Skip to main content

The Graduate College Handbook

for students, faculty and staff – August 2019

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 application 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.

    Minimum Requirements for Admission

  2. 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 the domestic 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 the international 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 the international application fee (effective with 2011 applications) but are not required to provide financial documentation.