Chapter 1: Admission to the Graduate College

Students must apply to and be admitted to the Graduate College through the standard admission process. Students may or may not be degree-seeking, and admission procedures differ based on this distinction. Except in the case of non-degree admission, students may only be admitted to the Graduate College if first approved and referred for admission by the academic program of study. Admission procedures and policies also differ depending on whether an applicant is defined as having domestic or international citizenship.  

 

A. Graduate Admission Policies

  1. Application Materials
    The Graduate College follows the University rules about how admissions information is shared and how decisions are made. See the Admissions Task Force Report for details.
     
  2. Graduate Admissions Deadline Policy
    Approved October 8, 2009; Effective Spring 2010

    The Graduate College application and admissions deadline is the 10th day of classes for each admission term. Graduate departments may apply earlier deadlines for each term for those applying to their degree programs. However, applications received by the Graduate College after the 10th day of classes will be reviewed on a case by case basis considering both the applicant’s credentials and the departmental justification for the late admission.
     

  3. Graduate Student Application for Admission Fee
    Approved September 1, 1988; Revised May 13, 2008

    An applicant for graduate admission who wishes to change the desired term of entry either before or after receiving a Notice of Admission must contact the admitting department to request the change. If the applicant is requesting to defer the entry term for more than one year, a second application fee will be required by the Graduate College.
     

B. Non-Degree Applicants

Applicants may seek admission to the University of Illinois as a non-degree seeking student in one of two ways:

  1. Non-degree admission to the Graduate College, no program assigned:
    • Available for all terms,
    • No department approval,
    • *Bachelor’s degree verification within first term of enrollment
    • *Application Fee

Non-degree admission to a graduate program:

  • Available for all terms,
  • With department approval,
  • *Bachelor’s degree verification within first term of enrollment
  • *Application Fee

*Note: These conditions do not apply to international exchange students.

Approved March 1, 2010; Effective Summer 2010

 

C. Degree-seeking Applicants

  1. Application Requirements
  2. Minimum Requirements for Admission
  3. Transcripts
  4. Defining Applicants as International or Domestic

  1. Application Requirements
    Applicants apply to an academic program using the online ApplyYourself system and the application instructions provided by the home academic unit and the Graduate College at the Urbana-Champaign campus. Programs may set additional application requirements, and deadlines will vary by unit. Applicants should consult with the desired program offices for details. Programs will review the application first and may either deny admission or recommend admission to the Graduate College. The Graduate College will then review and grant official admission to the University if the applicant meets the Graduate College minimum requirements.  Applicants may not apply to a program in which they already hold a similar degree (see chapter 4 A. 7. for details.) The Graduate College requires all applicants to submit these materials with the online application:
    • Application form,
    • Academic credentials from all post-secondary institutions attended,
    • Personal Statement,
    • Resume,
    • Three letters of recommendation, and
    • Application fee (waived for some individuals). The non-refundable application fee amount is determined by citizenship status. Payment may be made online via credit card. An application cannot be processed until the application fee has been submitted. A change in desired term of entry may require a second application and application fee to be assessed.

    For undergraduate degrees obtained at institutions outside the United States, please review our minimum admission requirements by country site to determine if your degree would be accepted as a comparable bachelor's degree.

  2. Minimum Requirements for Admission
    A student who does not meet one or more of the admission requirements may be approved for admission with limited status with support from the academic program and approval from the Graduate College.
    • Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission. If your undergraduate study is longer than 4 years, additional semesters may be used to calculate the admission GPA. Please note that proposed programs of study may require a higher GPA than the Graduate College's minimum standard.
       
    • Applicants enrolled in the final year of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college in the United States or a or comparable degree program from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad, and who meet the GPA requirements stated above will be admitted conditionally pending receipt of final academic credentials showing the undergraduate degree as conferred.
    • International applicants must meet minimum requirements based on their country of origin. Please note that proposed programs of study may require a higher GPA than the Graduate College's minimum standard.
  3. Transcripts
    Applicants must list in the online application each institution of post-secondary education from which they have earned credit. Applicants must also upload their transcript / academic record (and diplomas or certificates of degrees if the degree is awarded and not listed on the transcript) for each of these institutions to their online application.

    Official Academic Credentials

    All credentials uploaded to the online application are considered unofficial. You will only be asked to submit official credentials (transcripts, academic records, diplomas, certificates of degrees, etc.) if you are admitted. These must be submitted during your first term of enrollment at the University of Illinois in order to continue beyond the first term.

    The University of Illinois reserves the right to require official academic credentials at any time during the admissions process, and to rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found. (See the Student Code for additional information.)

  4. Defining Applicants as International or Domestic
    1. Domestic Applicants

      Domestic applicants are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States, or have been granted Asylee, Refugee or Paroled in the Public Interest status by the United States government. Domestic applicants are required to submit a $70.00 application fee. Lawful Permanent Residents are also required to upload a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) directly to the online application. If you have submitted an application, but have not yet been approved for United States Permanent Residency, please see the instructions for International applicants in the next section.

    2. International Applicants

      International applicants are citizens or permanent residents of a country to which they intend to return other than the United States. International applicants may be in the United States on an educational, worker or visitor visa, or be residing in their home country. International applicants are required to submit a $90.00 application fee by credit card. International applicants who are requesting F-1 or J-1 visa eligibility documents are also required to provide evidence of financial support.

      Please note: International applicants who have filed an application for United States Permanent Residency, but have not yet been granted approval, are considered International applicants and are required to submit a $90.00 application fee (effective with 2011 applications) but are not required to provide financial documentation. The applicants should choose the "Adjusted in Status" citizenship type and upload a copy of the Application Receipt notice from USCIS directly to the online application.

D. English Proficiency Requirement for Admission of International Applicants

All applicants, except for a non-degree exchange student at an admitting program’s request, 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. Only at the request of an admitting program, a non-degree exchange student whose native language is not English could verify English proficiency by either submitting sufficient TOEFL or IELTS results, or a letter submitted from the exchange student’s home institution that documents and certifies the student’s English proficiency.

Minimum Scores for English Proficiency Requirements for Admission can be found at www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04c. Students not meeting the minimum score for admission may be admitted on Limited Status. Please note that admission minimums are not equivalent to minimums required for holding a Teaching Assistant Appointment.

  • 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.

 
Revised August 2017