The Gies College of Business of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign ranked at number 17 this year moving up two spots from last year’s 19 and three up from its 20th-place finish in 2019.
This year, Gies had an acceptance rate of 44.06%, roughly two percentage points higher than last year. The average SAT score for this past fall’s incoming class was 1374 with an average high school GPA of 3.74.
The Gies College is unique in that it is housed in a major and academically strong university but recently killed 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.
Gies students have access to eight distinct majors including Information Systems, Finance, Accountancy, Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Strategic Business Development and Entrepreneurship, and Supply Chain Management.
Regardless of which major they choose, all Gies undergrads take the Business Core, a select series of courses that offer a foundation in everything from accounting to business policy and strategy.
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, 2018 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 9.3.
“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.
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.
Through the program, business and engineering students work cross-functionally on a capstone project to solve real client issues.
“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.”
“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.
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, 2018 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.
Gies graduates have strong career outcomes both on the internship and employment front. About 91.5% of the Class of 2020 had a business-focused internship before graduation and 94.44% were employed full-time within three months of graduation.
For those looking for a B-school education that emphasizes cross-functional collaboration and a tight-knit community of support, the Gies College of Business should definitely be on your list. Like other major state universities listed on our ranking, the Gies College provides a top-notch business education and true university experience in a college town.
“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.”
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