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International Admission Requirements

Country requirements* for Graduate Applicants:

*Please note that while these requirements reference official credentials, only a scanned copy of the documents is required to be uploaded to the application system for the purposes of application review. Official, sealed paper credentials will be requested only from admitted applicants who intend to enroll at UIC.

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Who is an International student?

The university considers any student who currently holds a visa of any type or is seeking a visa to be international. Even if you do not require a student (F or J) visa to attend UIC, you are viewed as an international applicant. Most policies which apply to those seeking student visas will apply to holders of other types of visas.

How do I apply?

You will first need to submit the following in order to apply to a graduate program at UIC:

After submitting the application, you will receive an acknowledgement email within 1 - 3 business days once your record has been processed by our system. You can then log back into the application system portal to begin uploading PDF copies of the following application requirements through the checklist and initiating online requests for letters of recommendation, if required by the program.

  • University-issued transcripts or marksheets for all undergraduate work in the original language.
  • University-issued transcripts or marksheets for all post-baccalaureate work in the original language.
  • When marksheets are requested (applicants from India and Pakistan), please submit university-issued yearly or semesterly marksheets, unless only transcripts are available, all combined into one PDF file. Marksheets for all examination attempts should be included.
  • Proof of all degrees awarded. Degrees certificates or diplomas should be submitted. (Exam certificates indicating only the passing of the course will not be sufficient. See FAQ)
  • Certified English translations of all credentials issued in a foreign language.
  • English proficiency test
  • Additional Program Requirements as determined by program (GRE and other test scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, writing samples, Millers analogies, etc.). Please refer to the program’s website or contact the program for additional information.

    Access our Document Upload Guide for information on electronic document guidelines and initiating online requests for letters of recommendation.

Students who are admitted will be requested to mail in official, attested and sealed final credentials. Details on this will be included in the official admission letter. Official credential guidelines are also indicated below in the Glossary section.

How can I get an assistantship?

Department Awards and Financial Assistance in the form Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships and Fellowships are awarded through the academic department. More information on financial support can be found at:

Understanding the I-20 Process

For more information regarding the I-20 process, you must visit the Office of International Services website at

Registration holds

Different types of registration holds and how to clear them

As a new student at UIC, you will most likely have registration holds that will need to be cleared before you are able to enroll in classes. All international students have a SEVIS hold on their account which takes effect upon admission. You will need to check in with the Office of International Services when you first arrive on campus for advising. They will be able to lift your SEVIS hold when you arrive.

Students who have been admitted with pending conditions will receive a transcript hold that is created by the Office of Admissions . T his occurs because the Office of Admissions has not yet received your final or official academic credentials. You can tell if you have been admitted conditionally by carefully reading your admit letter. The items that are pending will show at the bottom of your admit letter.

Transcript holds do not go into effect until the registration period for your 1st term at UIC is over. This means that you will not be affected by the hold until you try to register for your 2nd term at UIC. The Office of Admissions encourages you to bring in your final/official documents when you first arrive on campus. By doing so, you will be able to resolve this issue before your registration is ever affected. It will also ensure that you have plenty of time to obtain correct versions of any documents that the Office of Admissions has not found acceptable.

Students may also encounter advising holds. These are placed by your academic program to ensure that you meet with an advisor prior to registering for classes. You will need to consult with your academic department for an advisor assignment. They will be able to guide you through the necessary steps for having any advising holds released.

The Immunizations Office will also create holds for students who have failed to submit proper proof of immunizations. For more information on this topic go to:

When holds take effect

SEVIS and advising holds will take effect immediately. These will block your first attempts to register at UIC.

Transcript holds placed by OAR will begin after the 10th day of your 1st semester at UIC. Registration for your 2nd term of study (and every subsequent term) will be blocked until the required credentials have been submitted.

Immunization holds will begin during your 1st term at UIC.

Deferring admission

Students who have been recommended for admission, but cannot attend for valid reasons, may request to defer their admission. An admitted application can only be deferred once. Admission can be deferred for up to 1 academic year. (Applicants for the Fall term may defer to the following Spring, Summer, or Fall terms, but no further.) Admission to the term is contingent upon departmental admissions practices for that term. Students do not need to submit a new application, fee, or set of academic credentials in order for a deferral to be granted.

Who qualifies for a deferral?

Only students who have been recommended admission by the department or officially admitted by the Graduate College are eligible to defer admission.
Denied applications and those cancelled due to missing academic credentials cannot be deferred.

How to go about seeking a deferral

If you are eligible to defer your admission, you will need to contact your academic program and request a deferral. Your department has the authority to grant your request or to deny it. Departmental awards may not be guaranteed for a new term.

If your department grants your deferral request, you will need to obtain new/correct evidence of financial support for the new term. Please contact the Office of International Services for further details about submitting the correction financial documents.

If your deferral is approved by The Office of Admissions , you will receive a letter of admission for the new term and a new I-20. Please return any unused I-20s to the Office of International Services.

Very Useful Tips

What to do when you can’t obtain the required documentation

If your university refuses to issue the required documents, you will need to request a letter from a university or college authority (i.e.Registrar, Controller of Examinations, Dean, Principal etc.). The Office of Admissions will input a checklist request for this letter which will allow you to upload the document as you would any other document.

Students who have completed study at U.S. universities must provide transcripts for work completed. If students cannot obtain transcripts from a U.S. institution, no exception will be made so that the application can be reviewed for a decision.

