Undergraduate Blog

To submit an item for the undergraduate blog, email Greg Coughlin.

February 8, 2019

If you are still evaluating your options for graduate school or you are considering a career in industry, we invite you to join us for an Online Information Session about Illinois Engineering's Professional Master's Programs on Wednesday, February 13, at 12 CT. 

This one-hour webinar includes a short presentation by Associate Dean Harry Dankowicz, Executive Director Rhonda McElroy, and Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator Amy Clay-Moore from Illinois Engineering's Office of Graduate, Professional and Online Programs. Stacy Walker, Coordinator for the ECE Master of Engineering will chat with her student Arvind Kamal about his experience in the program.

Do you have questions about Illinois Engineering's professional master's programs? We leave plenty of time to answer your questions. Not sure what your questions are? Register and hear from your peers who are also considering the program. Our last info session had a great Q&A. If you are thinking about applying, this is a great way to get those final questions answered before starting (or finishing) your application. 

  Register to get connection details: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/1076427  

February 7, 2019

The Master of Science in Law (MSL) is a unique program that provides individuals with STEM backgrounds with specialized training in the areas of intellectual property and patent design, business law and entrepreneurship, regulatory analysis and strategy, and skills development. Students can complete the full-time program in nine months, or the part time program (via either the residential or online format) in two to four years.


We are hosting a special webinar tailored for advisors to learn more about the program. We hope you can attend!


Advisor Webinar
Wednesday, February 20 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm (CST)
Click here to register! Please note this webinar is designed specifically for academic advisors.


If you’d prefer to pass along information to your students, here are our upcoming opportunities for students to learn more about the program:


Next Webinar: Wednesday, February 13 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm (CST)
We host monthly webinars; please see the attached flyer for our spring schedule.  Students can register here!


Open House
Saturday, March 9 from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Our Open Houses take place at our campus in downtown Chicago (375 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611). Students can register for the Open House here!
February 6, 2019

Please see the following message from Dean Makela regarding the Global Grand Challenges Summit:


Dear Illinois Engineer:


Please see the information below regarding the fourth Global Grand Challenges Summit, jointly organized by the National Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Consider forming a team to tackle one of the two subthemes related to UN Sustainable Development Goals. Teams can directly apply using the link in the email below.


If you do form a team, please let Jen Sans (jsans@illinois.edu) in the Undergraduate Programs Office know, so we can provide assistance.



Dean Makela



The fourth Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS) on the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering will be held September 12–18, 2019, in London, UK. It is being jointly organized by the NAE, the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and will be hosted by the RAEng.

An important part of each GGCS is student engagement. Each summit features a student team competition of innovation, design, and business development based on themes related to a major challenge facing society and the planet. Five student teams from each participating country (China, UK, and US) will propose ways to address aspects of the theme of this year’s summit, “Engineering in an Unpredictable World.” The teams will convene in London to compete, and then will be reassigned on site to mixed country teams for the final competition. This intercountry collaboration is an exciting new aspect of this year’s summit.

To determine the five finalists that will represent the United States at the London GGCS, teams will participate in a preliminary US-only competition in May. Additional details will be announced in early March. 



        Interested teams must submit a letter of intent (LOI) through on online form describing the team, its composition, and selected topic (see below) and proposal title, and indicating the home institution and the names and email addresses of all team members. No abstract is needed at this time.The deadline for LOIs is February 18, 2019.          Teams propose and develop a startup business model based on an idea/concept related to the competition topics listed below.         Each team has 4–6 undergraduate student members (each member must be a current student at the time of the summit).         Only one team will be selected from any given university. All team members must be from the same institution.         Each team designates as team leader a student who is actively involved in an engineering program, although students from other disciplines are strongly encouraged to be part of the team.         Each team must have at least one engineering mentor (or possibly two) who is willing to travel to the UK for the summit with the team.

