The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, adjacent to the Chicago Loop. The second campus established under the University of Illinois system, UIC is also the largest university in the Chicago area, having approximately 28,000 students enrolled in 15 colleges.
UIC operates the largest medical school in the United States, and serves as the principal educator for Illinois’ physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. UIC's medical school has research expenditures exceeding $412 million and consistently ranks in the top 50 U.S. institutions for research expenditures.
In the 2013 U.S. News & World Report's ranking of colleges and universities, UIC ranked as the 147th best national university.
UIC competes in NCAA Division I Horizon League as the UIC Flames in sports. The UIC Pavilion is home to all UIC basketball games. It also serves as a venue for concerts.
The University of Illinois at Chicago traces its origins to several private health colleges founded during the late nineteenth century, including the Chicago College of Pharmacy, which opened in 1859, the College of Physicians and Surgeons (1882), and the Columbian College of Dentistry (1891).
The University of Illinois was chartered in 1867 in Champaign-Urbana, as the state's land-grant university. In exchange for agreeing to the Champaign-Urbana location, Chicago-area legislators were promised that a "polytechnical" branch would open in Chicago. The Chicago-based health colleges affiliated with the University in 1896–97, becoming fully incorporated into the University of Illinois in 1913, as the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. Medical education and research dramatically expanded in the succeeding decades, leading to the development of several other health science colleges, which were brought together as the Chicago Professional Colleges of the University of Illinois. In 1935, the first act of newly elected state representative Richard J. Daley was to introduce a resolution calling for the establishment of an undergraduate Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.
In 1945, as the war ended, Daley (then a state senator) introduced four bills calling for a university in Chicago. Following World War II, the University of Illinois increased its presence in Chicago by creating a temporary, two-year branch campus, the Chicago Undergraduate Division. Known as 'Harvard on the Rocks' and housed on Navy Pier, the campus accommodated primarily student veterans on the G.I. Bill. The campus was not a junior college, but rather had a curriculum based on Urbana's courses, and students who successfully completed the first two years' requirements could go on to Urbana and finish their degree.
Classes at the Navy Pier Campus began in October 1946, and approximately 4,000 students enrolled each semester. As Chicago had no comprehensive public university at that time, most students were first generation college students from working families, who commuted from home. Demand for a public university education in Chicago remained high, even after the first wave of veterans passed, so the University made plans to create a permanent degree-granting campus in the Chicago area.
In 1951, Daley succeeded in getting the state senate to pass a bill calling for a Chicago campus. Daley became mayor of Chicago in 1955 and pressed the University of Illinois to upgrade the Chicago Undergraduate Center to a full-fledged four-year institution. After a long and controversial site decision process, in 1961, Mayor Daley offered the Harrison and Halsted Streets site for the new campus. In that same year, what would later become the health science colleges became the University of Illinois at the Medical Center (UIMC). In a report on August 28, 2008, by newsman Derrick Blakely, CBS TV reported that in 1963, the decision to build the University of Illinois decimated Taylor Street's little Italy. Florence Scala, Chicago’s legendary Taylor Street activist and long time Hull House cohort, blamed the board of directors of Hull House for betraying the thriving, vibrant, tight knit neighborhood. They encouraged Daley to go ahead and destroy the neighborhood. Her challenge as to why the Hull House neighborhood and not the vacated and easily accessible Dearborn Station, resulted in the bombing of her home. In addition on November 10, 2003, WTTW Irv Kupcinet related a story about Mayor Richard J. Daley asking him what he thought was his most crowning achievement. Daley answered "Putting the school in the Italian neighborhood." Meaning the old Taylor Street neighborhood being condemned to make way for the Chicago Circle Campus.
The new Chicago campus was named the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (UICC) and opened in February 1965. (The Circle part of the name referred to the nearby Circle Interchange.) UICC was designed by Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, a Chicago-based architectural firm responsible for most of today's tallest skyscrapers. Unlike the Navy Pier campus, Circle was a degree-granting institution. Many of the newly recruited faculty came because it was connected to a strong research university and they pushed for rapid development into a research-oriented school emphasizing graduate instruction. Within five years of the campus' opening, virtually every department offered graduate degrees.
