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Western Illinois University

Illinois, United States

About Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University, Illinois, USA is a public university founded in the year 1899 as Western Illinois State Normal School. Like many other schools of that era it primarily focused on teacher training for the relatively small number of students. The land for setting up the university was donated to the State of Illinois by Macomb's Freemasons. Gradually, it grew and became Western Illinois State Teachers College and finally evolved into a university through expansion in 1957.
Currently, the university offers 65 courses for undergraduates, 19 post graduate courses, 37 masters program, and two undergraduate certificate programs along with 2 programs for doctoral studies. All the courses have good number of enrolments every year and the university has expanded throughout these years with 4 colleges that provide education in 41 academic departments.

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It is located in the beautiful city of Macomb which is located in the county seat of McDonough, Illinois. It is located southwest of Galesburg and lies 75 miles southwest of Peoria and 77 miles southeast of the Quad Cities. The city was founded in the year 1830 and was named after General Alexander Macomb. The city has various events throughout the year; Macomb Balloon Rally in September is one such noteworthy event.


The university has two campuses – the main campus is located in Macomb which is spread over 1050 acres housing 53 buildings and the other campus is located in Quad-Cities. The Macomb campus has four colleges which focus on Arts & science, Business & Technology, Education & Human Services and Fine Arts & Communications, which offers various courses. Sherman Hall is the main administrative building of the university and was built during 1900-02. The hall has state-of-the-art labs, classrooms, auditorium, offices, library and many other facilities. It has a huge library system including 5 libraries, and main branch of the library named Memorial Library was built in 1975.
A walk around the Western Illinois University campus will help you understand that this university is well equipped with the necessary infrastructure where the students’ mind will get enriched with all the knowledge and exposure which he gains. Buildings like the western hall, Horrabin, Stipes, Morgan, Brophy, Tillman, Knoblauch, Sallee etc are academic buildings where general classroom lectures take place. Besides this, the campus also has lot of research facilities and centers like the Document and Publication Services as well as the Property Redistribution Center, Beu Health Center, Heating Plant etc. Besides this, the campus also contains on campus halls of residence like Bayliss, Thompson, Tanner, Olson, Grote, Corbin, Lincoln, Washington etc.

Residing Options

Campus accommodation is available and there is space for many students especially the freshmen. There are 6 residence halls which consist of furnished rooms in single or sharing basis. The rooms have basic essentials and modern amenities for student convenience. Tanner hall has tie ups with Bedloft.com which provides students affordable products for their residence hall rooms. With the room-mate matching facility, you can also choose your room mate. Though, in order to cut prices most international students including Indians prefer to take outside accommodation.
Almost 50% of the entire student population studying at the Western Illinois University prefers to stay off campus. In order to provide all kinds of help and support to such desirous of finding a place off campus, the office of Student Services provides listings of many off campus accommodations as well. This office also has the contact details of various apartment companies who are on the lookout for potential tenants. In addition to this, the Student Tenant’s Union (STU) of the university is a student led body which will also help you in your apartment search.


Macomb has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area is covered with croplands, forests and grasslands. However, the heat is okay and doesn’t take an extreme toll. Summers may range from May to September with July being the hottest. Winters last from November to February and the temperature may drop to negative. There might be snow in January.

Faculty and pedagogy

The faculty of the university is highly qualified and knowledgeable and plays a very supportive towards the students. They are engaged in various research works and also involve the students in order to prepare them for a better tomorrow. Most of the students find the teachers easy to approach and helpful.

Financial aid

Considering Indian Students and the higher dollar rates, many financial aids are provided to the students to support their education. There are many scholarships available to help deserving students and brighten their future. The Automatic Freshman WIU commitment scholarship grants aid of up to $10000 an year. Also, there are many types of other scholarship programs; but in order to get scholarship, the student need to have exceptionally good academic record with good GPA.
The Western Illinois University offers a number of Assistantship jobs to its students. Such jobs are a way of providing financial aid to the deserving candidates. Some of the different categories of Assistantship jobs offered by the University are:

  • Teaching Assistant (TA)
  • Research Assistant (RA);
  • Teaching Support Assistant (TSA);
  • Graduate Assistant (GA)
  • All these jobs entitle the students to a waiver of the tuition fees for that particular semester during which the candidate becomes an Assistant. Student fees as well as insurance costs are however excluded from the purview of such a waiver. Such tuition waiver so offered by the university is not absolute and can be revoked or cancelled if the candidate does not comply with at least two months of the term period of the contract of Assistantship.

    Jobs and placements

    The university has a Career Development Centre which guides the students on different jobs and their prospects. It prepares the students for interviews and helps them in their job search. There are many job fairs which are organized in the campus for assisting students. The placements are good and students get an average salary of nearly about $60000 per annum.


  • Mark Konkol – Pulitzer Award winning Journalist.
  • Lee Calhoun – Olympic gold medal winner
  • Bryan Cox – National Football League
  • Michael Boatman – Actor and Author
  • Robert Nardelli – Former chairman/CEO of Chrysler

  • Verdict

    According to US News and World Report, it ranks at 49th position among the public institutions. Princeton review recognized it as one of “Best in Midwest Colleges”. It is an amazing university with good academic option and provides lot to exposure through extracurricular activities. It is an amazing college for athletes. But one needs to be careful in the campus, as according to a news website, it was ranked 20 among most dangerous campuses in USA.

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