University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana-Champaign, United States
Website: Founded: 1867 year Type of University:Public 48 place StudyQA ranking: 881 pts. No. Students: 44087 Frgn. Students: 10843 No. Staff: 3982 Languages: English Phone: +12173331000 Fax: +12173330302
Sherman Hall (Champaign, United States) Townsend Hall (Urbana, United States) Wardall Hall (Urbana, United States) Weston Hall (Champaign, United States) (Busey/Evans) Busey Hall (Urbana, United States)
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Description of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is dedicated to building upon its tradition of excellence in education, research, public engagement and economic development. More than 3,000 faculty members discover and create new knowledge. Their work is an economic engine for the state and is recognized with many of the world’s top academic and creative awards. The campus’ outstanding academic programs, extraordinary resources and bountiful opportunities attract top-caliber students. They join research teams, spend semesters abroad, create art in old and new ways and lead and participate in hundreds of student organizations. The Urbana campus has more than 425,000 alumni who are global leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

  • College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

    The College of ACES offers tremendous opportunities for students and faculty to achieve success. Nearly 40 organizations provide more than 2,500 undergraduate students and nearly 750 graduate students the opportunity to network, learn about careers, and contribute to the life of the college. ACES research encompasses initiatives in bioenergy, biotechnology, integrated landscapes, environmental sustainability, food and agricultural systems, global climate change, family resiliency, public policy, and more.

  • College of Applied Health Sciences

    The mission of the College of Applied Health Sciences is to advance research, instruction and public engagement that promotes the development of healthy, livable communities, facilitates optimal living with disability and promotes health and wellness across the lifespan and throughout a diverse society.

  • College of Business

    The College of Business is the business school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It offers programs in accountancy,business administration, and finance. Starting from 2015, the College of Business is in partnership with Coursera to offer a list of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and an online MBA program.

  • College of Education

    Our College addresses the challenges facing today's learners by advancing knowledge and impacting policy through research, teaching, and outreach. We develop the tools, methods, and habits of mind that innovate; and contribute to making education equitable and accessible to all learners; and we prepare leaders, researchers, and passionate advocates committed to transforming learners of all ages. 

  • College of Engineering

    As one of the world’s top ranked engineering programs, our students, faculty, and alumni set the standard for excellence. We drive the economy, reimagine engineering education, and bring revolutionary ideas to the world. We solve the world’s greatest challenges. We look toward the future and find ways to make it a reality. Leading the innovation of virtual reality. Designing electronic tattoos to treat seizures. Building safer global water systems. Converting algae to biofuel. Exploring fusion energy.

  • College of Fine and Applied Arts

    The College of Fine and Applied Arts is dedicated to the advancement, practice, and understanding of the arts. The central focus of the college is the synergy between research and the preparation of students for professional careers in the creation and interpretation of the environmental, visual, and performing arts. Deeply related to that focus is the commitment to elevate and sustain the study of the arts as both a necessary mode of understanding and a vibrant expression of human experience within the local, national, and international communities.

  • Graduate College

    The Graduate College provides campus-wide leadership for the advancement of graduate education; promotes excellence, integrity, and equity in all graduate programs; and serves the scholarly and professional needs of prospective and current graduate students from recruitment and admission through graduation. We work with graduate faculty and staff to establish academic policies and programs designed to assure quality and support student progress.

  • School of Labor and Employment Relations

    A recognized leader in education and research, the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) prepares students for exciting careers in human resources and industrial relations. Our degree programs provide students with the breadth of knowledge to become effective practitioners in corporate settings or in labor union leadership, as well as the flexibility to build a depth of knowledge in critical aspects of employment. Our Labor Education Program (LEP) provides technical training, conferences and professional development for more than 2,000 union leaders each year and is developing new online learning opportunities.

  • College of Law

    Established in 1897, the University of Illinois College of Law is one of the oldest and best-known law schools in the nation. It was one of the small number of charter members and founders of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and was on the first national list of law schools approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Illinois is the home of the founding chapter of the law honor society now known as the Order of the Coif, has been the home to many of the nation's great law textbook and treatise writers, and is the birthplace of the interdisciplinary movements such as law and economics and law and psychology.

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    The scope of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences spans the breadth of human endeavor. Within its more than 60 academic units, faculty and students are pursuing knowledge on scales that stretch from the subatomic to the cosmic and from the individual to the global. We fondly refer to LAS as the heart of the University because of its fundamental role in all education and research. Our students graduate well-versed in their chosen field and with the analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills that are essential to success in life and the workplace.