In 1979, University of Illinois system president Stanley Ikenberry announced a plan to consolidate the campus of the university and the campus of the medical-professional schools to form the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The merger took three years of work by Ikenberry; but, in September 1982 it was completed. In 1987, the post-merger UIC advanced to Carnegie Research 1 institution status.
In 2000, UIC began developing the South Campus. The expansion of UIC south of Roosevelt Road increased on-campus living space and research facilities.
One in ten Chicagoans with a college degree is a UIC alumnus. Approximately one in eight Illinois doctors is a graduate of the UIC College of Medicine (the nation’s largest medical school). One in three Illinois pharmacists is a graduate of the College of Pharmacy. Half of all the dentists in Illinois are graduates of UIC’s College of Dentistry.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers 74 bachelor degrees, 77 master degrees, and 60 doctoral degrees through its 14 colleges, in addition to the university's specialized Honors College (for undergraduates) and the omnibus Graduate College (for graduate students):
UIC offers eleven inter-college programs, some of which are organized as centers: Cancer Center, Center for Structural Biology, Neuroscience program, Council for Teacher Education, Graduate Education in Medical Sciences, Guaranteed Professional Programs Admissions program, Moving Image Arts program, National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, Office of International Affairs, Study Abroad Office, and the Office of Special Scholarship Programs.
The university is run by the chancellor who is supported by seven vice chancellors, one CEO for administrative functions, and fifteen college deans. There is a library dean and three regional deans for colleges of medicine.
In December 1961, the final decision to establish a four-year university in Chicago was made, and for the first time a full-scale, four-year program was envisioned. A faculty Honors Council was thus established with plans to develop an enriching and challenging academic program for superior students. Dr. Arthur Pickett, Professor of Biology, was appointed as the first Director of the University of Illinois-Circle Honors Program after the new Circle Campus opened in 1965.
In 1982, the Honors Council developed a proposal to convert the Campus Honors Program into an Honors College, with the goal of further enriching the academic experiences of honors students. Honors freshmen were required to enroll in a year-long interdisciplinary core sequence, and each honors student was given a faculty advisor. Upperclassmen were required to complete an honors project each term. The proposal emphasized that “Above all, it is hoped that the Honors College will enhance the intellectual environment for all students and faculty.” The proposal was approved by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois that year. Susanna Pflaum, Professor of Education, was appointed as the first dean of the College.
Today, the Honors College resembles a small liberal arts college nestled within a large research university, allowing the University of Illinois at Chicago to offer the best of both worlds to honors students and faculty. The Honors College is a home for students seeking extra intellectual challenges as well as campus and community engagement. It is also a home for faculty members seeking collaboration with some of the most motivated students on campus.
Burnham Hall houses the Honors College offices, classrooms, student lounge, and quiet study room. Additionally, students admitted to the Honors College are eligible to live on designated floors of UIC's residence halls. They have their own study hall, computer lab, and individual professional advisors.
Students admitted to the Honors College must complete an additional application for specific admittance to the college, in addition to a degree-granting college. In order to be admitted and remain in the Honors College, a student must provide evidence of scholastic merit, maintain a GPA of 3.4 or above and participate in an Honors College activity each semester, separate from their regular classes. The Honors College offers scholarships and tuition waivers for incoming freshmen, transfer students, and continuing students. Other awards support undergraduate research, study abroad, and civic engagement.
The current dean of the Honors College is Dr. Bette L. Bottoms.
The student body at UIC consists of more than 28,000 total students, of which nearly 17,000 are undergraduate students. Demographic statistics for undergraduates as of 2009 were:
While not tracked in the sources above, informal surveys suggest that between 5% and 10% of the UIC student population identifies themselves as being of middle eastern descent.
