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About the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Since its founding in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has earned a reputation of international stature. Its distinguished faculty, outstanding resources, breadth of academic programs and research disciplines, and talented and diverse student body constitute an educational community ideally suited for teaching and research. Located in east central Illinois in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign (population 110,000), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the state's flagship public university.


The University has a fundamental commitment to undergraduate education. More than 26,000 undergraduate students are enrolled in nine undergraduate divisions, which together offer some 4,000 courses in more than 150 fields of study.

The divisions are: the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; College of Applied Life Studies; College of Communications; College of Commerce and Business Administration; College of Education; College of Engineering; College of Fine and Applied Arts; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Aviation.

Undergraduate admission is highly selective. In a recent freshman class, the average student was in the top 10 percent of his or her high school graduating class and scored in the top 10 percent of those taking the national college entrance examination.

Approximately 9,000 graduate and professional students are enrolled in more than 100 disciplines. Many of these programs rank in the top 10 in the country, making Illinois among the nation's top 20 universities that grant doctoral degrees, according to the National Research Council.

World-class Faculty

Many faculty have been recognized for exceptional scholarship with memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering; with the National Medal of Science; as National Science Foundation Young Investigators; and by such organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Academy of Education, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. At Illinois, research has a home in libraries, laboratories and classrooms, where it provides a real-life context for teaching and learning.


A leader in supercomputing applications, the University is home of NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) where Mosaic web browsing software was first developed. Since first released in 1993, Mosaic has spawned exponential growth in the use of the World Wide Web. NCSA staff have also been instrumental in promoting World Wide Web access at the White House and in the city of Chicago. There are 23,000 network connections on campus for students, faculty and staff.


Students and scholars find the University an ideal place to conduct cross-disciplinary research. The most visible example of the University's commitment to such study is the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, where research groups from nearly two dozen disciplines work within and across the following three main research themes: biological intelligence, human-computer intelligent interaction and molecular and electronic nanostructures. The special atmosphere at the Beckman Institute made possible the collaboration between two researchers that led to the invention of a technique to extend by a factor of 50 the life of silicon chips, a development that has caught the interest of the world's major chip manufacturers.

University Library

Academic resources on the campus are among the world's finest. The University Library is the third largest academic collection in the nation, housing more than 15.9 million items in the main library and in the more than 40 departmental libraries and units. Only Harvard and Yale have larger collections. The library's computerized cataloging system was the first in the world to serve as the primary access to a large academic library. Users have worldwide access to the collections through the Internet, with more than a million patrons logging on each week.

The Arts

A major center for the arts, the campus attracts dozens of nationally and internationally renowned artists each year to its widely acclaimed Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Designed by alumnus Max Abramovitz, an architect of New York City's Lincoln Center, the facility has four indoor theaters and an outdoor amphitheater. Together, they host more than 300 performances each year. The University also supports three major museums: the Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, the World Heritage Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Other major facilities include the multipurpose Assembly Hall (16,000 seats), which hosts concerts, convocations, theater and sporting events; Memorial Stadium, site of Big Ten Conference football games; and the Intramural-Physical Education Building.

Partnership Illinois

Also integral to the University's mission is a commitment to partnerships with many sectors of Illinois business and industry. Each year more than 60,000 Illinois residents participate in scores of conferences, institutes, credit and non-credit courses and workshops presented on campus and statewide.

University-sponsored programs in both urban and rural areas of the state bring University faculty to the citizens of Illinois to share their expertise in food industries, health, K-12 education, technology transfer and economic development, to name a few. Cooperative Extension Service offices throughout Illinois serve nearly one million people annually.

The Institute for Competitive Manufacturing has succeeded in solving business and manufacturing problems in hundreds of Illinois firms by matching student project teams with businesses in need.

Our Graduates Succeed

Freshman retention and overall graduation rates are well above the national averages. Typically, approximately 90 percent of freshmen return for their sophomore year. The graduation rate for students who enter the university on a full-time basis is approximately 80 percent. The national average for four-year schools is approximately 50 percent. Each year, more than 400 graduates are accepted to law school. Medical school admissions are also impressive with more than 200 students admitted each year.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.uiuc.edu.

