2023 Best Undergraduate Engineering Schools in Illinois

2022-2023 Engineering Colleges of Distinction

Published: September 1, 2022

By: Colleges of Distinction Staff

Jump to: Northern Illinois University | North Park University | Olivet Nazarene University | University of Illinois at Chicago | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Frequently Asked Questions

Unsurprisingly, today’s labor trends suggest that there is strong and consistent growth across engineering professions, which are increasing their demand for talented, diverse, dedicated individuals. That’s why we at Colleges of Distinction are proud to announce our 2022-2023 selection of excellent schools for engineering majors in Illinois!

These colleges and universities have demonstrated a commitment to the Four Distinctions, which ensure quality and student success throughout it programming. And, as Illinois Engineering Colleges of Distinction, they enrich their engineering programs with a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and well-connected curriculum. Prospective students know that an education from a 2022-2023 Illinois Engineering College of Distinction will prepare them for their futures as innovators.

What makes a 2022-2023 Illinois Engineering College of Distinction?

Stability and quality of these programs are evidenced by their accreditation by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

Practical experience is a given through internships, co-ops, and experiential learning, all of which help students apply their knowledge to the real world.

Multidisciplinary options are available to students, such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, computer engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Collaborative work is encouraged in the classroom, so students learn to be effective team members and leaders.

Soft skills—such as communication, leadership, and teamwork—are emphasized to ensure that students are not just skilled engineers, but also resilient and capable professionals.

Facility investments keep schools’ technology up to date while supporting students along their academic journey.

Dedicated advising and counseling is available to be specifically geared toward engineering students.

High-impact practices, which are intrinsic to every College of Distinction, are fully embraced within the engineering curriculum that are important to all colleges of distinction are incorporated in the engineering curriculum.

Industry connections cultivate an environment for students to create a valuable professional network.

Logo for Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a public research university located in DeKalb, Illinois, United States. With a history that dates back to 1895, NIU has grown to become one of the largest universities in the state of Illinois, offering a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs across seven colleges. The university is known for its strong commitment to research, experiential learning, and community engagement, providing students with numerous opportunities to explore their passions, develop their skills, and make a difference in the world. 

Whether students are interested in the arts, sciences, business, education, or any other field, NIU is a welcoming and supportive community that can help them achieve their goals and succeed in their academic and professional pursuits.

Acceptance rate 59%     •    Net price $14,397   
Total Undergrad Population 12,277    •    Setting Suburb    •    Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 48%     •    Retention rate 78%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 15:1

Click here for available majors

Engineering Majors Offered

Biomedical/Medical Engineering
Electrical Electronics and Communications Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Engineering Technologies/Technicians General

north park university chicago logo

North Park University

Chicago, IL ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1891, North Park University prides itself on its deep Christian roots and its commitment to providing a world-class education in the liberal arts, professional studies, and theology. North Park’s location in Chicago offers students a unique opportunity to learn, serve, and develop their faith in an increasingly diverse community.

Crux is a living-learning cohort in which first-year students are inspired to develop their identity in Christ while experiencing the city. Coursework, experiential learning, mentorship, and discipleship training comprise the Crux experience, earning students college credit while living and learning within an on-campus cohort. They also complete multiple service projects to further develop a life of community engagement.

Acceptance rate 44%      •      Net price $19,320      •      SAT Range 940-1122      •      Students submitting SAT scores 77%
Total Undergrad Population 2,831     •     Setting City: Large     •     Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 59%      •      Retention rate 75%      •     Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

Click here for available majors

Engineering Majors Offered

Mechanical Engineering

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, IL ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Faith is at the heart of superior academics, nationally competitive athletics, thriving social atmosphere, and countless ministry opportunities at Olivet.

In fine arts, Olivet’s School of Music and Department of Art and Digital Media have consistently earned the Apple Distinguished School designation since 2014 for their participation in the iLearn@Olivet initiative. Launched in 2013, iLearn@Olivet utilizes iPad technology for every music major, ensemble, core art course. The technology is also utilized by music and art faculty and staff members.

Students have the opportunity to thrive in an environment that prepares them for technology-driven industries. The Reed Hall of Science features a three-story wing dedicated to studying technology and innovation, and the Walker School of Engineering is equipped with state-of-the-art engineering design labs.

