Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Carbondale, IL, USA

Reviews

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
3.71 Average Rating

Ally

a current student here
12 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Some of the general courses may feel like a breeze, but there are many interesting courses to choose from. I found I started to learn the most when taking classes that pertained to my major. Sure upper level courses are challenging, but they are well worth it.
Am enjoying being here
I love SIUC - it has so much to offer. You can always find something to do even if you are a scholar or love the social life. Don't be afraid to explore the area outside of campus. If you enjoy nature - check out Giant City or the Little Grand Canyon.

However, if you are used to city life, you may find Carbondale is lacking in some things that only a city can offer.
Bang for the buck
There are many scholarship opportunities available through the school, you just have to look for them. The University also treats top scholars very well!

Tuition is comparable to other state schools. Although you can find cheaper housing off campus, living in the dorms isn't that that bad - especially for the first couple years. However, I felt that the dining halls meal plans were a bit expensive, especially since I never used all of my meals.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be afraid to take a course that interests you just because it's not in your major. There are many interesting courses - ranging from bowling to wine tasting. It's okay to take a course for fun!

Get involved! You'll have an easier time transitioning if you join a group and start meeting people. We have over 200 different groups on campus so there's bound to be one you're interested in!

Thompson Point (dorms) is the place to live if you like a somewhat rural environment.

Most importantly - GO TO CLASS! This is the easiest way to keep your grades up. Don't worry - you will still have plenty of free time.
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Robbie from Mahomet, IL

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am currently going to be a senior at SIUC in Computer Engineering, and have found that the teaching in the engineering school is quite good. The classes are small enough that the teacher can get to know you personally and meet with you whenever you need. I come from the Champaign area and if I would have gone to the U of I, I probably couldn't have gotten to know my teachers personally since the class sizes are so big there.
Am enjoying being here
Carbondale is definitely no Chicago, or Champaign-Urbana for that matter, but it's a nice college town. The students make up more than half the town's population, so when students are back for the school year it seems pretty crowded around town. The great thing about Carbondale is that you can drive just a few minutes south of the University and not even realize you're near any sort of civilization. The national parks are awesome and make for a different sort of scenery that we're used to in Illinois :)
Bang for the buck
As far as tuition goes, I believe SIUC is cheaper than EIU, WIU, and NIU (comparing size of school with tuition). The recreation center is absolutely incredible, which is free for students. It is a 213,747-square-foot) building and is one of the largest of its kind in the United States on a college campus. It has a large swimming pool, one large gym with racquetball and basketball courts, and another gym including 3 length basketball courts, many racquetball courts, a tennis court, a track, a 2nd floor track that overlooks the basketball/racquetball courts, multiple weightlifting and fitness rooms, along with plenty of treadmills and elliptical machines throughout the building. SIUC also built a new football stadium which is super nice, and students are allowed to attend sporting events for free. The student center is also filled with a cafeteria (Chick Fil-a, McDonald's, etc) Starbucks, a bowling alley with pool tables, an arcade, and many places to sit and study (you'll have to discover some of those awesome study places yourself ;) ). There is a craft shop under the student center where you can go each Saturday to build things and learn how to be artsy.
Tips for prospective students
Don't buy your text books at the student center, or any kind of laptops/computer stuff for that matter. Saluki bookstore will give you the best prices on books and will buy books back for better prices than anywhere else. 710 bookstore is also okay, but I prefer Saluki bookstore, which is close to the Towers (student accommodation). You don't necessarily need a car in the Dale. I didn't have a car the first two years and I was fine. If you're a first time college student, you'll learn what it is to walk. My friends and I literally walked everywhere. It's a great way to save money and enjoy the campus with friends. Be sure to buy a bike if you don't think you can wake up early enough to walk to class. Luckily, all of my classes were very close to where I lived, but now and then you'll get a class in a building that is all the way across campus. If you don't have a bike for that you may be looking at a 15 minute walk. Also, if you plan to live in the residence halls, try to live in Thompson Point! I lived there for 2 years and loved it. It's a much different atmosphere than the Towers (there aren't thousands of people jam-packed into three, 17 story buildings). Thompson Point is much more laid back and quiet, and is right next to campus lake and a great running trail (don't swim in the lake though or else you may turn into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle). Also, I know it's hard with the excitement of starting college and the responsibility of living by yourself for the first time, but try to get involved in some sort of RSO (registered student organization). You can meet many people that way with the same interests as you. And try not to waste your time partying. It's easy at SIUC to find house parties and get into that scene, but the cops bust a party almost every weekend. There are also a ton of undercover cops at every bar, so if you're planning on going out with your friends and you're under 21, be aware that they will most likely find you! I knew of many people...
Great for these types of students
I would say that the majority of students come from Chicago, because SIUC is the farthest you can get away from home without going out of state (about five and a half to six hours away from Chicago). For me, the school is perfect in size, which is around 20,000 students. It doesn't seem overwhelming to me at all, and also doesn't seem deserted or empty. There are always students walking around, and besides meeting people in your major, it's pretty easy to meet people and make friends. The Communications building is full of artsy majors, and SIUC is an awesome school for film and other majors relating to that. It also has a good engineering school, which isn't as competitive and stressful as U of I, but still good. If you're not sure whether you'll like SIUC, come down and check out the campus!
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Aaron from Fresno, CA

