Illinois Springfield provides a uniquely student-centered educational experience both in and out of the classroom through active learning, meaningful research and impactful civic engagement that prepares graduates to contribute fully to society.

The University of Illinois Springfield will be a pathway to opportunity, a catalyst for change, and a space of possibility where learners become ethical and passionate scholars, leaders and citizens capable of transforming their local and global communities.


  1. Student-Focused Teaching and Learning: We place student development - fostered through meaningful interactions among students, faculty, staff and the community - at the core of all University activities. 

  2. Integrity: We conduct ourselves with honesty, professionalism and respect for others, accepting responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions.

  3. Inquiry: We seek to understand the world around us through the mastery of core skills of perception, analysis and expression, through the acquisition of knowledge and through the pursuit of scholarship that is challenging and significant.

  4. Civic Engagement: We build meaningful relationships that enable us to both learn from and contribute to our local and global communities. 

  5. Diversity: We embrace diversity in all its forms as both an intellectual commitment and a social responsibility, and we foster an inclusive culture that recognizes the needs and contributions of every individual.

  6. Strategic Thinking: We are a proactive learning organization committed to continuous improvement, evidence-based decision-making and innovation.

  7. Accountability: We translate intentions into actions via shared governance and fiscal stewardship, holding decision-makers responsible to our students, colleagues and other stakeholders.  

Governance and Accreditation

The three University of Illinois universities in 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 in consultation with 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:

230 South LaSalle Street Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
Phone (312) 263-0456 or (800) 621-7440
fax (312) 263-7462
Email: info@hlcommission.org; or go visit the HLC website

Campus Policies

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.