Best Universities in Illinois

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago, founded in 1890, is a private research university located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It is known for its rigorous academic programs, innovative research, and commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #6 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 17,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Chicago offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 6%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1520.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Student Government
  2. Research and Academic Clubs
  3. Cultural and Ethnic Organizations
  4. Performing Arts Groups
  5. Volunteer and Community Service Programs

Famous Alumni:

  1. Barack Obama (Former President of the United States)
  2. Milton Friedman (Nobel Laureate in Economics)
  3. Susan Sontag (Writer and Philosopher)
  4. Saul Bellow (Pulitzer Prize-winning Author)
  5. Bernie Sanders (U.S. Senator)

Top Employers:

  1. Google
  2. McKinsey & Company
  3. Goldman Sachs
  4. Microsoft
  5. Boston Consulting Group

Northwestern University

Northwestern University, founded in 1851, is a private research university located in Evanston, just north of Chicago. It is known for its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary education, innovative research, and global engagement.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #9 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 22,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Northwestern University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 9%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1490.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Student Government
  2. Research and Academic Clubs
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Greek Life
  5. Community Service Organizations

Famous Alumni:

  1. Warren Buffett (Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway)
  2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Emmy-winning Actress)
  3. Stephen Colbert (Comedian and TV Host)
  4. Seth Meyers (Comedian and TV Host)
  5. David Schwimmer (Actor)

Top Employers:

  1. Amazon
  2. Google
  3. Microsoft
  4. Deloitte
  5. Accenture

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, founded in 1867, is a public research university located in Urbana and Champaign. It is known for its strong programs in engineering, computer science, and business.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #47 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 52,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 62%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1360.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Engineering and Technology Clubs
  2. Student Government
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Cultural and Ethnic Organizations
  5. Intramural Sports

Famous Alumni:

  1. Roger Ebert (Pulitzer Prize-winning Film Critic)
  2. Marc Andreessen (Co-founder of Netscape)
  3. Nick Offerman (Actor and Comedian)
  4. Max Levchin (Co-founder of PayPal)
  5. Larry Ellison (Co-founder of Oracle Corporation)

Top Employers:

  1. Caterpillar Inc.
  2. State Farm
  3. Deloitte
  4. Amazon
  5. Microsoft

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), founded in 1982, is a public research university located in Chicago. It is known for its diverse student body, strong programs in health sciences, and urban engagement.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #129 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 33,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 76%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1200.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Health Professions Organizations
  2. Student Government
  3. Cultural and Ethnic Clubs
  4. Volunteer and Community Service Programs
  5. Research and Academic Clubs

Famous Alumni:

  1. Margo Martindale (Emmy-winning Actress)
  2. Richard M. Daley (Former Mayor of Chicago)
  3. Judy Baar Topinka (Former Illinois State Treasurer)
  4. Derrick Rose (NBA Player)
  5. Jennifer Morrison (Actress)

Top Employers:

  1. University of Illinois at Chicago
  2. Advocate Health Care
  3. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  4. Deloitte
  5. PricewaterhouseCoopers

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), founded in 1890, is a private research university located in Chicago. It is known for its strong programs in engineering, architecture, and technology.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #96 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 7,800 students

Degrees Offered:

Illinois Institute of Technology offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in engineering, architecture, business, law, and science.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 57%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1330.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Engineering and Technology Clubs
  2. Architectural Design Competitions
  3. Student Government
  4. Research and Academic Organizations
  5. Professional Development Workshops

Famous Alumni:

  1. Mies van der Rohe (Architect)
  2. Larry Page (Co-founder of Google)
  3. Harold Washington (Former Mayor of Chicago)
  4. Martin Cooper (Inventor of the Cell Phone)
  5. Ivan Sutherland (Computer Scientist)

Top Employers:

  1. Boeing
  2. Caterpillar Inc.
  3. Motorola Solutions
  4. Accenture
  5. Deloitte

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is a private Catholic university located in Chicago. It is known for its strong emphasis on social justice, service learning, and Jesuit values.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #104 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 17,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Loyola University Chicago offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 67%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1250.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Campus Ministry and Service Organizations
  2. Student Government
  3. Cultural and Ethnic Clubs
  4. Performing Arts Groups
  5. Health Professions Organizations

Famous Alumni:

  1. Michael Jordan (NBA Hall of Famer)
  2. Bob Newhart (Emmy-winning Actor)
  3. Patricia A. Woertz (Former CEO of Archer Daniels Midland)
  4. John Cusack (Actor)
  5. Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt (Chaplain of the Loyola Ramblers)

Top Employers:

  1. Loyola University Chicago
  2. Advocate Health Care
  3. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  4. Deloitte
  5. PricewaterhouseCoopers

DePaul University

DePaul University, founded in 1898, is a private Catholic university located in Chicago. It is known for its strong programs in business, law, and the liberal arts, as well as its commitment to social justice and community engagement.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #124 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 22,000 students

Degrees Offered:

DePaul University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 68%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1200.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Business and Entrepreneurship Clubs
  2. Cultural and Ethnic Organizations
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Student Government
  5. Community Service and Social Justice Initiatives

Famous Alumni:

  1. Gillian Flynn (Author)
  2. Bob Odenkirk (Actor and Comedian)
  3. John Wayne Gacy (Serial Killer)
  4. Wendy Doniger (Author and Professor)
  5. Adrian Wojnarowski (Sports Journalist)

Top Employers:

  1. DePaul University
  2. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  3. United Airlines
  4. Accenture
  5. Deloitte

University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), founded in 1969, is a public university located in Springfield. It is known for its strong programs in political science, public administration, and online education.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #55 in Regional Universities Midwest (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 4,000 students

Degrees Offered:

The University of Illinois Springfield offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various disciplines, with a focus on public affairs and liberal arts education.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 58%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1140.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Model United Nations
  2. Student Government
  3. Volunteer and Service Organizations
  4. Political and Social Justice Clubs
  5. Performing Arts Groups

Famous Alumni:

  1. Bruce Rauner (Former Governor of Illinois)
  2. Tammy Duckworth (U.S. Senator)
  3. John Cullerton (Former President of the Illinois Senate)
  4. Cheryl Raye-Stout (Sports Journalist)
  5. Jim Edgar (Former Governor of Illinois)

Top Employers:

  1. State of Illinois
  2. Memorial Health System
  3. Springfield Public School District
  4. Horace Mann Educators Corporation
  5. Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University, founded in 1857, is a public university located in Normal. It is known for its strong programs in education, business, and the arts, as well as its commitment to community engagement and sustainability.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #169 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 21,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Illinois State University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 82%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1160.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Greek Life
  2. Student Government
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Volunteer and Service Organizations
  5. Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Clubs

Famous Alumni:

  1. Jane Lynch (Emmy-winning Actress)
  2. John Malkovich (Actor)
  3. Sean Payton (NFL Coach)
  4. Doug Collins (Former NBA Player and Coach)
  5. Laurie Metcalf (Emmy-winning Actress)

Top Employers:

  1. Illinois State University
  2. State Farm
  3. Advocate Health Care
  4. COUNTRY Financial
  5. Caterpillar Inc.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), founded in 1869, is a public research university located in Carbondale. It is known for its strong programs in aviation, agriculture, and the arts, as well as its research contributions to various fields.

U.S. News Ranking:

Ranked #257 in National Universities (2022)

Number of Students:

Approximately 11,000 students

Degrees Offered:

Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various disciplines, with a focus on applied research and experiential learning.

Acceptance Rate:

Approximately 79%

Average SAT Score:

The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1090.

Most Popular Extracurricular Activities:

  1. Aviation Clubs and Organizations
  2. Agricultural and Environmental Groups
  3. Performing Arts Groups
  4. Greek Life
  5. Outdoor Recreation Clubs

Famous Alumni:

  1. Richard Roundtree (Actor)
  2. Walt Frazier (NBA Hall of Famer)
  3. Mike Glennon (NFL Quarterback)
  4. Michael H. Jordan (Former CEO of CBS Corporation)
  5. Brian Sipe (Former NFL Quarterback)

Top Employers:

  1. Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  2. Memorial Hospital of Carbondale
  3. Carbondale Community High School District
  4. Shawnee Health Service
  5. SIU Credit Union

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