II. Applying to the Graduate College

Personal Information

You will be required to provide the following personal information:

  • Full Legal Name
  • Permanent and Mailing Addresses
  • Email Address
  • Birth Date
  • Gender
  • Native Language
  • Country of Citizenship
  • U.S. Permanent Resident Status 

Based on citizenship status, some applicants will also be given the opportunity to provide additional personal background information such as their social security number and race and ethnicity information. This information is voluntary and not required.

Residency Information - Domestic Applicants

You will be required to provide the following personal information:

  • Birth Place
  • Legal State of Residence Information
  • Lawful Permanent Residents will be expected to upload a copy of their green card

Applicants will also be given the opportunity to provide additional personal information, such as highest level of education completed by any parents/guardians, and any U.S military experience. This information is voluntary and will not affect your admission decision.

Asylee, Paroled in Public Interest, and Refugee applicants will be asked to indicate a visa eligibility document that you need; please select None and find your appropriate status option. 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.

Residency Information - International Applicants

The Residency Information application section allows you to request visa eligibility documents and provide information regarding your citizenship and visa status. In addition, you will be required to provide your birth city and birth country, and country of legal permanent residence. Applicants will also be given the opportunity to provide additional personal information, such as the highest level of education completed by any of your parents/guardians. This information is voluntary and will not affect your admission decision.

Requesting an i-20 or ds-2019

You will need to indicate if you need an initial, 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.

Program Information

The Proposed Program Information application section 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 (if applicable), and Desired Term of Enrollment.

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. 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.

Academic History

The Academic History application section 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 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.

Please review our Uploading Credentials page for more detailed instructions on academic credential upload requirements.

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.

Applicants with International Credentials:

  • English translations must also be uploaded if the credentials are not in English (we prefer English translations to be issued by your university, but we will also accept translations issued by a certified public translator, a governmental agency, or from an ATA (American Translators Association) translator).
  • 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.
  • Important: For applicants with international credentials, all documents must come from the institution. We DO NOT accept documents from credential evaluation service organizations such as WES or ECE.

Uploading Credentials

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

  • 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.
  • 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 (if you have been awarded a degree): English and native language transcripts and certificates of degree are required to be uploaded.
  • International Institutions (if 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.

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 application section is where you should list the scores of any relevant tests you have taken, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). These 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.

International applicants should use this section to also list the scores of any relevant English Proficiency tests taken. Please refer to our English Proficiency Requirements for Graduate Admission for additional information about accepted test scores.

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 test – our 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 scores sent to the University will be accessible by all programs.

 

Resume and Application Statements

Most graduate programs require a resume or curriculum vitae, as well as an academic statement and/or a personal statement.
 
Some programs require additional materials 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 help you prepare these documents.

Recommendation Letters

Most graduate programs require three letters of reference. Check with your proposed program of study office regarding the number required. Your recommenders will be required to submit letters of reference using the online recommendation system.

  • The application will require this information prior to allowing you to submit your online application. However, you do not need to wait for your recommenders to submit their letters before you submit your online application. You can and should submit your online application prior to your recommenders submitting their letters.
  • If you have submitted an application to another program or term previously, you are able to import these recommendations to this application. If you are asking these references to provide a new letter, do not import these reference records as they will not receive a new request to submit a new letter.

Recommender Selection:

  • Recommendations should be provided from employers, supervisors, professors, or others who are able to comment on your professional and educational goals and potential (no friends or relatives please).
  • Recommendation letters should specifically address your ability to succeed in your proposed academic program and discuss any experience that may have prepared you to succeed in the program.

adding a recommender after you submit your application:

excluding A RECOMMENDER AFTER YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION:

  • Log back into your application.
  • Click on the name of the recommender that needs to be excluded.
  • When the individual recommender window opens, click the grey “Exclude” button at the bottom of the window.
  • When the warning message pops up, click “Ok.”
  • This will remove the reference from consideration. 
  • If you later want to reinstate a previously excluded reference, you will need to access the References page again, then click the excluded recommender’s name. At the bottom of the window, they’ll be able to click the grey “Reinstate” button at the bottom to reinstate the reference to show on the administrative side. The reinstate button only appears after a particular reference has been excluded.
  • If you chose to NOT waive your rights to view your letter of recommendation and later want to change this decision, the only way to do so is to exclude the original recommender record and then add a new recommender record with all the same information for the recommender, but change your waiver section response.
 

Application Fee

Once you have submitted your application, you will be required to pay your application fee by credit card. The fee must be paid prior to your program's deadline or your application will be unsubmitted. The fee is non-refundable and your application cannot be reviewed until the application fee has been processed.

The application fee amount is determined by your citizenship and/or visa status.

  • Domestic applicants are required to submit a $70.00 application fee.
  • International applicants are required to submit a $90.00 application fee.

Application Fee Waivers

The below listed domestic applicants are eligible for an application fee waiver or exemption and can indicate so on the online application. International applicants are not eligible for an application fee waiver unless coming under a valid exchange agreement that has an approved application fee waiver.
  • University of Illinois Employees: This includes Civil Service Staff, Academic Professionals, and Faculty only. Academic Hourly and Student Employee positions do not qualify for an application fee waiver.
     
  • Illinois Promise (I-Promise) Scholars: I-Promise Scholars are eligible for application fee waivers when applying to a graduate program. Please indicate your I-Promise Scholar designation in this section of the online application.
     
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp Applicants: FreeApp is a program designed to increase access to graduate education for students who possess qualities and experiences that enhance the diversity of the intellectual, cultural, and social environments at Big Ten Academic Alliance universities. As long as you have submitted your FreeApp application and indicated interest in Illinois prior to submitting your online application to Illinois, we will approve your fee waiver. The Big Ten Academic Alliance sends us a list of all applicants who complete the FreeApp application and indicate interest in Illinois, so no additional documentation is needed. For more information on this program and the eligibility requirements, and to submit your FreeApp application, please visit http://www.grad.illinois.edu/freeapp.
     
  • SROP Participants: If you have participated in an SROP (Summer Research Opportunities Program) at the University of Illinois or another institution in the United States, you may qualify for an application fee waiver. You will be prompted to upload documentation of your SROP participation on this page. This documentation is required prior to submitting your application.
     
  • McNair Scholars: If you are a current McNair Scholar, please ask your current institution to provide you with a letter of proof of your McNair status that you can upload to your online application. This documentation will be required before you can submit your application. For more information about the McNair Scholar program, please visit https://www.omsa.illinois.edu/trio/mcnair/.  
     
  • United States Military Service: If you have previously or are currently serving in the United States Military, you are eligible for an application fee waiver. You will be prompted to upload documentation of your service on this page. This documentation is required prior to submitting your application.
     
  • Allied Agencies Applicants: If you are affiliated with one of our allied agencies, you may indicate your allied agency in this section. You will be prompted to upload documentation of your affiliation with this allied agency on this page. This documentation is required prior to submitting your application. Your fee waiver request will be reviewed for approval after submission of your application.