Tuition (in-state)
$29,132 ($14,750)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Sophomore

Academics: The professors are fantastic. Every professor I've had has very clearly enjoyed their job, and they really get into the lectures. The TAs are also generally as good as the professors, and often if I misunderstand something the professor teaches, I can go to a TA for easy clarification.

College Sophomore

Academics: I don't really know yet. I've only completed my freshman year so far, and all of my classes were just gen eds or prerequisites for my major.

4 College Junior

Academics: We have a lot of major options and also some of the best professors around.

5 College Junior

Academics: Architecture is a love-hate relationship. You spend ungodly amounts of time working on projects all throughout the night. But you wouldn't rather be doing anything else. The school does not really help students find jobs or internships in architecture which is disappointing.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: It's going to be hard, but the study areas are awesome. There are 40 libraries on campus!! USE THEM!


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 21st
    Best Course Variety
  • 45th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 187th
    Best Online Course Options
  • 254th
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 422nd
    Best Registration Process

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Emily Thiersch
Wilmette, Ill.
View all previous student authors

The University’s business and agricultural programs are world-renowned and very popular, but the liberal arts and sciences programs do not receive the same patronage from the University. Some students complain about the state of the English building compared to the engineering buildings, claming that arts majors are passed over in favor of other majors. However, U of I still has great drama and writing departments, and it has recently added a creative writing master’s degree. Efforts are being made to reach out to other interests, but the bulk of this school is still the engineering department. If that’s your interest, U of I is definitely a competitive choice.

Many professors are dedicated to teaching and reaching out to their students. Most make themselves available, and a few have even been known to give out their home phone numbers. Still, it can be hard to get acclimated to a school of 28,000, which is why the University implemented discussion groups to accompany big lectures (though not all lectures are huge, and some classes are entirely discussion-based). These discussion sections are generally led by teaching assistants (TAs), some of whom are excellent teachers, though others are less than enthusiastic. If you want help outside of class, the best bet is office hours or online notes. Most big classes, such as general education classes, have Web sites that include notes and PowerPoint presentations online, so you never miss anything even if you skip a class or can’t keep up with the teacher’s notes. Of course, every university has its share of terrible teachers, but the faculty is generally well-informed and caring, and every once in a while, you meet a really great teacher who inspires you.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 38%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 43%
  • 50 or More Students: 19%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): Yes
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Applied Health Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Fine and Applied Arts
  • College of Law
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • College of Media
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Institute of Aviation
  • Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations
  • School of Social Work
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Accounting: 3%
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology: 2%
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering: 2%
  • Psychology: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Grainger Engineering Library
  • Illini Union
  • Main or Undergrad Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Be smart about when you do and do not go to class.
  • Don't be mean to your teachers just because you think you pay them.
  • Don't take an unfair grade lying down.
  • Get a job. It will break up your day, and the extra cash is great to use to check out all the cool things on campus.
  • Get involved in something (or a few things) and branch out! You're here primarily for school, but joining a sorority or fraternity can give you a very unique experience.
  • Go to the library.
  • Make a calendar and be sure to check it twice a week or so, if not more often. This is really important if your classes or assignments are online. I know I've made the mistake of not checking a due date for online quizzes.
  • Participate in class and get to know your professors. Go in to their office hours to get help even if you don't really need it.
  • Realize that going out and getting drunk is a trade-off; it is not always worth being hung over in class on a Wednesday. Decide when you need to study and when you really want to go out.
  • Study in between classes. Don't just waste your time napping. It's better to work now, and then play later.
  • Turn off your cell phone in class. Who are you, Paris Hilton?
Did You Know?
  • U of I offers Discovery Courses for all freshmen. These classes are small and geared towards first-year students. Instead of being overwhelmed by a huge lecture class in their freshman year, students can participate in class and have one-on-one discussions with the teacher.
  • The Writers' Workshop offers free writing help for all students. You can walk in with a rough draft and walk out with a polished paper, free of grammatical errors and writing goofs.
  • U of I offers winter courses abroad through the department of LAS, with $500 scholarships offered to all LAS students. Courses abroad are a chance for adventuresome students to explore a foreign city while meeting like-minded undergrads. Courses abroad offered in 2008 included Paris, France; Salvador, Brazil; Istanbul, Turkey; Delhi, India; and Burkina Faso.
  • U of I boasts the third largest academic library in North America, topped only by Yale and Harvard. This makes it the largest public university library in existence.
  • Vodafone, one of the largest mobile telecommunications network companies in the world, recently donated a $3.3 million grant to the College of Engineering, naming it one of the best engineering programs in the country.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 23 responses

  • 24% Hugh Hefner - Playboy creator
  • 21% Roger Ebert - world-renowned film critic
  • 12% Dick Butkus - NFL hall of famer
  • 11% Nick Offerman
  • 9% Ellen Degeneres
  • 6% Rosalyn Sussman Yallow - Nobel Prize, medicine
  • 5% Wendell Stanley -Nobel Prize winner
  • 5% Carl Woess
  • 2% Andy Richter - Conan O'Brien sidekick, sitcom star
  • 2% Michael Colgrass - Pulitzer Prize winner in music
  • 2% Steve Chen
  • 2% Martin Eberhard
  • 2% University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 132 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 132 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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