Deciding which college to attend is one of the biggest decisions a student will make. If you’re considering the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), you probably want to know – is UIUC a good school?

In short, yes, UIUC is considered one of the top public universities in the country, known for its strong academics, vibrant campus life, and reasonable costs compared to other top schools.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll take an in-depth look at UIUC’s strengths and weaknesses across key factors like academics, campus culture, costs, outcomes and more. We’ll break down details on UIUC’s top-ranked programs, student life on campus, admissions information, tuition costs, job and graduate school placement rates, and pros and cons of attending this large public university.

Whether you’re looking for a powerhouse engineering school or a balanced education experience, read on to learn everything you need to know to decide if UIUC is a good fit for you.

Academics and Programs

When it comes to academics, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is known for its strong and diverse range of programs. With over 150 undergraduate majors and more than 100 graduate and professional programs, students have a wide array of options to choose from.

Whether you’re interested in engineering, business, computer science, or the arts, UIUC offers a comprehensive education that prepares students for success in their chosen fields.

Overview of Academics

UIUC is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the United States, and its academic reputation is well-deserved. The university is home to world-class faculty who are experts in their respective fields, and students benefit from their expertise through engaging lectures, hands-on projects, and research opportunities.

UIUC’s commitment to academic excellence is evident in its rigorous coursework, which challenges students to think critically and develop problem-solving skills.

Top-Ranked and Notable Programs

UIUC is particularly well-known for its programs in engineering, computer science, and business. The College of Engineering is consistently ranked among the top engineering programs in the country, and graduates from this program often find themselves in high-demand by employers.

The College of Business is also highly regarded, with its undergraduate and graduate programs consistently ranked among the best in the nation.

Additionally, UIUC is home to several other notable programs, including the College of Education, the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These programs offer a wide range of majors and provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and pursue their passions.

Student-Faculty Ratio

One of the advantages of attending UIUC is its relatively low student-faculty ratio. With a student body of over 50,000, the university still manages to maintain a ratio of about 20:1. This means that students have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with their professors and receive personalized attention and guidance.

The small class sizes also promote a collaborative learning environment where students can actively participate in discussions and engage with their peers.

Research and Innovation

UIUC is a hub of research and innovation, with faculty and students constantly pushing the boundaries of knowledge in their respective fields. The university is home to numerous research centers and institutes, where groundbreaking discoveries are made and new ideas are born.

From engineering advancements to medical breakthroughs, UIUC is at the forefront of cutting-edge research.

Furthermore, UIUC’s commitment to innovation extends beyond the campus. The university actively promotes entrepreneurship and provides resources and support for students interested in starting their own businesses.

With a thriving startup culture and access to mentorship and funding opportunities, UIUC is an ideal place for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Campus Life


Getting around the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus and the surrounding area is convenient and accessible. The campus is well-served by a comprehensive transportation system, which includes bus routes, bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly pathways.

The university provides free bus passes for students, allowing them to easily navigate the campus and explore the city. Additionally, the campus is located in close proximity to the local airport, making it convenient for international students and those who need to travel frequently.


UIUC offers a wide range of housing options for students, both on and off-campus. On-campus housing provides students with a vibrant community atmosphere, with various residence halls and apartment complexes to choose from.

These facilities offer amenities such as dining halls, study lounges, and fitness centers, fostering a supportive environment for students. Off-campus housing options are also plentiful, with many apartments and rental houses located within walking distance of the campus.

The university’s housing website provides comprehensive information on available options and resources for students.


When it comes to dining options, UIUC offers a diverse array of choices to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. The campus is home to numerous dining halls, cafes, and restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines.

From traditional American fare to international dishes, students can enjoy a wide range of culinary experiences. The university also prioritizes sustainability and healthy eating, with many dining facilities offering locally sourced and organic food options.

Extracurriculars and Events

UIUC is renowned for its vibrant campus life, with a plethora of extracurricular activities and events that cater to diverse interests. There are over 1,000 registered student organizations on campus, ranging from academic and professional clubs to cultural and recreational groups.

These organizations provide students with opportunities to pursue their passions, develop leadership skills, and make lifelong connections. Additionally, the university hosts numerous events throughout the year, including concerts, performances, and guest lectures, which contribute to a dynamic and engaging campus atmosphere.

Admissions Information

When considering whether UIUC is a good school, it’s important to look at the admissions process and requirements. Here’s what you need to know:

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at UIUC can vary from year to year, but it is generally competitive. As of the latest available data, the overall acceptance rate for undergraduate programs at UIUC is around 62%. While this may seem high compared to some other top-tier universities, it’s important to note that UIUC receives a large number of applications each year, making the competition still quite intense.

Average Test Scores and GPA

UIUC is known for its rigorous academic standards, and the average test scores and GPA of admitted students reflect this. The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1360-1520 out of 1600, and the average ACT score is around 29-34 out of 36.

Additionally, the average high school GPA of admitted students is typically in the range of 3.6-4.0 on a 4.0 scale. It’s important to keep in mind that these are just averages, and individual circumstances and achievements are also taken into consideration during the admissions process.

