University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also known as UIUC and the U of I (the officially preferred abbreviation), is the largest campus in the University of Illinois system. It is highly ranked in library and information science, engineering, electrical and computer engineering, computer science, physical sciences, advertising, psychology, educational psychology, agriculture, and accounting. In 2004, US News and World Report ranked the undergraduate program 37th overall out of nationally accredited universities, with 21 different programs ranked in the top 25 and 8 ranked in the top 5 nationwide. The graduate program is even more highly ranked, with 60 disciplines ranked in the top 30 nationwide, including 23 in the top 5 overall. Particularly of note is the College of Engineering, ranked 4th nationwide, with 14 graduate disciplines ranked in the top 10. The university is composed of 18 Colleges and Institutes that offer more than 150 programs of study and is considered a Public Ivy.

The campus was originally established as Illinois Industrial University in Urbana in 1867 under the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, which provided western lands to each state to establish a university for agriculture and engineering. It now includes 272 major buildings on 1,458 acres in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. There are 29,294 undergraduate students and 11,066 graduate and professional students, including students from all 50 states and 100 nations.

11 alumni and nine professors from U of I have won the Nobel Prize.


A view of the main quad looking North toward the Illini Union

The campus' main research and academic facilities are divided almost exactly between the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. The College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences' research fields stretch south from Urbana and Champaign into Savoy and Champaign County. The University's airport is located in Savoy, Illinois and the University maintains formal gardens and a conference center in nearby Monticello at Allerton Park.

The University is one of the few educational institutions to own an airport. The University owns and operates Willard Airport, named for former University of Illinois president Arthur Cutts Willard. The airport was completed in 1945 and began service in 1954. Willard Airport is home to many University research projects and the University's acclaimed Institute of Aviation, along with flights from American, Delta, and Northwest Airlines.

The Campus is based on the Quadrangle design popular at many universities. Four main quads compose the center of the University and are arranged from north to south. The Beckman Quadrangle and the John Bardeen Quadrangle occupy the center of the Engineering Campus. The Beckman Quadrangle is primarily composed of research units and laboratories and features a large solar calendar consisting of an obelisk and several copper fountains. The Main Quadrangle and South Quadrangle follow immediately after the John Bardeen Quad. The former makes up a large part of the Liberal Arts and Sciences portion of the campus, while the latter comprises many of the buildings of the College of ACES (campus map).


A nationally acclaimed research center, UIUC is the site of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which created Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, the foundation upon which Microsoft Internet Explorer is based, and Telnet. The University also has the third largest academic library, and the largest public engineering library (Grainger Engineering Library) in the country. The Daily Illini is the (independent) student newspaper. In 1952 the University built the ILLIAC (Illinois Automatic Computer), the first computer built and owned entirely by an educational institution. UIUC is also the site of the Department of Energy's Center for the Simulation of Advanced Rockets, an institute which has employed graduate and faculty researchers in the physical sciences and mathematics in some of the most advanced research in the field. This history of excellence continues into the 21st century, both with the recent opening of the Siebel Center for Computer Science, the most technologically advanced academic facility to date, and the anticipated opening of the Institute for Genomic Biology in 2006.

Student Life


Alma Mater and Altgeld Hall

The university requires all first-year undergraduate students (who do not commute) to stay in either the University Residence Halls or in University Private-Certified Housing. Both programs are administered by the university's housing division. University housing for undergraduates is provided through twenty-two residence halls in both Urbana and Champaign. All undergraduates within the university housing system are required to purchase some level of meal plan, although they are free to eat elsewhere if they choose. Graduate housing is usually offered through two graduate dorms, restricted to those over twenty years of age, and through two university-owned apartment complexes. However, the recent record-sized freshman class has forced Housing to convert one of the graduate dorms into undergraduate housing. Severely disabled students are provided special housing options to accommodate their needs.

There are a number of private dormitories around campus, as well as a few houses that are outside of the Greek system and offer a more communal living experience. The private dorms tend to be more expensive to live in compared to other housing options. Private-certified residences maintain reciprocity agreements with the university, allowing students to move between the public and private housing systems if they are dissatisfied with their living conditions.

Some undergraduates choose to move into apartments or the Greek houses after their first or second year. The University Tenant Union offers advice on choosing apartments and the process of signing a lease.

Greek Life

The University has the largest intrafraternity system in the world. There are currently 45 fraternities and 20 sororities on the campus providing an alternative living style for its 29,000 undergraduate students. A fair number of the UIUC chapters are the 'Alpha' chapter, meaning that the nationwide organization started on campus here. Approximately 20 percent of undergraduates participate in the Greek community.


File:Grainger Library.jpg
A view of the Grainger Engineering Library from the Bardeen Quad

The University has the largest public university library in the world with more than 22 million volumes[1] in the main library alone. The online catalog is utilized by over one million people around the world every day. In addition to the main library the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences maintains the ACES Library on the South Quad, the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center serves the College of Engineering on the John Bardeen Quad, and over 40 departments and schools maintain their own libraries elsewhere on campus.


The University bus system is part of the local Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. The university, through an MTD fee garnered on top of students' tuition, provides a substantial amount of funding for the MTD, which in turn provides campus bus service and unlimited access to the entire system for university students, faculty, and staff. As part of this arrangement, the MTD also runs a bus line between Illinois Terminal and the university's aforementioned University of Illinois Willard Airport. In addition, the Illinois Terminal provides connection services to Amtrak and Greyhound, making it the focal point of Chambana's public transportation systems.

The university maintains an extensive system of bike trails on campus. All students are expected to register their bicycles with the campus public safety department, and to keep their bicycles in a safe operating condition.


Main article: University of Illinois Athletics

The University's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics fields teams for 10 men's and 11 women's varsity sports. The University participates in the NCAA's Division 1-A and is a member of the Big Ten athletic conference. The University's athletic teams are known as the Fighting Illini. The University operates a number of top athletic facilities, including Memorial Stadium for football, the Assembly Hall for men's basketball, and the Atkins Tennis Center for men's and women's tennis. The men's NCAA basketball team had a dream run in the 2005 season, with Bruce Weber's Fighting Illini tying the record for most victories in a season. Their run ended 37-2 with a loss to the N.C. Tar Heels in the national championship game.

On October 15, 1910, the Illinois football team defeated the University of Chicago Maroons with a score of 3-0. The game is notable in that it was the focal point of the first ever organized homecoming weekend [2].

Chief Illiniwek, the University's symbol, has garnered controversy for many years.


Colleges and Schools

File:UIUC Bardeen Quad.jpg
Panorama of the Bardeen Quad

Notable Faculty and Alumni

See also: List of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign people

As of 2005, ten alumni are Nobel laureates and sixteen have won a Pulitzer Prize. Alumni have created companies such as Netscape Communications, AMD, PayPal, and Oracle Corporation.

Notable Sports Alumni

The University of Illinois has produced many outstanding athletes. Many have gone on to enjoy distinguished proffesional careers in athletics.

Main article: University of Illinois Athletics
  • Shaheen Torgoley, Former Soccer Standout

External links

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