Do I need a bachelor's degree to be admitted into graduate school?
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 by the proposed term of admission at UIC. Some programs may also require a professional school degree, master’s degree, or certification. International degrees are evaluated by Admissions staff to determine equivalency.
Which citizenship category do I fall under? How do I know if I am categorized as an international applicant?
Regardless of your current residence, you are considered to be an international applicant if you currently hold any type of visa or would need a visa to study in the US. The graduate application determines the appropriate status based on the information provided. Here is a brief description of some of the citizenship categories:
- US Citizen - Born or naturalized.
- U.S. Permanent Resident - Green card holder. You may be asked to submit a copy of your PR card within the application.
- International - Current holders of any type of visa or those who would need a visa to study in the US.
- Adjustment in Status - This category is for applicants who are in the process of becoming a permanent resident. You should submit any documentation that can provide details of your status such as receipts or petitions from the USCIS.
- Non-citizen (Other) - This should only be used if none of the other categories apply to you. Valid visa holders or those who would need a visa to study in the US should not select this category.
I'm a legal permanent resident. Do I follow domestic or international guidelines?
Legal permanent residents are oftentimes caught between policies for domestic and international students.
We encourage legal permanent residents to apply early since international credentials may take some time for our office to evaluate and in some cases additional documentation would need to be obtained from your previous institution. Legal permanent residents, however, are considered domestic applicants and may follow domestic deadlines.
Permanent residents or others with international coursework should also:
- Review the academic credential and qualification requirements noted for the country in which you studied.
- Review the English proficiency requirements. A waiver is not granted based on residency in the U.S. alone.
How can I change my mailing or email address?
What are the minimum GPA and test score requirements? What if my GPA or scores fall below the minimums?
The Graduate College requires an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 (A= 4.00) for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of baccalaureate study (typically around two years), and all post-baccalaureate coursework.
English proficiency minimums are noted on our International Requirements page.
Programs typically do not set minimum scores for the GRE and other tests that measure academic aptitude. You may follow up with the program directly to inquire if they can provide you with a score range they would consider ideal for consideration of admission.
If GPA or English proficiency scores fall below the minimums, it does not mean that an application will be automatically denied. The application will still be considered. Other aspects of the application may lead the program to determine that they would like to recommend admission.
In some cases, additional approval from the Graduate College would be needed. Also, the program may recommend admission with Limited Status, meaning that an applicant would have certain grade or course requirements during their first term or year.
I'm currently enrolled in a Graduate degree program at UIC. Do I need to apply to be admitted to another Graduate degree program?
Currently enrolled degree-seeking students do not need to submit an application in order to change or add a program. Instead, a Request for Change of Graduate Program should be completed. Students wishing to change or add a program should refer to the Change of Graduate Program page and contact their current department for further information. This would include cases such as:
- Completing the Master's degree during the Spring term and would like to pursue admission the PhD program for the subsequent Fall term.
- Currently enrolled in one graduate degree program, but would like to switch to a different graduate degree program, perhaps in a different department or college.
Graduate degree-seeking applications submitted for currently enrolled Graduate degree-seeking students may be withdrawn by our office, as they are not needed.
Applying & Materials Submission
I am trying to apply online but the program or term isn’t in the drop-down menu. What should I do?
There are a few possible reasons why your intended program or desired term may not be available on the Intended Program page within the application:
- If a program is not available:
- You may have selected the wrong application type within the application (i.e. Doctorate, Master, Non-degree, etc.)
- The program may not have an open application at the time. A few programs open later than others for a shorter window of time.
- The program may not be offered at UIC. See the Graduate Catalog for a list of programs offered.
- If a term is not available:
- The program may not have an open application at the time. A few programs open later than others for a shorter window of time.
- If a term is available but noted as past deadline:
- The deadline has passed for the selected program and term. Note that for many programs application submission deadlines for international students are earlier than the domestic applicant deadline.
- Check the Application Deadlines page to see whether your program is still accepting applications. All programs have a deadline for each term – even non-degree applications.
- You may not have accessed the correct application option or link. Verify that you’re accessing the correct link and Application Type for your intended program. Some applications may only be accessed from the program's site.
If your intended program or term is not available within the application, please do not submit the application with another program or term in order to complete the application. Doing so will result in delays and may inhibit departmental access to your records, or the application may be canceled.
Contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.
When can I upload my academic credentials and my supplemental program requirements?
Application materials should be uploaded within the application.
- Upload slots for credentials become available based upon the the degrees reported in your academic history.
