Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

University of Illinois Gies College Of Business

#12

Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: August 30, 2022.

School Data

Tuition & Fees In-State: $68,160 (as of 2020)*

Tuition & Fees Out-of-State: $130,648 (as of 2020)*

Average Debt: 24,681 (as of 2020)

When do students declare their majors: Sophomore Year

International: 15%

Minority: 17%

First generation college students: 19%

Acceptance Rate: 39%

Average SAT: 1,408

Average ACT: 32

Average GPA: 3.94

HS Class Top Ten: 73.37 (as of 2020)%**

*The total tuition and fees for the most recent graduating class. This does not include books, room, or board.

** HS Class Top Ten is the percent of the student population that graduated high school in the top ten percent of their class.

*** Please note that these statics are provided for the business school major only whenever possible. If a school does not track these statistics separately, then the university-wide statistics are provided.

The Gies College of Business of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been solidly trending upward in the rankings, coming in at No. 12 this year. The Gies College is up five places from last year’s No. 17, seven places from 2020’s No. 19, and 10 places from its 20th-place finish in 2019.

For those looking for a B-school education that emphasizes cross-functional collaboration and a tight-knit community of support, the Gies College definitely merits consideration. Like other major state universities listed on our ranking, Gies provides a top-notch business education and true university experience in a college town.

This year, Gies had a more selective acceptance rate of 38.93% as compared to last year’s 44.06%. The average SAT score for this past fall’s incoming class was 1408, also up from last year’s average score of 1374.

Gies graduates have strong career outcomes both on the internship and employment front. About 88% of the Class of 2021 had a business-focused internship before graduating, down slightly from last year’s 91.5% for the Class of 2020, and 97.65% of the Class of 2021 were employed full-time within three months of graduation compared to 94.44% of the Class of 2020.

The Gies College is unique in that it is housed in a major and academically strong university but recently terminated its full-time residential MBA program. While the college does have specialized master’s programs, the iMBA and undergraduate programs are the two marquee offerings. Either way, at Gies, undergraduate business students are given opportunities to solve real-world problems by working cross-functionally and supporting one another along the way in an environment that fosters inclusiveness, collaboration, and intellectual curiosity.

With an undergraduate placement rate consistently over 95%, Gies College of Business is graduating students who are prepared to succeed in their careers from day one.

CURRICULUM

Gies students usually declare their major in their sophomore year from ten distinct majors including accounting, accountancy & data science, supply chain management, finance, information systems, finance & data science, management with a concentration (general or international), marketing, operations management, and finally the last one – strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Uniquely to Gies, first and second year students engage with a job-shadowing program with corporate partners during winter breaks.

Regardless of which major they choose, all Gies undergrads take the Business Core, a select series of courses that offer a foundation in everything, beginning with business dynamics, where they are taught to teach and engage like business leaders, then taking on real issues and recommending solutions to real clients, stretching to global business.

Overall, Gies alumni have a positive outlook on their education. When asked to evaluate how well the Gies program prepared them for the world of work, 2019 alumni gave a 9.2 average rating. Alumni also scored the quality of teaching at Gies at a strong 9.0 average rating and the opportunities available to nurture soft skills at a 9.2.

“Every class project was carefully crafted by professors to meet certain objectives — and I appreciate how employers work closely with the professors to design a curriculum that can make every Gies student marketable and well-prepared when they graduate,” one 2018 alumni told us. 

Gies’ thoughtfully designed academic and extracurricular programs provide students with ample opportunities to apply what they’ve learned to real client projects.

“As a supply chain student, I had the opportunity to collaborate with accounting, finance, industrial engineering, aerospace engineering, and chemical engineering students to create a solution for a Fortune 500 company’s problem,” one 2018 alumni told us. “This unique experience effectively taught me how to cross-functionally collaborate with people who attack problems entirely different than I do and examine problems from all perspectives. My team was incredibly stronger because we were bringing together our separate knowledge bases and experiences. I couldn’t have had this experience at any other school; it was a major reason why I chose to attend Gies instead of others I had been admitted into.”

Gies also excels at maintaining international partnerships with world-renowned business schools. Many students study abroad their sophomore or junior year, and others participate in one of the many short-term international programs available.

CROSS-FUNCTIONAL COLLABORATION

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) is best known for its prestigious engineering program. And at Gies, business students can tap into that by working alongside their engineering peers through the The Hoeft Technology & Management Program, a joint university minor within Gies College of Business and The Grainger College of Engineering. Interested students apply to the program and are chosen through a selective admissions process that includes an application and three interviews.

“The signature experience provided me the opportunity to work with corporate sponsors to solve a unique business challenge from both an engineering & business perspective,” another 2018 aluni told us. “This experience allowed me to understand the inner workings of business decision making and the effect that multidisciplinary teams can have on overall business performance.”

