Visit the Campus

Campus and Community

The University of Illinois is in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana (total population 180,000) in east-central Illinois, a short drive from Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Newsweek has named Champaign-Urbana as one of the top ten tech cities (outside of the Silicon Valley). Champaign-Urbana also ranked tenth as one of the top twenty-five green cities in the United States according to a survey made by Country Home Magazine. The community is large enough to support and attract world-class arts and entertainment yet small enough to offer affordable housing and easy commutes.


Living local is the culture in Champaign-Urbana, with 2 distinct downtowns that will enhance your campus experience. Discover live music, festivals, boutiques, and over 50 locally owned restaurants that can be enjoyed throughout the year. The cost of living in Champaign-Urbana is 14% lower than the national average and is the least expensive place to live among the top 5 ranked materials science departments. 

Learn more about living in Champaign-Urbana

Ways to Visit

a Department Visit

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a Campus Tour

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Campus Tours

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Contact the MatSE main office
at 217-333-1441