Concordia University - Chicago

7400 Augusta, River Forest, IL 60305-1499

School Details

Lutheran Church settlers founded a higher learning institution based on Christian principles in order to educate prospective teachers by the mid-eighteenth century. In 1864, this teacher’s school relocated to Addison, Illinois, and this date marks the founding of Concordia University Chicago. Operated by the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, the campus moved once more, to River Forest, in 1913. By the end of the century, the institution transitioned into a liberal arts school and officially adopted the title Concordia College. Growth and expansion continued, as the College evolved into Concordia University. Today, the private, 4-year Concordia University Chicago maintains ties to a larger network of Lutheran colleges, organized by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The University retains additional programmatic accreditations by agencies, such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, and the National Association of Schools of Music. CUC also maintains affiliations with a number of organizations, some of which include The Chicago Consortium of Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and the Council of Graduate Schools.

CUC celebrates diversity on the 40-acre campus, located in River Forest, Illinois. More than 5,400 students attend the University, including approximately 1,500 undergraduate and nearly 4,000 graduate students. 60 percent of undergraduates students are white, while Latino, African-American, and Asian students make up another 34 percent of the student body. Additionally, students from 12 different countries and almost 20 states are enrolled at CUC. The average student class size is 20 with a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. 

The physical campus features 21 buildings, including a recently constructed teaching facility that supports early childhood education programs, along with teaching labs and classrooms. The Krentz Center sponsors productions held in its Bergmann Theatre and The Chapel of Our Lord/Clara and Spencer Werner Auditorium hosts worship services and other college events. Additionally, the college houses the Klinck Memorial Library holding over 800,000 works, and the Geisemann Gymnasium supports athletic activities. The campus encourages extracurricular activities, including participation in NCAA division III athletics, a large array of clubs and organizations, along with worship programs and service learning opportunities.

Students at Concordia University Chicago can complete undergraduate to Doctorate degrees, in addition to certificate programs. CUC offers more than one hundred programs of study, focusing on fields in the arts and sciences, business, and education. Degree programs are housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Business, and the College of Graduate and Innovative Programs.

Undergraduate degrees include:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students desiring a Bachelor’s degree can opt to enroll in numerous programs, including degrees in Art Education, Marketing, Biology, Management, Nursing, Pre-Seminary, and Pre-Law, among many other choices.

Graduate degrees include:

  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Church Music
  • Doctor of Education

Fields of study for Master’s degree programs range from Christian Education and Church Music to majors in Sports Leadership and Early Childhood Education. Students can also pursue degrees that will lead to professions in human services and counseling.  Doctorate programs include degrees in Education, Early Childhood Education, Leadership, Leadership: Sports Management, School Leadership, and Teacher Leadership.

Furthermore, working professionals and students requiring added flexibility can further their education through Concordia University Chicago’s online degree and distance education programs, housed in the College of Graduate and Innovative Programs. Students can enroll in the Accelerated Bachelor’s degree programs, including Bachelor of Arts degrees in Healthcare Management, Organizational Management, and Sports and Recreation Management. These online programs engage students via asynchronous assignments and discussions, and students focus on one class at a time, per five-week sessions. Students have 18 months to complete their accelerated degree.

CUC also offers a wide range of online graduate programs, including:

  • Master’s in Education and Leadership - Students can pursue 12 different programs ranging from Curriculum and Instruction to Educational Administration and Educational Technology.
  • Master’s in Arts and Humanities - Students can obtain MA degrees in Grant Writing, Management &  Evaluation or Religion, or students can opt for the MS in Applied Exercise Science degree.
  • MBA Program - Students can focus solely on the MBA program, or enroll in concentrated studies like Accounting, Banking and Financial Institutions, Chief School Business Official, Health Care Management, Not-for-Profit Management, and more.
  •  Doctoral Program - Students complete an EdD/PhD, Leadership degree that offers eight different concentrations, ranging from Educational Leadership and Higher Education to Reading, Language & Literacy and Sports Leadership.

Online certificate and endorsement programs are also available, including the Chief School Business Official, ESL, and Technology Specialist programs.

The Self-Paced/Correspondence Study program offers another option for added convenience. Students complete coursework that mirrors that of on-campus classes. Three-hour courses typically include 20 lessons, a midterm, and final exam. Rather than participate in a class, students complete courses as individuals, at their own pace. Currently, students can choose from multiple classes in the fields of anthropology, Christian education, economics, English, history, mathematics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

CUC supports financial aid programs and 100 percent of full-time undergraduate students receive financial assistance in some form. Aid packages for qualifying students include scholarships, grants, and loans. Institutional scholarships include merit-based and departmental awards. Students may also access federal and state grants, including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant, or the Illinois Monetary Award Program, in addition to participating in Federal Work Study. Loans include the Federal Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal PLUS Loans, and alternative loans.

Concordia University Chicago also recognizes the service of military personnel and supports multiple financial aid programs to further education. Benefits for eligible active duty service members, veterans, and dependents include Tuition Assistance, the Tuition Assistance “Top-Up” Program, the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty & Veteran aid programs.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    4-year, Private not-for-profit
  • Religious Affiliation:

    Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Doctor's degree
  • Total Enrollments:
  • Adult Age Enrollments:
  • Percent Admitted:
  • Calendar System:



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