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The University of Illinois at Chicago


The University of Illinois at Chicago was chartered in 1867 in Urbana as the state’s land-grant university. In 1896, three health colleges, the Chicago College of Pharmacy, the College of Physcians and Surgeons as well as the Columbian College of Dentistry, affiliated with the university. All three health colleges were founded in the late 1800s. In 1913, those colleges became the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy at the university.

After World War II, a temporary branch campus known as the Chicago Undergraduate Division was created to manage growing enrollment. The campus was housed on Navy Pier and provided two-year college programs to veterans attending on the G.I. Bill. It was not a junior college but an extension of Urbana’s courses allowing students to complete their first two years of study at the branch campus before transferring to Urbana to complete their degree. Classes began in 1946 with around 4,000 enrolled students. At the time, most of the students were the first generation to attend college. Many were from working families and commuted from home.

After the first wave of veterans taking advantage of the G.I. Bill passed, demand for public higher education continued to grow. The university began taking steps to create a permanent four-year campus in Chicago. In 1961, Mayor Richard J. Daley offered the Harrison and Halstead site in the Near West Side for the new campus.

Initially, the school was known as The University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and the campus opened in 1965. Because it was connected to a strong research facility, the school was able to attract top-notch faculty, leading to a push for a research-oriented school that emphasized graduate instruction. Within five years, the college was offering graduate degrees in all departments.

In 1982, the Medical Center and Circle Campus merged to form the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today, there are 29,120 students attending the university. It is the largest university in the Chicago area and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report s one of the top 200 national universities in the country.

University of Illinois at Chicago Accreditation Details

The University of Illinois at Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Regional accreditation indicates that the school meets or exceeds criteria that the commission has recognized as necessary for the university to provide excellence in education. It also demonstrates that the school is willing to make improvements in areas identified by the organization. Programs throughout the university are accredited by industry-specific organizations and associations as well.

University of Illinois at Chicago Admissions Requirements

Students who have not earned college credit after high school graduation are considered first-year students. They must complete the Common Application and pay the application fee. Students must provide an official high school transcript as well as ACT or SAT scores. Some programs may also require additional application materials such as portfolios or auditions.

Students who have earned college credit after graduation are considered transfer students. They must complete the UIC website application or the Common Application. Printed applications are not accepted. There is an application fee and students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Programs may have minimum credit hour and prerequisite requirements for transfer credits. Students should check with an admissions advisor prior to applying.

Graduate students should apply through the Apply Page on the college website. If the program selected has a special application process, the student will be redirected to that page. Some programs have specific admission requirements which will be explained on the website during the application process. All students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher to apply for graduate studies at the university.

University of Illinois at Chicago Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition at the University of Illinois at Chicago is $10,584 per year for Illinois residents and $23,440 for out-of-state students. Graduate tuition per semester is $1,913 for Illinois residents and $3,953 for out-of-state students.

Financial aid is available through the Office of Financial Aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and employment. There are also tuition waivers in the form of assistantships and fellowships. Veterans may have additional financial aid options. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any aid. Students must be enrolled for at least six credit hours for undergraduate programs and five credit hours for graduate programs. Students must make satisfactory academic progress while accepting financial aid.

University of Illinois at Chicago Student Experience

The University of Illinois at Chicago has one of the most diverse student populations in the country. The campus is located in the active city of Chicago and there are many student groups available to keep students active. The College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs is a national leader in producing leaders from their graduate programs and the Public Administration Department has been ranked fifth in the country for research productivity. The college is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, the Planning Accreditation Board and the Urban Affairs Association Institution.

Students in programs offered by the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs are proud to be part of the Chicagoland region. They live, study and work in Chicago, in a city known for history, resilience and its location in the heart of the United States. Students work hand-in-hand with the city of Chicago and the area surrounding the city to benefit local communities. Students are able to showcase their classwork and projects at social events and are able to make connections throughout the region to enhance internships and job searches. They have worked as volunteers at various community events in order to improve the lives of the people of Chicago and the surrounding area.

The college offers an undergraduate degree in Public Policy as well as a Master of Public Administration. Students may also earn a minor in Geographic Information Systems. Programs address the complex problems and governance challenges of urban regions. Students are provided an opportunity to study leadership in an urban setting, giving them the skills necessary to confront problems at civic, fiscal and economic levels. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Public Administration Student Association which offers many opportunities to attend career workshops, internship panels and social events as well as participate in volunteer events that can help them build the network they need for success upon graduation.

Students may also choose a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies which can lead to the university’s Master of Urban Planning and Policy as well as a PhD in Urban Planning and Policy. The programs are grounded in social equity and sustainability, teaching students innovative concepts and technology that address urban issues. Students take call classes in Chicago and are able to gain hands-on knowledge through internships, volunteer opportunities and employment in the vibrant city. The Urban Planning and Policy program is the only accredited planning program in the Chicago region. Students are able to study environmental impacts and the effect of climate change on urban areas. The college also has an urban data visualization lab that allows students to visualize problem solving in a real-world setting.

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers students the opportunity to achieve their higher education goals, allowing them to move into a new career or advance in a current career surrounded by the vibrant city of Chicago.