IV. International Applicants

Personal Information

The Personal Information page of the online application asks your typical biographic and demographic data.

Required Information (this information should directly match your passport):

  • Full Legal Name
  • Permanent and Mailing Addresses
  • Email Address
  • Birth Date
  • Gender
  • Native Language
  • Country of Citizenship

Residency Information

The Residency Information page allows you to indicate your visa eligibility document request and provide information regarding your citizenship and visa status.

If Requesting an i-20 or ds-2019

You will need to indicate if you need an intial, change of level, transfer, or change of status visa eligibility document.

  • Initial documents are appropriate for students arriving in the US from outside the country for purposes of attending Illinois.
  • Change of Level documents are appropriate for current Illinois students changing from an undergraduate program to a graduate program.
  • Transfer documents are for students currently attending or are on practical training at another institution in the US and will not have had longer than a 5 month break between enrollment/training. You will be prompted to provide your current SEVIS number and the name of the institution that issued your current I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Change of Status documents are appropriate for students currently in the US on a non-student visa wishing to change status to an F-1 student visa. You will be prompted to provide your current visa type and asked whether or not you will be leaving the country before your program begins and enter with an initial I-20, or if you plan to stay in the US and file your change of status within the US.

You will be asked if you need any dependent I-20s/DS-2019s.

  • If yes, you will be prompted to upload a copy of each dependent's passport. Please note this can be provided at a later time if it is not available at the time of application.
  • For each dependent, you will need to provide their full legal name, gender, relationship to you (spouse or child), birth city and country, as well as country of citizenship and country of legal permanent residence.

You will be asked to upload a copy of your passport and proof of funding documentation.

  • Passports and proof of funding documentation are required for all students requesting an I-20 or DS-2019. Please review our Evidence of Financial Resources page for more detailed instructions on proof of funding requirements. 
  • If you do not have a passport or proof of funding documentation available, you may provide this at a later time. However, these documents will be required before we can issue an I-20 or DS-2019. 

online program applicants

  • If you are applying to an online program and will not enter the US, you can indicate this and we need no further visa status information. However, if you will be in the US for your program, you will need to show proof of non-student visa status. Please see the information for current visa holders below.

remaining on a non-student visa

  • If you are currently in the US on a non-student visa (such as an H-1 work visa) and are planning to remain on this visa for the duration of your studies at Illinois, you will need to indicate your current visa type.
  • In addition, you will need to upload a copy of your current visa.

Sponsored J-1 students

  • If another organization, such as IIE Fulbright or LASPAU, will be issuing your DS-2019, you will need to provide us with the name of this organization and upload a copy of your award letter.

asylee, paroled in public interest, refugee status

  • If you have been granted one of these statuses, you will need to upload documentation of this status. You will then be classified as a domestic student and be prompted to answer questions regarding your legal state of residence in the US in the Residency Information section of this page.

residency information

  • You will need to provide your birth city and birth country, and country of legal permanent residence. 

Evidence of Financial Resources

funding requirements:

All international applicants requesting visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are required to demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to cover the cost of their education while in the United States. Financial documentation is required as part of the application process in order for visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) to the U.S. to be issued. International applicants should upload the following documentation directly to the online application.

funding sources:

FUNDING documentation - bank statements:

  • You must obtain a bank statement from your bank (web printouts are acceptable for online banking) showing the bank's letterhead or logo, and bank stamp or bank signature.
  • The statement must show sufficient funding for one year’s costs* (or amount of sponsorship for one year), must be dated within one year of submission, and must show funding in liquid accounts, such as savings, checking, money market accounts, or CDs.
  • Non-liquid funding such as stocks, bonds, auto/land deeds are not acceptable forms of financial support.
  • Solvency and opinion statements are not acceptable forms of financial support.

FUNDING DOCUMENTATION - declaration and certification of finance forms:

  • The sponsor must sign and print his/her name and relationship to the student, and the form must be dated within one year of submission.
  • Signing this document verifies sponsorship for the full length and cost of the program.
  • The form is available in PDF format here.