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
SIUC is a great school if you are looking for a school that has countless opportunities. I have only been here for a semester and I have gotten email after email from my respective college (Education and Human Services) about different opportunities that would interest me based on my interest of study. This school always has events going on so it is really easy to find your place here on campus.
Tips for prospective students
Look at what fields the school excels in because you are going to college to get the best education you could possibly get in your field of study at a reasonable price. Also, look at what kind of clubs and support groups they have on campus to make sure you will be able to enjoy your college experience with people of like mindedness.
Academic Rigor
I always feel like I am being challenged in my classes. Especially since they are all small sized classrooms (all of my classes have no more than 15 students) so I feel more connected with the professor and the professor clearly tries to benefit the student in any way possible through the rigorous work. Lecture hall classes are the only huge class sizes, but the professors are still there to help you after class and during their office hours if the coursework is a little too challenging for you.
Dorm Life
SIUC has LLCs (Living Learning Communities) where people of the same interest whether it be engineering, going green, sports, international students, women, LGBTQIA community and many other interests all live on the same floor. The RAs (Resident Assistants) always host activities and help the floor grow as a family so no one has to be alone unless they choose to be alone. Dorm life is great!
Food and Dining
I love the food there because they try really hard to diversify the food. We have your typical American food (hamburgers and hot dogs), Asian food, Hispanic food and many others. They always have vegan and vegetarian options, a salad bar, sandwich bar and amazing desserts. Also, for holidays they set out special food that can only be served during the holidays. On top of that, most if not all of the food given to us is locally grown on the school's local farms by the Agriculture students, staff and department.
What to do for fun
SIUC is in a small town so coming from a big city it is hard to find much fun. However, there are always locally ran events on campus and around campus for literally every little thing you can think of. Every week there are different events happening and you can easily find something fun to do around town or in town. If you love the nature and wilderness then this college is definitely for you because there are so many different parks and wild life habitats to venture off into during any time of the day and year. Also, SIUC has so many RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) that go out and have fun on the weekends and hang out, so it is almost impossible to not have fun.
Bang for the buck
I seriously believe this school is a bang for all the bucks. I originally planned on going here for simple fact that even though I had to pay out of state tuition it was still cheaper than the in state colleges I planned on going to back home in California. SIUC is really affordable on my part and they offer many services to help each individual student continue their education. This school also has its own accolades from various competitions and magazines that help make it well known around the world. I have had so many people come up to me back at home in California while wearing my SIUC shirt telling me they went their as well or that they know many people who go there or went there in the past, so its name is also worth something.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
All of October, SIUC students celebrate Halloween by dressing up every weekend and go out and have fun. It is great seeing people dress up as different stuff every week. The weekend before Halloween it is called Unofficial and that is when most people go out in costumes to have a great time.
Great for these types of students
SIUC is great for all kinds of students. If you love to have hands on experience then SIUC will definitely supply you with those opportunities. There are even opportunities for undergraduates (even freshmen) to do graduate work with professors and graduate students. SIUC makes sure all students under all fields have some sort of opportunity supplied to them throughout the year and years to come.
Clubs and Activities
SIUC has over 400 RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) that peek an interest out of everyone. You can't possibly find a RSO you do not like and it is so easy to make RSOs if you want to make one of your own for whatever reason. There is always something going on in the Student Center and Student Rec every day and definitely every weekend with shows and fun game nights. SIUC makes sure something is always going on so people can always have a good time with friends or meet new people.
Greek Life
Greek life is a huge thing on campus. There are 32 different fraternities and sororities on campus. A lot of people are afraid of hazing and it is actually unacceptable and if someone is hazed and let's the school know then the greek house will get banned and the term of banishment varies from occasion to occasion. All the greek life always host different shows and events for the students and public, and do different volunteer experiences to give back to the community.
Campus Safety
SIUC has many different campus safety and crime prevention routines in place. At night there is a bright way path where there are poles located on the path with bright blue lights and emergency buttons on each pole with a response time of 0-90 seconds. There is also a safety bus transit that runs till 2am to take people back home and avoid any danger. There are also cops (a mix of city cops, student cops in training and cops hired by the college) roaming around campus to make sure everyone is safe. If somehow someone is harmed in any way on campus, all the students are notified by email of the dangers and make sure everyone is aware. And the beginning of every semester, students are asked to take an hour class on any given day just once on how to prevent suspected harm.
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Elizabeth from Mahomet, IL

