About the University
From its humble beginnings as the state’s second teachers college — founded in 1869 with only a dozen academic departments and an inaugural class of 143 – Southern Illinois University now ranks among the most comprehensive public universities in the Midwest.
Each year, we welcome students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries who take advantage of outstanding academic programs as they pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees.
Our faculty, staff and students capture well-deserved recognition for their accomplishments. Some examples:
- The Princeton Review ranks SIU as one of the Best Midwestern Universities and one of the Best Valued Colleges in the nation.
- U.S. News and World Reports ranked SIU, alongside Princeton, West Virginia and North Carolina State, as one of the top schools for graduating students with the least amount of debt.
- Our College of Business ranks among the best in the United States, with our finance department among the top 5 percent.
- The Automotive Industry Planning Council ranks our Automotive Technology Program as No. 1 in the country.
- Our aviation program has been one of the best nationally for many years, with our young pilots winning the Collegiate National Team Award five of the last six years.
- U.S. News and World Reports ranks our Rehabilitation Institute counseling program sixth in the nation. In addition, the program won the 2006 Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Education and Training from the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration.
- Our Department of Workforce Education is among the Top 10 in the country, joining Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State in that category.
- Our School of Law’s Legal Research and Writing Program tied Rutgers University for 22nd in the nation among 184 law schools.
- SIU is ranked 30th in the nation for economic diversity (enrolling undergraduates with family incomes less than $40,000 per year), joining UCLA, Kentucky, Brigham Young and others in this category.
- Less than one year after graduation, 80 percent of our graduates are employed full time.
- Our student-athletes lead our conference in overall grade point average. And they succeed in competition. Our men’s basketball team had advanced to the NCAA Tournament six straight seasons, including two trips to the Sweet Sixteen. The women’s team was Missouri Valley Conference champion in 2007. Football has been ranked in the Top 10 in the Football Championship Subdivision for the past four years. Softball has been ranked in the Top 25 in the nation for the past two years and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament five straight seasons.
- We will be undergoing more than $200 million in new construction in the next few years, including new academic buildings, a student services building and a new football stadium, creating thousands more jobs and further enhancing our campus.