- Upload slots for supplemental documents are available based upon the program requirements.
- If letters of recommendation are required for the program, applicants are prompted to provide email addresses of recommenders. The application system will then send the recommender a request to submit the recommendation.
Applicants are able to submit the application before uploading all supplemental program requirements. They can then be uploaded after submission via the application status page. Applications would remain in an incomplete status if all requirements are not received.
How will I know when I’ve submitted all required materials and my application is being reviewed?
Applicants are able to track the status of their applications and requirements online within the application system.
Check your Status using the LoginID and password you created when you began the application. Any requirements not yet received will be noted in the checklist without a Receive Date.
Email notifications are sent out weekly to applicants with an incomplete submitted application. When all requested requiredments have been received, your application and materials will then be reviewed. Note that if submitted requirements are insufficient, additional items may be added to your checklist, and your application would return to an incomplete status.
Once a decision has been made on your application, you will receive a notification and will be able to view the update from the application's Status page.
My program only requires a Bachelor’s degree for admission. Why am I being asked to submit other transcripts?
It is university policy to ask for records pertaining to the first Bachelor’s degree earned by a student and all subsequent work. You will be required to submit records for all work completed following your Bachelor’s degree regardless of the admission requirements for your specific program. UIC reserves the right to request any academic credentials deemed necessary.
I’ve already applied before. Do I need to submit application documents again?
The Office of Admissions typically keeps the records of students who were admitted and registered for classes for ten years. If you are applying for readmission, in most cases, you will not need to re-submit academic credentials. Admissions staff will add your previous credentials to your new application.
If you previously applied and were denied or you were admitted but did not enroll, you will need to submit the requested application materials for consideration of admission for each application.
I participated in a semester, year, or summer abroad program. Do I need to submit a transcript from the Institution where I studied abroad?
If your study abroad work was completed during your last 60 semester hours (or last 90 quarter hours) of your undergraduate coursework, and it is not listed on your current University's transcript as study abroad credit, you may be requested to upload a transcript for the international coursework.
I mailed my transcripts to the university, but they’re not reflected in my checklist.
For the purposes of application review, applicants must only upload requested materials through the application checklist. Sealed, official paper credentials will be requested only from applicants who have been offered admission and intend to enroll.
Paper credentials received for applications without a final decision may not be processed.
I already reported my test scores to your school but the checklist indicates you haven’t received them.
Please note that it can take up to two weeks from the ETS process/shipping date for scores to be reflected in our system.
If the name you indicated to the testing service is different from the name you provided in your application, matching of scores will be additionally delayed. Contact us if you reported your scores with a different date of birth, name or variation of your name than what was provided in the application.
Can I get a refund of my application fee?
The application fee is nonrefundable. This is indicated at the time of application and fee submission, as well as on our Requirements pages. By submitting the application, you agree that you understand the terms presented within the application.
My documents are in a language other than English. What are the translation guidelines?
The Office of Admissions requires literal, certified translations for all documents issued in a language other than English. Please see the complete details on acceptable translations under the Academic Credentials section of the International Requirements page.
Do you accept WES, ECE or other evaluations?
The Office of Admissions performs its own evaluations using the credentials issued by your prior institutions. Third-party evaluations will not be used in place of transcripts or as English translation.
Can I be admitted conditionally without the submission of English proficiency scores or GRE scores?
If required, applicants cannot be admitted without satisfying the English Proficiency requirements. The scores must be submitted in order to complete the application file. Applications without these will remain incomplete.
Applicants wishing to be considered for the International Bridge Program which includes a period in the Tutorium in Intensive English must still submit valid English proficiency scores for the application.
GRE requirements are set by each program individually and any waivers of GRE requirements are made at the discretion of the program. Refer to the program's website or contact their office for more information on their GRE requirements.
When do I need to submit a bank statement and other OIS-requested documents for visa processing?
Documents for visa processing do not need to be submitted until after an admission decision is made.
Checklist upload slots for these items are made available by the Office of International Services during the application process so that applicants can submit them and already have acceptable documentation on file once a decision is made on the application.
Submission of financial documentation does not affect application review or admission decisions.
Please visit the Office of International Services website for additional information on financial document requirements and follow up with them for any inquiries you may have about financial document requirements and I-20 processing.
Decisions & Next Steps
How long will it take to get a decision?
The time it will take to receive an admission decision will vary by program. Unfortunately, the Office of Admissions cannot provide a timeline for when a decision can be expected.
Some programs review applications as they arrive and make decisions on a daily basis. Others have review committees which meet a few times during the admissions season and communicate recommendations to the Office of Admissions in batches.
