Eastern Illinois University is a public comprehensive university that offers superior, accessible undergraduate and graduate education. An enrollment of nearly 12,000 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.

Eastern Illinois University is located in east central Illinois, conveniently located within a 200-mile radius of Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. The attractive 320-acre campus has one of the lowest crime rates among all public universities in the state and nationwide.

Student graduation and retention rates are well above state and national averages, and that success continues after students earn their degrees – year after year, Eastern Illinois University ranks high in job placement, alumni satisfaction and employer satisfaction.

Eastern Illinois University also has a rich tradition of preparing students to accomplish their life goals through a great combination of quality academics and personal relationships. Consistently ranked in the top tier of Midwest colleges and universities in its class by U.S. News and World Report, Eastern is also one of the Princeton Review’s Best Midwestern Colleges.

The Eastern Illinois University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has a rich tradition that dates back to its inaugural football team taking the field only three weeks after the first student body was admitted to the university in the fall of 1899.

Since then, the athletics department has grown to encompass 21 sports at the NCAA Division I level (FCS football). The department began competing as an NAIA member before joining the NCAA ranks as a Division II member and ultimately participating at the highest level of the Division I ranks in the early 1980’s as it does today.

The Panthers have also commemorated many of its accomplishments since beginning intercollegiate play, highlighted by their ‘Celebration of 100 Years of Men’s Basketball’ on March 2, 2010.

On November 14-15, 2008, Eastern Illinois University also recognized the women who paved the way for today’s female student-athletes with its “Pioneers in Women’s Athletics’ celebration. Nearly 400 former female student-athletes were honored during a weekend of events.

Over the years, the Panthers have seen unparalleled success both on and off the field. By 2011, Eastern Illinois University has had nearly 40 student-athletes earn Academic All-American honors in addition to having over 300 All-Americans. During this same time span, the Panthers have also captured six national championships while having 28 individual national champions.

Eastern Illinois University is home to seven Olympians and two Super Bowl winning coaches in the NFL. More than 120 former student-athletes who have called Eastern Illinois University home have had professional careers in their respective sports after their playing days in Charleston concluded.

Eastern Illinois University has a strong alumni presence in the NFL, including alumnus Tony Romo, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys; Sean Payton, head coach of the 2010 Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints; and Mike Shanahan (who previously coached Denver to two Super Bowl championships), head coach of the Washington Redskins. Eastern Illinois University is also proud of our many alumni serving as assistant coaches in the NFL.

Other notable Eastern Illinois University alumni include former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar; actors Burl Ives, Jerry Van Dyke, Joan Allen and John Malkovich; UFC champion Matt Hughes; Metropolitan Opera tenor Matthew Polenzani; Illinois and National Teacher of the Year Joe Fatheree; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ted Gregory; Jimmy John's founder and chairman of the board Jimmy John Liautaud; ESPN radio personality John Jurkovic; former CNN sports anchor Larry Smith; former professional athletes Kevin Duckworth, Marty Pattin, Kevin Seitzer and Jeff Gossett; animal advocate Joan Embery;