A Rich History
In 1850, Urbana University was founded as a seminary by the Rev. James Parke Stuart, Col. John E. James, Milo Williams and other members of the Swedenborgian Church. Since that time, Urbana has evolved into a vibrant liberal arts institution, offering traditional and non-traditional degree programs in a diverse, yet intimate on-campus and online learning community.
We have come a long way since our founding – but we stand firm in our commitments to emphasize student learning through individual attention, provide excellence in instruction, and offer relevant, career-oriented academic programs with strong emphases on ethics and values. Urbana leverages deep wisdom from more than a century of diverse experiences to build a brighter, more sustainable future.
Today, Urbana is home to more than 1,800 students from around the world. Uniquely focused on student success with a tight-knit, supportive community, the University provides a world-class educational experience in a caring and supportive environment.
In 2014, Urbana University's assets were acquired by Franklin University. This alliance enabled Urbana to continue to serve students, enjoy immediate improvements to the overall infrastructure of the campus, and provide a renewed energy that our students proudly embrace today. In 2017, Franklin University received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to bring Urbana University under its accreditation as a branch campus.
Our newly enhanced infrastructure and operational systems will keep us strong for years to come. We’re excited about the future – and committed to giving back to the Urbana community by strengthening relationships with local businesses. We believe innovating through partnerships will create opportunities for Urbana students to apply their learning to benefit our local community and beyond.