Illinois State University, founded in 1857, is the oldest public university in Illinois. Illinois State is a co-educational, residential university that emphasizes undergraduate study with almost 21,000 students. Its 34 academic departments in six colleges offer 63 undergraduate programs in more than 160 fields of study.
The Graduate School coordinates 38 masters, two specialist, and seven doctorial programs. Illinois State University is committed to fostering a small-college atmosphere with large-university opportunities and promoting the highest academic standards in teaching, scholarship, and community service.
Illinois State University is located in the growing twin cities of Bloomington and Normal, with a population of approximately 125,000, conveniently located approximately two hours from both Chicago and St. Louis. The community is home to GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, State Farm Insurance International Headquarters, Mitsubishi Motors North America Manufacturing Division, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln College, and Heartland Community College.
The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime. Forbes magazine, in a review of the best places for business, ranked Bloomington-Normal the 15th best place for business out of 168 small metros listed. Bloomington was also recently placed on CNNMoney's list of the 100 Best Places to Live. Expansion Management Magazine rated Bloomington-Normal as one of two metro areas with a five-star quality of life, giving the community high rankings in such areas as standard of living, quality of schools, traffic, and commute.
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