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
As a freshmen having just completed my first semester, there have been few classes that have given me a challenge as intro classes are fairly simple, however, those few more advanced courses have taught me much and the small class sizes really facilitated actual learning.
Am enjoying being here
The campus and surrounding area is absolutely beautiful, and fairly clean. I was able to make great friends almost immediately through my involvement in the Marching Salukis, and the fun times we've already shared have been amazing. I have a sense of belonging and feel fortunate to be attending.
Bang for the buck
College is expensive no matter where one attends, however, Southern's determination to keep costs down, and the avaliability of many merit-based scholarships has been very helpful in paying for the education. The campus has much to offer, rendering the fees well worth the price, and tuition is relatively low, compared to many other universities. The one gripe I have is the cost of the meal plan required for living in the dorms. One might think that for nearly $8.00 per meal, they might serve more gourmet cuisine.
Tips for prospective students
Southern has an undeniable, and somewhat undeserved reputation for being a party school. However, if you are a focuses student like myself, you'll find that there are plenty of fun things to do outside of the party scene. There are often so abundant activities on campus over one weekend that it becomes a matter of deciding between several good opportunities. The real difference between experiences is in making friends- if you get involved in something, you will make friends, and be much happier.
Great for these types of students
Southern treats their top students very, very well. Whereas at some institutions, a good student may be lost in the crowd, at Southern that same student has individual opportunities to excel through the honors program, and even to perform research as a first-year undergrad! Of course, there are many opportunities for excellence for any hard-working average student as well.
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Ashaun from Carbondale, IL

