Chicago State University

University Without Walls B.A. /B.S.

Under this program, students use relevant learning experiences as they pursue studies for a degree at Chicago State University. They can become involved in projects on a semester by semester basis. Students may plan their programs by using a variety of approaches, including internships, work-study programs, research projects, creative endeavors in the arts, and study with acknowledged experts.

The University Without Walls Program is an innovative, alternative route to obtaining a bachelor’s degree; a route which differs in format from campus-based regular degree programs. It is innovative in that the student becomes the motivating force for the identification and actualization of degree goals.University Without Walls is primarily for students 23 years and older. It is designed to aid the adult student in obtaining a four-year undergraduate degree by providing a structure which lends itself to combining academic, theoretical learning with infield, experiential learning.

The Learning Agreement

Each student inUniversity Without Walls submits, at the beginning of each academic term, a learning agreement which lists a logical sequence of educational activities and objectives. This agreement is developed by the student with the assistance of a faculty advisor who teaches in the student’s field of interest, or a field advisor, a person who works at the student’s place of employment or volunteer internship. The agreement is, in essence, a list of the objectives for the term, which may include readings, the preparation of reports, surveys, research and compilation of data. With some exceptions, all of these activities take place outside the boundaries of a classroom; ideally, on a job site or within a volunteer internship which involves at least twenty hours per week.

TheUniversity Without Walls is not an appropriate program for licensure in a professional field such as teaching or health services. Persons desiring such credentials should apply for admission to the appropriate department or college within the university.

Courses which are available forUniversity Without Walls students are generally those with a practical orientation, such as business management, counseling, social work, criminal justice, the humanities and law enforcement, and computer science.University Without Walls students are expected to take and pass the university examinations in English, mathematics and reading as well as the examination on the state and federal constitutions. Further,University Without Walls students should expect to fulfill other university-wide requirements pertaining to the filing of graduation applications, academic deadlines, and other related tasks.

BecauseUniversity Without Walls has more rigorous check points than are normally found in a regular degree program, it can clearly be seen that University Without Walls is not for everyone. Persons who apply toUniversity Without Walls should do so with the full knowledge that in exchange for the removal of some obstacles, added responsibilities result. Students in the program should be willing to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses; to build upon these strengths and to remove some of these weaknesses. They should be willing to help identify their own educational needs; and with the help of faculty advisors, field advisors, program coordinators and by using the educational opportunities that are available at Chicago State University and in the city, learn to satisfy those needs. 

Applicants toUniversity Without Walls should be mature students who have not previously earned a baccalaureate degree and who can demonstrate that they are able to work independently, are highly motivated, and self directed. In addition, applicants should have access to a field internship which is directly related to their proposed field of academic study.

The prospective students’ meeting is required for all new students. This meeting usually takes place before the beginning of a new term. Information concerning such a meeting may be obtained from theUniversity Without Walls office. Although not absolutely necessary, prior college experience is desirable. A high school diploma recognized by the State of Illinois or its equivalent.

Program Requirements

General requirements forUniversity Without Walls’ students for graduation:

  • Formal admission into theUniversity Without Walls Program>
  • Fulfillment of the general university requirements. These requirements include, but may not be limited to, a minimum of 36 semester credit hours in general education (which may be transferred in from accredited colleges or universities, or earned through CLEP or departmental qualifying examinations where available).
  • Fulfillment of the requirements set forth in the student’s area of concentration within the program.
  • All transfer credits earned with grades A, B, C, Pass, or Credit are accepted toward the degree, if applicable. No grades of D are accepted in transfer.
  • Completion of 120 hours of college-level work.
  • No credit is given for a grade of D after admission to the program.
  • Minimum grade point average at graduation of C (2.00).
  • Successful completion of university examinations in English, and reading, and federal, state and other examinations as required. Math placement examinations are necessary for students who wish to take courses for which passing the math 099 examination is a prerequisite. Passing scores on the state and federal constitution examinations.
  • Minimum of three semesters of participation in theUniversity Without Walls Program regardless of previous professional experience or college credits earned prior to admission toUniversity Without Walls.>

The 120 credit hours must include general education requirements. All students whose initial enrollment at Chicago State University commenced with the Fall Semester 1997 must complete the following general education requirements:

36 hours in general education consisting of 6 hours in English composition, 3 hours general education math, 6 hours in the humanities (three of which must be in Fine Arts), 6 hours in natural sciences (must include one lab course) and 9 hours in social sciences (must be at least two disciplines;


The tuition fees forUWW students are the same as for any other full time Chicago State student. Illinois residents who apply toUWW a re eligible to receive Illinois state scholarships and other types of financial assistance.

The foregoing information does not provide a complete picture ofUWW at Chicago State University. Persons interested in the program should call or write theUWW office in order to find out when the prospective students meeting will take place. These meetings are intended to provide the prospective applicant with a complete understanding ofUWW f or making application for admission to the program.

For additional information about any of the Nontraditional Degree Programs, write or call: Office of Nontraditional Degree Programs Chicago State University 9501 S. King Drive / RUC 210 Chicago, Illinois 60628 773/995-2457

Professional Development and Lifelong Learning Services Offered By the Division of Continuing Education

Chicago State University is committed to meeting the diverse learning needs and interests of motivated and goal-oriented individuals.

The following units of the Division offer a wide array of services to the CSU learning community.

Continuing Professional Education and Extension Services

Services are designed to meet the credit and non-credit needs for continuing professional education of adults in locations throughout the city and state. Extension credit courses provide an excellent opportunity for the busy adult to enroll in courses scheduled at convenient times and locations. Courses may meet degree, certification or approval requirements. Continuing Professional Education workshops/seminars meet Continuing Unit (CEU/CPDU) requirements to maintain occupational licensures, or may be taken for personal or professional enrichment. Requests for program schedules should be made to theContinuing Professional Education and Extension Services at 773/995-2214 or access the schedule on the web at

Contract and Professional Development Services

Continuing education opportunities–i.e. customized non-credit and credit courses, CEU’s, and professional development certificates for employers and employees of business, industry, government, labor, social service agencies and community organizations–can be conducted on site upon request by calling the Office of Contract & Professional Development Services at 773/995-2570 and at the CSU website (www.csu/edu/ContinuingEducation/contracttraining.htm).

Through the Options Program, the university offers classes, workshops and seminars covering a wide array of interests for all ages. Included are classes in academics, computers, arts and crafts, business and vocations, dance and fitness, music, personal development, recreation and special courses for mature adults. This service unit offers the opportunity to join an active, creative community of lifelong learners. All classes are non-credit and reasonably priced.