U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 Edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Illinois at Springfield as the best public university - Master’s category - in the state of Illinois and the fourth best public university in that category in the entire Midwest. The Master’s category includes colleges and universities that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs but only a few, if any, doctoral programs.
The prestigious rankings placed UIS at 26 on a list of 71 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region that includes, in addition to Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. UIS was ranked 4th best among the 15 public universities on the list.
“This really represents a singular moment for this institution and one toward which we’ve been building for a long time,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “We had no idea that UIS would be ranked so high and certainly didn’t expect to be ranked the best public university in our category in the entire state of Illinois and the 4th best in the Midwest. To say we’re thrilled is an understatement.”
Ringeisen said that it came as a surprise to be ranked so high particularly because it was the first time that the university was eligible for such rankings. “We were not eligible to be ranked by U.S. News until two years after we graduated our first class of freshmen,” he said. “That fact alone – being given such high marks the first time we were eligible to receive them – is particularly gratifying.”
UIS enrolled its first class of freshmen to the Capital Scholars Honors Program in fall 2001.
The rankings are based on several key measures of quality including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.
U.S. News also gave UIS a high ranking in a category called “Great Schools, Great Prices” for being among only five public universities in the Master’s category in the Midwest with students who graduate with the least debt. UIS was the 3rd best on the list with a total of 71% of its students graduating with an average debt of $12,309.
Ringeisen credited Provost Harry Berman, the deans and faculty in UIS’ four colleges, and the enrollment management staff for their tireless efforts in building the quality and reputation of the university. “These incredible rankings are a direct result of the dedication and hard work of our faculty and our academic and student affairs staffs.”
UIS offers 22 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees and one doctoral degree in Public Administration.