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The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Total Grad Surveys 17
Females 9
Males 8
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)
Competitiveness B (7.1)
Education Quality B+ (7.7)
Faculty Accessibility B+ (7.6)
Useful Research B+ (8.0)
"Individual" treatment C+ (5.6)
Friendliness B (7.0)
Safety B+ (7.8)
Campus Beauty B+ (7.5)
Campus Maintenance B+ (8.0)
University Resource/spending B+ (8.0)
Extracurriculars B+ (7.9)
Success-Understanding B+ (7.6)
Surrounding City C+ (5.4)
Social Life/Environment B- (6.3)
Surrounding CityC+
Graduate PoliticsA-

One of the top Computer Science programs in

Nov 24 2008Computer Science
One of the top Computer Science programs in the entire country, hands down. The students and faculty are some of the best in their fields. I would recommend graduate students applying to Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, and CMU consider UIUC as well. Normative time to graduation is very good, and research opportunities in Architecture, Systems/Compilers/Prog Lang, AI, DB and Theory are among some of the best in the world.
Sep 19 2008Art & Design Department

Does anyone actually learn how to become a teacher in UIUC's art education program?

As a first year Ph

Nov 15 2006Undecided
As a first year Ph.D. student (I intentionally did not list what my major was), I have mixed feelings about this university. I am a Michigan (Ann Arbor), Washington (Seattle), and California alumnus, so I can compare this university to other universities. Here are the pros and the cons:

PROS:
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.

CONS:
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.

Apr 30 2006Civil Engineering

People can definitely fall through the cracks here, and nobody will notice or care until it's too late.

First of all, my field is ethnomusicology, which

Apr 17 2006Music - Composition/Theory
First of all, my field is ethnomusicology, which is part of the musicology dept, along with historical musicology--not comp/theory, which was the closest menu option. As such, it is structured much more like the anthropology PhD. Individual faculty in my dept are very strong and very accessible. Certain other individuals are not. At the moment, there is very litte dept. cohesion, but these things cycle.

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 came to UIUC from the northeast coast,

Feb 15 2006Animal Studies
I came to UIUC from the northeast coast, and it has been a little different than home, but not so much that it is a problem. U of I seems pretty homogeneous, but less so than both schools I attended in New England. Apparently, the undergrad thing to do here is join a frat, which is not my thing, but that has nothing to do with grad school.

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.

I have not been impressed

Apr 11 2004Education
I have not been impressed. I started here on a masters degree and am currently working on a Ph.D. I attended a small liberal arts school in the midwest prior to UIUC. I am here because in downstate Illinois, the U of I is just about the only doctoral institution anyone has ever heard of outside of Illinois. Although somewhat prestigious, UIUC is very decentralized(translated bureaucratic) and if you don't do everything by the book you will usually be sorry. There (at least in my college - education) is very little flexibility and it typically seems more about jumping through hoops until you graduate than about an actual education. If you are planning on working in academe, it's probably worth your while to go here rather than say Illinois State or Northern Illinois, but if you want flexibility, understanding, or guidance, I'd look elsewhere.

I received my bachelors in advertising in May

Nov 27 2003Journalism
I received my bachelors in advertising in May 2002 and had a good experience; however, I decided later that I did not want to work in the advertising industry. I spoke with some journalism professors I had taken classes with during my undergraduate years, and they encouraged me to apply to the journalism graduate school. The courses are challenging, helpful, interesting, and fulfilling. It is stressful and difficult, but I feel like I am actually accomplishing something and learning.

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.

If you are not

Aug 01 2002Education
If you are not self motivated, go someplace else. There is not a lot of guidance if you don't already have an idea of what you want.

It entirely depends on an individual's ingoing and

Nov 04 2000Architecture
It entirely depends on an individual's ingoing and consistant attitude. I went to UIUC both for undergrad and grad, and am very comfortable on campus as I leave for the "real world." Yes, students are friendly, yes, they are hateful. You choose with whom you would like to spend your time. Professors are approachable and helpful...yet I have have thrown up my hands to agree to disagree with more than one. If you do not want to "be a number" then have more personality than a number does. One thing UIUC is NOT short on is things in which to be involved. There is always a cause, a project, recreation, a concert, a game-- always something to do, should you have the capable, forward attitude to do it. You find what you want to do, what makes you happy, and get involved--it doesn't take much more than reading the posters on the ground. Or reading the Daily Illini, or the Octopus, ...call the Division of Campus Recreation. Stop in your departmental office, ask what there is to do around here. They'll give you a long list. I got involded in and out of my department, and found that my activities complemented each other in such a way that my work ($for food) gave me skills to improve my TA position ($for tuition), which lent itself to how I viewed the school of architecture as a whole, and my entire outlook on how I wanted to approach architecture in the working world.

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.

Research Topic(s): The Transformation of Chi; from a Drive-thru Bank to a Center for Alte
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