Illinois State University is a top destination for transfer students. That’s because of what we offer transfer students, from academic to social to financial fit. Learn about how we make it easy to transfer to Illinois State University, including important resources and the application process.

Our students

Our student population today is 20,878, with most of our students here seeking their undergraduate degrees. Fifty-seven percent of our population is female and 43 percent is male; 27 percent of our students come from underrepresented backgrounds; and we have 47 states and US territories and 74 countries represented on our campus.

As you might have noticed, our transfer student population is significant! One in every three Illinois State students transferred here, just like you’re planning to do. And transfer students are very successful at Illinois State as well, with 45 percent of our graduating Redbirds being transfer students.

Transferring courses

Because you’re such an important part of our population, we offer some very unique resources to ensure a smooth transition. If you’re transferring from an Illinois community college, we have transfer credit guides online that show you how every course will transfer to Illinois State University. You can find these guides at

We also offer major transfer checklists. These checklists offer you a full picture of your degree on one page—from courses we recommend you take prior to transferring to what you’ll need to complete at Illinois State. You can locate these on our Academics page at

Guaranteed admission

We offer a guaranteed admission program for transfer students called Redbird Promise. You can sign up for this as early as your junior year of high school and as late as the semester before you plan to transfer. With Redbird Promise, we guarantee your admission to the University if you earn your associate of arts or science degree and maintain a 2.4 cumulative GPA. This doesn’t guarantee major admission—but this does guarantee general admission. Learn more and sign up at

These resources, along with many more, are why Illinois State is known for being a transfer-friendly institution and why we have been named to Phi Theta Kappa’s Transfer Honor Roll each year.

Our campus

While this has been who we are as a population, it’s also important to learn about and see our campus. Illinois State University is not spread throughout the state of Illinois, or throughout Bloomington-Normal; rather we have one centralized campus that everything is around. Ninety-three percent of our academic buildings are around the quad, and it doesn’t take you longer than five minutes to get from building to building. For this reason, we have just ten-minute breaks between classes, which is plenty of time to get to your next class.

University-owned housing is also located close to the campus. Whether you live on campus or off campus in an apartment, you typically don’t have a far walk!


With that, you might be wondering what our housing policy is. The University On-Campus Housing Policy requires students to live in University housing their first two years out of high school. Students who have been out of high school more than two years are exempt.

Regardless of if you’re living on or off campus, we will help you through the process of finding a roommate and a place to call home. For on-campus housing, our University Housing Services will help you through your next steps. For off-campus housing, our Dean of Students Office will help you. They offer a great apartment database, shown here, for our students to see all of our privately-owned apartment listings on one site.

Student life

You’ll meet a lot of people in your residence hall or apartment, but one of the best ways to meet people is by getting involved in registered student organizations—RSOs. We have over 400 RSOs at Illinois State so there’s bound to be one or more that interest you! In addition to meeting friends, this is how you’ll get volunteer, leadership and networking experiences, which as a sophomore, junior or senior transfer student, is important to be thinking about. Whether you transfer in the fall or spring, we will have an RSO fair during your first few weeks of class that you can attend and figure out which clubs and organizations you’d like to join.


A very important topic that you likely have a lot of questions about is cost and affordability. We’ll start with discussing aid—both needs-based and merit-based, and then what the cost actually is.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

As a transfer student, you’re likely already familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You will need to complete this each year at in order to qualify for needs-based aid. Be sure to submit your FAFSA in the preferred filing period for best consideration of available funds.


For scholarships, we encourage you to research scholarship opportunities through your community, memberships and organizations, and in the scholarship section of our Financial Aid website. We offer several transfer scholarships in the Office of Admissions, including one automatic Transfer Student Scholarship.


Tuition and fees are based on taking 30 credit hours each year. That totals $14,832 for in-state students. Room and board is based on living on campus with one roommate and having the unlimited meal plan. That totals $9,850. If you are not living on campus in University-owned housing, the only direct cost you would have is tuition and fees.

Application process

Our application for admission is online at Depending on when you want to transfer, the preferred filing application period and deadline will differ. You can find your deadlines on the Admissions website.

To review you for admission, we require a completed application and official college transcripts from every college attended. If you have less than 24 established credit hours at the time of application, we will also review your high school credentials to make our admission decision and would require your high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores.

All of our majors have different transfer admission requirements—the minimum GPAs for admission vary from major to major; some have required courses, some do not. You can review the specific admission requirements for your major on our Academics website at

Next steps

Once you are admitted, we’ll send you all of your next steps! Some of the key next steps are:

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Office of Admissions. We are here to help you! Have a great day and go Redbirds!