Chicago State University students are historically risk-takers. In 1975, 5,000 of them signed a 45-foot-long petition to ask President Gerald Ford to give the commencement address. He came, and the school awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws. Today, students dare to be innovative in flexible and relevant degrees. The school began in 1867 as the Cook Normal School, primarily a teacher preparation institution. The U.S. News and World Report ranks CSU in its second tier of Regional Universities-Midwest. It is also noted in the lists of Best Education schools and Best Health Programs. The school is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Class sizes in the institution are fairly evenly divided between those with less than 20 students and those with less than 49 students.

Chicago State University Accreditation Details

The university is accredited by the following agencies:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
  • Professional Abuse Professional Certification Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • Council for Social Work Education
  • ACBSP
  • NCATE
  • Other accreditations by program and department

Chicago State University Application Requirements

Students applying as first-time freshmen should complete either the Common Application or the Chicago State University application online and submit it along with the $25 non-refundable fee and other required documents through the online portal. Documents include official high school transcripts, official SAT or ACT test scores, a recommendation from a teacher or counselor and a personal essay. The procedure is identical for transfer students except that they must submit transcripts from all colleges and college work they have completed. Graduate students submit two applications: one to the graduate school and one to the program they wish to enter. There is also a $30 application fee. They must request transcripts from all institutions they have attended and any other documents required from individual programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for resident on-campus undergraduates is $294 per credit hour for one-to-eleven credits, which is a full course load. Room and board for resident students is estimated at $6,543 for two terms, depending upon the plans selected. There are also mandated fees, books and personal expenses. Non-resident tuition is $584 per credit hour for undergraduate students. Graduate tuition is $299 per credit hour plus applicable fees and other expenses for general studies. Doctoral tuition is $316 per credit hour and pharmacy tuition is $999 plus applicable fees. There is a fee of $50 per credit hour for distance education as well.

Most students find paying for their college educations is difficult, even at a state university like CSU. There are several scholarships available funded by the state and by school endowments. Chicago offers a TANF scholarship to students from families with demonstrable extreme financial need. That fund depends upon money available and varies. There is also a Title IV scholarship that can be used to meet expenses after the federal grants and loans are applied. The first step in accessing this help is completing the FAFSA form. Although these may be filled out by hand, it is much more expedient to access them online and most schools prefer this method. The federal program calculates the amount a student and his family can be expected to contribute toward the expense of attending the school of his choice and then awards grants like the Pell Grant and SEOG, subsidized and unsubsidized loans such as the Stafford and work-study opportunities for programs funded by the government but administered through the school.

Chicago State University also offers merit scholarships based on academic excellence, departmental scholarships and grants and scholarships funded by private individuals with differing requisites. Corporations, private institutions and community service organizations also provide scholastic assistance. These resources can be researched online. In addition, there are student loans available from many lending institutions that feature low interest and deferred repayment options.

Online Degrees Available

There are several degrees available through distance learning at Chicago State University. These offer the flexibility of personal scheduling and learning at individual pace. There is an additional fee of $50 per credit hour for distance classes. Students set up a webpage through which they can access their grades, assignments, forums, professors and advisors. One such degree is the Master of Science in Technology and Performance Improvement. This degree, also called the MSTPIS, can be completed in 33 credit hours. Students from any educational background may enroll, which means this course can fortify any professional teaching license. It may be completed on a thesis basis or with a final project, and in a Human Performance or an Information and Communication Track. Sample classes include Performance Management, Instructional Technology, and Training and Development.

Another online offering at CSU is the Master of Education in Physical Education. This degree is a 34 credit-hour program that features 25 required courses and electives plus either a thesis or a capstone project. Students in this major can become licensed to teach physical education in grades K-12. Sample classes in the degree program are childhood and adolescent psychology, a study of human function and anatomy and tumbling and gymnastics. Students are assumed to have the background in kinesiology through baccalaureate studies. This program can also be enhanced with special certifications for younger child physical education or for secondary school programs.

Students may earn a LIS/LIMS degree online as well; this is a degree that will enable them to work in library science. This is a technologically relevant degree because it focuses on information sciences and computer skills in addition to traditional courses in library science. Students may prepare to work in school libraries, archives and records, academic libraries or even public libraries. There are three options to the degree program. Option one is for people who already have professional teaching licenses who want to add the library information specialist certification to their resume. Option two is for people who do not necessarily want to earn a master's degree but desire the certification, and option three is for those who want a teaching license and to earn the master's degree in library sciences. It is a 35 credit-hour program and includes classes such as: Introduction to Reference Services and Foundations of Informational Systems.

Whether students earn their degrees online or in a traditional classroom, Chicago State University offers innovative and sound programs top prepare them for relevant careers and professions in today's world.