Colleges and Universities in Chicago

Learn About the Colleges and Universities in and Around Chicago, Illinois

University of Chicago
University of Chicago. josh.ev9 / flickr

As the third largest city in the United States, Chicago has a lot to offer college students. Options for higher education are extensive and range from large public universities to small private colleges. The list below presents the majority of four-year non-profit colleges within a fifteen-mile radius of downtown. I have left off a few extremely small and/or specialized institutions.

Chicago has a sizable downtown area. For the purposes of this article, I've measured distances from City Hall in the middle of the Chicago Loop.

01
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Chicago State University

Chicago State University
Chicago State University. Zol87 / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 13 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Enrollment: 4,767 (3,462 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: founded in 1867; popular undergraduate majors in business, criminal justice, and psychology; member of the NCAA Division I Western Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Chicago State University Profile 
02
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Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago. afunkydamsel / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 1 mile
  • School Type: private arts and media college
  • Enrollment: 8,961 (8,608 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: popular film and video programs; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; campus spread out in the city's South Loop
  • Learn More: Columbia College Chicago Profile 
03
of 19

Concordia University Chicago

River Forest, Illinois
River Forest, Illinois. David Wilson / Flickr
  • Location: River Forest, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 10 miles
  • School Type: private liberal-arts university affiliated with the Lutheran church
  • Enrollment: 5,229 (1,510 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: extensive masters degree programs; average undergraduate class size of 17; competes in the NCAA Division III Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference with 14 sports
  • Learn More: Concordia University Chicago Profile
04
of 19

DePaul University

DePaul University
DePaul University. puroticorico / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 4 miles to the main Lincoln Park Campus; < 1 mile to the Loop Campus
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Enrollment: 23,539 (15,961 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: largest Catholic university in the U.S.; strong service learning programs and an emphasis on hands-on learning; member of the NCAA Division I Big East Conference.
  • Learn More: DePaul University Profile 
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for DePaul Admissions
05
of 19

Dominican University

Dominican University
Dominican University. Dominican University / Flickr
  • Location: River Forest, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 12 miles
  • School Type: comprehensive private Roman Catholic university
  • Enrollment: 3,696 (2,272 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features:11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; over 50 areas of study; 30-acre campus in a residential area; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • Learn More: Dominican University Profile 
06
of 19

East-West University

East-West University
East-West University. Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 1 mile
  • School Type: small, private college with a focus on both liberal arts and sciences and professional fields
  • Enrollment: 539 (all undergraduate)
  • Distinguishing Features: low tuition for a private university; diverse student body and faculty; high percentage of international students
  • Learn More: East-West University Website
07
of 19

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology. John Picken / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 3 miles
  • School Type: comprehensive research university with a science and engineering focus
  • Enrollment: 7,792 (2,989 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: 120-acre campus located adjacent to U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox; rich history dating to 1890; popular architecture program
  • Learn More: Illinois Institute of Technology Profile 
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for IIT Admissions
08
of 19

Loyola University Chicago

Dumbach Hall at Loyola University Chicago
Dumbach Hall at Loyola University Chicago. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
09
of 19

Moody Bible Institute

Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute. Son of thunder / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 1 mile
  • School Type: private evangelical Christian college
  • Enrollment: 3,922 (3,148 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: religiously focused academics; located adjacent to the city's business district; branch campuses in Spokane, Washington, and Plymouth, Michigan; low tuition
  • Learn More: Moody Bible Institute Profile 
10
of 19

National Louis University

National Louis University
National Louis University. TonyTheTiger / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: < 1 mile
  • School Type: private university with a focus on professional fields
  • Enrollment: 4,384 (1,306 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: enviable location in the Chicago Loop; numerous part-time and online options for continuing education students; free admission to the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Learn More: National Louis University Profile
11
of 19

North Park University

North Park University
North Park University. auntjojo / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 8 miles
  • School Type: private evangelical Christian university
  • Enrollment: 3,159 (2,151 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: distinctly Christian identity; affiliation with the Evangelical Covenant Church; 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; multicultural emphasis; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • Learn More: North Park University Profile 
12
of 19

Northeastern Illinois University

Ronald Williams Library at Northeastern Illinois University
Ronald Williams Library at Northeastern Illinois University. James~Quinn / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 9 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Enrollment: 9,891 (8,095 undergraduate)
  • Distinguishing Features: 67-acre campus in a residential neighborhood; diverse student body; students from over 100 countries; 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio; over 70 official clubs and organizations
  • Learn More: Northeastern Illinois University Profile 
13
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Northwestern University

Northwestern University Campus
Northwestern University Campus. Adam Solomon / Flickr
14
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Robert Morris University Illinois

robert-morris-illinois-Zol87-wiki.jpg
Robert Morris University Illinois. Zol87 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: < 1 mile
  • School Type: private college with an equal proportion of associate degree and bachelor degree students
  • Enrollment: 3,056 (2,686 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: high graduation rate; focus on professional fields such as business, health, and culinary arts; numerous branch campuses including Springfield, Lake County and Peoria
  • Learn More: Robert Morris University Illinois Website
15
of 19

Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University
Roosevelt University. Ken Lund / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 1 mile
  • School Type: comprehensive private university
  • Enrollment: 5,352 (3,239 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: located in the South Loop by Grant Park; new Wabash Building features 17 floors of student housing; NAIA athletic teams
  • Learn More: Roosevelt University Profile 
16
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Saint Xavier University

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: 17 miles
  • School Type: private Roman Catholic university
  • Enrollment: 3,949 (2,998 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: oldest Catholic university in Chicago (founded in 1846); 109-acre campus in southwest Chicago; 50 student clubs and organizations; NAIA athletic programs
  • Learn More: Saint Xavier University Profile 
17
of 19

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago. jcarbaugh / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Distance from Downtown Chicago: < 1 mile
  • School Type: private school of art and design
  • Enrollment: 3,591 (2,843 undergraduates)
  • Distinguishing Features: located in the Chicago Loop; classes are supported by a 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; no letter grades for classes
  • Learn More: School of the Art Institute of Chicago Profile
18
of 19

University of Chicago

University of Chicago
University of Chicago. josh.ev9 / flickr
19
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University of Illinois at Chicago

Courtyard Student Residence at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Courtyard Student Residence at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin