The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
| StudentsReview ::
The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings|
|Total Grad Surveys||17|
|Avg years at University||2.1|
|Research Quality||B+ (8.1)|
|Research Availability||B+ (8.0)|
|Research Funding||B (6.7)|
|Graduate Politics||A- (8.2)|
|Errand Runners||B+ (7.4)|
|Degree Completion||B+ (7.3)|
|Alternative pay [ta/gsi]||B+ (8.0)|
|Sufficient Pay||B (6.9)|
|Education Quality||B+ (7.7)|
|Faculty Accessibility||B+ (7.6)|
|Useful Research||B+ (8.0)|
|"Individual" treatment||C+ (5.6)|
|Campus Beauty||B+ (7.5)|
|Campus Maintenance||B+ (8.0)|
|University Resource/spending||B+ (8.0)|
|Surrounding City||C+ (5.4)|
|Social Life/Environment||B- (6.3)|
1) This university has the third largest university library (after Harvard and Yale). You'll have no problems finding books, etc.
2) This campus is pretty diverse, and there are people from all over the world. This school is supposedly #1 in the number of Ph.D. students from foreign countries.
3) UIUC is trying to develop a more international curriculum. There are many opportunities abroad (mostly if you are an undergraduate student).
4) The transportation systme is convenient. As a student, you do not have to pay (although I must say Michigan has a better transportation system).
5) Tuition is cheaper than, say Ann Arbor. Living expenses are cheaper here than LA, Ann Arbor and Seattle.
1) Chief Illiniwek - although this may be offensive to students of color, about 90% of UIUC students support this mascot.
2) Lack of decent restaurants in Champaign-Urbana (Chambana) area. There are handful of Chinese/Asian restaurants, but I haven't found any decent ones (compared to L.A.).
3) Nothing to do, especially if you don't have a car. On the bright side, you can get your studying done - since there's really nothing to do or see. I can verify a comment that central Illinois is really a rust belt. The corn/soybean field stretches in every direction with, virtually nothing...no (used) book stores, few gas station...that's pretty much it.
4) Although cost of living and tuition are cheaper than the abovementioned schools, there's nothing much going on.
5) Lack of political activism (compared to Berkeley or Michigan).
6) Reputation - I can verify an earlier comment that UIUC lacks the reputation that other Big Ten universities have -Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin. As a result, not too many people in the west coast or east coast have heard of UIUC (Michigan alumni network is one of the biggest in the world.)
7) Too much drinking. I know UIUC has a huge Greek system, but these students are out drinking at night.
8) Too many anti-Michigan sentiments - I think a lot of this stems from inferiority complex (Michigan beats UIUC in most academics - with the exception of engineering AND has a better football team. Fighting Illini has been losing every major games.). 9) Constant change in weather. I don't know when it'll rain.
As for the university, and the School of Music in particular, I have been continually shocked at the archaic use of technology in use here (esp. considering we're the home of NCSA!). There is little understanding of how to efficiently use the internet or email or other forms of networking to make student lives easier instead of more complex; we each have 1/2 a dozen passwords to access all the different systems; email and online storage space is pathetically small. And this is a music student here--my needs are basic! The bureaucracy is byzantine, totally uncentralized, encouraging people to hole up in their depts and ignore the rest of the university as much as possible. The situation for TAs, etc., is not great, but improving, as we finally have a union (the GEO) protecting our interests--the U. has been consistently uncooperative and obstructive in our pursuit of fair contracts. Culturally, Champaign-Urbana is pretty bland for a university town. There's enough going on to keep you busy for a few years, but it's socially apathetic and everythings stays pretty middle-of-the road (art, music, politics). That said, UIUC is no slouch intellectually--there are great minds here, strong courses, an absurdly huge library, and it is better funded overall than many state schools.
I am in the animal science program in nutrition, which is arguably the best program in the country. Resources are abundant, and the dept seems to really care for their grad students. I am not teaching at all, which I would like to do, but there are opportunities to do so occasionally. The primary focus is on research and writing, and some extension activities in your field too. Depending on your advisor, you may become a slave to their research, but I do not have that problem at all. The students are very competetive and the dept is one of the largest if not the largest in the country. The nutrition group is very strong in all areas.
If you are interested in agriculture and research, U of I is at the top, long with Wisconsin, Cornell, Michigan State, Iowa, etc etc, in other programs like crop sci and engineering too.U-C is not a bad place, it is mostly restaraunts and bars and chain clothing stores. And of course, it is in the middle of corn and bean fields. I can see how all the Chicago people think it is boring. It is flat too, which takes some getting used to if you are used to mtns and ocean. But overall, it is cheap living and the dept stipend is very good, especially since the benefits are very good. So far, U of I has been a great experience.
Also, the journalism department strives to provide a graduate assistantship for every student in the program. With an assistantship, each student also receives a tuition waiver. With little need for loans, this is my chance to get a great education at the best value possible. Some in the program were accepted by schools such as Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, but opted to go to Illinois because of its value. There is no reason to graduate with a $30,000 debt.Although the workload can be overwhelming, this program is perfect for anyone who is looking for a good value, an excellent education, and professional experience. I highly recommend Illinois to anyone interested in journalism.
Yes, the quality of academics is definately a consideration--UIUC has that pretty much well covered in the architecture department. The focus is theory and history, should that appeal to you--different schools focus on different aspects, providing their students with different strengths. There's more I would like to have learned, yes, but I also figure that no school can cover enough ground to entirely prepare an architecture student for the office.
That's a lot of words to say all at once.
All I really mean to get accross is:You get what you make of it.
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