Application Requirements

To apply to UIUC, prospective students must complete an online application and submit various documents, including high school transcripts, standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Additionally, some programs may have additional requirements, such as portfolios or auditions for art or music programs. It’s important to carefully review the application requirements for your intended program of study to ensure you submit all necessary materials.

For more detailed information on UIUC’s admissions process, you can visit their official admissions website here.

Costs and Financial Aid

When considering whether UIUC is a good school, it’s important to take into account the costs associated with attending. Here, we’ll explore the tuition and fees, room and board expenses, as well as the financial aid and scholarship opportunities available at UIUC.

Tuition and Fees

UIUC is a public university, which means that in-state students typically enjoy lower tuition rates compared to out-of-state students. As of the 2021-2022 academic year, the annual tuition and fees for in-state students at UIUC is approximately $15,000, while out-of-state students can expect to pay around $32,000.

It’s worth noting that these figures are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the official UIUC website for the most up-to-date information.

Room and Board

Living on campus can be a great way to fully immerse yourself in the college experience. UIUC offers a variety of housing options, ranging from traditional residence halls to apartment-style living. The cost of room and board depends on the type of accommodation you choose.

On average, students can expect to pay around $10,000 per year for housing and dining at UIUC.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

UIUC is committed to making education accessible and affordable for all students. The university offers a range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses.

Students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Additionally, UIUC offers a variety of scholarships, including merit-based scholarships and departmental awards.

These scholarships can be a great way to reduce the financial burden of attending UIUC.

For more information on costs, financial aid, and scholarships, you can visit the official UIUC financial aid website at

Career Outcomes

Job Placement Rates

One of the key factors to consider when evaluating the quality of a school is its job placement rates. At UIUC, the career services department is dedicated to helping students find internships and full-time employment opportunities.

According to recent data, the job placement rate for UIUC graduates is an impressive 90%. This means that the majority of students are able to secure employment within a short period after graduation.

Average Starting Salaries

Another important aspect of career outcomes is the average starting salaries of graduates. UIUC has a strong reputation for producing highly skilled and marketable graduates, which is reflected in their starting salaries. On average, UIUC graduates earn a starting salary of $60,000 per year.

This is higher than the national average and is a testament to the quality of education and training provided by the university.

Graduate School Acceptance Rates

For students who are interested in pursuing further education after earning their undergraduate degree, the graduate school acceptance rates are a crucial consideration. UIUC has a solid track record of sending its graduates to top graduate programs across the country.

The acceptance rate for UIUC students into graduate schools is around 70%, which is significantly higher than the national average. This indicates that UIUC students are well-prepared academically and have a competitive edge when applying to graduate programs.

It is worth noting that these statistics are subject to change and can vary depending on various factors such as the field of study, economic conditions, and individual student efforts. However, these figures provide a general overview of the career outcomes for UIUC graduates.

Pros and Cons of Attending UIUC


Attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) comes with several advantages that make it a good choice for prospective students. Here are some of the key pros:

  1. Strong Academic Reputation: UIUC is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the United States. Its academic programs, particularly in fields such as engineering, computer science, business, and agriculture, are highly regarded.
  2. Diverse Course Offerings: UIUC offers a wide range of academic programs, allowing students to explore their interests and choose from various majors and minors. The university is known for its strong programs in STEM fields, as well as liberal arts, social sciences, and humanities.
  3. Research Opportunities: UIUC is a leading research institution, providing students with numerous opportunities to engage in groundbreaking research across various disciplines. This hands-on experience can be invaluable for both personal and professional development.
  4. Robust Campus Life: UIUC boasts a vibrant campus community with over 1,000 student organizations and clubs. From cultural and recreational clubs to professional and academic societies, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make lasting connections.
  5. Networking and Career Support: UIUC has a strong alumni network and offers extensive career services to help students connect with potential employers. The university’s reputation and vast industry connections can significantly enhance job prospects after graduation.


While UIUC has many positive aspects, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision. Here are some cons to keep in mind:

  1. Large Class Sizes: As a large university, UIUC often has large class sizes, especially in introductory courses. This can make it challenging for students who prefer smaller, more intimate learning environments.
  2. Competitive Admission: UIUC is a highly selective institution, with a low acceptance rate. This means that gaining admission can be competitive, and students may need to have strong academic credentials and extracurricular achievements to be accepted.
  3. Cost of Attendance: Like many universities, UIUC has a significant cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, and living expenses. While there are financial aid options available, it is important to consider the potential financial burden when deciding to attend.
  4. Weather: UIUC is located in the Midwest, which means it experiences cold winters and hot summers. Some students may find the weather challenging, especially if they are not accustomed to these climate conditions.
  5. Rigorous Academic Demands: UIUC is known for its rigorous academic programs, which can be demanding and require a high level of commitment and dedication. Students should be prepared for challenging coursework and a fast-paced academic environment.

Ultimately, the decision to attend UIUC should be based on individual preferences, goals, and circumstances. It is important for prospective students to carefully consider the pros and cons and weigh them against their own priorities to make an informed decision.


In conclusion, UIUC offers exceptional academics, research opportunities, campus life experiences, career outcomes and value for a public university. While the large school environment isn’t for everyone, UIUC provides access to abundant resources and networks.

Overall, UIUC is considered one of the top public universities and a great option for many students, especially those interested in STEM fields like engineering, computer science and business.

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