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Rockford University, formerly Rockford College®, is a four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. Located in Rockford, Ill., just 90 miles northwest of Chicago, the campus spans 150 acres and includes several academic buildings, an athletic complex, 10 residence hall spaces, and several newly remodeled residence hall and gathering spaces for students.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate people to lead responsible lives by means of a curriculum grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented and extended by professional and practical experience. Through the total academic and co-curricular experience, Rockford University strives to prepare students for fulfilling lives, careers, and participation in a modern and changing global society. 

Quick Facts & Distinctions

  • Enrollment: 982 undergraduates; 222 graduate students; 1,204 total students
  • Students in attendance from 38 states
  • International student population represents 18 countries and 112 students (Fall 2020)
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10 to 1
  • Faculty: 71 full-time faculty members; a majority with terminal degrees
  • Phi Beta Kappa: one of 11 colleges in Illinois and 290 in the country with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the oldest and most prestigious liberal arts academic honor society
  • Intercultural engagement: more than 30 intercultural events sponsored annually
  • Department of State designated Exchange Visitor host site
  • “Best in the Midwest”—named by the Princeton Review
  • 2020 US News & World Report – Best Regional University: Midwest
  • One of 28 colleges and universities nationwide that participates in a program led by The Library of Congress to promote and instruct primary and secondary education teachers on how to teach using “Primary Sources
  • 25 partnership agreements with universities worldwide
  • Sister college of Kobe College Japan
  • Chinese Ministry of Education designated IGEC partner site

University Strategic Plan


Rockford University will demonstrate to all current and potential stakeholders that Rockford University is a vital resource, worthy of support and partnership.

Rockford University will optimize student support services and enrich the co-curricular experience in order to reinforce classroom learning while securing the achievement and satisfaction of all students.

Rockford University will invest in human capital and campus infrastructure in order to establish a stable environment for success in all university endeavors.

Rockford University will refine the university’s curricular offerings, providing advanced pedagogy and assessment, while meeting market demands through the filter of the university’s central mission

Rockford University Learning Expectations

  1. Knowledge – for Understanding the world
  2. Values – for Envisioning the world
  3. Skills – for Shaping the world

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Scholarships, Grants, and Other Financial Aid

Every year, Rockford University students receive more than $10 million in scholarships, grants, and other financial aid. Within that dollar amount, $2 million is provided annually in institutional scholarship aid to students who graduate from local school districts.

Academic Offerings

Notable Alumni

Rockford University alumni have accomplished and continue to accomplish some amazing and notable feats, including:

  • Earning patents for the use of ACE inhibitors to reduce the likelihood of heart attacks
  • Piloting the first test B2 Stealth Bomber
  • Serving on the Bell Labs team that invented fiber optics and the LED
  • Serving as president of ABC Studios and The CW Network
  • Testing the first artificial heart valve in humans
  • Manufacturing gears for NASA rovers to Mars
  • Serving as a US Magistrate Judge
  • Being named as Illinois and North Carolina Teachers of the Year
  • Earning the Nobel Prize for Peace

Rockford University
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Quick Fact

Released in 2014, our Regional Economic Impact Analysis quantified the added value Rockford University generates for our regional community. In total, Rockford University and our students generated an additional $118.1 million in income to the economy.