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university-illinois-urbana-champaignThe University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was opened as the Illinois Industrial University under the Morrill Act in 1867 by superintendent John Milton Gregory. Renamed 18 years later, the University followed Dr. Newton Bateman’s advice to add liberal arts curriculum, and enrollment spiked. As a founding Big 10 member, UIUC now delivers public, research-intensive education dedicated to “Learning and Labor” with a $2 billion yearly budget. Urbana-Champaign spans 6,370 Twin Cities acres with historic buildings like Mumford House and new facilities like the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Sixteen colleges teach 13,210 post-grads in diverse fields, including data science and business analytics. Among Urbana-Champaign’s notable alumni are Marc Andreessen, Larry Ellison, and Suze Orman.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, UIUC is the 52nd best national university, 105th best value, 14th top public college, and sixth best engineering school. Urbana-Champaign specifically has America’s 40th best graduate business and fifth top graduate computer science programs. Niche ranked UIUC 26th for student life and 53rd for faculty strength nationally. The Center for World University Rankings placed Urbana-Champaign 45th for influence and 39th for citations globally. Washington Monthly crowned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the 27th best U.S. institution. The New York Times applauded UIUC for the 49th best low-income assistance. Sierra Club named Urbana-Champaign the 40th coolest school for sustainability. College Factual also recognized UIUC for the country’s 37th best computer science courses with the 32nd highest paid grads.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Accreditation Details

In Fall 2009, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign renewed its institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) for another decade under president Michael J. Hogan, Ph.D. The U.S. Department of Education accepts this regional body for extending Title-IV eligibility to Illinois’ 102 bachelor’s, 125 master’s, and 90 doctoral programs from Chicago to Des Plaines and online. The Gies College of Business maintains prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation for the MBA. The Department of Computer Science was accredited by the ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) in October 2000 too.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Application Requirements

Classified as “more selective” by the U.S. News & World Report, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had Fall 2016 acceptance of 60 percent. The Graduate College requires possessing a four-year or equivalent bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA above 2.99. Data science applicants for the MCS Track need prerequisites in programming, algorithms, computer architecture, and computation theory. The MBA prefers at least two years of business experience. Admitted Illinois post-grads report a mean GPA of 3.4, GRE Quant score of 155, GRE Verbal score of 157, and GMAT composite score of 665. English language learners must achieve a 103 on the TOEFL iBT or 7.0 on the IELTS and better.

Prospective Big Data analysts can use the Choose Illinois system to complete the Graduate College application online by program-specific deadlines. The M.S. in Technology Management is open until December 1st, January 26th, or March 16th annually. The Master of Business Administration has application rounds ending on November 19th, January 15th, and March 4th. Extra materials could be emailed to or mailed to 110 Coble Hall at 801 South Wright Street in Champaign, IL 61820. Data-related master’s programs typically require the following:

• $70 application fee ($90 for international)

• Bachelor’s degree certificate and course transcripts

• Official GRE or GMAT testing reports

• Double-spaced, 750-word personal statement

• Two confidential recommendation letters

• Updated résumé of work experiences

• Online FAFSA application via code 001775

Tuition and Financial Aid

Rated the 16th best public value in Kiplinger’s, Urbana-Champaign unlocks a median 20-year net ROI of $561,000 according to PayScale. Traditional full-time graduate tuition averages $15,267 for in-state or $28,507 for out-of-state learners with $3,022 for fees and $11,306 for room and board. Actual Illinois Graduate College costs can vary greatly though. The Online MCS in Data Science program bills $600 per credit for $19,200 total. The Master of Business Administration charges Illinoisans $30,434 and non-residents $42,638 each full-time year. Data Analytics majors pursuing the M.S. in Technology Management pay $17,120 each semester or $47,300 total.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that 51 percent of full-time Urbana-Champaign Fighting Illini shared $212.88 million for average financial aid of $12,537 apiece. Data analytics post-grads could claim assistantship appointments with non-taxed waivers up to $5,250. Institutional funds, including the Beckman Fellowship, TechnipFMC Educational Fellowship, Mayo Clinic STEM Fellowship, Robert P. Larsen Grant, Doolen Scholarship, and President’s Diversity Travel Award, are abundant. External awards like the Insight Data Science Fellows Program or LSSTC Fellowship might qualify. Payment plans can conveniently split tuition into 12 monthly bills. Master’s students could borrow low-interest Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans federally. Other opportunities include Post-9/11 G.I. military benefits, Children of Veterans waivers, employer assistance, and the Diffenbaugh Competition.

Big Data Degrees at UI Urbana-Champaign

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Thomas M. Siebel Center confers the Professional Master of Computer Science (MCS) in Data Science fully online. Chaired by Dr. Vikram Adve, the program teaches the art of extracting meaningful conclusions from massive amounts of data. The 32-credit, non-thesis track takes two to five years for mastering the software utilized for analyzing and interpreting statistics. Graduates take Coursera MOOC courses with an average 20:1 student-faculty ratio and ProctorU exams. Required classes include artificial intelligence, data mining, text information systems, cloud computing, bioinformatics, and network analysis. For capstone, MCS Data Science majors integrate different systems like Hadoop and Spark to address industry challenges.

The Gies College of Business awards a Business Data Analytics Concentration for Fighting Illini to supplement three master’s degrees with expertise in collecting Big Data for sound managerial decision-making. The Illinois Full-Time MBA is a practice-oriented, 40-credit degree where post-grads prepare for global competition with intensive leadership experience. Emphasizing research, the M.S. in Business Administration emphasizes science while completing 40 credits, including enterprise IT governance and supply chain logistics. The M.S. in Technology Management is another one-year, 40-credit option where Business Data Analytics students maximize their computer proficiency for managing innovation. All three offer access to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign resources like the Vernon K. Zimmerman Center, Alpha Kappa Psi Chapter, and Global Brigades.

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