The Hoeft Technology & Management Program is a prime example of what makes Gies stand out as a business school. The B-school leverages the talent of the greater UIUC community to enhance the business education and offer students truly unique and collaborative learning experiences. 

Other ways to engage in extracurricular activities include the Margolis Market Information lab, where students have access to state-of-the-art finance and business data software, the iVenture Accelerator, which supports student-led startups with knowledge, funding and access to resources and alumni, and Illinois Business Consulting, the largest student-run university consulting organization in the country. Case competitions are also staple in the program – each designed to address unique business challenges and provide students with opportunities to prepare and present as professionals.

SUPPORTIVE NETWORK

While UIUC is a public university of more than 30,000 undergraduate students, the Gies community is one that is tight-knit and supportive. Whether it’s through mentorship or coursework, students are supported by the Gies community throughout their four-year educational journey. 

“The network of professionals are extremely passionate and willing to help guide young students in finding what industry best suits them,” one 2018 alumni told us. “They expend countless time and resources in order to do so. Additionally, the ability to learn from older students through registered student organizations was instrumental to better understand what direction you might want to take your career.”

That sentiment of support and community carries on post-graduation as well. When asked how they would judge the Gies alumni network and connection in helping them throughout their career, 2019 alumni gave a strong 8.8 average rating. 

Making connections is an integral part of business education. And while networking is not unique to Gies, it seems that the level of support that extends beyond the classroom and even beyond graduation is truly unique to the Gies community.

Alumni say: 

“The Hoeft Technology & Management Program, which brought together 25 business majors and 25 engineering majors in an innovation-focused, cohort-based curriculum, was extremely important to building my network and relationships inside and outside of UIUC, building my technical skills, and refining my problem solving skills.”

“Multiple short-term study opportunities, multiple capstone projects for supply chain management and technology management – gained so much valuable and tactical work experience.”

“Seniors in the supply chain program must work on a real world consulting project and present our findings to the company, resulting in our final grade. It gave us a great experience that most other students don’t get the opportunity to have.”

“Every student at the Gies College of Business will be given an opportunity to involve themselves in a capstone project. It was an enjoyable experience backed by tremendous support from alumni and upperclassmen, giving students a real feel of what the business world is like. Having been to several major fintech festivals globally, I feel like the capstone project really exposed me and prepared me well for the business world.”

“My supply chain practicum was what I learned the most from. It was one of the first times I needed to analyze big data to generate insights for a client. While I could partly rely on my technical and analytical experiences from school, it was also incredibly helpful to have the Caterpillar professionals’ mentorship and guidance as our team worked through the project. It was powerful to see firsthand how they recommended approaching the situation.”

“In one of my business classes, we did a capstone project that evaluated a current business issue for a chosen company and the task was to come up with a proposal and justification for our team’s solution. This project was important to me because it taught me many of the important critical thinking and communication skills that I use in my consulting job today.”

Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:

Deloitte – 34

KPMG – 26

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – 26

Ernst & Young – 22

Protiviti – 11

Crowe Horwath – 7

RSM – 6

Medline Industries – 5

Amazon – 5

Accenture – 5

Grant Thornton – 5

Contact Information

Location:
515 E Gregory Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820
Admissions Office:
217-244-2595
School Social Media:

From the School:

At Gies College of Business, education is just the start. It’s the first step toward finding meaning beyond business, the start of a great career, and discovering ways to positively impact the community where you live. Our alumni hold leadership positions in Big Four accounting firms, in major corporations around the globe, and in small businesses across the country. What sets our alumni apart is bold, agile thinking and bringing new perspectives to problems facing businesses and our world.

Our students learn from faculty with decades of experience in their field, they collaborate with fellow students in state-of-the-art facilities, and they immerse themselves in a leading-edge curriculum. Gies’ thoughtfully designed academic and extracurricular programs provide students with ample opportunities to apply what they’ve learned to real client projects. We deliver the most comprehensive, profession-ready experiences so you’re prepared to succeed from day one.

Our faculty and staff are committed to fostering a culture of innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration to create opportunities for students to put their purpose into practice. Through such programs as Illinois Business Consulting, iVenture Accelerator, and Illinois Social Innovation, students gain real, relevant experience that prepares them to solve problems for businesses and society. Our students are encouraged to transform big ideas into purposeful actions and empowered to make the world a better place.

Curriculum at Gies Business

Students are admitted directly into Gies College of Business and declare their major usually in the spring of their sophomore year. Students, therefore, have the time and opportunities to explore a variety of career and major options before focusing on a single course of study. Students have a wide selection of major degree programs to choose from: accounting, finance, information systems, management with a concentration (general or international), marketing, operations management, strategic business development and entrepreneurship, and supply chain management.