  • Gradute School of Library and Information Science

    The University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) is recognized as a premier institution, consistently named the top LIS school in the nation. GSLIS has earned its reputation by creating pioneering and innovative educational opportunities, including the oldest extant LIS doctoral program in the country (1948), our award-winning Leep online learning program (1996), and an advanced degree in digital libraries (2005). Today, GSLIS is a charter member of the iSchools Project, a community of schools interested in the relationship between information, technology, and people and committed to increasing the visibility of the field of library and information science. Founded in 1893, GSLIS helped establish and develop the methods used in the field of LIS. Today we continue this tradition by translating the core principles of library science—information organization, access, use, and preservation—to meet the needs of our information society. This natural integration of library science and information science allows for opportunities to enhance and strengthen learning, teaching, and research: at GSLIS, we understand that fluency with current technologies is important to all information professionals, from librarians, archivists, and museum curators to information architects, Web developers, and data managers.

  • College of Media

    The College of Media is focused on the study and exploration of media – how to develop content that is informative, accurate, strategic, persuasive, entertaining, creative, targeted and sharable through any media platform. We are student-centered in our approach to learning and scholarship. Our faculty are scholars and researchers exploring the impact of media and messaging. College of Media alumni are journalists, editors and producers with communications companies around the globe; they develop strategic advertising for agencies and corporations large and small; they teach in colleges and universities worldwide. Many return to the College to lecture in classes. They invite students into their companies as visitors, interns and employees. Illinois connections run deep through the industries we serve. The College is home to Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM-FM-TV-Online), the public broadcasting service of the University of Illinois. The community benefits from the high-quality news, information and entertainment produced and provided by public media. Students benefit from working directly with experts in news gathering and production.

  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    As the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, one of four campuses that make up one of the largest public medical schools in the U.S., works to create its vision for the future, it does so by building on the quality and strengths of its past. For over 40 years, the college has been shaping the best and brightest minds into the medical leaders of tomorrow. It has always taken pride in the caliber of the physician-scientists it educates, the research it conducts, and the difference that is being made in improving human health every day.

  • School of Social Work

    The School of Social Work embraces the three-fold mission of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: research, teaching, and public engagement. The School is committed to developing and disseminating knowledge that contributes to responsive social welfare policies, programs, and practices. The School promotes the values of the social work profession through its commitment to diversity and social justice, its focus on reciprocal interactions between people and their ecological systems, and its emphasis on the use of research-based practice with vulnerable and marginalized populations. The School serves the citizens of Illinois by linking knowledge development to community needs, by educating students for public service in child welfare, health care, mental health, and school settings, and by sharing the School’s resources with the community.

  • College of Veterinary Medicine

    The College of Veterinary Medicine is uniquely qualified to address some of the world’s most critical problems. Our qualifications arise from the singular role of the veterinary profession, the only health profession trained in multispecies comparative medicine and able to elucidate key interconnections among human health, the environment, and agriculture. Through our professional and graduate degree programs, we supply veterinary scientists who work to improve animal, human, and environmental health. Through our outreach programs we touch the lives of thousands of animals and their owners and provide direct services that place us on the frontline of key economic and public health issues in Illinois. Through our research expertise and facilities, we are making significant contributions to science and facilitating the translation of discoveries in the theoretical sciences into biomedical applications that benefit human and animal health.

History of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Between several cities, Urbana was selected in 1867 as the site for the new school. From the beginning, Gregory's desire to establish an institution firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition, which was at odds with many State residents and lawmakers who wanted the university to offer classes based solely around "industrial education". The University opened for classes on March 2, 1868, and had two faculty members and 77 students. Gregory is largely credited with establishing the University as it is today. Gregory's grave is on the Urbana campus, between Altgeld Hall and the Henry Administration Building. His headstone (mimicking the epitaph of British architect Christopher Wren) reads, "If you seek his monument, look about you."

The Library, which opened with the school in 1868, started with 1,039 volumes. Subsequently, PresidentEdmund J. James, in a speech to the Board of Trustees in 1912, proposed to create a research library. It is now one of the largest public academic collections in the world. In 1870 the Mumford House was constructed as a model farmhouse for the school's experimental farm. The Mumford House remains the oldest structure on campus. The original University Hall (1871) was the 4th building built; it stood where the Illini Union stands today.

During the Presidency of Edmund J. James (1904–1920), James is credited for building the foundation of the large Chinese international student population on campus. James established ties with China through the Chinese Minister to the United States Wu Ting-Fang. In addition, during James's presidency, class rivalries and Bob Zuppke's winning football teams contributed to campus morale.

