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UW-Madison vs UIUC: Which is the better choice for engineering?

I've been admitted to both UW-Madison and UIUC, and I'm struggling to decide between them. I'll be majoring in engineering, and I want a school with a good balance of academics and social life. Can anyone give me some advice on these two schools?

6 months ago

Congratulations on your acceptances to both UW-Madison and UIUC! Both are great engineering schools, with enriching social scenes as well, so you can't go wrong with either choice. Here's a brief comparison to help you decide:


UIUC is typically ranked slightly higher for engineering, but the difference is not huge. Both schools offer strong engineering programs, and you'll receive a good education at either institution. Consider the specific engineering major you're interested in and see if one school has a stronger program or unique opportunities that align with your interests.

Campus Life:

UW-Madison has a vibrant social scene and is known for its school spirit and sports culture, thanks to its Big Ten affiliation. Madison offers a more traditional college town experience, with many off-campus opportunities for fun, dining, and exploration. UIUC, while also being part of Big Ten, has a more subdued social scene compared to UW-Madison. Champaign-Urbana provides a more laid-back environment but still offers a good balance of academics and social life.


Madison is located between two beautiful lakes and offers numerous outdoor activities. The city has a lively downtown with cultural events, restaurants, and activities. Urbana-Champaign is a smaller college town, and while there's a sense of community, it may not offer as many opportunities or events as Madison. Depending on your personal preferences, consider how important the location and surrounding area are to you.


If you have received any scholarships or financial aid at either school, make sure to factor that into your decision. Additionally, consider the cost of living - Madison is a much bigger city than Urbana-Champaign, so things like eating out may cost more, or rent (if you're eventually planning on living off campus) may be higher.

Overall, both schools provide strong engineering programs, so your decision will likely come down to your personal preference regarding campus life, location, and cost. Try to visit the schools, talk to current students, and explore their websites to get a better sense of what each school has to offer. Good luck with your decision-making process!

6 months ago

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