What to do when your documents and your application are under different names

You should always use your full, legal name on all documents that you are submitting to UIC. Please include any alternate names in the space provided on the application. If you provided a different ordering or spelling of your name to ETS for GRE, TOEFL or IELTS reporting, please provide this name to the Office of Admissions . You may email any changes or updates to us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form (no attachments).

Whom to contact for help

Most basic questions can be answered by thoroughly reading the graduate application, the instructions on the website for your academic program, and our FAQ.You may direct any inquiries to us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form (no attachments). Questions sent to this address will be reviewed by an admissions counselor.

If you have a question or problem that is not addressed in our published material or by e-mail, admissions counselors are available for walk-in visits and via the phone on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm. Each counselor works with a different set of academic programs, but any counselor will be able to help you. Contact persons in your department of interest will also be able to answer most questions.
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to a variety of questions that the Office of Admissions receives on a daily basis.

Glossary of terms related to academic credentials

We understand that from the viewpoint of many countries, the word “transcript” is an American term. When the Office of Admissions asks you for transcripts, we are actually asking for a copy of your academic record which includes courses taken, course descriptions, credits earned or hours completed, and posted grades. The following academic records are always acceptable as “transcripts”:
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina--Index or Upsinica
  • Croatia--Indeks or Uvjerjenje
  • Germany—Scheinen or Student Reported Summary which has been certified by the university
  • Poland--Indeks
  • India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka--Marksheets (*see below)
  • Countries following the Bologna Agreement—Transcripts. A diploma supplement may also be required.
Some institutions provide a separate sheet for each year or semester which details the classes taken and marks achieved by a student. The following are some criteria which the Office of Admissions requires when evaluating marksheets:
  • They should be issued on a yearly or semesterly basis
  • Marks secured, minimum passing marks, and maximum marks should be shown
  • They should be unconsolidated. Consolidated marks will not be accepted under any circumstance.
  • Marksheets  may be issued by the university or the college.
  • Marksheets should be attested by the university or college Registrar, Controller of Exams, Dean or Principal. See the sections on Official vs. Unofficial documents and Attestation for more details.
  • Marksheets should clearly list the course name. If all that is shown is Paper I, II, and III or Exams I, II, III for a certain subject, the Office of Admissions will ask for a syllabus or course descriptions.
  • Always provide the back of the marksheets if any information regarding courses or grading policies is listed on it.
Proof of Degree
The Office of Admissions requires proof of all degrees that a student has earned. This should be a copy of your diploma or degree award certificate. It should state the type of degree you were awarded, the fact that it was granted to you, and the date of conferment. See below for information on types of certificates accepted as proof of degree.

Unacceptable proofs of degree:

  • Certificates which indicate only the passing of an examination or semester.
    • Exam Certificates, Final Exam Certificates, Pass Certificates, Degree Exam Certificates
  • Certificates or statements issued by the college or a college official. Proof of degree must be issued by the university which has the authority to grant the degree.

Acceptable proofs of degree:

  • A copy of the conferred degree award certificate or diploma, issued by the university.
  • A Provisional Degree Certificate, issued by the university.
    • Provisional certificates must indicate that you have qualified for the degree and that it will be conferred at a future date.
  • A letter from the university Registrar or Controller of Examinations which explicitly indicates that you have qualified for the degree and that it will be conferred at a future date.
Diploma Supplement
The supplement provides a description of the nature, level, context and status of the studies a student pursued and successfully completed.

Syllabus/Course Descriptions
Students may be required to submit a syllabus or course descriptions if the transcript does not provide enough detail. These items will usually provide a key for understanding the courses you have taken and will provide the highlights of that course’s curriculum. The Office of Admissions may request these on a case-by-case basis.

Attestation/Attested Documents
UIC Admissions does not require you to submit your original documents to the university. We understand that many universities only issue one set of final, original documents to students. Students should plan to submit attested copies of all original documents to UIC if admitted. You will need to make copies of your transcripts, marksheets, or degrees and have them stamped by the university or college authority. They will need to seal the attested documents in envelopes and place the same attesting stamp over the flap. We consider all properly attested and sealed documents to be official.

Official vs. Unofficial
Official documents are those which have been issued by the university and bear an original attestation. In the United States, sealed transcripts issued directly from the Registrar’s office are considered as official. The university may issue transcripts directly to UIC or to the student. As long as the seal is not broken, the transcripts or proof of degree will be considered official.
From foreign institutions, copies of original documents which have been attested by the university or college authority and sealed by the same individual will be considered as official. Each document should be individually attested.

Documents may be considered unofficial for the following reasons:

  • Attestation is not consistent. If each document is stamped by a different individual, the Office of Admissions will not accept them as official.
  • Attestation is not performed by the correct university or college official. Documents should be attested by the university Registrar (assistant, associate or deputy), Controller of Examinations, attestation officer, Principal or Dean. Documents attested by other individuals or college officials will not be accepted.
  • Documents were submitted in plain or open envelopes. Envelopes must be sealed at the time they are presented to OAR and must bear the stamp or signature of the attesting individual over the flap.
  • Attestation has been done by EducationUSA or similar third party.
Certified translations
The Office of Admissions requires literal, certified translations for all documents issued in a language other than English. Translations should be on a translator’s letterhead and should be literal (not an interpretation). We accept translations from ATA certified translators, translation agencies, court-appointed translators, or from the consulate. You may find an ATA translator at their web Plain translations, notarized translations, and translations done by someone other than a certified translator are not acceptable. Evaluations performed by agencies such as WES and ECE will not be used in place of certified translations.