For well over a century, EIU has been hard at work building a rich tradition of providing its students a combination of quality academics and solid personal relationships.

EIU History

Eastern Illinois University was established as Eastern Illinois State Normal School in 1895 by the Illinois General Assembly. In response to growth and change, the institution became Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1921, Eastern Illinois State College in 1947 and Eastern Illinois University in 1957. The university grants bachelor’s, master’s and specialist’s degrees.

Mission Statement

Eastern Illinois University is a public comprehensive university that offers superior, accessible undergraduate and graduate education. Students learn the methods and results of free and rigorous inquiry in the arts, humanities, sciences and professions, guided by a faculty known for its excellence in teaching, research, creative activity and service. The university community is committed to diversity and inclusion and fosters opportunities for student-faculty scholarship and applied learning experiences within a student-centered campus culture. Throughout their education, students refine their abilities to reason and to communicate clearly so as to become responsible citizens and leaders.

About our Campus


Board of Trustees

EIU is independently governed by its Board of Trustees, which oversees all aspects of the institution. Seven of the board's eight members are appointed by the governor to six-year terms and one student representative is elected annually by the student body. While it has served as the primary authority over the university's operations since its inception in 1996, the Board of Trustees also embraces shared governance. Faculty, staff and students all provide advisory participation.

EIU History Facts

  • When established in 1895, EIU was known as Eastern Illinois State Normal School. Name changes to Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (1921) and Eastern Illinois State College (1947) followed before the Illinois General Assembly assigned its current designation in 1957.

  • At one time, the Livingston C. Lord Administration Building, better known as Old Main, was the lone building on campus and accommodated all educational and administrative needs. It contained offices, classrooms, laboratories, model school rooms, an auditorium, a library and a museum.

  • Eastern Illinois University's first homecoming celebration took place in 1915. Of the school's nearly 500 alumni at that point, more than half were able to return to Charleston for the festivities.

Academic Excellence

Among comparable universities in the Midwest, EIU has a reputation as one of the best. With our experienced, accomplished faculty, a wide variety of degree programs, typically excellent marks in job placement, high alumni satisfaction rates, and well above-average graduation and retention rates, this reputation is well-deserved.

Core Values


We uphold excellence in all we do, striving to create and uphold university standards in all aspects of education.


We value personal relationships, and we strive to strengthen the personal experience at Eastern for all whom we serve.


We believe in the accessibility of an Eastern education as well as the opportunities this education creates for our graduates.


We support service to each other along with service to our community, region, state, nation and world.


Faculty & Student Research


SEED Center

Academic Excellence by the Numbers

98% - Classes taught by faculty members.
93% - Classes containing fewer than 40 students.
96% - Alumni satisfaction rate after one year.
98% - Alumni satisfaction rate after nine years.

Student Research in Action

catfish tracking

Sustainable Energy

Phonological Awareness

EIU Academic Facts

  • EIU is the top-rated public regional university in Illinois and ranked No. 4 in the 12-state Midwest Region according to the latest U.S. News and World Report college rankings.

  • In 2013, 98 percent of first-year teachers who were EIU graduates were "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the overall quality of their EIU teacher education program; 92 percent of principals rated their EIU first-year teachers as "extremely" or "mostly" prepared to be a successful new teacher.

  • EIU's Communication Disorders and Sciences' students successfully pass national (100 percent) and state (100 percent) certification exams for professional practice, resulting in a 100 percent employment rate.

  • Athletic Training has been accredited longer than any other Athletic Training program in Illinois. Partnerships with Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and EIU’s Health Services ensure that students receive a medical/clinical experience that far exceeds those provided by other programs in the state.

  • 98 percent of our classes are taught by faculty.

  • Eastern has more students accepted as presenters at the National Council on Undergraduate Research conference than any other Illinois public university.

  • We embrace new technologies and work hard to implement them into the EIU experience; during the 2013-14 academic year, our students earned 19,030 technology-delivered credit hours.

  • EIU hosted 31 camps and conferences, providing non-credit and professional development coursework to nearly 2,800 individuals and generating $68,592 in revenue.

Global Competition &
Changing Demographics

Higher education is a global endeavor, with the goal of advancing knowledge to the benefit of all humankind. EIU is a vital partner in that endeavor, with its programs involving faculty, staff and students from across the globe.

Study Abroad

The benefits of studying out of country can be extraordinary, which is why our Office of Study Abroad works diligently to facilitate these expeditions for students of all types and majors. Participants can spend anywhere from a few weeks to multiple semesters in countries all across the globe, each returning with unique experiences and a new perspective on the world around them.


International Student Initiative


Official Fall 2014 enrollment revealed a 29 percent increase in Eastern’s international student enrollment – from 211 to 273. With 46 countries represented, this is the highest number of international students in EIU history. The largest areas in terms of international student enrollment are currently technology, business, economics and sustainable energy.

Looking to expand university relations with China, EIU President Bill Perry signed a letter of intent with Dalian University, China, in October 2014. While in China, he, along with three other EIU administrators, discussed possible relations with Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. Such relationships would not only bring more international students to Eastern, but could also provide added study abroad opportunities for EIU students and faculty.

