Why Illinois?


Small Department. Big University.

Select your preferred scale. DURP has 180 undergraduate and graduate students, 19 faculty and five affiliated faculty, and two active student organizations. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the state's flagship public university. It has 16 colleges and instructional units, 353 buildings, 43,603 students, and the largest public university library in the U.S. All that means choice, depth, breadth, and diversity.


At Illinois, you have an extraordinary opportunity to build relationships. The size of our department facilitates bonds with classmates and faculty. Members of our faculty are approachable both in and out of the classroom. Our courses are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. Our program attracts a group of people–students, faculty, and staff–who are passionate about what they do. The SPO/Student Planning Organization, Planners Network UIUC Chapter, and department-sponsored events draw students and faculty in social settings, whether it's the holiday gathering in the Atrium, kickball on the South Quad, or potuck dinners at a faculty member's house. We offer a supportive and inspiring environment.

The Trifecta.

BAUSP, MUP, PhD. We're one of the few universities in the country to offer all three degrees. A comprehensive program, students at all levels and interests, and lots of activity.


The university, Urbana, Champaign, and Champaign County. Getting involved in planning issues at all levels is easy. Three plan commissions, two city councils, a county board, the C-U Mass Transit District, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, the Sustainability Advisory Commission, the Community Development Commission, the Student Sustainability Committee, and much more. Our adjunct faculty corps include Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners who are local practitioners, a city attorney, and a deputy city manager. Our workshops provide learning opportunities in the community, whether working with the North First Street Business Association or proposing infill construction for SODO in Champaign.


We are deeply rooted. Based in one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862, planning has been offered at Illinois since 1912, when only Illinois and Harvard offered planning programs with studios and workshops. In 1913, Charles Mulford Robinson was appointed Professor of Civic Design here, the first such professorship in the country. We've had a master's program since 1945 and a bachelor's program since 1953. When the department was renamed the City Planning and Landscape Architecture Department in 1954, we were one of only 16 planning departments in the country. In 1965, we became the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Our PhD in Regional Planning began in 1983. Studying at DURP makes you part of a long tradition.


From our core foundation, you are free to build a concentration, Minor, or dual degree as you wish. Pick from a broad slate of Urban Planning electives and Planning-related electives: sustainability, environmental, community development and social justice, economic development, land-use planning and much more.


We're headquartered in Temple Buell Hall, bridging the middle of the first floor between the School of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture. Classrooms, studios, our computer lab, and faculty offices center around the Atrium as the heart of our facilities. It's a convergence of creativity on the Prairie. Absorb the culture of special events, projects displays, and just linking up with friends.

Study Abroad.

The University of Illinois ranks 16th in the country for sending students to study abroad, offering over 400 programs, with over 2,000 students participating annually. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning encourages Study Abroad in our flexible curriculum, believing that a semester abroad enhances your understanding of planning. We are also part of the Network for European and U.S. Regional and Urban Studies (NEURUS), an international consortium of universities dedicated to the collaborative study of urban and regional development issues. NEURUS offers study opportunities at Humboldt University in Berlin, the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration in Austria, and Korea University, among others.


Our two cities and the university combine to offer outstanding cultural, artistic, and social opportunities. Hear a guest lecture, go to an opening at the Krannert Art Museum, enjoy dinner downtown, see a concert, and hang out with friends. We know you can do this other places, but all in one night? The average commute in Urbana-Champaign is less than 14 minutes and you can walk to most venues. And here, it's affordable.

Study urban planning in Urbana-Champaign?

Embrace your new directional system: Go south three cornfields, then go east. You'll get used to all those seed and fertilizer commercials, and the farm price reports on the radio. And maybe you'll explore some of those surrounding small towns you usually pass on the freeway. Seriously, it's a great place to live. Perhaps one of our alumni put it best: "Several years after leaving Champaign, I realized I missed what Urbana-Champaign offers: the small town feel with the cultural attractions of a big city, all conveniently located and at a great price. It was an easy decision to return" (Lorrie Pearson, MUP '01). Here are some of the many things that we love about C-U:

Urbana's Market at the Square is one of the largest and most diverse farmers' markets in Illinois, demonstrating Urbana's firm commitment to sustainability.Market at the Square Since the late-1970s, farmers from the region have gathered in Urbana to provide local produce to citizens. Today the Market at the Square showcases over 170 vendors, with thousands of patrons visiting each weekend.

