Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Gies College Of Business


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: December 19, 2019.

School Data

Tuition & Fees In-State: $68,160*

Tuition & Fees Out-of-State: $130,648*

Average Debt: $24,681

When do students declare their majors: Freshman Year

Internship Rate: 91%

Graduates With Jobs 90 Days After Graduation: 98%

Total Average Compensation (Including Bonus): $68,348

International: 15%

Minority: 14%

First generation college students: 16%

Acceptance Rate: 42%

Average SAT: 1,378

Average ACT: 30

HS Class Top Ten: 73%**

*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.

At the Gies College of Business, Business 101 is a big deal. It’s a course on professional responsibility and is the first class business students take. But it’s not your typical ethics course. Dean Jeff Brown of the College of Business says it’s meant to help students understand their own personal ethics.

Developed in collaboration with faculty, the Office of Undergraduate Affairs, and the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, Business 101: Professional Responsibility is divided into three modules: Personal Responsibilities, Professional Responsibilities, and Societal Responsibilities. And while the course focuses on corporate social responsibility and the broad role of business on a global scale, about one-third of the time is spent thinking about the students’ own, personal values, and about how professional situations could compromise them.

At the same time, Business 101 is an introduction to the College of Business. Students begin creating formal resumes and participate in their first applied-learning activities. For example, students are introduced to subsistence marketplaces via lectures, virtual immersion exercises, and a poverty simulation.

The first hour of the class is led by a former dean and professors of the College of Business. In the second hour, freshmen break into smaller sections and engage in discussions led by older business school students, usually in their junior and senior years.

“I had the opportunity and privilege to be a section leader in my junior and senior years,” says Michael Smigielski, an Illinois School of Business alum from the Class of 2014. “It was helpful, both taking it as a freshman and teaching it because it’s a theme that never leaves you. Whether you stay in business or move into another field of study, the pressures of work and life continue to grow.”

Smigielski says the lessons he learned in Business 101 have only become more relevant as he gets older. By using the tools and concepts he learned in class, he feels able to take a step back and reflect on how to be ethical and responsible to himself and to his society.

And while Business 101 is meant to provide an ethical framework which students can use as figure out what kind of work they want to do in their professional careers,  the rest of freshman year curriculum is also geared toward self-discovery.


Students begin taking Business Core classes in their freshmen year, which include a wide breadth of classes in economics, marketing, finance, accountancy and more. And for those who are eager to explore the different business focuses, Brown recommends taking advantage of the resources and opportunities the school offers.

For example, students are highly encouraged to get involved with student organizations or specialized programs at the schools, which Brown says are ways for them to familiarize themselves with various business opportunities. “There are over 30 business-focused student organizations, and we have a lot of specialized programs,” Brown says. “So if you’re interested in investment banking, or corporate finance, or managing an investment fund, we have a student program designed to help you build the necessary professional skills.”

And in the last few years, the number of opportunities like this been growing, particularly in action-based learning, which Brown says is a big focus of theirs. The College of Business has an action-learning office dedicated to helping students work with real clients, and Brown says within a year or two, they hope that every single graduating student will have experience working with real clients.

“I became dean a little over a year ago, and we have a lot of things going on,” Brown says. “We have a goal to — within a couple of years — make sure every student walks out of here literate in data sciences. We have a partnership with Deloitte to create a center for business analytics. And we are undertaking a whole-scale review of our curriculum, which will really bring action-learning to every student. We hope to include it in the Business Core.”


One example of action-learning is a business school operated organization called Illinois Business Consulting. Student teams are hired through Illinois Business Consulting to work on projects for real clients — sometimes aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for help putting together a business plan, and sometimes larger companies who want help with various things, like marketing campaigns. The student teams will provide private consulting, and Brown says the program is enormously successful with very high client satisfaction.

And according to alum Kerry Zepeda, Class of 2014, student teamwork on projects like this was a large part of what drew her to the College of Business. “I was so impressed with the caliber of the students when I visited,” she says. “I witnessed these students helping one another and working together on projects and various club initiatives. While the students were incredibly driven, I never sensed the “dog eat dog” attitude that was very evident at other business schools I had visited.”

And once she was part of the community, she says she learned that the resources and programs at the school are only part of what makes it so beneficial to students.

“Alumnae are very eager to give back, and as a result, the business career services center flourishes at the College,” she says. “On a trip to Asia this summer, I randomly ran into two individuals whom I had met from the College of Business program. Those aren’t isolated incidents either — that’s how incredible and extensive of a network we have.”


She says she continues to be surprised by how much of a community the business program is, and says that as a professional in the Chicago area, she runs into people from the College of Business every day, and knows that she has numerous resources and countless professionals who she can rely on.

Zepeda’s enthusiasm is reflected in some parts of P&Q’s alumni survey, and less so in others. Overall, participating alumni reported average scores for the College of Business. They placed in the top six for extracurricular opportunities, but in the bottom 10 for the effectiveness of academic advising.

However, job placement is high. The school reports that 72.4% of the Class of 2017 had an internship before graduating and that 89.06% had a job within 90 days of graduating. Of those who sought employment, the average starting salary was $62,096 and top employers were Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and KPMG.

