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First Year Applicant FAQ [ Expand All ]

Before you apply || The application process || Supporting documents
The review process || The admission decision

Before You Apply

How do I submit an application?

First Year applicants must complete all required Common Application components: the Common Application, UIC member questions, nonrefundable $50 application fee payment or waiver request, and in some cases, the Writing Supplement. First Year applicants must also submit official high school transcripts along with the Common Application School Report as well as official ACT/SAT test scores. Please see the First Year Admission Requirements Application Guide for more information.

Which colleges within UIC may I apply to?

First Year applications are considered for the following colleges:

  • College of Applied Health Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Design and the Arts
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Please keep in mind that students will only be able to submit ONE Common Application per year. For a list of degree programs within these colleges, please refer to the Degree Programs and Minors List.

When should I apply?

The Common Application is available beginning August 1st. Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the November 1st Early Action deadline. Final deadlines for all levels and types of applications can be found on the Deadlines page.

What are the minimum GPA and ACT/SAT requirements?

There are no firm minimum GPA or testing requirements for admission to UIC. Every application is reviewed holistically.

I currently reside in the United States, but I am not a citizen. Which citizenship category should I choose?

It is important to know at the time of application what type of U.S. citizenship or residency you hold in order for UIC to request proper documentation and assign tuition rates. The residency choices on the Common Application include:

  • U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
  • U.S. Dual Citizen
  • U.S. Permanent Resident or Refugee
  • Other

U.S. Permanent Residents are required to upload a copy of their permanent resident card.
Undocumented students should choose "Other" for the Select Your Citizenship Status question and then choose the first option, "I do not hold a currently valid U.S. non-immigrant Visa", for the Currently Held United States Visa question.

For more information, please visit the Residency information page.

If I am not a U.S. citizen, can I still receive in-state tuition?

Yes, it is possible for permanent resident, international, adjustment in status, and non-citizen applicants to receive in-state tuition if they or a parent have resided in Illinois for at least 12 months prior to the term for which they are applying. Non-citizens should submit a Residency Affidavit, while all other citizenship categories should look into the Residency Petition.

What is a United States Social Security Number (SSN) and when do I need to provide it?

A Social Security Number is a government issued identification number generally used for tracking working individuals for taxation purposes. An SSN is required for students who apply for federal financial aid or who are subject to IRS reporting requirements, but is not required for applicants or admission to the University. International students who do not have a SSN should not provide other national ID numbers in attempt to fully complete the application. Please see the Social Security Administration’s website for more complete details:

What is the difference between a “First Year” applicant and a “Transfer” applicant?

A First Year applicant is either a current high school student or any other student who has never attended any college, university, or post-secondary institution. A transfer applicant is one who has attended any college or university since high school graduation.

Which terms are available for First Year applications?

First Year applications are considered only for the Fall term. First Year applications are not accepted for the Spring term.

What degree programs are offered at UIC?

There are many degree programs open to First Year applicants. If you are considering multiple majors, you may also apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as "Undeclared" and declare a major at a later point. Please see the Degree Programs for a full list of the programs available to UIC students.

How do I apply for the Honors College or a GPPA program?

You can apply for the Honors College and/or GPPA programs on UIC s Member questions when you submit your First Year application. You can find more information regarding both programs at the GPPA/Honors College page and by visiting the Honors College or GPPA official websites.

Are there special requirements to complete my application for any programs/majors?

Most First Year applicants will only need to meet the First Year Admission Requirements. The exceptions are as follows:

  • Students who are also applying to the Honors College or GPPA program will be required to complete the Writing Supplement to finalize their application submission. Two (2) letters of recommendation are also required for applicants to the Honors College and GPPA.
  • The Writing Supplement is also required for any applicants to the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and the College of Education. Some majors within the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts also require an audition.
  • Any applicants who studied overseas during high school may be required to submit the TOEFL/IELTS exam. These situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. When a TOEFL/IELTS exam is required, applicants will be subject to the same English Competency requirements as outlined in the Undergraduate International Admission Requirements.
  • Homeschooled students are required to submit a reading list, course descriptions, and laboratory requirements in addition to a transcript with letter grades. Homeschooled students are encouraged to submit as much information as possible regarding their educational background to aid the review.

Does UIC consider applications from homeschooled students?

Yes, UIC invites all homeschooled students to apply. Homeschooled students must satisfy all of the general First Year Admission Requirements. A homeschool transcript is acceptable if it includes: (1) a list of all subjects/ courses attempted by year; (2) grades and/or examination results received (both passing and failing); (3) maximum and minimum grades obtainable; and (4) number of units earned.

