The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a 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 30,000 students enrolled in 15 colleges.
UIC operates the largest medical school in the United States with research expenditures exceeding $412 million and consistently ranks in the top 50 U.S. institutions for research expenditures. In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of colleges and universities, UIC ranked as the 129th best in the “national universities” category. The 2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UIC as the 18th best in the world among universities less than 50 years old.
The University of Illinois at Chicago traces its origins to several private health colleges founded during the late 19th century, including the Chicago College of Pharmacy, which opened in 1859, the College of Physicians and Surgeons (1882), and the Columbian College of Dentistry (1893).
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 expanded in the succeeding decades, leading to the development of several other health science colleges, which were brought together as the Chicago Professional Colleges. 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 September 1982, the University of Illinois system consolidated UICC and UIMC to form the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). 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 83 bachelor’s degrees, 93 master’s degrees, and 64 doctoral degrees through its 15 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.
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.
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 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 West Campus, also on the Near West Side, 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.
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.
In popular culture, UIC College of Medicine was the Medical School affiliated with Cook County Hospital in the television series E.R.
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.
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.
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.
In 1978 and 1979 the UIC Men’s Gymnastics team won the school’s only NCAA team titles at the Division II Championships. Following the 1979 season the men’s gymnastics program entered Division I competition and finished the season ranked 10th, Nationally. After the successful 1980 season the remainder of the UIC athletic teams ascended to Division I status. The 1996 men’s gymnastics team finished the season in 9th place, the school’s highest final ranking. UIC Men’s Gymnastics individual Division I All America honorees include: Paul Fina (Rings), Mike Costa (Pommel Horse, twice), Barry McDonald (Parallel Bars), Shannon Welker (Floor Exercise), Neil Faustino (Vault), and Andrew Stover (Horizontal Bar).
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.
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.