Throughout its programs, Gies Business fosters a community of cooperation where ideas can cross-pollinate across disciplines, across cultures, and across borders. Gies maintains international partnerships with world-renowned business schools. In fact, more than 53% of students participate in an international experience during their Gies education. Many study abroad during their sophomore or junior year; others participate in one of the many short-term international programs available throughout their time at Gies.

A Purpose-Driven Undergraduate Experience

Gies’ sequence of cohort courses is foundational to the educational experience. All first-year students complete Business 101: Professional Responsibility and Business. This course explores the social value of business, the vocation of business, and ethics and professional responsibility. Business 101 helps students think aspirationally about business and how it adds value for customers. Students emerge with a strong sense of what it means to participate in communities of all kinds – and why responsibility and accountability are so essential to a career in any type of business.

Business 201: Business Dynamics, launched in 2018, is built around a business simulation. Second-year students are introduced to the primary functional areas of business and how each functional area relates to creating a business system. In addition to engaging in a dynamic business simulation, students are taught to think and engage like leaders. The ability to manage teams, become effective presenters, network, and manage conflicts prepares students to enter Business 301: Business in Action – the largest experiential learning course in the nation.

In Business 301, students work on a real organizational problem with an actual client. Students work closely with their clients to identify, analyze, and present recommendations for a viable solution. This course develops three core skills in all Gies students: the ability to work in teams, the knowledge to solve complex problems, and the confidence to effectively tell their story to recruiters and managers.

Finally, Business 401: Global Business Perspectives teaches all seniors about the globalization of business. Topics like technology, GDP, trade, culture, and environment help students take stock of the world around them. They’re also taught to develop skills to overcome personal and professional obstacles, reflect upon what motivates them, and think about small ways they can improve the world around them. In addition to these four cohort courses, each Gies undergraduate student will take at least two semesters of data analytics that will prepare them to become well-rounded business leaders of tomorrow.

Educational Values

At Gies, students find an environment where all can achieve, where they have the opportunity to discover their own purpose. Inclusiveness, collaboration, and intellectual curiosity make for a strong community that encourages others to push forward. The entrepreneurial spirit at Gies drives students to challenge the status quo. Integrity and professional responsibility are at the heart of it all. These values help prepare and empower exceptional, innovative, purposeful, and ethical business leaders.

Those values are embodied by the College’s namesake, alumnus Larry Gies (Accountancy 1988). In October 2017, Gies and his wife Beth invested $150 million in the College to create an immediate and lasting impact for current and future students. “This investment is, and always will be, about the students here and what we can become together – the greatest business school on earth, where purposeful leaders get the tools to pursue their passion to make the world a better place,” Gies said.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Gies Business provides a portfolio of opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that helps the College’s students develop as professionals:

  • The Magelli Office of Experiential Learning sources authentic client-based projects that provide valuable opportunities for students to learn by doing.
  • The Margolis Market Information Lab provides students with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art financial and business data and software products.
  • The Hoeft Technology & Management program – a joint venture between Gies College of Business and the Grainger College of Engineering – prepares students for success in today’s technical, team-based environment, leading to a university minor.
  • iVenture Accelerator supports the most promising student-led startups with knowledge, funding, and access to world-class University of Illinois resources and alumni.
  • Illinois Business Consulting, the largest professionally managed, student-run university consulting organization in the country, provides students with opportunities to help real clients solve real problems.
  • The Business Living Learning Community offers access to special courses and resources for business students. Students are housed on the same floor of a residence hall where they work together to explore business practices and engage in problem-solving and extracurricular activities that provide real-world context and experience.
  • Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership connects student entrepreneurs with resources to nurture their talent.
  • The Golder Academies provide expanded opportunities for students interested in investment banking, investment management, and finance.
  • Illinois MakerLab offers students access to the world’s first 3D printing lab in a business school.

Students can also participate in the many student organizations affiliated with the College, each committed to professional development. In addition, the College offers numerous leadership and career programs provided through academic departments, career services, and the office of undergraduate affairs. Freshmen and sophomores engage in a job shadow program with corporate partners during winter break. Case competitions are a staple in program and extra-curricular offerings, with each designed to address unique business challenges. All of them provide students with opportunities to prepare and present as professionals.

Career Success

Everything we do in the College is focused on students and their future success. From the time students join our College, they work with our academic advising team to ensure that their academic path moves them steadily toward graduation and that they are well-prepared for the career of their choice.

Our career services team works closely with students to help them prepare to land those important internships and that first post-graduation job. They help with résumé-writing workshops, résumé reviews, and career fair preparation so students feel confident entering the two job fairs exclusively for Gies Business students each year.

The results of these activities are shown our high graduation rate and our outstanding record of helping students land internships and launch successful careers. With an undergraduate placement rate consistently over 95%, Gies College of Business is graduating students who are in-demand and prepared to succeed in their careers from day one.