The chancellor operates six diversity-related committees on Asian Americans, Blacks, Latinos, LGBT issues, Persons with disabilities, and Women. UIC has been publicly recognized as diverse. US News & World Report repeatedly ranks UIC in the top 10 most diverse universities in the nation. In 2006, UIC was ranked by Advocate College Guide as one of the nation's top 100 LGBT friendly campuses.
In the 2013 U.S. News & World Report's ranking of colleges and universities, the University of Illinois at Chicago ranked as the 147th best national university, 77th best public university., In the 2012 Washington Monthly ranking of national universities, UIC ranked as the 64th best national university in the U.S. In 2012, Academic Ranking of World Universities placed UIC in the 150–200 bracket in the world and 68-85 in the U.S. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed UIC in the 49th position in the U.S. and 167th in the world. In 2012, Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 University Rankings (a comparison of universities less than 50 years old) placed UIC in the 3rd position in the U.S. and 11th in the world. The 2012 QS Worldwide University rankings placed UIC in the 180th position.
UIC is one of 96 American universities receiving the highest research classification ("RU/VH") by the Carnegie Foundation. (Under the prior Carnegie classification system, UIC was one of 88 "Research I" universities.) In 2005, National Science Foundation statistics on research funding ranked UIC 48th out of more than 650 universities receiving federal research money. UIC's level of research funding surpassed one Big Ten university and the University of Chicago.
In the 2012 rankings by the Institute of Higher Education in Shanghai, UIC tied for 51st–75th in the subject area of social sciences, 76th–100th in the subject area of medicine, and 101st-150th in the subject areas of life/agricultural sciences and natural sciences and mathematics.
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration was recently ranked No.1 among Chicago-area schools and tied for 56 overall among accredited undergraduate business programs by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking places UIC among the top 15 percent of the 467 programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB, the primary accreditation organization for business schools.
Many programs ranked in the top 50 overall graduate program rankings by U.S. News & World Report in 2013 (released in 2012) including: Clinical Psychology (42) Criminology (19), Education (38), English (41), Fine Arts (45), History (36), Mathematics (36), Nursing (11), Occupational Therapy (4), Pharmacy (14), Physical Therapy (16), Public Affairs (37), Public Health (16), Social Work (24), and Sociology (41). The June 2007 issue of the Communications of Association for Computing Machinery published a ranking of graduate computer science programs based on recent scholarly publications. That list ranked UIC 34th, tied with Caltech, among the top 50 U.S. graduate programs. UIC's philosophy program has repeatedly ranked in the top 40 philosophy graduate programs in the US, by the Philosophical Gourmet Report.
The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine's survey of more than 700 American schools ranked UIC’s entrepreneurship program 9th (undergraduate) and 12th (graduate). In 2008 US News & World Report ranked UIC's undergraduate business program 58th and the undergraduate engineering program 57th in the United States. US News & World Report also ranked UIC's part-time MBA 24th out of over 300 programs nationally and the graduate finance program 19th; undergraduate program rankings were accounting (28th) and finance (17th in 2010). In 2010 Princeton Review ranked UIC in the top 50 undergraduate game design programs of 700 universities in the US and Canada. Criteria included the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure. The Princeton Review also looked at data on scholarships, financial aid and career opportunities.
In the 2012 US News rankings, UIC was tied for the 10th most ethnically diverse university in the United States.
UIC is composed of three campuses supporting more than 28,000 students and 2,400 faculty members and staff. These campuses cover 311 acres (125.9 ha) in the Little Italy and the University Village section of Chicago.
The East Campus was designed in the brutalist style by Walter Netsch. The plan included second-story walkways that connected all of the buildings. Some of the later buildings in Netsch's design were not rectilinear (the Behavioral Sciences Building) and even irregularly shaped (Science and Engineering South, and the never-completed Art & Architecture building). These demonstrated his idea of "field theory:" designs which used squares and rotations of squares superimposed on one another. While the buildings are largely intact, the walkways were taken down in phases during the early 1990s to make the campus more welcoming. Considerable effort has been expended to modify the original Netsch campus plan to create the feel of a traditional college campus. For example, the area in front of the main administration building, University Hall, has been the site of several renovations in the last decade; and, the UIC Pavilion (a sports arena) was added in 1982.