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The physical functionality of the school has its ups and downs. Though there are some students here with non-academic goals, there are just as many dedicated, aspiring professionals. The teaching and administration, and the opportunities offered are all available for those passionate enough to find them.
Tips for prospective students
Know why you're here. Even if you are in college to find out what you want to do with your life, be sure that that is the goal above all. It is really easy to forget your goals when in environments where non-productive habits are encouraged.
Academic Rigor
Classes are as challenging and fulfilling as you make them. Because There are some students that have a harder time learning, and as a result some 101 courses seem to drag on and repeat basic information. Professor and T.As (teachers assistants, google it) are really responsive to the energy put in by the students; enthusiasm and asking questions are a plus.
Dorm Life
With SIU's lenient entry standards, some people are not focused on academic success, and take part in destructive habits. As long as you aren't involved, there shouldn't be many issues. Expect to see/hear drunk students on weekends and Thirsty Thursdays.
Food and Dining
In the dining halls, though its all you can eat, most times you may feel you have to put up with the cooking here. The dining hall schedules are frustrating at times and sometimes you may find yourself hungry with no way of eating until the next day. The restaurants and fast food places around are tolerable though, so if you have a bit of money this shouldn't be too much of an issue.
What to do for fun
I can assure you, whatever type of fun you're into, you without a doubt can find it at SIUC. The recreation center and student center have various sports, martial arts, guest speakers, and crafts to cater to even the most refined people. Greek life is here, clubs are here, the whole nine.
Bang for the buck
You can get your money's worth if you leave your dorm room enough. The opportunities are limitless for those who have passion. Don't be discouraged, ask questions, and the campus directs you in the right direction.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Next to the Amtrak, there is a quaint little shop called QQ Bubble Tea. The environment, service, and products served give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Also, Halloween is a big thing out here :)
Great for these types of students
People who enjoy nature, most definitely. The campus is beautiful in fall and spring. The curriculum is pretty well rounded, and for the dedicated student, everything you would need to succeed is available.
Clubs and Activities
There are clubs for almost everything. Harry Potter fans can join the Quiddich club, people interested in martial arts can join the Aikido club, etc. etc.
Campus Safety
Safety is a serious thing on campus here. Police are present at all major locations where students socialize usually, and help buttons are located all over the campus with blue beacons to make them more noticable.
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DeVante from Carbondale, IL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am a Sophomore this year and I am currently majoring in Aviation Technologies and minoring in Aviation Flight. SIU Carbondale has the best AvTech instructors in the nation, if not world. Their laid back but thorough teaching methods encourage you to want to learn the material that is required to this nation's and any aircraft up and running, safely. There is not one class that I have regretted taking and I don't believe there will ever be one!
Am enjoying being here
I have only been here for a year and a half and I am not lying when I say I have had the best experiences in my life at SIU!! I have already made a bunch a friends that I know I'll probably know them for the rest of my like. There is so much diversity here, I couldn't see anybody not being able to find a group of people to relate to and hang out here.
Bang for the buck
The AvTech program here has this great thing where you only pay for 15 credit hours worth of classes regarding the AvTech major. That is amazing!!!!! The flight program on the other hand will probably suck you dry but that is to be expected from a flight program. Don't take this the wrong way though. The flight training you get here is hands down top of the line. No question about it. Also, SIU's flight program isn't going under any time soon.
Tips for prospective students
If you are going into the aviation program here at SIU, most kids tend to major in AvFlight and minor in AvManagement, you should do a major/minor in AvTech and AvFlight. Most of the AvFlight/AvManagement students that I have talked to and are finishing up there schooling have told me that they wish they have taken AvTech/AvFlight because it seemed a bit funner. Well I'll tell you that it is definitely fun, especially if you like working with your hands and have a fascination with how things work. Now... I will admit that the work load will be a tad more but you have to remember that, in AvTech, your time is split between lecture and lab. Some of those credit hours will be time spent doing hand-on things and not like papers and essays and things like that.
Great for these types of students
I hear SIU has a pretty good engineering program but I'm here for aviation so I say SIU is the best school for kids looking to pursue a career in aviation. You'll find that most schools will only offer just flight training but here at SIU you get the both of best world's so if you are looking to hold an A&P Certificate and a Commercial Pilot's License then SIU is your one stop shop of greatness.
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Laverne from Chicago, IL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am in the Future Scholars program and it is preparing me for the fall. I never studies this much so it is discipline. I am finally learning about other cultures history and how they lived. Speech is teaching how to overcome my fear in front of crowds. I recommend it for shy people/
Am enjoying being here
I work so hard in this program but the fall will be nothing like this. I am going to be able to do as I please and still manage to get my work done because time manage skills is developing from this program. I love the campus though. It different from the city life and its a peaceful place to study.
Bang for the buck
This program free so I am earning six credits in four weeks for FREE!!! Including three meals of my choice at no extra cost. I love it.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared to study or go home. You are paying for this even with financial aid because some of that money is loans. If you just want to come here for parties and don't plan to work or get mediocre grades, then its best you go to a junior college because the decisions you make now are going to follow you for the rest of your life. Refund checks... use them to pay back you loans at the end don't blow it all. Learn to manage your time and have fun its college. Just put your priorities first.
Great for these types of students
This school has everything you may want to do. Just ask around. If you are bored all the time then you aren't an exciting person to begin with because it so much to get into and most of it is free or no more than 10 dollars to attend. Don't sit in the room all day and expect fun to happen go do something you never thought you would do or meet some people to hang out with. In college you make your day.
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Kristin from IL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
SIUC has a plethora of classes and majors to choose from! I’m now a sophomore and I’m taking a dinosaur and reptile class, I am so excited to take a class that is so diverse from the other classes I’m required to take for my major! The gen. ed’s are easy as long as you actually go to class, which if you go to class and pay attention you can at least get a C. Sometimes teachers drop an exam grade which is awesome in case you don’t do so hot on one!
Am enjoying being here
I really enjoy being at SIUC, it has a rural small town atmosphere with plenty of activities going on all the time. It could be on or off campus; Giant City is off campus and is an awesome place to go and relax and relieve some stress, I really recommend going there
Bang for the buck
I love the fact that once your enrolled you are locked in at a specific tuition rate and it won’t change! Also I think that it’s great that some states surrounding Illinois get instate tuition as well. I think that the tuition for SIUC is fairly reasonable and make sure you apply for FASFA it really helps, also apply for a lot of scholarships there is a ton on money out there. I know it annoying and monotonous but that’s what copy and paste is for and it pays off, trust me!
Tips for prospective students
KEEP AN OPEN MIND FOR ANY COLLEGE YOU DECIDE TO LOOK AT OR CHOOSE TO ENROLL!

