University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

#104 / #35
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School
Public research university in Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, United States

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Featured Rankings

About University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Illinois began life as the Illinois Industrial University, located in the city of Urbana. Although the original intention of lawmakers and the preference of many state residents was for the new school to concentrate on vocational training, the university’s first president, John Milton Gregory, wisely insisted on offering a full spectrum of liberal arts and science courses.

With time, the university grew considerably, causing the original campus to spread across the dividing line between Urbana and its sister city of Champaign, to the west. That is why the flagship campus of the University of Illinois System is now officially known as the “University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign” to distinguish it from two other satellite campuses—one in Chicago and the other in the state capital of Springfield—that were incorporated into the System in 1913 and 1995, respectively.

Illinois has long been particularly known for its emphasis on the natural sciences and engineering, notably information and computer engineering. This can be seen in the fact that a number of semi-independent scientific research institutes have grown up on or near the main campus, including the Illinois Applied Research Institute, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the National Center for Superconducting Applications.

The latter center’s location here is explained by the fact that it was a trio of Illinois physicists—John Bardeen, Leon Cooper, and John Schrieffer—whose collaboration on what is now known as “BCS theory” in their honor, provided the first deep theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of superconductivity.

Practical applications of all of this cutting-edge research at Illinois are not neglected, either. The university also houses the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, as well as a Research Park, which gives space to more than 120 private companies employing some 2100 students and full-time researchers. Both of these centers help to make the University of Illinois a technology hub, as much for startups as for established corporations’ R & D operations.

Illinois has some 30 Nobel Prize–winners to its credit, including:


  • John Bardeen
  • Leon Cooper
  • John Schrieffer
  • Anthony Leggett
  • Brian Josephson


  • Martin Karplus
  • Elias Corey
  • Rudolph Marcus

Physiology or Medicine

  • Salvador Luria
  • Robert Holley
  • Rosalyn Yalow
  • Phillip Sharp


  • Franco Modigliani
  • Leonid Hurwicz

Other noteworthy Illinois-connected people include:

  • Novelist, Richard Powers
  • Film critic, Roger Ebert
  • Composer, George Crumb
  • Animal behaviorist and autism spokesperson, Temple Grandin
  • Playboy founder and publisher, Hugh Hefner
  • Former General Motors CEO, Jack Welch
  • Software engineer and entrepreneur, Marc Andreessen
  • Oracle founder, Larry Ellison
  • YouTube co-founders, Steve Chen & Jawed Karim

According to Wikipedia, The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. It is the flagship institution of the University of Illinois system and was founded in 1867. Enrolling over 56,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Illinois is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the country.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Online Degrees

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual ApplicationsAcceptanceGraduation RateMedian SAT ScoreMedian ACT Score

How Much Does University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)Fees (in-state)

How Much Do University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Graduates Make?

If you graduate from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, then you can expect to earn an average of $70,900 per year. You also have a 93% chance of being employed after 10 years.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student BodyUnder-GradsGraduates

Where is University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign?

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is located at 601 E John Street, Champaign IL 61820-5711

How Safe is University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign?

Champaign has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Known For?

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Most Influential Alumni?

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, and Communications. Here are some of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's most famous alumni:

Paul Halmos
Paul Halmos
An American mathematician.
Jack Kilby
Jack Kilby
An American electrical engineer .
Eugenio Calabi
Eugenio Calabi
An Italian American mathematician.
Richard Hamming
Richard Hamming
An American mathematician and information theorist.
James Tobin
James Tobin
An American economist.
Steven Best
Steven Best
An American activist.
Christine Korsgaard
Christine Korsgaard
An American philosopher.
Jerome Lettvin
Jerome Lettvin
An American psychiatrist.
Irving Azoff
An American entertainment executive.
Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
An American film critic, author .
Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich
An American computer programmer and technology executive.
Donald Johanson
Donald Johanson
An American anthropologist.

Image Attributions