My parents or siblings have attended UIC, will this be considered in the review process?

No, UIC does not consider legacies during the review process. Any familial connections between an applicant and current students, graduates, or faculty of the university will not affect the outcome of an application.

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The Application Process

When is the First Year application deadline?

Please see the Deadlines page for the most current information.

Will I receive confirmation from UIC that my application has been received?

Yes, the Common Application will confirm submission of your application and the Writing Supplement (if required) immediately. UIC will send a confirmation email 3-5 days after receipt of your application that will include information about checking the status of your application online. Contact the Office of Admissions at 312.996.4350 if you thought you submitted the application but did not receive the acknowledgment email from UIC.

May I submit multiple applications?

No, the Common Application will allow students to submit only one application per calendar year. If you are unsure regarding which college or program in which you are most interested, you should apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as an "Undecided" major. You may then declare a major within LAS at a later time or complete an intercollege transfer after your first semester if you are interested in a program outside of LAS.

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Supporting Documents

How much is the application fee?

The First Year application fee is $50 for all domestic and international students.

How do I pay the application fee?

The application fee payment will only be accepted online with a credit card or echeck and it must be paid before completing your Common Application submission process. Students who qualify for a fee waiver should indicate that on the Common Application in order to bypass the fee payment step.

What makes me eligible for a fee waiver?

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for either the NACAC fee waiver or the CollegeBoard fee waiver. The waiver should then be completed by your high school counselor and submitted electronically through the Common Application School Forms. Please note that international applicants are not eligible for a fee waiver.

How do I request an application fee waiver?

Applicants may request an application fee waiver on the Common App Fee Waiver section of the Profile page on the Common Application. Completing this step during the application will allow the user to submit their application, but UIC must still receive the fee waiver form (electronically or through the mail) from the high school counselor.

Is the ACT/SAT required? What about the Writing portion?

Yes, either the ACT or SAT/SAT-I is required for all First Year applicants. This includes international, home-schooled, GED, and graduated applicants. The writing portion is not required for either exam and will not be considered during review.

How can I submit my test scores?

Test scores are accepted electronically directly from the testing service as well as from the high school as long as they are presented on an official transcript. UIC encourages students to save time and money by submitting test scores electronically at the time of the exam. The ACT code for UIC is 1155. The SAT code for UIC is 1851.

I requested my ACT/SAT scores be sent electronically, but they are not marked as received on my checklist. What do I do?

Please allow approximately two weeks for your ACT or SAT scores to be received and processed by UIC. Until then, make sure that the name on your ACT/SAT account matches exactly the name on your application and that information such as your birth date or social security number (if included) is correct with the testing agency. Any discrepancy between the information received on the test scores and what UIC has on your application will cause a delay and may prevent your scores from being processed correctly.

How will I know if my transcript, test scores, or additional documents have been received?

After applying or creating a recruit record, you will be invited to establish a login for the Prospective Student Portal at, where you will be able to check the status of your application and view your application checklist online. A received date next to the request means that the document has been received. If there is no date, then the document is either still being processed, was never received, or was deemed unofficial. Please keep in mind that document processing may take up to three weeks from the date it was sent, particularly closer to the deadline.

When is a high school transcript considered "official"?

In order for UIC to accept your transcript as official, it needs to come directly from your high school. Your transcript may be mailed in a sealed envelope directly from your school or submitted through a secure transcript service such as Naviance, Parchment, or E-Script. UIC will accept hand-delivered transcripts at the Office of Admissions only if they are in an unopened envelope that was clearly sealed by the high school.

I have attended multiple high schools; do I need to submit official transcripts from each school?

UIC requires letter grades from each year you have been in high school, even if you have studied overseas. If your current school includes actual letter grades from previous institutions on their transcript, then you do not need to submit anything from your previous school. If your current high school's transcript has "P" grades or merely assigns credit from previous institutions, then we will request an official transcript from all of your previous schools. UIC will request three full years of letter grades from current high school students if they do not appear on your current transcript.

How will I know if I need to submit another transcript?

We will make a request in your application checklist, which can be viewed when you check the status of your application. If another transcript or any other documentation is required, your application will remain incomplete until the document is received and you will receive Missing Credential emails notifying you of the required documents. Your application checklist will usually include a note regarding the institution or academic years that are being requested. If you ever have a question regarding a checklist request, feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at 312.996-4350.

Are letters of recommendation considered?