The East Campus is located on the Near West Side, just south of Greektown and a 15-minute walk from downtown Chicago. The juxtaposition of campus and commercial density was a direct result of large-scale urban renewal led by Mayor Richard J. Daley. The proximity to downtown and public transit tends to attract students who want to experience life in a large city but have a typical college campus. Between East and West Campuses is Little Italy.
The West Campus is much older and includes some buildings built in the collegiate gothic style. The colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, Applied Health Sciences and Public Health, as well as the Library of the Health Sciences are all located on the West Campus. The West Campus is in the heart of the Illinois Medical District where the University of Illinois Medical Center is located.
South Campus is in the University Village neighborhood, formerly the Maxwell Street area. There are no strictly educational buildings here; South Campus is composed of residence halls, athletic facilities, and a large presentation building called the UIC Forum. Since the East Campus was opened in 1965 several large-scale developments creating thousands of new residences have been built in the Taylor Street area. Development of The South Campus in the early 2000s included a rapid increase in new housing units.
The Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line, part of the Chicago 'L', runs through the median of the Eisenhower Expressway along the north side of the campus. Three Blue Line stations are close to the university: UIC-Halsted, Racine, and Illinois Medical District. The Pink Line serves UIC's west campus on Polk Street and runs directly to Ogilvie Transportation Center.
UIC offers 10 residence halls for its students. The East Campus contains four residence halls, the South Campus contains three, and the West Campus contains three. Until the South Campus expansion, UIC students were still predominantly commuters. However, the administration has worked to change the campus to one where most students are residential. Nearly 6,000 students live within one-and-a-half miles of campus. 3,800 students, including over half of all freshmen, live in UIC's 10 residence halls. There are also thousands of apartments within walking distance to classes.
On the East Campus, Commons West and Commons South are traditional halls with double rooms opening into a common hallway; each floor shares a common bathroom. Courtyard and Commons North are cluster-style buildings with rooms grouped to share a small private bathroom. These four buildings are connected to the Student Center East which houses a cafeteria, the campus bookstore, a convenience store, bowling/billiards, a barber shop, and the Inner Circle (an assortment of fast food restaurants).
West Campus housing is composed of the Single Student Residence (SSR, apartments for graduate students), Polk Street Residence (cluster style rooms), and Student Residence Hall (a traditional dormitory).
South Campus is home to Marie Robinson Hall and Thomas Beckham Hall, both apartment style buildings. In the fall of 2007, James Stukel Towers opened containing suite style rooms with a bathroom and living room.
In keeping with UIC culture, students often refer to residence halls by abbreviations instead of their full names (e.g. "TBH" instead of "Thomas Beckham Hall").
The main purpose of the SSR is to house graduate students, undergraduate students of the ages 24 and older, and professional students. The third and fourth floors house undergraduate students of the ages of 21 through 23. The nursing house is located on the 16th floor. The fifth floor of the SSR has a pilot program for students with families. The program can house up to 15 families.
Residents of the family program are zoned to Chicago Public Schools. Families living in the SSR are assigned to Washington Irving Elementary School and Crane High School.
The UIC Student Recreation Facility (SRF) is a recreational complex for UIC students. Opened in spring 2006, the SRF features a three-story climbing wall; multipurpose courts for games such as basketball, indoor soccer, tennis and many others; and a pool with adjoining lazy river. A few NBA players practiced and worked out at the facility in the summer of 2007 including Andre Iguodala, Antoine Walker, and Eddy Curry.
Other amenities include:
The University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a four-year program leading to the MD degree at four different sites in Illinois: Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana–Champaign.
UIC is a major part of the Illinois Medical District (IMD). While IMD's billing itself "the nation's largest urban medical district" may be up for debate, the district is a major economic force contributing $3.3 billion to the local economy and supporting 50,000 jobs.
