Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Illinois. Bradley was founded in 1897 as Bradley Polytechnic Institute by Lydia Moss Bradley as a memorial to her children and husband, Tobias. It became a four-year college offering bachelor’s degrees in 1920 and a full university offering graduate programs in 1946, at which time its name was changed to Bradley University. Bradley is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. With approximately 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students, Bradley offers the opportunities, choices and resources of a larger university and the personal attention and exceptional learning experience of a smaller university.
Through the five colleges — College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Health Sciences, Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, Foster College of Business and Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts — and Graduate Education, there are more than 185 majors and academic programs, including programs in entrepreneurship, game design, animation, nursing, hospitality leadership, internal auditing, music and entertainment industry, sports communication and physical therapy. Graduate Education offers 38 graduate, doctorate and certificate programs, including eight online advanced-degree programs in nursing, two in counseling, and one in education.
The average class size is 21 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. Bradley has nearly 350 full-time faculty members, who are both active researchers and committed teachers, providing personalized attention in learning and academic advising. All courses are taught by professors, not graduate assistants, and team projects and collaboration are emphasized in every area of university life. In fact, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education continues to recognize Bradley among the top 15 schools in the U.S. for student engagement. In 2017, Bradley was ranked eighth in the nation.
There are abundant opportunities outside of the classroom. Students can develop leadership skills in more than 240 student organizations, including more than 60 dedicated to leadership and community service. Bradley is home to the nation’s most successful speech program, as well as multiple fraternities and sororities, NCAA Division I athletics, club and intramural sports, study abroad opportunities and the Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service.
The new $100M Business and Engineering Convergence Complex opened in Fall 2019. The new 270,000 square foot facility will unite the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology and the Foster College of Business under one roof in a visionary facility. This complex encourages innovative ways of thinking, teaching and learning that will open up opportunities for students and faculty to work across curriculums and participate in project-based learning activities. The project also creates a new front door to the campus spurring more partnerships and community involvement while enhancing the Main Street corridor and surrounding neighborhood.
Bradley’s second-oldest building, Westlake Hall, was transformed into a modern, LEED Gold certified learning facility, equipped with the latest technologies. The renovation expanded the building to six times its former size, from 13,500 to 85,000 square feet. The Markin Family Student Recreation Center offers a swimming pool, exercise facilities and practice space for intramural sports. The Renaissance Coliseum is a 165,200-square foot, multi-use athletic facility. It is the primary sporting venue for women’s basketball and volleyball, as well as select men’s basketball events. The Coliseum includes the Mitchell “J.J.” Anderson Court practice facility, an athletics museum, the university's athletics hall of fame, strength and conditioning and athletic training facilities, two student-athlete academic centers, 12 locker rooms for student-athletes and athletic department offices. Dingeldine Music Hall has been home to Bradley concerts since 1983. It houses the 440-seat Peters Recital Hall.
Built as an architectural companion to iconic Bradley Hall, the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center is a nod to Bradley's history. Visitors can explore the university's past through displays and interactive presentations in the first floor Shaheen Halll of Pride. Residence Halls come to life in miniature models of rooms from past decades, while digital galleries highlight campus life and artifacts honor university founder Lydia Moss Bradley. The third floor is home to the Peplow Pavilion, which provides a 300 seat upscale setting for alumni reunions, wedding receptions and other special events. It looks westward over the Alumni Quad and the Harden Circle of Pride.
Bradley University provides a comfortable setting for living and learning. A beautiful 85-acre campus contains both historic buildings and state-of-the-art learning centers, and is just 1 mile from downtown Peoria. Surrounded by a historic residential district, the campus has restaurants and shops within walking distance as well as a wide range of campus dining options.
Graduates of Bradley do exceptionally well in their chosen careers and advanced studies. The five-year average for graduates who started a career, a graduate degree or other postgraduate experience within six months of graduation is 93 percent.