Impact of an Illinois CS Degree

Computer Science: The Foundation of Modern Life

Computer science underpins just about every aspect of modern life. Art, science, business, medicine, and engineering benefit from the computational power, modeling, and thinking found in computer science. Our creative and driven graduates have significantly contributed to the computing field and society.

Those benefits are why computer scientists are in high demand. The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts "much faster than average" job growth for computer and information technology occupations through 2029. They're also highly paid, with a median wage of $88,240.

With exclusive events like After Hours, Speaker Series, technology talks, and corporate days, our Computer Science students interact with many companies, from start-ups to household names like Google and Facebook.

Illinois Computer Science: A Tradition of Excellence

NCSA's National Petascale Computing Facility

From the ILLIAC to Blue Waters, OpenMP to MPI, Mosaic to YouTube, and the first vectorizing compilers to LLVM, Illinois Computer Science faculty, students, and alumni have long been at the forefront of excellence in computing research and education. They’ve launched entirely new industries, generated billions of dollars in commerce, created jobs, and revolutionized how people communicate, shop, conduct business, and are entertained. 

Companies founded or led by Illinois Computer Science graduates are among the biggest names in the high-tech arena, including, Malwarebytes,, Microsoft, Netscape, Optimizely, PayPal, YouTube, and Yelp.

Outstanding Faculty & Research Opportunities

Our dynamic and stimulating research culture covers 11 research areas, with 120+ faculty in computer science and related fields. Our students can find a course or an expert on almost any topic in the discipline and find opportunities for interdisciplinary studies or collaborations at the highly-ranked Grainger College of Engineering.

Our internationally recognized faculty includes 47 NSF CAREER Award winners, 18 ACM Fellows, 20 IEEE Fellows, and 9 Sloan Research Fellows. With $33 million in annual research expenditures, our faculty members are pioneering virtual reality, creating software to analyze the HIV capsid, investigating the algorithms behind social media, monitoring construction zones with drones, and harnessing the power of the Data Revolution.

Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Entrepreneurship is not just about startups. It is a way of thinking and an approach to solving problems—a catalyst for inspiring the next generation of innovators. This mindset is an integral part of our culture, fully integrated across the curriculum, and is supported in and out of the classroom. That includes resources like the Technology Entrepreneur Center and Research Park, which provide training, support, and experience to help students and faculty become successful entrepreneurs.

Our faculty and students are commercializing technology that provides:

  • A tool to passively learn a foreign language while browsing the web. Thomas Reese (MS CS '15), FlipWord

  • An advanced ability to secure online systems using a novel network verification tool.  Professors Brighten Godfrey & Matthew Caesar, with Dr. Ahmed Khurshid (PhD CS '15), Veriflow Systems

  • Real-time structural health monitoring of bridges and other civil infrastructure. Professor Gul Agha, Embeddor Technologies

  • A visual data analytics platform to improve efficiency and reduce risks in construction. Professor Derek Hoiem, Reconstruct

  • A platform to turn every object into an interactive display.  Dr. Brett Jones (BS CS ’08, MS ’10, PhD ’15), Dr. Kevin Karsch (PhD CS ‘15), and Dr. Raj Sodhi (BS CS ’08, MS ’10, PhD ’15), Lightform

  • Tools to verify programs as they execute, to improve software safety, reliability, and correctness. Professor Grigore Rosu, Runtime Verification

Extraordinary Quality of Life

Conveniently centered between Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, the University of Illinois provides an entertainment and cultural hub on par with the country's leading cities. Our campus community is home to Big 10 Division I sports, marquee theatrical and musical performances, and fantastic health and recreational facilities. Ranked by Business Insider as one of the best small cities for educated millennials, the cost of living in Champaign-Urbana is 60-178% less than in cities like Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Boston, where peer institutions are located. Learn about Champaign-Urbana's micro-urban community.

On campus, more than 1,000 student groups provide a range of activities for social interaction, professional development, mentorship, charity, and fun. HackIllinoisReflections | Projections, and ChicTech are a few exciting projects and events run by CS students where you can meet interesting people and find your passion.

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