Jul 20, 2017


Located in the Midwestern United States, Illinois has a total population of 12,882,135 (2010 US Census). It borders Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. Springfield is the state capital, while Chicago is the largest city in the state and the third largest in the nation. Other major cities in Illinois include Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville and Peoria.

IllinoisIllinois has one of the largest and most diverse economies in the country. Its economy ranks fifth in the nation in terms of size. A major logistics hub, Illinois is home to the nation’s largest inland transportation port. Agriculture remains a major industry, along with food processing, manufacturing, energy, life sciences and services.

Manufacturing is the number one industry in Illinois, accounting for approximately 13 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, and employing over 577,000 workers (or nearly 10 percent of the state’s total workforce).

Top Reasons to Study in Illinois

  • Education Quality and Opportunities: Illinois is home to some of the top colleges in the nation with the University of Chicago ranked fifth overall among the nation’s best national universities, according to the 2014 US News Best Colleges in America. Other top universities include Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. Illinois has the nation’s third largest community college system, with 48 colleges providing training in 300 different careers.
  • Employment Prospects: There are 2,000+ foreign firms and over 30 Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in Illinois, including global giants like Archer Daniels Midland, Boeing, Walgreen, State Farm Insurance, McDonalds, Caterpillar and Krafts Foods. This makes the state one of the leading employment hubs in the country.
  • Quality of Life: Chicago is a world class city, with lots to offer, including plenty of green spaces, world-class sporting franchises, hundreds of music and performance venues, and over 30 museums. It offers plenty of shopping and outdoor activity options as well.

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool  to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in Illinois, contact the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Biology,Business,Psychology Public >10,000 Request Info
North Park University Business,Engineering,Family/ Consumer Sciences Private >10,000 Request Info
Lexington College Culinary Arts,Hospitality,Travel and Tourism Private >10,000 Request Info
Illinois Institute of Technology Architecture,Electrical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering Private >10,000 Request Info
University of Chicago Business,Education,Liberal Arts Private >10,000 Request Info
Loyola University Chicago Business Administration,Social Sciences,Visual/Performance Arts Private >10,000 Request Info
Columbia College Chicago Business,Communications/ Journalism,Visual/Performing Arts Private >10,000 Request Info
Western Illinois University Exercise Physiology,Journalism/ Mass Communication,Nursing Public >10,000 Request Info
Moraine Valley Community College Business,Health,Liberal Arts Public >10,000 Request Info