Indiana State University


Indiana State University (ISU) is a public research university in Terre Haute, Indiana. Its 200-acre campus, which is comprised of over 60 buildings, is located near the downtown business district.

In addition to the Terre Haute campus, an outdoor teaching and learning area known as the field campus is located less than 20 miles away in the town of Brazil, Indiana.

ISU has been ranked as one of the best universities in the Midwest by several college rankings organizations, and some of its programs have received national recognition. Its business college is considered one of the best business schools in the country.

Information Summary

Ranks 36th in Indiana and 1347th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 75.3
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $23,146
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 23 / 1120
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 21 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 62% / 43%
Enrollment Total (all students) 13,044


Founded in 1865 as Indiana State Normal School, an institution created to educate teachers, ISU has existed under various names. After its continued growth and expansion and the addition of other academic programs, the school was granted university status and received its current name in 1965, one hundred years after the Normal School’s inception.


Indiana State University 2
Indiana State University


The university is comprised of six colleges and departments:

  • College of Arts and Science
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Graduate and Professional Studies
  • College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services
  • College of Technology

The university awards bachelor’s degrees, master’s degree’s, and doctoral degrees. Students may also pursue one of several pre-professional programs. Additionally, associate’s degrees are offered in criminology, liberal studies, speech-language pathology, and various technology fields. Students may choose from over 100 different majors. Popular fields of study include education, aviation, finance, business, music, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, technology, and more.

Indiana State advocates experiential learning, regardless of major, meaning that all students in all disciplines have the opportunity to actually practice their field of study rather than just read and hear about it. Popular majors and fields of study include elementary/early childhood education, criminology, communications, and systems & decision sciences. The faculty-to-student ratio is low at 1:17 and the average class size is 23.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

Some of the more unique majors offered at Indiana State include packaging technology, criminology, athletic training, human resource development, and construction technology. The Criminology program offers a choice of a 2-year or 4-year degree, and a graduate program. Areas of focus include corrections, law enforcement, security, and delinquency prevention. Internships are also available. The Department of Aerospace Technology prepares students for a career in aviation. The Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation Flight Technology, Aerospace Administration, and an Associate Degree in General Aviation Flight Technology.


Applicants for undergraduate admissions are expected to have graduated in the top 40 percent of their high school class, but students who do not meet that initial requirement may be evaluated separately and on an individual basis. Consideration is given to SAT or ACT test scores, as well as the student’s high school curriculum and grades earned in specific subjects.

The university offers the Academic Opportunity Program through the Student Academic Services Center for applicants who may not meet the admissions requirements cited above but still demonstrate some sort of potential. The Academic Services Center offers testing, programs for people with disabilities, academic advisement, and mentoring for at-risk students. There are also other programs available to incoming freshmen that make the transition to college life a little less confusing, including First-Year Seminars and Learning Communities that are tailored to address students’ particular academic interests.

Undergraduate applications are accepted through July 1 for the fall semester. In addition to the completed application form, students are required to submit an application fee along with official test scores and transcripts. Applications can be submitted online.

Prospective graduate students must provide the graduate school with a competed application and corresponding fee as well as official transcripts. Applicants to doctoral program must also a statement of intent, GRE scores, a vitae, and letters of recommendation. Specific graduate programs may also require other specific materials to apply, so students are advised to check with his or her department.

Financial Aid

Students may be eligible for financial aid to help pay for tuition, fees, textbooks, and other educational expenses. The first step students should take if they are interested in financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Financial aid may include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs.

Each year Indiana State awards more than $2 million in merit-based scholarships, ranging from awards of $1,100 to full-tuition awards. The Financial Aid office also coordinates acquisition of student, parent, and private loans, as well as consolidation loans.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3691st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Indiana.


Freshmen must reside in one of the residence halls on campus unless they live nearby with their parents, are married, or have a valid excuse that is approved by the residence life department. Students who have already lived in a residence hall for two years are exempt from this requirement.

Students are encouraged to participate in school activities outside the classroom. The university offers more than 125 student organizations and clubs, student government, residence hall groups, and media productions such as newspapers, radio, and magazines. Studies have shown that co-curricular involvement helps overall student success during college.

In addition to the numerous classroom, dormitory, and administration buildings, the university has a theater, a center for fine and performing arts, and various athletic facilities. The campus library offers electronic catalogs, interlibrary loans, and online databases in additional to physical books and documents stored on site. It is home to several special collections, including rare books, collections pertaining to Indiana, and other manuscripts and materials.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Indiana State Sycamores are an NCAA Division I school. Teams compete in the Division I Missouri Valley Conference and the Missouri Valley Conference and FCS Missouri Valley Football Conference. Intercollegiate sports include baseball, football, softball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball, track, and tennis. There is also a cheerleading squad.

The university’s athletic facilities include Hulman Center for basketball, Indiana State University Arena for volleyball, the Duane Klueh Tennis Complex, and the Eleanor Forsythe St. John Softball Complex.

ISU prides itself on the quality of its student athletes, many of whom have been recognized with the Missouri Valley Conference Academic Excellence Award for highest GPA. Various school teams have been ranked nationally for academic success.

School colors are royal blue and white, and a furry blue and white white creature known as Sycamore Sam is the current mascot.


Indiana State has had the same school colors—blue and white—since 1899. The University’s traditional symbols are the book and the torch, and are celebrated in a traditional ceremony that confirms seniors’ desire to become active alumni.

Each year on Donaghy Day, named after a respected alum, students gather to plant trees and help beautify the ISU campus.

The Tricycle Derby, in which students race on adult-size tricycles, was first held in the early 1960s. Each Spring since 1970, students ride two-seater tandem bicycles to compete in Tandem, a bike race started and organized by students.

Local Community

The town of Terre Haute is a located in West-Central Indiana on the banks of the Wabash River. Attractions include the Children’s Science and Technology Museum, Dobbs Park Nature Center, Hook Observatory, Native American Museum, and an array of historical museums.There are several parks, public golf courses, and a nature center.

Terre Haute is a major source of manufacturing, employment, service, and shopping for the western area of Indiana.


ISU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Individual programs and departments are also accredited by appropriate accrediting bodies.

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