Our invite-only Ascend program provides students with a pathway to one of Illinois Tech’s 50+ undergraduate degree programs! Select students will spend their Ascend year with one of our partner institutions earning credit towards their degree. Upon successful completion of their Ascend year, students will matriculate as a full-time student at Illinois Tech in Chicago to complete their degree.

Each Ascend format is tailored to fit the needs and interests of different students across the world. Learn more below!

 Ascend ChicagoAscend Online
 Why Chicago?
Ascend Chicago offers scholars a pathway to start their studies in Chicago and take advantage of our urban environment at an affordable tuition rate.

Why Online?

Ascend Online offers students a chance to kickstart their education from anywhere in the world – on their own terms and by their own schedule.

LocationIn-person, ChicagoOnline, anywhere
Partner InstitutionsCity Colleges of ChicagoUniversity of Pittsburgh (Outlier)
Duration of Ascend program1 year 1 semester or 1 year
Credit Hour Requirement12-15 credit hours (4-5 courses) per semester; 30 credit hours total12-15 credit hours total (4-5 courses)
Program CostsSee City Colleges of Chicago tuition and fees$4650 per course
Illinois Tech Merit Scholarship Available for Ascend Year*NoYes
Federal or State Aid (via FAFSA) Available for Ascend Year*YesNo
Courses AvailableOver 100+ courses to choose from. See course catalog.Choose from 10 courses available across math, computer science, social science,and humanities
Unique Benefits
  • Ascend mentors 
  • Academic and career coaching services
  • Illinois Tech courses at a special rate of $100 per credit hour 
  • Access to Illinois Tech student facilities (including student tutoring, labs, and libraries) and campus life experiences throughout the year
  • Housing on Illinois Tech’s beautiful campus
  • Ability to take classes from anywhere in the world!
  • Dedicated Illinois Tech advisor
  • Ascend mentors
  • Asynchronous, on-demand course materials to fit your schedule
  • 24/7 support and online tutoring available

*Ascend year refers to the two semesters during which the student is taking courses at a partner institution or through Outlier