Eastern currently has agreements with four other universities across China, including Linyi, Hankou, Zhejiang and Shenyang universities. This all ties into the university's strategic plan, which calls for global competition and changing demographics.

Emerging Technologies

From classroom technology to scientific advances, EIU’s commitment to the cutting-edge is unquestionable and evident through the work being done here on a daily basis.


Technology advances at a breakneck pace, and Eastern recognizes the need for its students and faculty to keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape. Whether its EIU students getting to use the largest privately owned telescope in the world, using laser technology to better understand physics, or utilizing online and technology-enhanced classes, Eastern is making the effort to keep up with the times.




Expand your horizons and change your perspective. benefit from experiences beyond your imagination.

Campus & Community Life

Academics are our priority, but we afford our students opportunities to get much more out of their time at EIU. We facilitate extensive community service options, offer a variety of cultural arts experiences and offer a full range of NCAA Division I athletics.


Eastern Illinois University continues to build its reputation for community service; over 80 percent of Eastern students participate in volunteerism during their time in Charleston, logging more than 140,000 hours of service in our communities during the previous academic year. PLAY (our after-school network program) serves 300+ youth a week and we work in six different locations throughout Coles County.

Service in Action


Eastern Illinois University's NCAA Division I athletic programs enjoyed another banner year in 2013-14, both in terms of athletic success and academic success. Athletically, the Panthers placed second in the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner's Cup, giving the Panthers three first-place finishes and two runner-up places in the five years the Cup has been awarded. The OVC Commissioner’s Cup is the annual award that acknowledges a member institution's overall success in OVC-sponsored sports competition. EIU advanced to its 15th NCAA FCS playoff, earning the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and hosting home playoff games for the second round and quarterfinal round.


Jimmy Garoppolo

NCAA Pole Vault Success

Graduation Success

Real Panthers Wear Blue!

Eastern Illinois University isn't just a school that happens to be located in Charleston ... it's a part of the Charleston community! We want that entire community to take pride in the great things we do here, not just the students, staff and faculty who make up the campus community.

That's what Real Panther Wear Blue Fridays are all about! It's a chance for everybody -- from the people in the classrooms to the people living and working every day in Charleston -- to show off their Panther Pride!


The Doudna Fine Arts Center is one of Eastern’s most unique architectural landmarks, boasting several arts venues and corridor art galleries. The Doudna (as it's known on campus) houses EIU’s departments of art, music and theatre arts.

What's more, the university is also home to the Tarble Arts Center, a major cultural arts resource serving east-Central Illinois. Its founding purpose is "to take the arts to the people." The Tarble presents a year-round schedule of visual arts, lectures and demonstrations by artists and speakers as well as performing arts presented in a gallery atmosphere.

Students have an opportunity to have their lives changed at EIU. As faculty and staff members, we believe that opportunity is what makes it exciting to be here.

Financial Sustainability

State funding is playing an increasingly less significant role in funding at EIU, but we’ve taken a proactive approach to ensure the university’s fiscal health without sacrificing the academic excellence for which it is known.

Scholarship Campaign

Scholarships have become a major area for support as donors recognize their need as a top university priority. More than 200 new scholarships were created during the “EI&U: Expect Greatness” campaign that concluded in October 2012, and an additional 81 — 51 endowed and 30 annual — have since been established, putting the university’s ongoing scholarship drive (100 new scholarships by June 30, 2017) significantly ahead of schedule. “Our donors know a gift to support an EIU student is a positive investment,” says Bob Martin, vice president for university advancement.

Year In Review

Straight Record-Setting Fundraising Year
Gifts, Pledges and Planned Gifts for FY14
Goal (by 6/30/2017) for Scholarship Mini-Campaign
Scholarships Already Created in Mini-Campaign

Sandra & Jack Pine Honors College

Sandra and Jack Pine met at Eastern, graduated from Eastern, and have continued to support Eastern long since marrying and moving on to their successful professional lives.

Because of that ongoing generosity -- which specifically supports honors students majoring in physics, chemistry or mathematics -- it's quite fitting for the Honors College at EIU to now be known as the Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College.

Program Analysis

At Eastern Illinois University, we know that we must continue to plan and wisely manage our resources if we are going to continue to serve the public interest. Last year, we completed our strategic plan, which contains six themes. The second of these themes is financial sustainability, and our program analysis is a key part of that effort.

Step 1

The first step in this process was the appointment of the Steering Committee for Program Analysis, a university-level committee charged with developing an analysis to assist the university in making budget decisions.

Step 2

The academic year was used to conduct a study and analysis. The steering committee began its work October 2012. In the next year, the committee consulted with campus governance and leadership groups.

Step 3

The steering committee provided a report to the president of the university in May 2013. Representatives from Eastern's shared governance groups made up the membership of this steering committee.

Step 4

The steering committee’s final report provided guidance for future fiscal decisions, consistent with our strategic plan imperatives of academic excellence, financial sustainability and global competition.

Funding Distribution

FY '02
FY '12
FY '13
FY '14

"I continue to be amazed at the generosity of EIU alumni. Their support is most appreciated, and is a strong indication of how much they care about their alma mater." - BOB MARTIN, VICE PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT

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