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For information related to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: grad.illinois.edu/covid-19-updates.

COVID-19 Information for Applicants and Newly Admitted Students

The information below is provided to assist applicants and recently admitted graduate students. We encourage you to also consult the following resources as appropriate:

Academic Credential Admission Requirements

Applicant Information: We recognize that some universities in areas impacted by COVID-19 are currently closed and students may be unable to obtain transcripts and other academic credentials at this time. For admissions review purposes, we can review and make admissions decisions with unofficial copies of transcripts. If you have concerns regarding the credentials you can provide at this time, please contact your proposed program of study.

Admitted or Currently Enrolled Student Information: While official copies of your transcripts and certificates of degree are required to be submitted during your first term, we will work with students who have degrees conferred late and/or are unable to obtain official credentials due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We understand that some students may be studying remotely, and also that there are still institutions around the world that are closed and not providing transcripts at this time. We ask that you submit your pending credentials to our office this semester if possible, but we will allow all students admitted to a 2020 term up to March of 2021 to submit these credentials. For students admitted to an earlier term and currently have a transcript hold, please email your graduate program if you need additional time to submit your credentials. To submit credentials, we ask that you please mail them through campus or U.S. mail. If a student only has original international credentials, such as a diploma book, and they need our office to make true copies of these credentials so that they may keep their documents, they may request an appointment with our office by emailing grad@illinois.edu. Students will not be permitted to drop off credentials without an appointment. 

English Proficiency Admission Requirements

TOEFL IBT: TOEFL testing centers are open in some locations, including within Mainland China. Please review the TOEFL iBT Test Centers and Dates page for more information.

TOEFL IBT SPECIAL HOME EDITION TEST: ETS has extended at home testing through the end of December 2020, and are working to extend that date even further. Please review the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Testing page for more information about this test option. We will accept this test in lieu of the traditional TOEFL iBT with the same score and test date requirements posted in our application instructions.

TOEFL ITP PLUS FOR CHINA TEST: We are accepting this test for students in China only. This is a paper-based test that can be taken in ATA-operated test centers in China while the iBT is temporarily unavailable. If submitting this test, a minimum score of 550 will be required for admission. Students who submit this test will not be eligible for full status admission and will be required to take the English as a Second Language English Placement Test (EPT)* prior to erolling at Illinois. Additional information about this test can be found on the ITP Plus for China page. Note that the TOEFL ITP Plus test does not provide a scored speaking component and cannot be used to satisfy the English proficiency requirement for teaching assistants. Students who submit a TOEFL ITP Plus score for admission will need to either take the TOEFL iBT or IELTS at a later date or take the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) upon arrival to campus if planning to hold a teaching assistantship.

DUOLINGO ENGLISH TEST: In addition and in response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Graduate College is temporarily accepting Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between February 1, 2020 and August 1, 2021. The Duolingo English Test will be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS for proof of English proficiency for impacted applicants. If submitting the Duolingo English Test, a minimum score of 105 will be required for admission. Students with scores between 105 and 124 will be required to take the English as a Second Language English Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrolling at Illinois. In addition to providing a score above these minimums, graduate programs may choose to require students to participate in a zoom or skype interview prior to making an admission decision. The Duolingo English Test does not provide sub-score breakouts and cannot be used to satisfy the English proficiency requirement for teaching assistants. Students who submit a Duolingo score for admission will need to either take the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS at a later date or take the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) upon arrival to campus if planning to hold a teaching assistantship. Please visit the Duolingo peparing for the exam, scheduling the exam, and FAQs sites for more information.

IELTS: IELTS is providing updates regarding testing centers at: www.ielts.org/en-us/news/2020/changes-to-ielts-test-arrangements-in-some-locations-due-to-novel-coronavirus.

    GRE and GMAT Score Admission Requirements

    GRE General Test: GRE testing centers are open in some locations, including within Mainland China. Please review the GMAT Test Centers and Dates page for more information.

    GRE General At Home Test: ETS has extended at home testing through the end of December 2020, and are working to extend that date even further. Please review the GRE At Home Testing page for more information about this test option.

    GMAT Exam: GMAT testing centers are open in some locations, including within Mainland China. Please review the GMAT Test Center Updates page for more information.

    GMAT Online Exam: GMAC has extended the offering of the GMAT Online Exam through the end of December 2020, and will continue to monitor conditions and add future appointment dates as needed. Please review the GMAT Online Exam page for more information about this test option.

    The Graduate College does not require the GRE or GMAT scores for official admission to the University; however, many of our graduate programs do have this requirement. If you are unable to take these exams due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the temporary closing of testing centers, please contact your proposed program of study. Some graduate programs are able to grant extensions to the submission of these scores and others have made these exam submissions optional.

    Pass/no-pass and Credit/no-credit Grades

    The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign evaluates applicants for admission to its graduate and professional colleges and schools holistically, meaning that we consider an applicant’s combination of personal accomplishments, letters of recommendation, personal statements, academic record, and test scores in making our admissions decisions. Such a review will consider the significant disruptions of COVID-19 when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials from Spring 2020. We understand that many institutions across the country instituted P/NP or CR/NCR grading policies during that semester. Thus, we will not penalize students for the adoption of P/NP, CR/NCR and other grading options during this unprecedented period, whether the choices were made by institutions or by individual students. Our admissions evaluation will focus primarily on a student’s academic performance prior to this period, and if applicable, following this period. What is most important is that applicants demonstrate that they pursued a challenging curriculum that was relevant to their plan for graduate and professional education.

    Issuance of I-20s and DS-2019S for Admitted Students

    We are aware that the U.S. Consulates have temporarily suspended F-1 and J-1 Student Visa interview scheduling in some areas impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. However, as international applicants are approved for admission, we will continue to issue I-20 and DS-2019 visa eligibility documents for the upcoming semesters to allow applicants to schedule visa interviews as soon as possible after the U.S. Consulates re-open. If you are unable to obtain a student visa and arrive in time to begin your studies for your admitted term, please contact your graduate program for information on enrollment options. 

    The U.S. Department of State has announced that all U.S. consulates and embassies will accept emailed/scanned versions of I-20s with electronic signatures from Designated School Officials for F-1 visa interviews due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this announcement, we will be emailing I-20s to admitted students and/or making them available to view and print on their application status page. Applicants will be able to use this I-20 to both apply for the F-1 visa and to enter the U.S. Note that this approval to use scanned I-20s to obtain visas and entry to the U.S. is temporary, and you should always consult with the embassy or consulate on their current policies and requirements. If this approval changes, we will work with you to ship you a physical I-20 at that time.

    DS-2019s must continue to be physically printed, signed, and shipped to students at this time. 

    GradMAP / Quick Guide

    Newly admitted students are encouraged to consult the GradMAP webpages, including the Quick Guide for important information for new graduate students.

     

    (Updated 10/5/20)