2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog

University Profile

Western Illinois University serves approximately 13,000 students in the heart of the Midwest through its traditional, residential four-year campus in Macomb, IL (population 20,000) and its non-residential, metropolitan campus in the Quad Cities/Moline, IL (QC population 376,000; Moline population 44,000). WIU’s friendly, accessible, nurturing campus communities are dedicated to higher values in higher education and are comprised of strong faculty, state-of-the-art technology and facilities, and a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities for students and staff. Committed to empowering students through the opportunity to earn a high quality education that is also affordable, WIU’s GradTrac and Cost Guarantee programs ensure that students can achieve their degrees within four years while paying a fixed rate for tuition, fees, and room and board. WIU remains the only university in Illinois to guarantee the cost for tuition plus fees and room and board for students over a four-year period at both the undergraduate and graduate level. WIU’s Cost Guarantee program is the model for the state’s “truth-intuition program” that has helped students control cost.

The University offers 66 undergraduate degree programs and 37 graduate degree programs. Approximately 83 percent of WIU students are undergraduates and 17 percent are graduate students. The curriculum includes the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, business, education, and a number of pre-professional and technical fields of study. Although students primarily come from Illinois, over 1,000 are from out of state, and approximately 350 are international students. Between July 2009 and June 2010, 2,356 students completed undergraduate degree requirements.


Providing excellent instruction is the highest priority of the University’s 731 faculty members. The faculty is responsible for 95 percent of the total student credit hours earned at the undergraduate level with graduate teaching assistants contributing the remaining 5 percent. As a group, full professors devote approximately 90 percent of their professional responsibilities to undergraduate instruction. The on-campus ratio of students to faculty is 16:1 and the average undergraduate class size is 25. Although primarily dedicated to teaching, WIU faculty members participate in extensive research and creative activities.


The University’s system of libraries contains more than 1 million cataloged volumes, 1,000 current periodicals, 24 foreign and domestic newspapers, and access to more than 56,000 online periodicals as well as access to computer resources worldwide. IShare Online, a computerized catalog and circulation system, provides immediate access to collections of Western Illinois University and 56 other academic libraries throughout the state. In addition to the main library, there are three branch libraries on the Macomb campus: the Music Library, the Physical Sciences Library, and the Curriculum Library. The WIU-Quad Cities Library provides library services to students and faculty in Moline.

Computing Facilities

WIU provides more than 1,800 computers for use in 42 labs, 43 teaching facilities, and 20 computer resource centers throughout campus. The University also provides access to numerous software packages, the Internet, e-mail, campus information systems, and other resources. Students have access to Macintosh and Windows-compatible computers, scanners, laser printers, CD/DVD readers/writers, and Storage Area Network (SAN) accessible data storage. Thumb Introduction 7 drives or jump drives may also be used in many labs and computer resource centers.

Cultural Center

The University offers a rich variety of cultural and artistic opportunities for the citizens of west-central Illinois. The College of Fine Arts and Communication is the center of music, theatre, communication, and visual arts activities on campus and throughout the community. Students, faculty, and guest artists of the School of Music perform numerous concerts and recitals during the year. There are eight major theatrical and dance productions and more than 12 studio shows presented annually in Western’s three theatres. The Department of Broadcasting regularly schedules radio and television broadcasts. The University Art Gallery exhibits work by students and faculty as well as nationally recognized artists. The events sponsored by the Bureau of Cultural Affairs and the Performing Arts Society provide a variety of performances for targeted regional audience members of all ages.


Fifty-six buildings are situated on more than 1,000 acres in Macomb. In addition, the University operates the Alice L. Kibbe Life Sciences Station on the Mississippi River, the Frank J. Horn Field Campus, and the University Farm, which provide nearby facilities for students enrolled in agriculture; biology; and recreation, park and tourism administration courses. Western Illinois University- Quad Cities campus in Moline provides baccalaureate degree, graduate degree, and post-baccalaureate certificate programs in various disciplines, including Museum Studies courses at the Figge Museum and Engineering courses in the Caxton Building.


New students can attend Western Illinois University for about $23,000 in 2011–2012, including tuition, fees, room and board, books, and personal expenses. Financial assistance is provided for qualified students. More than 82 percent of Western’s undergraduate students receive some type of financial assistance. In 2009–2010 more than $130 million in financial assistance was distributed. Of that total, over $45 million was in the form of grants which do not have to be repaid, and $85 million was through loans and campus employment.


The main campus is located in Macomb, the McDonough County seat, 40 miles east of the Mississippi River. The city has a population of 20,000. Two U.S. highways, 136 and 67, intersect at Macomb and provide direct access to Interstates 74, 80, and 55. Rail passenger service is available twice daily from Quincy and Chicago to Macomb. Western Illinois University-Quad Cities is located in Moline, Illinois, which is approximately 70 miles north of the main campus in Macomb.

Residence Halls

Residence hall facilities provide more than 4,600 students with living and dining services. Several residence halls offer lifestyle floors such as honors, First Year Experience, major, and wellness. Grote Hall, featuring a stateof- the-art suite-style environment, is the University’s newest residence hall. All residence halls are smoke-free and wired for Internet and LAN use. Many offcampus housing possibilities, including fraternities and sororities, are open to upper division students.

Student Organizations

More than 200 student organizations on campus represent a wide range of interests. Opportunities for participatory student governance are provided by the Student Government Association, Inter-Residence Hall Council, Panhellenic Council, Student Tenant Union, Black Student Association, Introduction 8 Latin American Student Organization, International Friendship Club, and other organizations.


Western offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 20 NCAA Division I intercollegiate varsity sports (10 for men/10 for women). Football competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision through the Missouri Valley Football Conference; all other varsity sports compete at the Division I level through The Summit League. More than 50 different intramural events and a variety of sports clubs are available to Western students.

Western Illinois University-Quad Cities (WIU-QC)

Western Illinois University offers several undergraduate degree programs in Moline, Illinois, which is approximately 70 miles north of the residential campus in Macomb. Undergraduate majors are offered in the following disciplines at WIU-QC: accountancy; communication; early childhood education; elementary education; engineering; engineering technology; general studies; information systems; law enforcement and justice administration; liberal arts and sciences; management; marketing; nursing; recreation, park and tourism administration; and supply chain management. Sixteen graduate degree programs and six post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also offered at WIUQC.