FUNDING DOCUMENTATION - letters of sponsorship:

  • You must obtain an official letter of sponsorship from the sponsor that includes a signature or stamp showing the authenticity of the letter.
  • The letter must detail amounts and length of sponsorship and be dated within one year of submission.

uploading funding documentation:

  • You are required to upload a copy of your all proof of funding documentation if requesting an I-20 or DS-2019. English translations should be included if the documentation is not in English.
  • Non-legible scans will not be accepted. 
  • Please do not mail or fax in a copy of this documentation which you have uploaded to your online application. Instead, use only the upload feature of our online application at this point. This saves you the time, effort, and expense of mailing financial documents to us during the initial processing and review of your application. It also avoids any delays resulting from the non-receipt of financial documents and assures you that your documents have been successfully submitted, since you can view them yourself online.
  • Please obtain an electronic version of your proof of financial documentation (bank statements, declaration forms, letters of sponsorship) or scan a copy of the document you may already have and that is current, at the lowest resolution that results in a legible document (we recommend to use under 200 dpi whenever possible.
  • You may upload an institutional web based bank statement as long as the financial institution has put your name on the statement.
  • You must ensure that your name, the financial institution name and other identifying marks are not missed during the scanning process and that your scanned copy is clearly legible and can print on letter size paper - 8.5 by 11 in (21.5 by 30 cm).
  • Please be certain that your document is saved as a PDF file or Word document. Scanning in “gray scale” or black and white may produce the best results.
  • If the scanned file is too large you may want to make a photocopy first (experiment with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size) then scan the photocopy. 

The University of Illinois reserves the right to require official proof of funding documentation at any time during the admissions process.

*Note that J-1 students will be required to show proof of funding (via bank statement) for the entire cost of the program (or the portion for which funds are being covered by personal or other individual sponsor funding).

Visa Information

The Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 will be issued to admitted applicants who request and are eligible for an F-1 visa. F-1 students may not hold appointments that total more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, and full-time during vacation period provided the student intends to register in the following semester. Twelve months of optional practical training in a study program may be authorized. Dependents of F-1 students cannot be employed.

A DS-2019 Form will be issued to admitted applicants who request and are eligible for a J-1 visa. Applicants sponsored by their governments, international foundations, or agencies, who receive at least 50 percent of their funding from any source other than personal or family funds, or who are part of a university exchange are eligible to receive this form. Entry into the U.S. is only for the total period of the study program as specified on the DS-2019. J-1 students may work on or off-campus only with written approval from their sponsor. Students may participate in up to 18 months of academic training and up to 36 months of post-doctoral training. Changing visa category is very difficult and may not be allowed. J-1 visa holders may be subject to a 2-year home country residence requirement. Dependents on J-2 visas may seek employment.

A student may not enroll or pursue studies while on a B1/B2 or F-2 visa.

A student may choose to enroll and pursue studies while on an H-1 visa or they may choose to change status to a student visa. However, please note that an H-1 visa holder cannot hold a graduate assistantship appointment. If you choose to remain on a non-student visa during your studies at Illinois, you will need to upload a copy of your U.S. visa in your online application.

Information regarding the SEVIS I-901 Fee may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

 

Program

The Proposed Program Information page allows you to pick the program and term you are applying for, as well as answer program-specific questions.

PREVIOUS UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AFFILIATION:

  • If you have previously been an applicant, student, or employee of the University of Illinois, please be prepared to provide your previously issued University ID Number (UIN).

PROPOSED PROGRAM OF STUDY:

  • You will be asked to pick your Proposed Program (department), Degree, Field of Specialization, and Desired Term of Enrollment.
  • We recommend reviewing the Programs of Study, along with the proposed program of study website, to review the admissions and degree requirements of the degree for which you are applying.
  • Deadline Information: Once an application deadline has passed for a specific term, that term will no longer display.
  • Check with your proposed program of study office for application deadlines. You may be asked to indicate any faculty members you are interested in working with during your studies at Illinois.
  • Some programs will have additional program-specific questions on this page. If you have any questions about these program-specific questions, please contact your proposed program of study.
  • Please note that some departments may consider your application for multiple programs if your application is not selected for admission by your original proposed program. However, many departments require an additional application to be submitted before reviewing for additional programs. See our Applying for Multiple Programs instructions for more information.

Application Fee Waivers:

International applicants are typically not eligible for application fee waivers unless coming under a valid exchange agreement.

Academic History

The Academic History page of the online application requires you to provide detailed information about all post-secondary institutions you have attended.

For each institution, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Institution Name and Address Information
  • Degree Received or Expected
  • Attendance and Degree Dates
  • Academic Major
  • Grade Point Average
If you received multiple degrees from an institution, you will need to list this institution out multiple times. For example, if you received a bachelor's and master's degree from an institution, you will need to list this institution twice in order to provide information about both earned degrees.
 
Please note that you will be required to upload your transcripts for each institution you have attended. English translations should also be uploaded if the credentials are not in English. If your degree has been awarded and your degree information is not listed on your transcript, you will also need to upload a copy of your diploma or certificate of degree. Please review our Uploading Credentials page for more detailed instructions on academic credential upload requirements.
 
Important: All credentials uploaded to the online application are considered unofficial. You will be asked to submit official credentials (transcripts, academic records, diplomas, certificates of degrees, etc.) only if you are admitted. These must be submitted during your first term of enrollment at the University of Illinois.

 

Uploading Credentials

Uploading Application Materials

Below are some tips for uploading any material in your online application:

instructions for uploading all documents:

  • Resolution: Please obtain an electronic version or scan a copy of the credentials at the lowest resolution that results in a legible document (we recommend using under 200 dpi whenever possible). Scanning in "gray scale" or black and white may produce the best results.

  • File Type: Please be certain that your document is saved as a PDF file or Word document.
  • Legibility: To ensure that your name and other identifying marks are not missed during the scanning process, make sure your scanned copy is clearly legible and can print on letter size paper - 8.5 by 11 in (21.5 by 30 cm).
  • Multiple upload buttons will be available if needed. Once you upload one document, you will be prompted to upload another document if applicable.
  • Viewing Uploaded Documents: Once you have uploaded the document into the online application, you will be able to click the "view document" button to verify whether the uploaded document is legible. If it is not legible, then try again. (NOTE: The system automatically converts your uploaded document into a standard PDF file.)
  • All Required Documents Must Be Uploaded: Even if you have previously mailed in paper documents, you must still upload an electronic version.

Academic Credentials (Transcripts, Certificates of Degrees):

  • Identifying Information: The uploaded document must include your name and the institution name.
  • Transcript Legends: Include a copy of the transcript legend or university key (back page in most cases) for each institution.
  • United States Institutions: Transcripts are required to be uploaded.
  • International Institutions (you have been awarded a degree): English and native language transcripts and certificates of degree are required to be uploaded.
  • International Institutions (you have not yet been awarded a degree): English and native language transcripts are required to be uploaded.
  • Official Academic Credentials: All credentials uploaded to the online application are considered unofficial. You will only be asked to submit official or attested credentials (transcripts, academic records, diplomas, certificates of degrees, etc) in a sealed envelope, with a certification stamp across the seal if you are admitted. These must be submitted during your first term of enrollment at the University of Illinois.

TOEFL AND IELTS Score Reports:

  • Identifying Information: The uploaded document must include your name and Test Registration or Report Form Numbers.

Citizenship Status Documents:

  • United States Visa Holders: Please upload a copy of your U.S. visa and make sure your name and visa status information are legible.
  • Applicants Applying for US Permanent Residence: Please upload a copy of your Application Receipt Notice from USCIS for your application for US Permanent Residence, and make sure your name and form are legible.
  • Sponsored J-1 Applicants: If an outside organization is issuing your DS-2019, please upload your award letter from this organization, and make sure your name and the letter are legible.

