Established in 1957, Southern Illinois University is a multicampus university comprising two institutions, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), with a School of Medicine at Springfield and a campus in Niigata, Japan, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), with a School of Dental Medicine at Alton and a center in East St. Louis.
Today, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a major public university, offering a broad choice of degrees and programs ranging from career-oriented fields of study to the essential, more traditional, liberal arts. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville serves the most populous region of downstate Illinois. The campus is located in the eastern metropolitan St. Louis area; most SIUE students live and work in the industrial and agricultural counties of Metro-East. The University awards degrees in 43 undergraduate programs and 63 graduate and professional programs. The programs are currently offered through six academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Business, Dental Medicine, Education, Engineering, and Nursing. A School of Pharmacy, approved by IBHE in 2002, is being staffed in anticipation of admitting its first class in the Fall of 2005.