Welcome to the Silicon Prairie
Urbana-Champaign is a place where people come together to bring big ideas to life. Our campus community is home to a wide range of exceptional research and scholarship, but what truly sets us apart is a collaborative environment that leads to groundbreaking discovery, innovation, and partnerships that invite new ways of thinking and working.
Unique "Micro-Urban" Community
Urbana-Champaign is on an accelerated development track, emerging as a leading example of a "micro-urban" community—a population center of less than 250,000 with a set of highly desirable attributes commonly found in larger cities. Our vibrant arts/culture/nightlife scene, internationally diverse population, strong technology base, and commitment to societal issues coupled with a world-class university make this an ideal place to live, study, and work.
True Interdisciplinary Spirit
We're home to numerous research centers, multidisciplinary research efforts, and many advanced laboratories. Interdisciplinary discovery is a topic of conversation at every university today. At Illinois, it isn't just talk. It's a way of life. Here it's possible to redefine success, and invent new ways of working with colleagues from across campus in almost any field, for almost any reason.
“Living is not the same as residing; you can reside in a place without living in it. Living is enjoying life to the fullest extent, and Urbana-Champaign is a place to live.”
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Better Living, Less Hassle
- #2 on American Institute of Economic Research's Best College Towns based on demographics, quality of life, and economics.
- #2 among national peer institutions for cost-of-living
- 80 parks spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Urbana-Champaign alone (and many more within a short drive) provide an abundance of swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and biking opportunities.
- 19 intercollegiate sports programs keeps the excitement of Big Ten athletics ever-present on campus.
- Easy commutes, a designated "bike friendly" community, and an award winning mass transit system (free with campus ID) make it quick and simple to get from here to there.
Points of Interest
- Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is a nationally renowned venue, attracting theater, musical, and dance performances from entertainers from around the globe.
- The Illinois Marathon offers races for all skill levels from 5K to a full 26.2 mile race. This scenic course takes you through Champaign-Urbana, and can even help you qualify for the Boston Marathon.
- PYGMALION Festival brings hundreds of musicians, innovators, artists, commedians, and anyone else with someone to share to the local area.
- Ebertfest was started by Illinois alum Roger Ebert. It brings together writers, producers, actors, directors, and film buffs to celebrate films that haven’t received the recognition they deserved during their original runs.