After the major $550 million South Campus expansion, the university began renovating existing facilities on campus. This focus is in part due to a constrained state budget: state funds for new buildings are scarce. Since renovation is less costly, this approach is being used to update facilities.
The first such renovations were to three original "pillbox" buildings: Grant Hall, Lincoln Hall, and Douglas Hall. The renovated buildings use solar and geothermal power which required digging fifty wells 500 feet into the ground east of University Hall. The energy savings of 20–25% led to Lincoln Hall and Douglas Hall being certified US LEED Gold. Grant Hall did not apply for LEED certification even though it was the prototype for many of the features found on Lincoln and Douglas Halls.  The new fascia are all glass and the buildings contain facilities for faculty and students. There are plans to expand the renovation project to every lecture hall cluster if the pilot program is successful.
Other campus renovations include the roof of the Behavioral Sciences Building and the terrace of the Education, Performing Arts, and Social Work building.
The university's Office of Sustainability was founded in January 2008. Current sustainability initiatives include lighting upgrades, building envelope improvements, metering upgrades, and landscape waste composting. Recent work on Grant, Lincoln, and Douglas Halls included upgrading them to use geothermal heat pumps, which efficiently heat and cool the building. The university has approved a Climate Action Plan.
UIC's team name is the Flames, a reference to the Great Chicago Fire which started a few blocks east of campus. The mascot is Sparky D. Dragon.
In September 2006, the men's soccer team earned its highest ranking in school history when the SoccerTimes.com College Coaches Poll pegged the Flames at No. 6 in the country. In November 2006, UIC defeated Western Illinois 3–0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before falling in the second round to Notre Dame 1–0. UIC finished the 2006 season as the nation's best defensive squad after allowing a mere eight goals in over 1993 minutes of play during 21 matches for a goals-against average (GAA) of 0.36. The GAA was tops in the nation in 2006 and it also ranked fifth all-time in NCAA history. UIC posted 13 shutouts and never allowed more than a single goal in a match. UIC also allowed just two goals after intermission the entire season. Along with the GAA mark, UIC posted the nation's best save percentage with a 0.908 rate.
In 2007, UIC soccer's successful season culminated in an Elite-Eight appearance in the NCAA tournament by way of wins over No. 12 St. Louis, Northwestern, and No. 8 Creighton. In a bid for a Final-Four appearance, UIC fell to Massachusetts 2–1. At season's end, UIC had a record of 13–6–6 and was named a top 10 team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
UIC's baseball team recorded 30 or more victories in a nine-year stretch from 2001 to 2010, won seven straight Horizon League Championships, and advanced to an NCAA regional four times (2003, 2005, 2007, 2008). UIC baseball has recorded regional wins against No. 1 Long Beach State in 2007 and No. 2 Dallas Baptist University in 2008.
The university is located near the neighborhoods of Taylor Street, Greektown and Pilsen, with restaurants, and bars nearby. Downtown Chicago is a 10-minute walk or a short CTA ride away.
UIC is home to more than 200 student organizations, sports clubs, volunteer groups, Greek fraternities and sororities, and other associations.
The primary goal for most of these organizations is to support students in reaching their academic, personal and professional potential. In addition to hosting guest speakers and workshops, these organizations can help you meet new friends and contacts while discovering potential scholarship, internship and career opportunities.
UIC Organizations include:
UIC's monthly/weekly events:
UIC's once-a-semester/year events:
Spark in the Park is an annual music festival that is held on Harrison field, off Halsted and Harrison. It is held during the first Thursday of classes in the fall. The first year it was held was in 2010 where Kid Cudi was the headliner.
Greek letter social organizations at the University of Illinois at Chicago create smaller communities within the larger University environment for the purposes of facilitating growth in the areas of scholarship, personal and leadership development, campus involvement and community service. The creeds and rituals that guide the individual organizations are based on values and ethics that foster the highest ideals and behavior.
Fraternal organizations have been a core component of the campus community since the 1970s. Currently there are 27 social fraternities and sororities, including both general and culturally based organizations.
In popular culture
Film and television series have used UIC for filming locations: