Policies & Procedures
As the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it's our mission to uphold the policies and procedures outlined below.
As the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it's our mission to uphold the policies and procedures outlined below.
The goal of the University of Illinois admissions review process is to select, from the large and growing pool of applicants, those individuals who have challenged themselves academically and shown commitment to activities and service expected of University of Illinois alumni. To achieve a class that embodies rich diversity, college representatives and other university staff participate in the recruitment, identification, and selection of students.
Applicants selected for admission are those who are expected to contribute to and immerse themselves in our learning environment. Although high school grades and standardized test scores are important indicators of academic achievement, they only tell part of the story.
As a public, land-grant institution of higher learning, Illinois has a mandate to serve the State of Illinois by educating its future leaders in research, teaching, and public engagement. Student diversity is a compelling interest, as it contributes to a rich and stimulating learning environment that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities in Illinois, the nation, and beyond.
The following general university policies are applicable to all undergraduate applicants at both the beginning freshman and transfer student levels.
To be eligible for consideration for admission, an applicant must meet certain requirements in terms of high school graduation, high school credits, and competence in English.
The commitment of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms. It is the policy of the university not to engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, age, order of protection status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation including gender identity, arrest record status, unfavorable discharge from the military, or status as a protected veteran and to comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in university programs and activities. The official nondiscrimination policy may be found in our Campus Administrative Manual.
This policy and the associated procedures are established to provide a means to address complaints of discrimination or harassment based on the protected categories described herein. Individuals who believe that a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign employee has subjected them to discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy should contact the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access via email or phone at 217-333-0885.
An applicant must be a graduate of a regionally accredited high school, a school in Illinois recognized by the state superintendent of education, or a school elsewhere with a rating equivalent to full recognition. Graduates of other secondary schools and nongraduates of secondary schools may be admitted under the provisions for a high school equivalency exam.
The admission office will confirm all students’ transcripts arrive from a high school with a CEEB code, as well as the high school seal and/or signature. If a transcript is from a high school that lacks a CEEB code or seal/signature, the admission office will investigate to confirm that the school is recognized by the state department of education or home school association. The admission office may request additional documentation at any point in the admission process. If a diploma is determined invalid, a high school equivalency exam may be required for admission consideration.
The achievement of satisfactory scores on a high school equivalency exam is acceptable in lieu of graduation from an accredited high school. The test alone won’t fulfill all of our college preparatory subject requirements. The state of Illinois recognizes the General Education Development (GED) exam, HiSET, and Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) in lieu of graduation from an accredited high school.
To be eligible to take these tests, applicants must be at least 18 years of age or have been out of school for at least 1 year. If to be used in lieu of high school graduation, high school equivalency exam scores should be sent by the testing center directly to our office.
For admission to all majors, freshman applicants must present a total of at least 15 units of acceptable college preparatory schoolwork. A unit course of study in the secondary school is a course covering an academic year and including no less than the equivalent of 120 60-minute hours of classroom work. A total of 2 hours of work requiring little or no preparation outside the class are considered as the equivalent to 1 hour of prepared classroom work.
A freshman applicant who lacks a required high school subject may satisfy the requirement at either a community college or elsewhere prior to enrollment at the university. This information must be communicated on the application for admission. Just 1 semester in college is the equivalent of 2 semesters of high school coursework.
Under extenuating circumstances, a specific subject requirement may be waived for otherwise well-qualified freshman applicants. An applicant seeking a waiver of the subject pattern requirement should use the Academic Challenges question on the application to state the rationale for requesting such action.
The subject pattern requirements are waived for transfer applicants, but such applicants can fulfill the language other than English transfer and graduation requirements through high school coursework.
English: Studies in language, composition, and literature requiring practice in expository writing in all such work. Coursework should emphasize reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Language other than English: A total of 2 years of any 1 language other than English (or completion of second level) fulfills the admission requirement. American Sign Language is acceptable.
Laboratory science: Laboratory courses in biology, chemistry, or physics are preferred. Laboratory courses in astronomy and geology are also acceptable. General science isn’t acceptable.
Mathematics: Algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, and statistics. Applied business mathematics, pre-algebra, and computer courses aren’t acceptable. Approved mathematics courses taken before high school will be counted toward the requirement.
Social studies: History and government. Additional acceptable social studies include anthropology, economics, geography, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Flexible courses: A total of 2 courses from any of the above 5 subject categories. Approved art, music, or vocational education courses can be counted in the flexible academic units category.
Freshman applicants must demonstrate a command of the English language. If the student’s first language isn’t English or he or she is attending high school in a non-English-speaking country, we strongly recommend that the student submit a TOEFL or IELTS score taken within the past 2 years.
Transfer applicants must meet one of the following conditions to satisfy our minimum English proficiency requirement:
Note that these are only the minimum requirements needed to meet English proficiency. In many cases, the standards needed to gain admission will be much higher, so it would be to the student’s advantage to submit all test scores demonstrating a high level of English competency, especially if he or she doesn’t meet the ACT or SAT minimums.
Test scores that will be used to fulfill the English proficiency requirement must be taken within 2 years of the student’s date of enrollment in the university.
Each beginning freshman and transfer applicants with less than 30 graded transferable credits at the time of application, regardless of length of time out of school, is required to submit an admission test score from either the American College Testing (ACT) program or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). An applicant won’t complete the admission requirements until our office receives the test score in the form of an official score report sent directly from the testing agency itself. Complete information concerning the test, the dates of test administration, and the location of testing centers can be obtained online or from high school counselors.
Applicants being recruited to participate in varsity sports who are not admitted through the regular admissions process, or whose application becomes complete after the published deadlines, may be considered for admission by the Committee for the Admission of Student Athletes (CASA). This committee was created by the Chancellor in 1983 under the authority granted by the Board of Trustees. Through the CASA review process, potential student-athletes will be evaluated by a committee of senior admissions officers from each of the undergraduate admitting units to determine whether students' objective academic records and demonstrated academic motivation, together with available support services, will combine to give them a reasonable chance for academic success on our campus.
The delayed admission program allows a newly admitted, degree-seeking student to defer the start of attendance to allow a planned interlude for specific, acceptable reasons between the term of acceptance and actual university attendance. A deferral may be requested for 1 or 2 semesters (certain programs may not be delayed for only 1 semester). A longer delay of admission may be granted to a student whose United States military commitment has been extended for more than 1 year. A delay can be requested only for the same program to which the student was admitted.
The intent of this program is to allow students time to participate in rare, unique, and extraordinary opportunities. Unfortunately, some students must delay admission due to unforeseen events, such as medical emergencies, serious health conditions, or United States military orders. A delay of admission will not be approved if a student plans to take courses at another college or university (including military academies). Financial, visa, or flight-booking complications will not be approved either. Each individual’s situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The college to which the student was accepted must approve the request to delay admission.
Admitted students may request a delay of admission by completing and submitting a request form, which can be found on the Admitted Student Checklist within myIllini. This form should be submitted as soon as an admitted student knows that a delay of admission will be needed. The request form should be submitted no later than 1 month prior to the beginning of the term to which the student has been admitted. Exceptions may be made in the event of an emergency situation. If the deadline is missed or the request is denied, the student will need to submit a new application.
Applicants for admission must submit a $50 ($75 for international applicants) application fee to help defray processing costs. This amount is subject to change, and the fee is nonrefundable. The application fee will be waived for domestic applicants if one of the criteria listed below is met:
Upon admission, the student will receive information regarding completion of Medical History and Immunization forms and required immunizations. Physicals aren’t required for admission.
Visit McKinley Health Center for additional information.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign does not partner with agents or other private organizations to represent the university for the purpose of recruiting or enrolling students. Only appointed employees or trained alumni of the University of Illinois are authorized to officially represent the university in recruiting and enrolling students through direct contact with students and families.
We understand that prospective students and their families may retain the services of independent educational consultants or advisors to assist them in applying to colleges or universities in the United States and abroad. These private consultants or advisors are permitted, but they are not recognized representatives of the university. Students, parents, and school-appointed counselors are encouraged to work directly with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
A freshman applicant is a degree-seeking student who applies for admission while attending high school and/or hasn’t graduated yet, regardless of the amount of college degree credit earned; or is a student enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term; or who, since graduating from high school, hasn’t attended another postsecondary institution as a degree-seeking undergraduate student.
A beginning freshman is required to remain in the college and the prescribed freshman program to which he or she has been admitted for at least 2 semesters of full-time study.
In order to meet their educational missions, each college at Illinois seeks students who meet and exceed standards for incoming freshmen and have the potential to be leaders in their chosen fields upon graduation. When a student applies to Illinois, his or her application for admission is subject to a rigorous, careful, thoughtful, and complete review by admissions professionals from our office and the college to which he or she has applied.
A variety of factors are considered upon review. When reading an application, the admissions and college professionals review it using a holistic approach by combining the criteria being evaluated. Primary among this criteria is academic performance and rigor. The other sections of the application—including the essays, list of activities, achievements, and honors, and so on—will be given equal, careful, and thoughtful attention. Applicants should understand that every word of the application is considered in making an admissions decision, being sure to present themselves and their stories accurately and completely. Readers consider all evidence provided by the applicant, the context of the personal and academic circumstances, the opportunities available to him or her, and the strength of the applicant pool in each college and to Illinois overall. The weight of each criterion in the admissions decision depends on the combination of qualities presented by the applicant. We have no set formula of weighting criteria. Final decisions are made on the evaluation of a variety of criteria and not by a single point system or formula.
Most applications receive at least 2 readings. Our office checks all preliminary decisions in order to assure a high level of consistency while recognizing that professional judgment is being used to make individual decisions about each applicant. The multiple readings and the review for consistency create a system of quality control that leads to the best possible decisions of professional judgment.
Applicants have the opportunity to apply directly into a college and major. For this reason, an applicant’s strengths and experiences as they relate to his or her intended program of study will be taken into consideration. For example, the College of Engineering will focus on the student’s proficiency in math and science as shown through subscores on the ACT or SAT and grades and rigor in those areas. Applicants to talent-based programs in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, such as Art, Music, Theatre and Dance, must be academically eligible as well as pass a talent review either conducted through an audition or portfolio review. The College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences will make note of experiences or activities that directly correlate with the specific field of study the applicant has chosen. In other words, each of the 10 academic communities reviews applications with the goal of admitting students who demonstrate that they’ll succeed and thrive within their chosen academic program.
Some students have the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school. A high school student will receive college credit for any transferable college course that appears on an official post-secondary transcript. If the student enrolls at Illinois, the grades earned in college courses will be part of the student’s cumulative GPA. Refer to Transferology to find out how your courses will transfer to Illinois.
College credit is also awarded to degree-seeking undergraduate students who earn a sufficiently high score on the Advanced Placement (AP) Program examinations, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program examinations, or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Departmental Proficiency Examinations. The AP and/or IB exams must have been taken prior to beginning undergraduate studies. The departmental proficiency exams, covering many university courses normally open to freshmen and sophomores including languages other than English, are typically offered near the beginning of each semester. Our former policy to award Composition I credit based on the ACT English or the SAT Critical Reading score is currently under review.
Under the Early Admission Program, a high school student meeting all competitive admission requirements except receipt of a high school diploma may be enrolled as a full-time student at the university before graduating from high school. Although each application is treated as a special admission case, a prospective student must have earned 15 units toward a high school diploma, be in good academic standing, provide 3 letters of recommendation from high school staff members who are able to evaluate the student’s work, and meet competitive admission standards. In addition, a form signed by a counselor or principal acknowledging the student’s desire to attend Illinois is required. Those accepted in the program are enrolled in regular 4-year curricula and treated as first-year students.
A student interested in this program may apply for admission no sooner than January preceding the fall term of planned entry so that the application can include complete information about the student’s fall semester. However, the Early Admission application should be completed as soon as possible after January 1.
For complete information, contact us.
A first-time transfer applicant is one who’s entering the university for the first time as a degree-seeking student, has attended another postsecondary institution at the undergraduate level by the desired term of entry, and doesn’t meet the definition of a first-time freshman or returning student. In order to be classified as a transfer applicant, the student must be a high school graduate at the time of application. If the student hasn’t graduated from high school, he or she must apply as a freshman applicant even if he or she has been enrolled full-time as a college student.
A transfer student is obligated to remain in the college and program to which he or she has been admitted for at least the first semester of enrollment. A student on campus who wishes to transfer to another college must meet the accepting college’s admission requirements and compete for any available space. Note that there’s no guarantee that all majors at Illinois will be available for transfer once the student is enrolled.
GPAs are calculated on the basis of all transferable courses attempted for which grades are assigned and grade-point values can be determined. When a course is repeated, the GPA is computed using both grades and all hours for the course. Incomplete grades are accepted as defined by the initiating institution. Grades in other coursework completed, such as technical courses similar in content and level to courses taught at Illinois, may be used in the evaluation for admission upon request of the college to which a student seeks admission. Note that courses taken outside the United States won’t be awarded grades if processed through our office, although credit will be awarded if courses are determined to be transferable.
Since the GPA used to establish admission qualifications is based on all transferable coursework attempted, applicants from institutions that delete grades for coursework failed or repeated may find their opportunities limited to special admission.
Credit may be accepted for advanced standing from another accredited university or college. Accepted credit will be based on evaluation of the primary transcript of record of each institution attended. Duplicate credit will be counted in the GPA but excluded from hours earned. A student who has passed a course at Illinois may not be given credit for the same course taken elsewhere.
Illinois participates in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a statewide agreement that allows transfer between institutions of the completed IAI General Education Core Curriculum (GECC). Completion of the IAI GECC ensures that a student’s general education requirements are met upon transfer to Illinois, although students will also be required to complete additional campus, college, and major graduation requirements, in addition to those satisfied by the GECC.
Completion of the GECC is recommended for students who are exploring their educational options, but students who have chosen a major at Illinois into which they intend to transfer will be better served following major-specific programs. Students who anticipate transferring to Illinois are strongly advised to work with their institutions’ academic advisors and to consult our Transfer Handbook for any additional transfer requirements specific to the degree requirements for their program of their choice.
At Illinois, junior standing is attained upon the completion of 60 credit hours. Completion of an AA or AS degree typically requires an earned credit total beyond 60 hours. Please note that some test credit, such as CLEP exams, may not be transferable to Illinois.
Transfer work is evaluated for admission purposes and considered for credit. The university evaluates transfer work completed at institutions accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, including institutions under candidacy status. Foreign institutions must be recognized by the ministry of education in the home country or an equivalent government authority.
To be eligible for admission and credit, transfer work must be similar in nature, level, and content to courses in the undergraduate curriculum and/or applicable to an undergraduate academic program. Other transfer work that is deemed nontransferable (such as continuing education courses, graduate-level courses, and courses that are remedial, technical, vocational, or doctrinal in nature as determined by the campus) are not used in admission decisions regardless of the institution's accreditation.
Credit for transfer courses is either applied as a direct equivalent with university courses or applied to a degree in a manner determined by the department and college.
The precise amount of transfer credit that is awarded and applicable toward a particular degree is determined by or in consultation with the university college and department concerned.
Note: "Transfer work" and "transfer courses" are used interchangeably in this policy. Regardless of the term, this policy applies to transfer not in the form of courses, such as credit for military service and credit earned through testing and experiential learning. Transfer work not in the form of courses is evaluated for transfer per the terms of this policy.
Admission of transfer students to Illinois is based only on the transfer coursework that’s similar in nature, content, and level to that offered by the university. Other coursework completed, such as technical courses similar in content and level to courses taught at the university, may be used in evaluation for admission only upon the request of the dean of the college to which the student seeks admission.
International transfer coursework will be accepted for admission purposes to the university under the following conditions:
International transcripts and coursework are evaluated according to the following requirements or considerations:
The following types of courses are generally not transferable:
Courses under 3 credits taken during the fall 2013 term and after will be evaluated for possible transferability. Individual course credits and term credit totals may be reduced when the amount of transferable credit exceeds normal expectations. Transfer students must meet the academic residency requirements that apply to all students for a degree from the university. In all cases, the precise amount of transfer credit that can be applied toward a particular degree will be determined by the university college and department concerned. Applicants might be asked to submit course descriptions or syllabi.
If current students wish to take off-campus international coursework (for example, summer courses abroad), questions regarding course transferability can only be addressed after receipt of official transcripts. As campus doesn’t have formal agreements with service providers such as SIE and LION, course equivalency information displayed on provider websites can’t be confirmed for accuracy.
Acceptable transcript translations include official school translations, translations by licensed translation services, United States embassy translations, or translations by Illinois professors and graduate assistants who teach the language on the document to be translated. Independent or non-school translators must provide their name, official title, signature, translation date, contact information, and a statement to the effect that the translation is an accurate rendition of the original document. The original document must be submitted with the translated document. Translators must refrain from converting grade, credit, and other information into what they think could or may be United States equivalencies. Our admissions officers make such determinations. Notarization of translated documents isn’t necessary.
Acceptance of credit awarded on a basis other than collegiate classroom experiences will be considered for transfer admission purposes as follows:
Test credit as transfer credit for admission. Students presenting test credit awarded elsewhere or test scores for admission will have that credit evaluated against cutoff scores established for those examinations on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Official score reports should be submitted along with the application for admission to the university. A student presenting test credit as transfer credit may be granted transfer credit if he or she has completed at least 12 graded semester hours of transferable college-level classroom coursework from the institution or single campus in a multi-campus institution that awarded credit by examination and has successfully completed advanced classroom coursework at the institution awarding the test credit in a course that’s acceptable under our transfer credit policies and can be considered as a sequential continuation of the material covered in the test, or presents raw scores for evaluation.
After admission, students not awarded credit under this policy may attempt departmental proficiency examinations to receive credit in those areas in which they claim competence.