Passport and Proof of Funding Documents:

  • Passports: Please make sure to upload the main passport page that includes your full legal name, place of birth, and date of birth (usually the page with a picture).
  • Letters of Sponsorship / Declaration and Certification of Finance Forms: Please make sure your name and sponsor's name are clearly indicated and legible. Please make sure all documents include a signature or stamp showing the authenticity of the letter/form.
  • Bank Statements: Please make sure the bank name, account holder's name, and balance are listed on the statement, and are clearly legible.

The University of Illinois reserves the right to require official credentials at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official credentials are found.

 

Test Scores

The Test Scores page is where you should list the scores of any relevant test(s) you have taken, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and the Inernational English Language Testing Service (IELTS).

  • GRE and GMAT tests are not required for admission to the Graduate College, but they may be required for admission to your proposed program of study; therefore, it is important to contact your proposed program of study office for specific requirements.
  • A TOEFL or IELTS score should also be reported on this page. Unlike the scores of the tests listed above, these scores are required for admission to the Graduate College for non-native English speakers. The minimum scores for the English proficiency requirement can be found on our website. Some international applicants may be exempt from providing these scores, and these waivers are also detailed here.
  • If you self-report a TOEFL and/or IELTS test score, you will be encouraged to upload a copy of your score report.
 
Important: The scores reported in this section are considered unofficial; you must request the official score to be sent to the University from the organization administering the testour institution code number is 1836. You may also be asked to select a department code; please select the code that best matches your proposed program of study, but please note that it does not matter which department code you choose, as all scores sent to the University will be accessible by all programs.
 
 

English Proficiency Requirement for Admission

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.
     
  • Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS (please see instructions below for Submitting Official Scores regarding our institution code and program number).
     
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid.
     
  • IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE: Individual academic programs may require a higher score, or evidence of spoken English language proficiency; contact your proposed program of study office for the minimum TOEFL, TSE, or IELTS requirement for admission.
  • Teaching requirements differ from admissions requirements. See the English Proficiency Requirements for International Teaching Assistants.

The following chart provides minimum score requirements for admission:

English Proficiency Test

Minimum for Limited Status Admission with English as a Second Language Placement Test Required*

Minimum for Full Status Admission**
TOEFL iBT 79-102 greater than 102
TOEFL CBT 213-253 greater than 253
TOEFL PBT 550-610 greater than 610
IELTS (academic exam) 6.5 with a score of 6 or higher in all sub-sections greater than 6.5

*If the scores on the TOEFL or IELTS are acceptable, but indicate the need for further English study, an English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) will be required upon arrival at the University. On the basis of the ESL EPT results, applicants are generally required to enroll in non-credit "English as a Second Language" courses and take a reduced academic load beginning the first semester at the University.

**Students applying to online programs must satisfy the full status admissions requirement.

Test Information and Instructions for Requesting Official Scores

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Website: www.toefl.org

TOEFL Services at Educational Testing Service (ETS):

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the TOEFL should request the Educational Testing Service send scores to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our institution code number 1836.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

IELTS is jointly owned by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.

Website: www.ielts.org

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.

Exemptions

  • Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if one of the following criteria is met:
    • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in a country where English is the primary language within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    • Completion of a post-secondary degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.

 

IMPORTANT: Please note that this exemption is for admission purposes only. This may not necessarily provide an exemption for international teaching assistants. For more information, please see the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants.

Please click here for a list of countries that qualify for an exemption from the admissions requirement.

Resume and Statements

Your online application will include sections for additional required uploads:
  • Most graduate programs require a resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Most graduate programs require a statement of purpose or personal statement.
  • Some programs require other various statements such as a writing sample, research statement, or specific program essay. These requirements will be outlined in the online application, but you should visit your proposed program of study's web site to prepare these documents.