State-of-the-art academic facilities include Benner Library and Resource Center, information hub for digital and print research and communication; and Strickler Planetarium, one of the Midwest’s few all-digital planetariums, renovated in 2008 with the same technology in Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.

Acceptance rate 67%      •      Net price $20,006      •      SAT Range 970-1190      •     Students submitting SAT scores 70%
Total Undergrad Population 3,764     •     Setting Suburb     •     Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 65%      •     Retention rate 75%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

Click here for available majors

Engineering Majors Offered

Engineering, General

University of Illinois Chicago wordmark and logo

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Located in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, UIC helps students unleash their potential. Students enjoy 87 bachelor’s programs, a low student-to-faculty ratio, and award-winning professors who are regarded as experts in their field. The University of Illinois at Chicago is proud to support one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse campuses in the nation, so every member of the community has a place in which to learn and thrive.

UIC is proud to offer students unique ways to live and learn on campus. Living-learning communities comprise of committed students who share a common interest. Students can choose from 15 different communities with topics ranging from Pre-Health to Women in Science and Engineering. Each community has a peer mentor who works within the group to make sure students have the best experience possible. Students also enjoy the benefits of making deeper connections with peers, having built-in study buddies, and gaining easy access to experiential learning opportunities that are relevant to their field of study.

Acceptance rate 73%      •      Net price $12,614      •      SAT Range 1030-1250      •      Students submitting SAT scores 82%
Total Undergrad Population 33,518     •     Setting City: Large      •     Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 63%      •      Retention rate 82%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 18:1

Click here for available majors

Engineering Majors Offered

Biomedical/Medical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering
Engineering Physics
Mechanical Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Engineering-Related Fields

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign logo and wordmark

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is a public research university that is esteemed for its more than 150 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs. These programs span across diverse fields such as engineering, business, social sciences, education, and more. With a large student body of over 50,000 students from all around the world, UIUC is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment that fosters academic and personal growth. 

UIUC’s distinguished faculty are renowned experts in their respective fields and their cutting-edge research programs are at the forefront of innovation and discovery. UIUC offers numerous opportunities for students to participate in research, service, leadership, internships, study abroad programs, and other experiential learning opportunities. Join a community of learners and leaders who are passionate about making a difference in the world, and discover why UIUC is consistently recognized among the top public universities in the United States.

Acceptance rate 63%      •      Net price $13,517      •      SAT Range 1200-1460      •      Students submitting SAT scores 75%
Total Undergrad Population 33,683      •      Setting City: Small      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 86%      •      Retention rate 94%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 20:1

Click here for available majors

Engineering Majors Offered

Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering | Agricultural Engineering | Biomedical/Medical Engineering | Chemical Engineering | Civil Engineering | Computer Engineering | Electrical Electronics and Communications Engineering | Engineering Mechanics | Engineering Physics | Materials Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering | Systems Engineering | Industrial Engineering

What it’s like to attend engineering school in Illinois and other FAQ:

What are average tuition costs in Illinois?

The average undergraduate tuition & fees for colleges in Illinois is $6,389 for in-state students at public institutions, $19,374 for out-of-state students at public institutions, and $22,171 for students at private institutions.

Top Engineering Employers in Illinois

Motorola Solutions
Northrop Grumman

Most popular engineering degree programs in Illinois

Mechanical Engineering – 836 degrees granted in 2020
Computer Engineering – 606 graduates
Electrical Electronics and Communications Engineering – 791 graduates
Accounting and Related Services – 581
Hospitality Administration/Management – 345

Cheapest engineering degree program in Illinois

University of Illinois Chicago has an average net price of $12,614 making it the least expensive engineering degree program in Illinois that made our list.

Easiest engineering degree program to get into in Illinois

University of Illinois Chicago has an acceptance rate of 73%, with an SAT range of 1030-1250, making it the least exclusive college with an engineering program on our list.

Engineering degree program with lowest student debt in Illinois

University of Illinois Chicago has a median total debt after graduation of $17,250. This is the typical debt for a student who completed their undergraduate degree.

See The Top Engineering Colleges of Distinction of 2022-2023

Best Undergraduate Engineering Schools by State

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