Definitely come on a college visit like you should for any college! Also if you do choose to enroll I strongly recommend you attend as many of the events they have for new students, you meet so many new people and get free stuff! :) I also recommend that you check and join the RSO’s (registered student organizations).
I would definitely try rushing! Going Greek may not be for everyone but you can always attend rush events and if you don’t think it’s for you then you don’t have to go anymore!
Dining hall tip: if you want to swipe someone who isn’t an SIUC student than borrow a friend’s id to swipe them in, all they have to do is flash it to get in and your done! No biggie!
Meal Plans: If you have extra meals left over at the end of the week GO cash in your remaining meals! Don’t waste them; it’s great for extra snacks in case you don’t have to time to make it to the dining halls for breakfast or lunch.
SIUC has had a reputation for being known as a party school, but any college you go to is going to have parties; so don’t let that affect your decision! Your college experience is what YOU make of it, if you choose to go out every night and weekend then so be it, and it you don’t then don’t feel pressured to go out.
Great for these types of students
any!
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Amy from O Fallon, IL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Its nothing like High School, to make the grade you have to study and go to class, but I am leaning alot and am enjoying class...Now if only I didn't have 8am classes
Am enjoying being here
I have made some great friends and the professors are willing to help if you ask for it. Weekends are fun and enjoy hanging out and SLEEPING!
Bang for the buck
I applied to alot of schools and SIUC gave me the best financial package.
Tips for prospective students
I'm glad I'm at SIU-C, its hard and you cant expect to skate through the year, if you want the grade you have to work for it. The Professors don't care if you hand in HW or even come to class, but it really makes a difference in your grade. Also the study sessions offered are a great help in studing and forming study groups. The Campus is great, I live in Thompson point and I really enjoy living on this side of the campus, I have a bike here but all my classes are within 10-15 minute walk, great exercise.
Great for these types of students
dedicated to wanting an education--sure the parties are here if you want them---but I'm paying for my education I don't want to waste my money.
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Lauryn from Illinois

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
All of my teachers at SIUC overall have been fantastic. I especially recommend Dr. Hahn for Philosophy 104 and Dr. Martin for Sociology 108. Dr. Hahn is a wonderful teacher and does a good job keeping lectures very interesting. He does not put up with cell phone use, which is great because cell phones constantly going off during lectures are very annoying. Dr. Martin's class is also very entertaining, but his tests are difficult. He makes sure people know the material by having you apply what you learn in lectures and discussion sections. Overall, the teaching at SIUC is great and really do care about the grades you are earning.
Am enjoying being here
To be honest, I absolutely hate coming home for breaks. SIUC is a great place to be. There are a lot of fun places to go both close to campus and a little bit of a drive from campus. Of course, there are bars in Carbondale if you are interested, but there are other great things to do besides those. There are great restaurants close to campus, such as Fat Patties and Quatros, to go to to get away from dorm food. These places aren't too pricey and both do deliver. There is also Giant City Park and the Shawnee National Forest, which both have great hiking trails and places to camp.
Bang for the buck
Tuition is average for the state of Illinois, and SIUC offers a lot of majors that other colleges in Illinois do not. For example, I am in the Radiology program, which is the only four year program in the state of Illinois. Of course there are programs at community colleges, but this program allows people to specialize in certain areas, such as sonograms, MRI's, and radiation therapy. Like I said, the teaching is fantastic, so you are not wasting your time on crappy teaching. One thing that is annoying is the meal plan. A student living on campus has to choose either 12, 15, or 19 meals per week. A student cannot swipe in someone else unless if that other person also has a SIUC ID, which is annoying when guests from back home or other universities are in Carbondale to visit. For a visitor to eat in the dining halls, they have to pay around $7 to eat, which is not worth it for the overall quality of the food served.
Tips for prospective students
Get out and join something! Staying in the dorm room is not fun at all. There are over 400 RSO's on campus, so there is something for everyone. I joined Marching Salukis this year, and it was a BLAST! I had never marched before, but the group was a lot of fun to be with. It's nice to have a little family together before classes even start. This would be the same way with any group, however. You will know people on campus and that group will give you resources for anything one could possibly need.
Great for these types of students
Honestly, I think SIUC is great for any type of student. Anyone can find something to join where they will meet other people just like them. Whatever your interest is (skydiving, music, or geology), there is a group or club for you to join. It may be known as a party school, but any school is a party school. Your college experience is whatever one makes it.
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