Credit for military training. A total of 4 semester hours of lower-division military science credit will be granted for transfer admission only, if completion of 6 months or more of continuous active duty in the United States Armed Forces, including basic or recruit training, and an honorable discharge from active military duty to civilian life or transfer to the reserve component is posted on the military record (DD214). Submission of the DD214 is required for credit to be granted. Lower-division military service credit (100 to 200) level satisfies no graduation requirements for any Illinois program of study, except MILS 120, Intro to U.S. Armed Forces, which satisfies a Historical and Philosophical Perspectives General Education Requirement for all degree programs on campus, effective Fall 2015 and forward. Military science credit at the upper-division (300 to 400) level may also be granted for training completed as on-campus Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) courses at Illinois or as transfer credit for completion of upper-division ROTC coursework at another 4-year domestic, post-secondary institution. Upper-division transfer credit is also awarded for completion of either/both of the Marine Platoon Leadership Class programs when documentation of said training is provided. Upper-division military or naval science coursework may be used to satisfy degree requirements as free elective hours. However, the amount of credit granted does vary according to the individual college's policies. The applicant should contact his or her intended degree-granting college for more specific information. A total of 4 semester hours of 100-level Physics elective credit will be granted for successful completion of the United States Navy's Nuclear Power School program, when either a DD214 is submitted with completion of the program listed or a certificate of completion of the program is provided. Credit duplicating ROTC credit won’t be awarded.
Credit for education received in the Armed Forces. Official transcripts of military service school training may be submitted for comparison to Illinois courses for transfer credit. However, content that includes Military Occupational Specialty Training isn’t acceptable for transfer to campus.
Credit earned in academic courses sponsored by non-collegiate organizations, such as business, industry, and labor, and those not recognized by the April 1977 Board of Trustees policy statement, aren’t normally accepted. Such work may be evaluated by the college for potential credit toward a specific degree program after admission and registration, subject to validation by proficiency examination or successful completion of advanced coursework. Credit hours may be reduced at the discretion of the College of Enrollment from that shown by the originating agency. All criteria are subject to the recommendation of the College of Enrollment and the department that offers similar coursework.
Credit for experiential learning. Experiential learning credit isn’t accepted for transfer admission purposes. A student who believes himself or herself to be knowledgeable in a specific course may be granted credit hours through established proficiency procedures offered by those degree-granting colleges and departments on campus that offer similar coursework after admission and registration. Not all academic disciplines have proficiency credit exam opportunities.
All admission offers are made on a provisional basis, and the offer can be rescinded at any point up to the first day of instruction of the admission term. Reasons for rescission of admission offers include, but are not limited to, the following:
If any of these are discovered on or after the first day of instruction, dismissal can occur.
A student in good academic standing at Parkland College or at Illinois may concurrently enroll in courses offered by the other institution if such courses aren’t available at the student’s primary campus. Prior written approval for concurrent enrollment must be obtained from the dean of students at Parkland College and the appropriate college office at the university campus. Concurrent enrollees must take fewer hours at the secondary institution than at the primary institution. Concurrent enrollees are part-time, nondegree students at the secondary institution and pay tuition and fees regularly assessed at that institution in accordance with the amount of work taken. The application fee is waived.
Qualified local high school students are permitted, while in high school, to attend university classes for college credit. They may also enroll for college credit online programs offered by the university through the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
To qualify for high school and on-campus university concurrent enrollment, a student must be recommended by his or her high school counselor or principal and have a 3.5 (A=4.0) GPA and prerequisite courses completed. Students are assessed tuition and fees at the regular undergraduate student rates. Acceptance to the program doesn’t guarantee enrollment into desired courses.
Courses taken by these students involve work over and above the secondary school curriculum. Grades and course credits will appear on their permanent university records and on official transcripts. If these students enter the university after high school graduation, the courses, if applicable, will be credited toward university graduation.
A student applying for on-campus admission under this program should submit the following materials:
Information and applications for this program can be obtained from our office. A separate undergraduate admission application is required if a student desires to attend the university after high school graduation or under the Early Admission Program.
Parkland Pathway to Illinois is an opportunity for qualifying Illinois high school graduates to attend Parkland College their first 2 years of college and then to gain guaranteed admission as a transfer student to certain Illinois majors. Participants are members of both the Parkland College and Illinois undergraduate communities. Among program benefits, participants receive personalized mentoring and academic counseling; are granted access to events and opportunities exclusive to the Illinois student body, including University Housing, libraries, extracurricular activities, and recreational facilities (additional fees apply); and are eligible to enroll in limited Illinois instruction as nondegree students in accordance with the appropriate tuition rate as determined by Parkland. Upon completion of the program, participants apply to Illinois as degree-seeking transfer students.