What Alumni Say:

“I was part of a global immersion to China as part of the Hoeft Technology & Management Program – we were able to see how culture and business play a different role in society there and how the companies that sponsor the program differ in that area. I was also part of a capstone project for the program and got to consult for a sponsor, a useful skill to learn how to interact with a client, do research and present deliverables to management.” – Recent Alumni

“I was a member of the Business Honors program. As part of the program, I participated10-day10 day business immersion trip to Singapore and Malaysia following my freshman year. This was my first exposure to international business, and introduced me to Accenture, where I would go on to intern twice and accept a full time offer, for the first time. It also inspired me to pursue my dreams of studying abroad; I spent the spring semester of my junior year attending courses at a graduate business school in Paris (ESCP.)” – Recent Alumni

“Numerous investment banking case competitions held through the college of business were key to simulating the real world experience of investment banking and teaching the grit, maturity, and technical skills needed to succeed in the job. The Investment Banking Academy fully prepares students for a career in banking and is something I speak about proudly to graduates from other business schools across the country because I am confident in IBA to continue selecting and minting high-quality students for banking, hedge funds, private equity.” – Recent Alumni

Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:

Deloitte – 34

KPMG – 22

Ernst & Young – 19

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – 16

Allstate – 10

Grant Thornton – 8

Wells Fargo – 7

JP Morgan Chase – 7

Protiviti – 6

Alight Solutions – 6

Contact Information

515 E Gregory Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820
Admissions Office:
School Social Media:

At Gies College of Business, an education is just the start. Gies Business students learn from faculty with decades of experience in their field. They collaborate with other students in state-of-the-art facilities. They immerse themselves in leading-edge curriculum. Gies Business empowers students to become leaders in the business world. Creating an exceptional student experience is part of the DNA at Gies College of Business. There are many paths to success. Gies carefully designs academic and extracurricular programs to provide the most comprehensive, profession-ready experience so each student can fulfil their own, individual purpose. Approachable faculty and staff are committed to fostering a culture of innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration that create opportunities for students to put their purpose into practice. Students earn real, relevant experience that prepares them to solve problems for the businesses of tomorrow. They’re encouraged to transform big ideas into purposeful actions and empowered to make the world a better place.


Students are admitted directly into Gies College of Business, and all incoming freshmen are designated as undeclared majors. Because new students need time to explore career and major opportunities before determining a set course of study, most students declare a major during their sophomore year. Based upon their interests, students will major in any of the following degree programs: Accountancy, Finance, Information Systems, Management with a concentration (general, and international), Operations Management, Marketing, Strategic Business Development and Entrepreneurship, and Supply Chain Management. Gies Business fosters a community of collaboration 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. Many study abroad during their sophomore or junior year; others will participate in short-term international programs.


Gies’ sequence of core courses, the 01 programs, are foundational to the educational experience. All freshmen and transfer students complete BUS101 – An Introduction to Professional Responsibility during their first semester on campus. This course engages students and prepares them for success in their future careers. At the heart of the course is a focus on professional responsibility, where students learn to use a decision-making framework to address ethical and professional challenges. Students emerge with a strong sense of what it means to participate in communities of all kinds–and why it’s important to take on responsibility and accountability. In BUS101, students also explore careers and majors, have their resumes reviewed by professionals, and prepare for and attend a career fair in their third week as a Gies student. The course also includes a project component designed by corporate partners, which requires students to address a specific challenge: how to introduce a new product into the subsistence market while addressing issues of professional responsibly and demonstrating concern for “people, profit, and planet.”BUS201 – Business Dynamics, launched in 2018, builds upon BUS101. Students engage in a competitive team simulation, using leading-edge data analytics knowledge to make strategic decisions in operating a business. As a result, students develop systems-thinking strategies, connecting how business functions and decisions are interconnected. BUS201 also provides modules on essential professional skills development critical to leading a successful business.


At Gies, we believe in creating an environment where all can achieve, where each student has the opportunity to discover his/her own purpose. Inclusiveness, collaboration, and intellectual curiosity make for a strong community that encourages others to push forward. Gies’ entrepreneurial spirit drives students to challenge the status quo. Integrity and professional responsibility are at the heart of it all. These four values help prepare and empower exceptional, innovative, purposeful, and ethical business leaders. Those values are embodied by the College’s namesake, alumnus Larry Gies. In October 2017,Gies and his wife Beth invested $150 million into the College in an effort 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.


Gies Business provides a portfolio of opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that help the College’s 6,000+ students develop as professionals:- Authentic client-based projects provide opportunities to learn-by-doing- Margolis Market Information Lab provides students with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art financial and business data and software products- Hoeft Technology & Management program – a joint venture between Gies College of Business and the College of Engineering – prepares students for success in today’s technical, team-based environment- iVenture Accelerator supports the most promising student-led start-ups- 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- 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- 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 35 student organizations affiliated with the College, each committed to professional development. In addition, the College offers numerous leadership and career programs provided by academic departments, career services, and office of undergraduate affairs. Freshmen and sophomores engage in a job shadow program with corporate partners during winter break. Numerous 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.

Read More