How do you want to get around town? Our nationally recognized C-U Mass Transit District serves over 13 million, with a growing fleet of hybrid buses. You ride for free as a student. And the drivers will get to know you. Rent Zipcars by the hour or day, and only pay for the time you use. Gas and insurance included and every reservation comes with 180 free miles per day. Urbana was designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in May of 2010. Our community has strong bicycle groups, high bicyclist mode share, a comprehensive bike plan, a broad bicycle advisory committee, and a good amount of bicycle parking. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning has two bikes in our own bike share program. The flat Prairie land is makes for easy bicycling.Biking on campus You'll redefine your concept of a "hill." How about a walk? In about a 15 minute walk from Temple Buell Hall, you can get to the Krannert Center, Memorial Stadium, Assembly Hall, Krannert Art Museum, the Illini Union, Campustown, the world's largest public university library, the ARC/Activities and Recreation Center, and more.

Break out your Birkenstocks and head for the West Urbana Neighborhood. Designated as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2007 through the American Planning Association's Great Places in America program, the West Urbana neighborhood was the only non-metropolitan neighborhood on the list for this first year of the program. APA selected West Urbana as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for its sustainable design, alternative forms of commuting such as walking, cycling and public transit, inviting neighborhood spaces, and community focus on enhancing quality of life. Situated between two dynamic areas — the University of Illinois and downtown Urbana — the West Urbana neighborhood has maintained its unique identity for more than a century, refusing to succumb to the pressures of high-density development or issues surrounding absentee landlords. Perhaps APA Executive Director Paul Farmer, FAICP, said it best: "The glamour of West Urbana is in the small but oh-so-important details of community life, like talking to your neighbors, being able to walk or bicycle to school or work, and participating in public meetings." Many historic properties remain today as a result of engaged residents and sustained planning efforts. Abutting the neighborhood is the Urbana Free Library, which has one of the highest usage rates in the nation.

The Downtown Champaign Entertainment DistrictThe Art Theater offers a thriving blend of restaurants, shops, night clubs, and art galleries. Check out the School of Art and Design's Figure One Gallery. Grab a burger and throw your peanut shells on the floor at the Esquire Lounge. See a movie in a historic single screen theater, the Art. Join the crowds at Roger Ebert's Film Festival, Ebertfest, headquartered at the Virginia Theater.

Started in 1986, the U-CYCLE recycling program in Urbana was one of Illinois' first residential curbside programs. Since then, both cities and the university have greatly expanded recycling services and new creative outlets for innovative recycling have emerged. Check out The I.D.E.A. Store, an Eco-Edu-Art Creative Re-Use Marketplace which benefits the C-U Schools Foundation. The award-winning PACA Architectural Salvage Warehouse is a treasure trove of historic building materials awaiting re-use. Shop at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, where you will find an outstanding array of gently used furniture and building supplies.

Seeking a bit of culture? We have plenty to offer on campus and beyond. Try the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts: four theaters seat about 4,000 and annually host 350 student and professional performances, as well as commencements, lectures, and other events, many of them free. Krannert CenterCheck out the Illini Union: more than 83,000 students attended or participated in more than 200 programs, lectures, musicals, and concerts offered throughout the year by the Illini Union Board, the largest programming student organization on campus. The Japan House and Arboretum offers formal and informal tearooms, stroll gardens, and art and cultural classrooms. See more than 9,000 works of art at Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion's permanent collection. Enjoy the more than 46,000 artifacts of global cultures at the Spurlock Museum. Our campus's four Cultural Centers include the Afro-American, Asian-American, La Casa Cultural Latina, and Native American houses.

Sports, anyone?Illini Fans State Farm Center seats 15,500, and consistently ranks among the top 15 in the nation for university arenas presenting national touring concerts and family show. It hosts concerts, Broadway shows, campus events and men's and women's basketball games. The new ARC/Activities and Recreation Center is one of the nation's largest on-campus recreation centers, offering 340,000 square feet of activities. Hundreds of machines and weights, a 35-foot climbing wall, a 1/5 mile indoor track, 2 50-meter swimming pools, and more are waiting for you. Join more than 14,000 people in the Illinois Marathon. Held in April, the marathon winds through Urbana and Champaign, with the finish line in Memorial Stadium.

Tuition Guarantee.

Tuition? To enable students and their families to plan for the cost, the university offers the University of Illinois Guaranteed Tuition Plan. All new students admitted to a baccalaureate program at the University – freshman and transfers – will receive a four-year guaranteed tuition schedule.

Like rankings?

U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges rated Illinois as the number 14 public university in the U.S. and as the number 48 university in the U.S.

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