University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Updated August 6, 2020

Founded in 1867 under the Morrill Act and developed by first president John Milton Gregory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now a major public flagship land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution with very high research activity. Boasting the nation's second-largest library after Harvard, UIUC is located on a spacious 4,552-acre urban campus in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign just 135 miles south of Chicago. Across its 17 distinctive academic colleges, UIUC enrolls more than 32,000 undergraduates and 12,000 post-graduates. Thanks to its world-class educational technology, many of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's 150 programs offer online or hybrid learning options.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, UIUC is currently ranked as the 42nd best university and 11th top public school in the entire country. In particular, UIUC is highly acclaimed for having America's 82nd best online bachelor's programs, 47th best online graduate teaching degrees, and 35th best online master's in engineering programs. Microsoft hires more graduates from the University of Illinois than any other worldwide. UIUC was crowned the 26th best master's-level institution in Washington Monthly magazine for service and ethics. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also was honored by the Times Higher Education as the 29th best global university.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Accreditation Details

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was re-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) in 2010. This regional accrediting body is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Furthermore, several of the university's academic departments have received discipline-specific accreditation from professional agencies. Business-related degrees are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Teaching programs are given the stamp of approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Engineering degrees are accredited through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Application Requirements

UIUC has a selective acceptance rate of 62 percent, so you'll need to meet some strict requirements before being given admissions. For pursuing one of the online master's programs, graduate students must have obtained at least a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college in America or a foreign equivalent. Having a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate studies is mandated. Certain programs of study will require a higher GPA as well as satisfactory scores on the GRE, GMAT, or MAT exams. International applicants should also demonstrate English proficiency by submitting TOEFL scores using the institutional code of 1836.

Before the posted deadlines three times each year, interested students should submit an application to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with these materials:

  • Official transcripts from schools attended
  • Graduate entrance exam scores
  • A one to two-page personal statement
  • Program-specific essay responses
  • Three letters of reference
  • A current, up-to-date professional resume
  • Payment for the $70 application fee (if not waived)

Tuition and Financial Aid

In accordance with Illinois' guaranteed-tuition law, UIUC allows students to lock in their fixed tuition rate for every year of uninterrupted college attendance. Per academic year, graduate students living in Illinois can expect a base tuition rate of $11,824. Non-resident students earning their online master's degree from UIUC must afford a base tuition rate of $25,546. Depending on the program of study, extra expenses may be accrued. For instance, the MBA costs $19,979 in-state and $29,976 out-of-state due to additional fees. Online learners at UIUC are also asked to budget $1,800 for textbooks and $2,750 for other supplies every year.

Nearly 45 percent of full-time students at UIUC receive some type of need-based financial aid to afford these tuition expenses. Graduate students could supplement their university aid with Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, Perkins, PLUS, or private loans, but borrowing should be done carefully to avoid interest-filled debt. UIUC offers a payment plan for graduate students to pay anticipated tuition and fees over 12 installments throughout the academic year. Financially needy students from low income households could qualify for the Illinois Promise program to cover all of their tuition. UIUC has abundant scholarship opportunities, such as the Illinois Achievement Scholarship, Stamps Family Scholarship, Provost Scholarship, and Matthews Scholars Program. Graduate assistantships and fellowships are also available.

Online Degrees Available

Using the same high-quality, accredited curricula, the University of Illinois Online offers programs fully online for completion from anywhere with high-speed Internet, excluding Maryland. From the Urbana-Champaign campus, students can select from one bachelor's degree, 25 master's degrees, and 26 certificate programs delivered online. While engaging in stimulating virtual classroom discussions, graduate students will also have access to the award-winning campus library and 24/7 technical support service. A few of the notable UIUC online master's programs include the:

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Requiring no campus visits, the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering is delivered 100 percent online through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to prepare working engineers for career advancement. Students will build essential skills in the fundamental areas of biomechanical science, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, chemistry, computational science, applied physics, and more. Within the 36-credit curriculum, students can follow the master's thesis track or a non-thesis option with an independent study project. There are similar programs for Aerospace Engineering and Civil/Environmental Engineering.

M.Ed. in Learning Design and Leadership

Building on a rigorous 32-credit curriculum, the online M.Ed. in Learning Design and Leadership (LDL) program at UIUC is structured to provide busy educators a convenient pathway for developing the strategies to create more engaging learning environments. Drawing on the latest new media technologies, the program trains teachers to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse learning needs of students in K-12. Courses will cover topics in eLearning, mobile technology, learning assessment, bilingual education, literacy development, classroom culture, educational psychology, and educational technology reform.

Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations

In an asynchronous format that accommodates the lifestyle of working professionals, the Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) program is tailored to unlock upper-level positions in the exciting HR management field. Within the 48-credit program, students will work with nationally recognized faculty to better understand how organization's can maximize their employees' productivity and satisfaction. Coursework will explore employee motivation, labor relations, change management, workplace diversity, collective bargaining, staffing, employment law, and compensation. Aspiring HR specialists can complete a master's in just two years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign without disrupting their career.

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