University News

WIU Named Among Best Online Colleges in Illinois

August 21, 2017

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- According to, of the 200 colleges and universities in Illinois, 75 percent of schools offer online and distance education opportunities. Recently, recognized the Top 20 Best Online Accredited Colleges in Illinois, and Western Illinois University is among the best of the best for providing students with a variety of degree programs online.

Schools featured in the rankings demonstrate a commitment to high-quality education for their students. Quality is measured and weighted through various data points that are specific to each ranking topic. Western is one of six Illinois public institutions appearing on the Top 20 Illinois list.

WIU offers 463 online classes (320 undergraduate; 143 graduate) and seven degree programs, including the longstanding Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS), which offers students the option of obtaining their degree entirely via distance learning opportunities, or through a combination of on-campus and distance learning classes.

The newest fully online major, anthropology, will begin this fall. Students enrolled in the major will have the ability to take traditional face-to-face classes on the Macomb campus, online classes or a combination of the two to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.
This online addition to WIU's academic schedule makes it the first anthropology program in the state, and one of only a few in the nation, to offer the major online.

"In order to remain competitive, we are continually exploring flexible course delivery methods that meet students' needs, and we will continue to enhance our online offerings. This type of forward thinking will enable us to reach more students throughout the world," President Jack Thomas said.

In March 2017, College Choice, an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college, also recognized WIU as a 2017 Best Online College in Illinois.

For more information on Western's online offerings, visit

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