Graduate Schools in Illinois: Overview of Major Graduate Schools

Illinois is home to about 90 colleges and universities with graduate programs. See what several of these schools have to offer their students to help you decide which is best for you to attend.

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With 89 graduate schools in the state, there are many options for students seeking an advanced degree in Illinois. Learn about tuition costs, graduation rates, student populations, and proximity to large cities for various institutions, with information gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Illinois Graduate Schools Near Large Cities

Some students find it appealing to be able to live in or around a large city while attending college for the amount of culture and activity that inhabiting a major metropolitan area entails. In Illinois, graduate schools are located solely within Chicago in terms of large cities, according to the NCES. There are many options for those wishing to attend this type of school, such as:

  • Chicago State University
  • North Park University
  • University of Chicago
  • Rush University
  • Columbia College - Chicago

Largest Graduate Schools in Illinois

Many students enjoy attending a college with a large number of other students as it typically means a greater opportunity to socialize and more activities and clubs to join on campus. These four year schools had the highest student populations in the state for graduate schools based on the 2015 enrollment data from each, according to the NCES.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign (45,842)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (29,048)
  • DePaul University (23,539)
  • Northwestern University (21,655)
  • Illiniois State University (20,760)

Lowest Net Price

Tuition is always a major consideration for anyone enrolling in college, especially a graduate student. While the NCES only provides net price figures for undergraduate programs, these figures taken from the 2014-2015 school year can still indicate which schools may offer the most affordable graduate programs .

  • Chicago State University ($10,793)
  • National Louis University ($11,238)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (11,494)
  • University of Illinois at Springfield ($12,308)
  • Governers State University ($15,146)

Highest Graduation Rate

Graduation rates can be seen as a measure of a school's effectiveness at teaching its students. Graduation rates are calculated by the percent of first time undergraduates who complete a degree within 150% of normal expected time (e.g. a bachelor's degree in six years or less). Though the NCES does not record data on graduate students, these undergraduate graduation rates can be a good indicator all the same. The highest graduation rates for undergraduates enrolled by 2009 in Illinois were:

  • Northwestern University (93%)
  • University of Chicago (92%)
  • Wheaton College (89%)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign (85%)
  • Bradley University (74%)

For a complete look at all your options, make sure to consider net price, graduation rate, location, and student population for each school in Illinois when looking for somewhere to earn your graduate degree.

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