On June 11, 1929, the Alma Mater statue was unveiled. The Alma Mater was established by donations by the Alumni Fund and the classes of 1923-1929. The statue was originally stood behind the Auditorium until moved to its current location on August 22, 1962. Like many Universities, the economic depression slowed construction and expansion on the campus but during this time the old University Hall began to collapse in 1938. The University replaced the original university hall with Gregory Hall and the Illini Union. In years following World War II, the university experienced rapid growth. The enrollment doubled and the academic standing improved. This period was also marked by large growth in the Graduate College and increased federal support of scientific and technological research.During the 1950s and ’60s the university experienced the turmoil common on many American campuses. Among these were the water fights of the fifties and sixties.

In 1998, the Hallene Gateway Plaza was dedicated. The Plaza features the original sandstone portal of the New Main University Hall. The state of Illinois supplied roughly two-thirds of the university's budget while the federal government funded 90% of research. In recent years, state support has declined from 4.5% of the state's tax appropriations in 1980 to 2.28% in 2011, a nearly 50% decline. As a result, the university's budget has strongly shifted away from relying on state support with nearly 84% of the budget now coming from other sources. On March 12, 2015 the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a medical school, being the first college created at Urbana-Champaign in over 60 years.

Accreditation & Ranking of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accredited, most recently in 2010, by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

In its 2016 rankings, U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges rated Illinois as the number 11 public university and the number 41 national university.

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science's program is 1st in the nation.

The Department of Civil Engineering is 2nd in undergraduate and 2nd in graduate programs nationally.

The campus is 2nd in undergraduate engineering science and engineering physics.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering ranks 2nd in undergraduate programs.


Student's life in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


College offers housing to students. Freshmen are required to live on campus and guaranteed housing. Assistance in locating off-campus housing is available. Types of Housing are:

  • coed dorms
  • women's dorms
  • men's dorms
  • married student apartments
  • single student apartments
  • disabled student housing
  • fraternity/sorority housing
  • cooperative housing

Costs for housing vary from $640 per month (for room in the apartments, without meal) to $9,398 per year (for room in the hall of residence, meal is not included) and up to $15,056 per year ( for single room with private bath in the hall of residence, meals are included in price). All housing facilities are located on campus.


Meal Plan is available at university and provides approximately 20 meals per week. Average Meal Plan costs $5420 per year. There are 22 dining halls and campus restaurants on campus. Students' favorites are Fat Don's, A La Carte, Sbarro. There are no 24-hour restaurants on campus, but Merry-Ann’s Diner is located nearby. Some students choose to skip dinner and instead have a pizza delivered to their room later that night. It counts as a meal and most students agree it is better than eating in the cafeteria. During Finals Week, the residence hall cafeterias host snacks and drinks for late-night studiers. Some even offer Midnight Breakfast, a full course complete with French toast and pancakes. It is a tradition that should not be missed.

Getting around

Nearest Airport is located in 130 miles from campus in Chicago. Nearest Bus Station is in 1 mile from campus in Champaign. Nearest Train Station is in 1 mile from campus in Champaign.


Campus is filled with meters at almost every parking spot around campus. Many have a 2 hour limit. Parking in Urbana is nice because it is free at 8pm and on weekends while in Champaign it is only free after 9pm. If you are parked in a meter during times where you have to pay the meter but don't, that is a $10-15 ticket which isn't so bad. But there is really no need for a car if you live near campus because there are many buses which pass every 10 to 15 minutes or everything is pretty much walking distance.

Student activities

The large campus offers unlimited opportunities to get involved, and includes more than 1,000 student organizations, from academic to athletic and from philanthropic to fun. Illinois has a long tradition as a Big Ten university with 21 varsity sports teams. Cheer with other fans as a member of Illini Pride at historic Memorial Stadium or State Farm Center. Or join a team: There are 40 club sports teams, and Campus Recreation organizes over 20 intramural sports for students. Nine state-of-the-art recreation centers, both indoor and outdoor, are located throughout the campus, including an ice rink, pools, water slides, and a climbing wall. Illinois is also known for its live music and theatre scenes, diverse population, and ability to draw national acts. Plus, the surrounding micro-urban community of Champaign-Urbana provides great selection for shopping and dining.

