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University of Illinois, Springfield

Campus: Springfield, Illinois / Peoria, Illinois (weekend cohort program)

Type: Public

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost (NR): $23,580 (Peoria cohorts pay a convenience surcharge)

Per Credit Hour (NR): $655

Base Program Cost (R): $11,160 (Peoria cohorts pay a convenience surcharge)

Per Credit Hour (R): $310

Minimum Credit Hours: 36

GMAT Required: Yes

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months / 21 months

Online Concentrations: None

On Campus Requirement: Yes, both programs require significant on-campus participation

School Site: Online MBA Overview | Tuition | Financial Aid


The University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS) offers an outstanding university education through its four colleges: Business and Management, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Public Affairs and Administration, and Education and Human Services. UIS’s broad range of graduate programs includes such diverse fields as communication, biology, computer science, public administration, and environmental studies.

Among these is its highly regarded and flexible MBA degree, which allows students to choose between working at their own pace or participating in an accelerated cohort program. With an MBA in hand, graduates can parlay the skills and knowledge they earned in the program into rewarding business careers.


UIS’s MBA program boasts accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Having rigorous standards for academics, scholarship and leadership, only the top business programs earn AACSB accreditation. A degree from an AACSB accredited institution demonstrates that the graduate has the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the business world.


UIS offers a generalist MBA degree that is sufficiently versatile to augment a wide variety of business professions including marketing, finance, information systems, management, and accounting. All students are required to take a core curriculum that includes classes in finance, accounting, management, and information technology.

Students who choose the Peoria option enroll as cohorts, whereby a group of students attend the entire program together. With its accelerated coursework, the degree is completed in 21 months; however, each semester’s classes are predetermined, and electives are unavailable.

Students attending classes at the Springfield campus have more options, including choosing from a selection of electives based upon four business tracks: entrepreneurship, human resource management, business process management, and information technology project management. Graduate certificates are available for each of these elective tracks, and many of the elective classes are offered in an online format.

Graduates of the UIS MBA program have built successful careers in a variety of industries, including banking, energy, insurance, government, healthcare, and agriculture. Ameren, Caterpillar, Wells Fargo, Archer Daniels Midland Co., Memorial Health System, and the State of Illinois number among the employers of UIS MBA alums.


Whether enrolling in the Peoria cohort or the Springfield on-campus program, students must meet certain entrance requirements prior to admission as follows:

  • GMAT score of at least 400 or evidence of substantial experience and responsibility
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.0; 2.5 is preferred
  • Three letters of reference
  • Current resume
  • Career goals essay

In addition, UIS’s rigorous program requires students to complete two prerequisite courses as follows:

  • Administrative Uses of Accounting (ACC 311)
  • Economics for Administration (ECO 315)

Students enrolling as Peoria cohorts must have completed these courses prior to beginning the program, while those in the Springfield program may complete them concurrently with their MBA coursework. Equivalent courses taken at another institution within five years of enrollment may meet the prerequisite.

Applications for the Springfield program are accepted year-round, although they should be submitted at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the first semester desired. Those who wish to attend the Peoria MBA program must have their applications submitted no later than April 1st in order to begin with the cohort the following fall semester.

A non-refundable $60 graduate application fee ($75 for international students) must be submitted along with the application for admission.

Applicants are typically notified of acceptance within three to four weeks after submission of a complete application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available, and those who desire it should complete a FAFSA (UIS’s Federal School Code is 009333) and submit it as soon as possible after applying to the program. The Office of Financial Assistance at UIS recommends students obtain a U.S. Department of Education PIN and electronically sign with that for faster FAFSA processing. UIS’s deadline for processing financial aid for Spring 2014 is April 15, 2014. Students who successfully apply early can expect excess funds to be disbursed into their bank accounts by the Friday prior to the start of the semester.

Some students need or choose to borrow private student loans in order to cover the costs of attendance. UIS encourages its students to first complete a FAFSA, as Stafford and Plus federal loans generally have a lower interest rate. Regardless, students are advised that they are responsible for repayment of their student loans.