overhead of two smiling graduating students laying on the orange and blue confetti grass at Memorial Stadium

Are You Ready For It? Let’s Talk About the Meaning of the UIUC Reputation

“Reputation” is a word with many layers; while not quite the mouthful that the “University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign” is, it carries a similar feeling of importance, a sense of permanence, and maybe even a tinge of gravity. It conveys a history, a background, or even predictions about the future. 

But here’s the thing about reputation: it’s a constant process. You don’t acquire a reputation by being stagnant and unremarkable over time, nor do you maintain a reputation by resisting change once you feel you’ve done enough – and UIUC is no different! We are always adapting to new eras to stay at the forefront of educational success.

We owe this fact to our magnificent student body and faculty, who are the momentum behind our growth. They’re what makes us great! Let’s talk about all the ways Illini students and staff maintain our reputation for excellence.

The Illini Vex Robotics team proudly showcases and poses with one of their creations at the Engineering Open House

We’re a Consistently Top-Ranked University

UIUC is the #12 public university in the nation – and it’s probably because we’re filled to the brim with passionate, inspiring faculty and alumni. Plus, there’s plenty of them to go around! Our student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1, which means there’s always opportunity for one-on-one instruction and attention. 

If you consult the numbers, you’ll find that 27 Pulitzer Prize winners and 23 Nobel Prize winners have called UIUC home (what can we say, we’re a physics hotspot), and we regularly lead the nation in National Science Foundation funding for research. We’re also one of just 34 five-star U.S. universities that gives you quality AND affordability, per Money!

Plus, there’s no shortage of opportunity to learn in a real-world environment. We are always at the forefront of student research and entrepreneurship, and we encourage students to get involved in their passions in a hands-on environment. Internships, campus jobs, and work-study opportunities are always available for any student – we offer tons of engagement options in not only STEM fields but the humanities as well! 

Our propensity for ensuring students gain essential experience and skills in their majors before they enter the job field is the foundation of our reputation for constant innovation and momentum. 

three students having fun practicing their routine inside one of Illinois dance studios

We’ve Got Stellar Programs 

What do you want to study?

Because we probably have it. With ever-growing lists of options for majors, research programs, student organizations, and class choices, we are constantly expanding our academic and recreational horizons and creating room to develop our reputation for quality in new areas. (Some of our colleges boast the top programs in the nation!)

On top of stellar singular programs, many of our colleges have teamed up to provide interconnected majors that allow students to pursue two majors at once. These programs, such as dance and kinesiology and computer science + X, offer the opportunity to explore how disciplines might work together or alongside each other. We know that intersectionality is an essential component of the real world, and we work to provide students with the resources to draw in as much experience in as many areas as possible while they’re at UIUC.

Plus, for those students interested in further elevating their academic experience, several scholar programs and living communities exist on campus that offer extra resources, opportunities to connect with peers, or even classes. There are 11 living-learning communities among our residential housing options, with focuses ranging from business to sustainability. There is always an opportunity to share passions at Illinois!

graduating student in cap and gown poses at Commencement at Memorial Stadium with the jumbotron in the background proudly displaying the orange and blue Illinois logo

We Know Value Is Important 

Success comes in many different forms, and Illini are working hard to discover all of them. UIUC contains both the resources to help students develop essential life skills – from knowledge of the field to the capacity to be a valuable member of a team – as well as the opportunity to use those skills after graduation. 

For example, there are around 1,000 student organizations on campus aimed at providing opportunities for students to try on all of their interests for size while they’re at UIUC. Whether they want to explore their chosen field of study or an extracurricular hobby, so many chances exist to get directly involved while simultaneously making connections with other students, gaining experience, and maybe even trying out a leadership position.

The connections don’t end there. With a network of over half-a-million living alumni, Illini graduate into a world where their predecessors have been setting the example for the value of an Illinois education (and, on average, with a starting salary of around 75k – the numbers don’t hurt!). Plus, last year, 92 Fortune 100 companies recruited Illini graduates. Illinois students are desirable because their prestigious reputation precedes them!

While success will look different for everyone, any definition is possible at UIUC. We value all of our students’ futures, no matter what they might bring!

There’s More Than One Path to Success

We’re sure you’ve heard it before, but it’s true – success looks different for everyone, and it might not be exactly what you imagined. “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” right? So long as you build your reputation for being a hard worker and a good person (and keep an open mind about what constitutes achievement!), success will find you.

Plus, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have achieved success, and you don’t need to win a Nobel Prize in your field to be a valuable member of the Illini family. Our students and faculty model the UIUC reputation simply by being intelligent, passionate learners and teachers! 

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a diverse, vibrant campus with a reputation for excellence and opportunity. Our students and faculty are known for doing amazing things, which we see represented in every field they choose to enter! 
For more examples of the ways Illini alumni are bringing evidence of the Illinois reputation to the world, check out our Illini Success website or the incredible features on Storied!

UIUC Admissions

UIUC Admissions

We're here for you as you prepare for college. Whether you're looking for guidance on the college search process or have questions about Illinois, we hope our blogs will help!