Did you know . . .

  • ILLINOIS OWNS THE LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY LIBRARY: The University of ILLINOIS library has the largest public university collection in the world.
  • ILLINOIS ENGINEERS ENJOY NATION'S LARGEST LIBRARY: Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center is the largest library in the country and one of the world's most technologically advanced information management and retrieval centers.
  • ILLINOIS GRADUATES FIND JOBS: More than 90% of seniors seeking employment obtain positions within eight months of graduation from the University of ILLINOIS.
  • ILLINOIS GRADUATES MOVE ON TO MEDICAL AND LAW SCHOOL: Each year, more than 200 University of ILLINOIS graduates are accepted to medical school and more than 400 are accepted to law school.
  • ILLINOIS GIVEN FIVE-STAR RANKING: The 1996 Fiske Guide to Colleges calls ILLINOIS, "a giant among academic institutions, ranking among the world's great universities," and awards it a five-star ranking in academics.
  • MONEY MAGAZINE LISTS ILLINOIS AS A GREAT BUY: Money magazine's 1996 guide to colleges ranks ILLINOIS 23rd in a list of the top 100 schools providing the best education for the money.
  • # 1 ACCOUNTING SCHOOL IN THE NATION: The University of ILLINOIS undergraduate accounting program is ranked No. 1 in the nation in a 1995 Public Accounting Report survey of college accounting professors and department heads.
  • # 1 ADVERTISING SCHOOL IN THE NATION: University of ILLINOIS undergraduate advertising program was selected No. 1 in the nation in a recent poll of advertising educators, who ranked the nation's 84 advertising programs.
  • U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT TABS ILLINOIS TOPS: In the 1996 U.S. News & World Report rankings of college education, the University of ILLINOIS accounting department undergraduate program was selected as the No. 1 program in the country with the graduate accounting program rated third best in the nation.
  • U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT TABS ILLINI BUSINESS SCHOOL AMONG NATION'S TOP 5: According to rankings in the U.S. News & World report, the University of ILLINOIS College of Commerce and Business Administration is ranked No. 5 in undergraduate business education.
  • DOW JONES NEWSPAPER FUND LAUDS ILLINOIS JOURNALISM: The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund lists the University of ILLINOIS among an elite group of seven universities, known as the "journalism ivys."
  • ILLINOIS AMONG NATION'S TOP THREE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES: The University of ILLINOIS is consistently ranked alongside Ohio State and Wisconsin as one of the nation's top three overall education programs.

Learning and participating are important outside, as well as inside, the classroom. And at the University of Illinois, the opportunities are as limitless in extracurricular arenas as they are in the academic arenas.


First-rate residence halls with good food, the nation's largest fraternity and sorority system, independent housing and a wide range of apartments provide broad choices of where and how to live.


More than 700 student organizations provide an outlet for every interest from the philanthropic of Volunteer Illini Projects to the rock music of student radio station WPGU. There are more than 40 student organizations for minority interests.

Sports & Recreation

The Intramural-Physical Education Building is one of the largest complexes on any campus, with four gymnasiums, 23 handball/racquetball courts, weight and exercise equipment, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and more. The UI has one of the most comprehensive intramural sports programs in the nation. If the great outdoors is more to your liking, the university's 1,500-acre Allerton Park includes sculpture gardens, formal gardens and natural woodlands.

Culture and Entertainment

The domed Assembly Hall seats more than 16,000 for rock concerts, ice shows, circuses, Broadway musicals and, of course, Illinois basketball. Beautifully restored Foellinger Auditorium on the Quad seats 1,750 for concerts, films and speakers. And the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts holds four theaters for plays, dance and concerts for such famed names as the Chicago Symphony and Itzhak Perlman.

Off Campus

Champaign and Urbana, with a combined population of 110,000, offer shopping, restaurants, move theaters, night spots and many other big-city amenities. Yet, they retain a Midwestern college-town atmosphere.