Undergraduate student teams from schools with an NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) and those that signed the commitment letter to President Obama to develop a GCSP are especially encouraged to participate. Questions about the competition can be sent to GGCS2019@nae.edu.

To apply, please submit information using the online formHERE. 


Competition Topics

Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges from a population that is predicted to grow to 10 billion by 2050 and is accelerating degradation of the planet and its resources. At the same time, exponential technological changes are making the world smarter, faster, and more connected, but with unanticipated consequences.

Engineers are crucial to international efforts to address these rapidly evolving, unpredictable challenges. We need to embed collaboration, diversity, and global responsibility into the solutions we create, transforming the way engineers work, think, and are taught.

In this context, the 2019 summit has two subthemes that relate to the NAE’s 14 Grand Challenges while recognizing and capturing the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

·        Will AI and other transformational technologies change humanity for the better?

o   Example topics: equitable access, ethics, health care, neuroscience, extending life, engineering education, automation, employment, genetics, robotics, mental health, unintended consequences, AI bias, secure cyberspace

·        Can we sustain 10 billion people?

o   Example topics: food, water, energy, waste, circular economy, urbanization, megacities, transport, resources, economic development, VR, health provision, digital enablement for rural dwellers

Teams are invited to propose an innovation or novel approach to address global challenges associated with these subthemes. As the two themes are broad, we expect teams to tackle one or more elements of a challenge rather than the entire subject. For example:

·        How do we feed 10 billion?

·        Is continued urbanization inevitable? desirable?

·        How can we achieve globally equitable access to technology?

·        How do we prevent global water shortages?

·        How do we incorporate more recycling as we innovate new products?

While the team’s proposal does not need to be a full-fledged startup business, we are looking for a rigorous entrepreneurial and design approach showing that the team moved beyond an initial idea or technology concept. The innovation must be viable with a clear route to growth and sustained impact, though it does not need to be a profit-making entity. Questions about the competition can be sent toGGCS2019@nae.edu.

February 6, 2019


The Bailey Undergraduate awards are $3000 awards ($1500/semester) given each year to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois who have demonstrated positive impact and commitment as a result of service, community involvement, leadership, and action. Financial need and academic achievement will also be considered. University of Illinois - Urbana campus undergraduate students in all programs are eligible to apply. 

For more information or to apply online, visit: www.universityymca.org/bailey 

Application deadline: February 15



Not sure if you should apply? working on an application and feeling stuck?  Don't quite understand the financial information?  Attend an info session to ask questions and get advice from the Scholarship Director -- all in the comfort of your own home. More information >>




The FRED S. BAILEY INTERNATIONAL SERVICE TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP FOR CAUSE-DRIVEN LEADERS offers scholarships of $600-1800 dollars to University of Illinois undergraduate and Master's level graduate students leading international service projects who plan to travel within the specified period.  Recipients will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to the project/program, long-term career goals in international development or related fields, the trip’s potential impact on the student’s learning and professional development, potential for positive impact on the host community and financial need. If selected, all recipients must participate in a 6-week online pre-departure course.  

Application Period 2
(For trips that occur between May 1, 2018 - January 17, 2019)
Applications Open: January 14, 2019
Application Deadline: February 19, 2019

To learn more and apply, visit:

February 6, 2019

The Senate of the Illinois Student Government is the core of the student government. It is made up of 54 Senators from each college or equivalent unit. The seats are apportioned to the colleges by enrollment size. For example, the largest college, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, has 14 senators, and the smallest college, Education, has one. Graduate students are also members of the Senate, and are elected either from the Graduate College, the College of Law, or the College of Veterinary Medicine. To become a Senator, a student must either win their college’s seat in the Academic Senate during the Spring semester, or fill a vacant seat in the Senate of the ISG. Senators work to pass resolutions to help benefit the student body. Consider applying to be a senator here: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/216909   For questions, please reach out to Jessica Tiggelaar at: jwt5@illinois.edu