Activities and Organizations:​

  • choral groups
  • concert band
  • dance
  • drama theatre
  • jazz band
  • literary magazine
  • marching band
  • music ensembles
  • music theatre
  • opera
  • radio station
  • student government
  • student newspaper
  • student film society
  • symphony orchestra
  • television station

Intramural Sports:

  • badminton
  • basketball
  • cross-country running
  • football
  • golf
  • racquetball
  • soccer
  • softball
  • tennis
  • volleyball
  • wrestling


University Services in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Park

The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services. Located on campus, the Research Park is now home to more than 100 companies and growing, employing more than 1,600 people in high-technology careers. At any given time more than 500 student interns are working in these companies gaining valuable work experience while making real contributions to internal corporate R&D and product development programs. Multinational and/or publicly traded corporations in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, AB InBev, Ameren, Capital One, Caterpillar, CEB, Deere & Company, Dow AgroSciences, Dow Chemical, Grainger, Littelfuse, Raytheon, Riverbed, State Farm, and Yahoo. The Research Park is also home to over 50 startup companies that are commercializing technology. EnterpriseWorks, the Research Park’s 43,000-square-foot business incubator for early-stage tech firms, is operated by the University of Illinois to help launch successful startup companies.

University Library

The University Library holds more than thirteen million volumes and 24 million items and materials in all formats, languages, and subjects, including 9 million microforms, 120,000 serials, 148,000 audio-recordings, over 930,000 audiovisual materials, over 280,000 electronic books, 12,000 films, and 650,000 maps. These collections form the bulk of I-Share, the statewide library online catalog. Currently there are 76 I-Share libraries and more than 30 million library items represented in the I-Share catalog. Users at these I-Share libraries may borrow books directly from the 76 I-Share library participants. Among the Library's most notable collections are its holdings in Slavic and Eastern European history, literature, and science; music, especially Renaissance music; 17th- and 18th-century American and British literature; American, British and Irish history, including a distinguished collection of Lincolniana; French, German, and Italian literature, including world-famous Proust, Rilke, Dante, and Tasso collections; Latin American history and literature; historic and modern maps; linguistics; entomology, ornithology, botany, chemistry and mathematics; and serials across all disciplines. The Library is also world-famous for its outstanding collection of emblem books and incunabula; and collections, including personal papers, of John Milton, Marcel Proust, H.G. Wells, Carl Sandburg, and Avery Brundage of the international Olympic movement.

Kranett Art Museum

KAM is the second largest general fine art museum in the state of Illinois and houses theUniversity of Illinois art collection. The museum partners with the School of Art and Design and operates within the College of Fine and Applied Arts. As you plan your visit, please know that Krannert Art Museum's exhibitions and events are always free to the public, thanks to the generosity of our donors.

Japan House

It is the mission of Japan House to bring about cultural understanding, to offer exposure to new perspectives and, ultimately, to give a necessary refuge for all to embrace tranquility in an immersive and experiential environment. Through the study of Japanese aesthetics and traditional arts, built particularly around the time-honored art form of Chado, the Way of Tea, Japan House provides an essential opportunity for students of the College and University and the broader community to gain a deeper sensitivity towards diverse cultures.

Campus Recreation

Campus Recreation provides a welcoming environment with sustainable facilities and programs that inspire the University community to engage in recreation and wellness opportunities.

Marching Illini

Since 1867, the Marching Illini has entertained millions of fans with traditional and innovative performances that have made them “The Nation’s Premier College Marching Band.”  The excellence of innovation continues and is very much alive today as the Marching Illini continues its pursuit of the highest levels of musical, visual, and thoroughly entertaining performances as it presents “Always Something New” at historic Memorial Stadium in Urbana-Champaign.

Online Education

At Illinois, we understand that today’s learners want and need options for their education and we are leading the way in innovative higher education delivery modalities. From high school students pursuing online math programs, to residential students taking an online course to improve their time to degree, to working professionals who want or need certifications, to career changers pursuing a fully online degree, to personal curiosity from someone who just wants to explore a subject area … Illinois offers an extensive range of online academic options to students around the globe.  

  • 75+ Online Degree, Certificate and Endorsement Programs
  • 800+ Online Courses
  • Online Learners from Across the Globe  
  • 2.6 million MOOC Learners (Massive Open Online Courses)


Why you should choose the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • We will be the best at what we do; this is a matter of excellence in achievement.
  • We will have impact locally, nationally and globally through transformational learning experiences and groundbreaking scholarship.
  • We will be recognized by our peers as leaders. We will be visible to the nation and world – this is the leadership expected from a world-class university with a land-grant mission.
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