Creating Your First University Campus in Cities: Skylines

Graduation Ceremony at a University Campus Commencement Office (Cities: Skylines)

A university campus is one of the three custom campuses that you can build in the Cities: Skylines Campus expansion. The other two are the liberal arts college and trade school.

The university campus is unlocked at the Capital City milestone, which can be between 8,000 and 36,000 citizens, depending on the map. Do not confuse this for the ploppable university building that you can build in the base game for ₡75,000 starting at the Big Town milestone.

(However, both university campuses and universities provide the “Highly Educated” education level to its graduates.)

We’ll take you through the basics of creating and maintaining your first university, which involves three things:

  • Creating a university campus area
  • The different building types
  • Increasing your campus reputation

Creating a University Campus Area

Every campus area starts with its respective administration building.

You’ll find the University Administration Building by going to the education build menu, and clicking the University Campus tab.

The University Administration Building in the education menu (1), then in the University Campus Area tab (2) / Cities: Skylines
You’ll find the University Administration Building by going to the education menu (1) and clicking on the University Campus Area tab (2).

Placing this down automatically designates the small area underneath it as a university campus area.

Expand this by going to Districts and Areas and then selecting the Paint Campus Area tool.

The Paint Campus Area tool / Cities: Skylines
The Paint Campus Area tool lets you create and expand your campus areas.

Alternatively, you can start off by painting the campus area first, then plopping the administration building inside it.

Although this already counts as a university campus, the administration office by itself has no student capacity. For that you’ll need to proceed to the next step: adding the different buildings.

University Campus Area Buildings

Apart from the administration building, each campus area comes with three types of buildings.

You unlock buildings as your campus reputation (level) increases.

Only the administration building requires access to your road network; the rest of the university buildings only require pedestrian paths connecting them to the admin building (but you can build them next to roads as well if you like).

Education Buildings

These increase student capacity. You can have multiple instances of these in your campus.

Building Level Unlocked Cost (₡) Student Capacity Notes
University Dormitory Unrecognized 17,000 300
University Study Hall Unrecognized 22,000 400
University Gymnasium Recognized 35,000 300 City-wide effect on citizen health
University Auditorium Acclaimed 35,000 600
University Laboratories Acclaimed 53,000 560 Boosts Academic Works creation
A university gymnasium (left) and two university dormitories facing each other (right) / Cities: Skylines
A university gymnasium (left) and two university dormitories facing each other (right)


These increase student capacity greatly, and confer unique bonuses to your city. You can only build one of each.

Building Level Unlocked Cost Student Capacity Notes
School of Law Unrecognized 133,000 1,000 Reduces city-wide Police Department upkeep

Reduces city-wide crime rate
School of Medicine Renowned 150,000 1,000 Boosts healthcare efficiency

Increases hospital and clinic patient capacity

Increases the number of available ambulances
School of Science Prestigious 165,000 1,000 Increases income from all specialized industries

Reduces city-wide electricity consumption and pollution
The School of Law unique faculty on university campus / Cities: Skylines
The School of Law is one of the unique faculties you can build in your university campus.

Supplementary Buildings

Some of these increase student capacity by a small amount and others don’t. Most increase land value.

Building Level Unlocked Cost Student Capacity Notes
University Groundskeeping Unrecognized 8,500 0 Increases land value
Futsal Club Unrecognized 21,000 50
University Outdoor Study Recognized 13,000 200
University Cafeteria Recognized 21,000 0 Increases land value
University Fountain Recognized 17,000 0 Increases land value
University Library Renowned 35,000 100 Increases land value
Math Club Renowned 26,500 50
University Commencement Office Renowned 44,000 0 Has a graduation ceremony animation
University Academic Statue 1 Renowned 22,000 0
University Bookstore Acclaimed 21,000 0 Increases Tourism attractiveness

Increases land value
University Media Lab Prestigious 62,000 200 Boosts Academic Works creation
Chess Club Prestigious 35,000 50
University Academic Statue 2 Prestigious 26,500 0 Increases land value

Increasing Your University Campus Reputation

To unlock buildings, you’ll need to raise your campus reputation (in other words, level up). There are five different reputation levels:

  • Level 1 – Unrecognized
  • Level 2 – Recognized
  • Level 3 – Renowned
  • Level 4 – Acclaimed
  • Level 5 – Prestigious

Leveling up requires you to hit three types of milestones:

Students enrolled: You’ll need to make sure you have enough population, as well as the student capacity.

Campus attractiveness: This simply involves building more campus buildings (all of which increase attractiveness). You may need to build several instances of some buildings to reach the milestones.

Academic works: Every academic year, a campus has a base chance of 30% to produce 1 academic work per 500 students. You can encourage more academic work production by hiring academic staff, and building the University Laboratories and University Media Lab.

Each academic year you can also spend 50,000 for a research grant, which produces 1 academic work. For university campuses, academic works come in three categories: dissertation, discovery, and scientific study.

Note: Reputation increases are not granted as soon as you hit all three milestones, but rather at the end of each academic year (which runs on a 40-week cycle).

Clicking the name of your university on the map brings up more information / Cities: Skylines
Clicking the name of your university on the map brings up information such as your progress towards the next reputation level.
Click the Academic Works tab to hire academic staff, or give research grants / Cities: Skylines
Click the Academic Works tab to hire academic staff (increases your chances of producing more academic works per year) or give research grants (produces 1 additional academic work for that year).

Liz Villegas

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Liz is a writer and photographer with a love for building and strategy games. Her spare time is often split between lifting, reading, drawing, annoying her dog Mr. Porky Butt, and squinting at stat tables on the wiki pages of whatever game she's currently playing.

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