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International Admission

Students from different countries all over the world come to UIC every year to pursue a graduate education. International students constitute about a quarter of total graduate students at UIC.

1.  Applicants to graduate study at UIC must use the online application form. Applications and supporting credentials should be submitted as early as possible. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. Note that some graduate programs have application deadlines that are earlier than the University deadline, and some admit students only in specific terms (e.g. fall term only). Prospective applicants should contact the program of interest for information on current deadlines, as some programs may close earlier than the published deadlines

Effective with application for Summer 2013, applicants must upload supporting documents via the link provided.  Please refer to http://oar.uic.edu/grad/document_upload for information.  A few days after you have submitted the online application you will receive an email with instructions on the upload process.

Please note the following:

  • Applicants must use the online application form (see number 2 below).
  • A non-refundable application fee of $60 (U.S. currency) is required to have your application reviewed. This fee is waived for applicants seeking readmission who have been previously enrolled at UIC as a graduate student, and employees of UIC.
  • You must upload unofficial copies of transcripts, mark sheets, and diplomas, in English translation.  If you are admitted, official documents will be requested at that time, of both original language and official English translations for all academic credentials not originally issued in English, along with submission instructions.
  • If your program requires letters of recommendation, you will need to provide email address for each of your recommenders.
  • Program-specific requirements (e.g. writing samples, personal statements, resumes, letters of purpose, letters of recommendation, etc.) must be submitted using the document upload process (see link above) unless specifically directed to you otherwise by the program to which you are applying.  (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS and other test scores must be sent directly from the testing service to UIC. UIC's Institutional Codes are 1851 for the GRE and the TOEFL; however, you may also upload unofficial copies.)
  • For more information about the application process, please see Graduate Applicants FAQs.

Admission recommendations cannot be made until all required documents have been received.

The Office of International Services will require the following documents in order to issue an I-20, or other immigration documents:

  • Declaration and Certification of Finances Form signed by both the student and the sponsor.
  • Original bank statement signed by bank official showing sufficient funding in a savings account, money market account or certificate of deposit account.  Checking accounts are not acceptable

2.   Applicants to professional degree programs that are not part of the Graduate College (Business Administration [MBA], Engineering [MEng], Public Health [MPH; DrPH], and Social Work [MSW]), applicants to Graduate College programs within the Liautaud Graduate School of Business (Accounting [MS], Business Administration [PhD], Management Information Systems [MS, PhD], and Real Estate [MA]), and applicants to Graduate College programs within the School of Public Health [MS, MHA, PhD] should follow the admission procedures of those units.

3.  International applicants need to satisfy additional requirements for admission and to obtain a student visa.  Please read the following sections carefully.

Postsecondary Credentials
Test of English as a Foreign Language and International English Language Testing System
Visa Certification
Financial Arrangements
Oral English Proficiency of Teaching Assistants
Office of International Services

Postsecondary Credentials

Applicants who have completed studies outside the United States must present all postsecondary school credentials. Such credentials must include a record of all studies completed to date; grades or examination results received (including failing as well as passing grades); maximum and minimum grades obtainable; rank in class; degrees, diplomas, and certificates earned; and length of the school year. Documents must be authentic, and those not written in English must be accompanied by certified English translations. Copies are acceptable when certified as authentic by the issuing institution. All documents should be sent directly to UIC by the issuing institution. For information on specific requirements for academic documents by country for graduate applicants, click here.

Test of English as a Foreign Language and International English Language Testing System

Applicants whose native language is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the exam of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  The test score cannot be more than two years old.

The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service, Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. The minimum TOEFL score accepted by the Graduate College is 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test). The minimum TOEFL scores accepted for admission to the Graduate College for the new TOEFL iBT includes minima for the four subsections, as well as the total score. The required scores are: Reading 19, Speaking 20, Listening 17, Writing 21, and Total 80. (If you meet the total score of 80 and most of the sub-section minima, consult with the program to which you are applying for guidance). Many programs have higher minimums. Consult the program listing for details. UIC's Institutional Code is 1851.

The IELTS is administered by the International English Language Testing System and is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) through more than 500 locations in 120 countries.  The Graduate College requires a minimum total score of 6.5 and minimum subscores of 6.0 for each of the four subsections.  Many programs have higher minimum IELTS requirements. Consult the program listing for details. UIC's mailing address for IELTS results is:  UIC Office of Graduate Admissions (MC 018), Box 7994, Chicago, Illinois 60680-7994.

The TOEFL and IELTS are given at regularly scheduled intervals at testing centers throughout the world. Information on testing dates, locations, and the testing fee may be obtained at American embassies and consulate offices of the U.S. Educational Foundation. Also consult the Educational Testing Service (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing Seystem (IELTS) websites.

The TOEFL or IELTS is not required for students who have completed at least two academic years of full-time study in a country where English is the native language and in a school where English is the language of instruction within five years of the proposed date of enrollment in the University.  

The TOEFL or IELTS may be waived for non-native English speakers who have a minimum of one year full-time employment in the U.S. or other country where the only official language of the country is English.  Applicants must submit a letter to the Admission Office from their employer verifying at least 12 consecutive months of employment and describing their English language skills.  The letter is evaluated for a decision.

Visa Certification

International students granted admission receive from the Office of Admissions and Records all appropriate documents, including the certification forms that are required when applying for visas to enter the United States.

Financial Arrangements

International students must be able to finance themselves fully, including room and board, tuition, books, other expenses, and travel to and from the United States. Only a limited number of assistantships are available, so applicants should not plan on any financial assistance from UIC unless they receive a written offer of aid from a department.

All international applicants who plan to finance the cost of attending UIC from personal resources must certify that they will have available sufficient funds to cover their academic and living expenses for the academic year, plus living expenses for a summer. The exact amount required is set each year by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The amount is subject to change depending on tuition and room/board changes. The Declaration and Certification of Finances Form can be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records or downloaded and printed. Applicants who are unable to provide satisfactory evidence of adequate finances or who have not sent a notarized certified statement verifying funds available and their source will not be granted admission. Official admission letters and visa documents cannot be sent until certification is received.

International students may apply for fellowships, assistantships, and tuition waivers. These financial aids are awarded on the basis of outstanding scholarship and potential to undertake research. Contact the director of graduate studies of the program of interest for more information.

Oral English Proficiency of Teaching Assistants

Illinois state law requires that the University attest to the English proficiency of all classroom instructors, including teaching assistants. Teaching assistants who are not native speakers of English (regardless of their citizenship status) must have their oral English proficiency assessed by the appointing department. In addition, all international students who are appointed as TAs (even if only grading) must be referred to the International Teaching Assistant Program for evaluation before they can begin their first term as a TA.  This is true even for continuing international students who may first be appointed at a TA after their first term of matriculation at UIC.   See more information from the International Teaching Assistant Program.