Once a program has communicated a recommendation for admission to our office, the application will undergo a brief final review within the Office of Admissions to determine if Graduate College approval is needed.
With the program’s (and, if necessary, Graduate College’s) decision received, the Office of Admissions will update the official record to note the decision. It will then be reflected online in the application system and an official letter from the university will be mailed out.
I've been admitted. What do I do next? How do I register?
Please visit our page for Admitted Students for the appropriate information.
What does conditional admission mean?
Conditional admission means that you were admitted with full standing, but still need to submit final, official academic credentials. The application checklist and university admission letter will both indicate the official credentials that you will need to submit.
Conditionally admitted students can enroll and study during their first term at UIC, but will need to submit the requested official credentials before they can register for their second term. A registration hold is placed on the student record and takes effect after the registration period of the first term.
We recommend that all students clear their pending conditions by submitting the required credentials when they arrive on campus. Admissions holds will not be released until the required documentation is presented to the Office of Admissions.
International students: Please visit the Glossary of terms related to academic credentials to find out what the Office of Admissions considers to be official documents.
Can I defer admission to a future term?
Students who have been admitted, but cannot attend for valid reasons, may request to defer their admission once within an academic year of the term of admission (e.g. Fall admission can be deferred to the following Spring, Summer or Fall terms). Deferring students do not need to submit a new application, fee, or set of academic credentials.
Incomplete, denied, and canceled applications cannot be deferred.
To initiate the deferral process, contact your program. The program must first approve the deferral. Note that financial awards may not be guaranteed for deferred admission. The program will then forward the deferral request to the Office of Admissions for final approval. An admitted application record is created for approved deferred admission terms and a new admission letter is mailed out.
International Students - If your deferral is approved, you may need to submit new evidence of financial support for the new term. Contact the Office of International Services for relevant advising on whether or not new documents will be needed as soon as you decide to defer. OIS is informed of all international admits, so you would also be included in correspondence indicating whether or not financial documents are needed for the approved deferred admission term.
I'm being charged out-of-state tuition, but I'm an Illinois resident. How can I get this corrected?
State residency status is detemined based upon information provided in the application. Students admitted as non-residents are notified of their non-resident status in the admission letter and in the my.UIC portal. For information about petitioning for a change in residency status, please see our Residency page.
Why was I denied? What can I do now?
If you have received a deny decision based on review, you will need to contact your program directly for details regarding why your application was rejected. The Office of Admissions cannot provide specific reasons for the deny decisions. The program may also be able to advise you on how to successfully seek admission for a future term.
How can I get my documents or copies of them back?
All documents submitted to UIC become the property of the University. Documents will not be released to the applicant or forwarded to other institutions or agencies. Please do not submit your original or only set of academic credentials. No documents will be returned to you.
Why was my application canceled?
Cancellations may be made by the Office of Admissions or by your academic program. Applications may be cancelled one or more of the following reasons:
- All required Admissions requirements were not submitted.
- All required departmental requirements were not submitted.
- The Program's deadline has passed.
- The Program has reached its enrollment capacity for the term.
- You do not meet the qualifications for studying at the level for which you applied.
I received an admission letter from my programs. Why haven't I been admitted?
Programs generally do not have the authority for officially admit students on their own. Program-issued letters state their intention to recommend admission. Admission recommendations are communicated to our office and we then update the record officially within the student system. Graduate College approval may also be necessary for certain applications where there are deficiences or advanced standing credit is recommended.
Typically, applicants can expect an admission letter from the Graduate College or a follow-up letter from the department (in case the recommendation is not approved) in a few weeks following the initial departmental letter.
Professional Level Programs
What is the difference between a Professional level program and a Graduate level program?
Professional level degree programs at UIC are the doctorates which are administered through the program's own college and involve a clinical or patient-based component. With the exception of the DNP and OTD programs, Professional level programs have specialized application and admission procedures which may be found on the program's website. DNP and OTD applications follow the general graduate process, though they are not overseen by the Graduate College.
If I am/was enrolled as a Graduate level student at UIC, can my application fee for a Professional level program be waived?
At this time, application fee waivers are not applied to professional level program applications on the basis of previous or current graduate level coursework.
I am interested in the Doctor of Medicine(MD) program or have questions about my MD application. Who should I contact?
Please contact UIC's College of Medicine with inquiries about MD applications. The College of Medicine maintains its own Admissions Office for MD applications. Our office would not be able to provide any information about the MD application process or status of an MD application.