Demystifying The Uiuc Computer Science Acceptance Rate

With its prestigious engineering program and innovative tech facilities, it’s no wonder the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a top choice for aspiring computer scientists. But UIUC’s reputation for excellence also makes it highly competitive.

If you’re applying to study computer science at UIUC, you may be wondering: how hard is it to get in exactly?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: UIUC’s overall acceptance rate is around 60%, but the acceptance rate for computer science is estimated to be between 10-15% in recent years due to exceptionally high demand.

An Overview of UIUC’s CS Program

When it comes to computer science programs, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is widely regarded as one of the top institutions in the United States. Its computer science program consistently ranks among the best in the country, attracting talented students from all over the world.

In this article, we will delve into the various aspects that make UIUC’s CS program stand out.

Rankings and Reputation

UIUC’s computer science program has consistently earned top rankings from various sources. According to the U.S. News & World Report, it is currently ranked as the #5 computer science program in the United States.

This recognition speaks volumes about the program’s academic rigor, faculty expertise, and research opportunities. Employers often value graduates from highly-ranked programs, giving UIUC CS students a competitive edge in the job market.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

UIUC’s CS program boasts state-of-the-art facilities that provide students with cutting-edge resources and technologies. The Siebel Center for Computer Science, for example, is a world-class facility that houses classrooms, research labs, and collaborative spaces.

Equipped with the latest hardware and software, students have access to advanced tools and technologies that enhance their learning experience and enable them to tackle complex problems.

Research Areas and Specializations

UIUC’s CS program offers a wide range of research areas and specializations, allowing students to tailor their education to their specific interests. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to cybersecurity and data science, the program covers a diverse range of topics.

This breadth of options enables students to explore different fields, gain expertise, and contribute to groundbreaking research in their chosen area.

Research Areas Specializations
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Computer Graphics
  • Database Systems

These research areas and specializations are supported by a renowned faculty who are leaders in their respective fields. Their expertise and guidance provide students with invaluable mentorship and open doors to exciting research opportunities.

Historical UIUC CS Acceptance Rates

When it comes to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Computer Science program, understanding the acceptance rates can be a crucial factor for prospective students. Let’s take a closer look at the historical acceptance rates to demystify this aspect of the application process.

Total applications received

UIUC is known for its esteemed Computer Science program, attracting a large number of applicants each year. The total number of applications received can vary from year to year, with an upward trend in recent times.

In 2020, for example, UIUC received a record-breaking number of applications, reaching an all-time high. This demonstrates the growing popularity and demand for the program.

Overall university acceptance rate

UIUC is a prestigious university that receives applications from students across the globe. Its overall acceptance rate is highly competitive, reflecting the university’s commitment to academic excellence.

While the exact acceptance rate can fluctuate annually, it is generally lower than the national average for universities. Prospective students should be aware of this competitiveness and strive to showcase their strengths and qualifications in their application.

Computer science acceptance trends

The Computer Science program at UIUC is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and cutting-edge research opportunities. As a result, the acceptance rate for the program tends to be more selective compared to other majors within the university.

It is important to note that the acceptance rate for Computer Science can vary from year to year due to various factors such as the number of available spots, the quality of applications, and the overall competitiveness of the applicant pool.

It is always recommended to refer to official sources for the most accurate and up-to-date information on acceptance rates. The UIUC Computer Science department’s website is a reliable resource for prospective students to gather detailed information about the program and the application process.

Additionally, talking to current students or alumni can provide valuable insights into their personal experiences and acceptance rates during their respective admission cycles.

Remember, while the acceptance rate is an essential factor to consider, it should not be the sole determinant of your decision to apply or attend UIUC. The university offers an exceptional learning environment and countless opportunities for growth and success.

So, don’t be discouraged by the statistics; instead, focus on presenting your unique qualities and passion for computer science in your application.

How Competitive is UIUC CS Compared to Other Programs?

Acceptance rates at peer institutions

UIUC computer science is known for being one of the most selective CS programs in the country, with an acceptance rate around 5-8% for in-state students. However, it faces stiff competition from other top CS schools.

For example, Carnegie Mellon University admits only about 8% of applicants to its CS program, while UC Berkeley and MIT admit around 10-15% on average. The incredibly low acceptance rates speak to how competitive admissions are at the highest tier of CS programs.

Average GPA and test scores of accepted students

To even be considered for elite CS programs like UIUC, you need outstanding academics. The average admitted UIUC CS transfer student has around a 3.96 GPA. In terms of standardized test scores, the middle 50% of admitted students score between 33-35 on the ACT and 1480-1560 on the SAT.

Applicants should strive for grades and test scores that put them in or above these ranges to be a competitive applicant. The students UIUC and peer institutions admit tend to represent the top few percent of all students academically.

Yield rates

Yield rate refers to the percentage of admitted students who end up enrolling. Elite CS programs often have relatively low yield rates because they admit a very large number of students to fill a small class.

  • For example, Carnegie Mellon CS had a yield of 47% in Fall 2021.
  • MIT and UC Berkeley had yields around 60-65% that year.
  • UIUC’s CS yield tends to fall somewhere in the 50-60% range.

While an acceptance is hard to get, admitted students still turn down these selective schools at fairly high rates for even more desirable options.

What Impacts Admissions Decisions?

When it comes to gaining admission to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Computer Science program, there are several factors that can impact an applicant’s chances. The admissions process is highly competitive, and the admissions committee carefully considers a range of factors when making their decisions.

Academic rigor and grades

One of the most important factors that impacts admissions decisions is the academic rigor of an applicant’s high school coursework. Admissions officers want to see that applicants have challenged themselves academically and have taken a rigorous course load, particularly in math and science.

They also consider the grades earned in these courses, looking for consistent high performance. Strong grades in computer science-related courses can also be a significant asset to an applicant.

Standardized test scores

Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, are another important consideration in the admissions process. While the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign does not have a strict cutoff for test scores, strong scores can certainly enhance an applicant’s chances of being admitted.

It’s important for applicants to prepare for these tests thoroughly and aim for scores that are in line with the averages of admitted students.

Quality of application essays

Application essays provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their writing skills and express their passion for computer science. Admissions officers carefully review these essays to assess an applicant’s ability to articulate their goals, experiences, and dedication to the field.

A well-crafted and compelling essay can leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee and greatly improve an applicant’s chances of being accepted.

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation play a crucial role in the admissions process, as they provide insights into an applicant’s character, abilities, and potential for success in the computer science program. It’s important for applicants to choose recommenders who know them well and can speak to their strengths and accomplishments.

Strong letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or employers who can provide specific examples of an applicant’s skills and achievements can greatly boost their chances of acceptance.

Application Tips to Boost Your Odds

Take high school CS classes

One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting accepted into the UIUC Computer Science program is by taking high school computer science classes. These classes not only provide you with a solid foundation in computer science principles and programming languages, but they also demonstrate your commitment and interest in the subject.

Admissions officers look for applicants who have a strong academic background in relevant subjects, so make sure to include any computer science coursework on your application.

Highlight relevant experiences

When filling out your application, it’s important to highlight any relevant experiences you have in the field of computer science. This could include internships, research projects, or even personal coding projects you’ve worked on.

By showcasing your hands-on experience and enthusiasm for the subject, you can make yourself stand out from other applicants. Additionally, be sure to describe any leadership roles or teamwork experiences that demonstrate your ability to work well with others, as these skills are highly valued in the computer science field.

Submit early action application

If you’re set on attending UIUC for computer science, consider submitting an early action application. Early action is a non-binding admissions process that allows you to apply early and receive an early decision.

By submitting your application early, you demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the university. Additionally, early action applicants have a higher acceptance rate compared to regular decision applicants.

However, it’s important to note that early action applications often have earlier deadlines, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Convey genuine interest

UIUC values students who are genuinely interested in their computer science program. When writing your application essays or during an interview, be sure to convey your passion and enthusiasm for the subject. Talk about specific courses, professors, or research opportunities that excite you.

Admissions officers want to see that you have done your research and have a genuine interest in the program. Additionally, consider reaching out to current students or attending information sessions to learn more about the program and show your dedication to becoming a part of the UIUC computer science community.


While gaining admission to UIUC’s prestigious computer science program is highly competitive, understanding acceptance trends, admissions factors, and application best practices can help position you for success.

Use this comprehensive guide to demystify the UIUC CS acceptance rate as you prepare your application.

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