Southern Illinois University Edwardsville traces its origin to a farsighted group of concerned parents and business leaders in the community. In 1955, the group began an advocacy campaign to establish a public university. By 1956, they had formed the Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education. Convinced that public higher education opportunities were needed in the Metro-East portion of the greater St. Louis area, the Council aggressively lobbied state officials and commissioned a consultant study to document that need. The college opened in 1957. Today, fulfilling the dreams of the Council, SIUE is a premier Metropolitan University, offering a broad choice of degrees and programs ranging from liberal arts to professional studies.
Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in the arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, and nursing. Professional degrees are available in dental medicine and pharmacy. SIUE offers a variety of fully online programs at all levels.