Yes, UIC considers letters of recommendation a valuable insight into a student's character and ability in the classroom. Letters of recommendation, however, do not make up for weaknesses in other key areas such as the GPA or test scores.

Why is the TOEFL/IELTS exam required for my application? What are the possible exemptions?

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The Review Process

What does the review process entail?

UIC uses a holistic approach during the application review process. The application evaluation includes a review of multiple factors, including, but not limited to, high school coursework and cumulative grade point average, grade trends, grades in required high school courses, course levels such as Honors, AP, IB, etc., class rank, ACT or SAT scores, and personal statement. Additional factors that may be considered are college readiness, writing proficiency, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and preparedness for the major. Admission is competitive, and selection depends on space availability and the overall applicant pool.

Most First Year applications go through multiple rounds of review. A majority of decisions on First Year applications will be made between the January 15th application deadline and the end of March.

Will there be a negative impact on my application if I submit lower ACT/SAT scores than my highest composite?

No, UIC will only consider your highest ACT/SAT composite and subscores.

How can I check the status of my application?

You will receive an email invite to join the Prospect Student Portal, where you will be able to check the status of your application. The status of your application will be on the line marked “Application Decision.” Please keep in mind that a majority of the decisions are released between January 15th and the end of March.

Does UIC interview applicants?

No, UIC does not interview First Year applicants. However, some performance-based programs within the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts require auditions and GPPA/Honors applicants are often asked to interview for those more selective programs.

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The Admission Decision

What is Early Action?

The University of Illinois at Chicago has introduced the Early Action deadline of November 1, 2014 for First Year students applying for the Fall 2015 term.

Early Action candidates will be reviewed and given a decision, or be notified of a deferral to the regular admission program by December 1, 2014. Please note that GPPA and Honors College notifications are not included in the Early Action program.

Those that do receive a favorable Early Action decision are under no obligation to attend UIC. The goal of the program is to reward our highly motivated and qualified applicants with an earlier decision than they would have received under our traditional timeline. It is also a way for incoming First Year students to make sure they receive the fullest consideration for scholarships and grants awarded by UIC.

For more information, please see the Early Action page.

When will a decision be made on my application?

Most applicants who apply by UIC’s November 1 Early Action deadline will receive their decision on or before December 1. EA applicants who are deferred to the regular process and applicants who apply under the regular decision process will usually receive a decision between the end of January and the end of March, although some exceptions do apply if programs require an interview or audition. These dates are only for undergraduate applications and do not pertain to Honors College/GPPA decisions.

What does "Deferred Until Final Review" mean on my application decision?

This indicates that an application is awaiting another round of reviews. It is neither a good nor bad designation regarding the application because a majority of the First Year applications undergo multiple reviews. Final decisions on these applications could be made as late as the end of March.

How will I be notified of the decision?

Decisions appear online as soon as they are made available in our system and are viewable when you check the status of your application. A decision letter is also mailed out the day following the decision. Admission decisions will not be given over the phone or by email.

How can I request a decision letter be redelivered?

If you did not receive the decision letter through the mail, you may contact the Office of Admissions at 312-996-4350 to request another copy be mailed. Keep in mind that you can still view your decision by checking your application status online. If you have been admitted, much of the same information in your admission packet can also be found online at the newly-admitted student's page.

I have been admitted to UIC, what do I need to do next?

Your admissions packet provides step-by-step directions for completing your next steps towards enrollment. That same information can be found online at the newly-admitted student's page. More information for admitted students can also be found on the Admitted First Year FAQ.

I have been denied admission, what are my options?

Please see the Denied First Year applicant FAQ.

Denied First Year applicants have three options:

  • You may appeal an unfavorable decision if you have compelling new information that was not considered during the initial review by submitting a letter of appeal, a copy of the decision letter, and an updated transcript and/or test scores. The postmark deadline for appeals is April 15th or two weeks after the date of the decision. For full guidelines please see the Undergraduate Appeal Process.

  • Transfer into UIC at a later term. If you are considering other universities or community colleges, it is possible to apply as a transfer student to UIC. The transfer admissions process requires a minimum of 24 transferable credit hours completed at the time of application and a minimum of 36 transferable credit hours completed by the time the applicant would transfer into UIC. For full transfer requirements please see the Transfer Admissions Requirements.

  • Re-apply as a First Year student for the following fall term. As long as you do not attend another college or university, you may submit another First Year application for the following fall term. First year applicants are not considered for the spring term. If you attend another college or university, you would be considered a transfer applicant and would not be eligible to re-apply as a First Year student.

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