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Graduate FAQ

General

Decisions

Academic Credentials

Evidence of Financial Support

Evidence of English Competency

General

I am a prospective applicant. What do I need to submit in order to be considered for admission to a degree program?

Domestic Students:

  1. Completed On-line Graduate Application
  2. $60 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  3. Transcripts for last 60 hours of Bachelor’s degree (if credit transferred from another institution is applied during last 60 hours, separate transcripts may be required).
  4. Transcripts for all course work completed after the 1st Bachelor’s regardless of level. This is a mandatory requirement even if completion of post-baccalaureate degrees is not required for admission.
  5. Supplementary materials as determined by program (GRE, personal statement, letters of recommendation, writing samples, Millers analogies, etc.) Please contact your department for specific requirements.
  6. Students who have completed schooling in other countries should follow the instructions listed in the graduate application for submitting international credentials.
  7. If course work is in progress, a final transcript with grades posted and any degrees awarded will be required upon enrollment.

International Students:

  1. Completed On-line Graduate Application
  2. $60 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  3. Attested/university issued transcripts or marksheets for all undergraduate work in the original language
  4. Attested/university issued transcripts or marksheets for all post-baccalaureate work in the original language
  5. Proof of all degrees awarded. If the degree awarded and the date of award are not clearly posted on the transcript, attested degree certificates or diplomas should be submitted.
  6. Certified English translations of all credentials
  7. TOEFL OR IELTS score. TOEFL scores must be reported directly to UIC by ETS.
  8. Supplementary materials as determined by program (GRE, personal statement, letters of recommendation, writing samples, Millers analogies, etc.) Please contact your department for specific requirements.
  9. If course work is in progress, final transcripts with grades recorded and proof of any degrees awarded will be required upon enrollment. English translations will also be required.

Do I need a bachelor's degree to be admitted into graduate school?

Completion of a baccalaureate degree (or an acceptable equivalent) from an approved institution is required; some programs also require a professional school degree, master’s degree, or certification (see Graduate Program Summary section).

I am trying to apply online. Why isn’t my program in the drop-down menu?

  1. Double check the deadline for your program. Some programs have earlier deadlines. If the deadline has passed, the program will no longer be available on the online application. Late applications are not accepted by the Office of Admissions. Please contact your program directly for information on how to apply for a future term.
  2. Be sure that your program accepts applications for the term you have selected. Many programs admit to only the Fall term. If you are applying for the Spring or Summer terms, please verify that your program considers students for admission to that term.
  3. Make sure you are in the correct application. After creating/entering your log-in ID and password, you are brought to a drop-down box that asks you to select an application type. Non-degree programs are not available under the general Graduate heading. Similarly, degree-seeking programs will not be found under the Graduate Non-degree selection.

If your program is not listed in the drop down box, please do not choose another program in order to complete the application. The Office of Admissions will not manually change your program code at a later time.

I am trying to apply online, but I cannot find my college or university in the drop-down. What should I do?

Most U.S. institutions and many international ones can be found by going through a series of drop-down menus. We encourage you to carefully search the drop-downs before manually entering the name of the school in the box provided. Using the drop-downs will ensure that your web application is processed correctly. Here are some hints for using the drop-downs effectively:

How do I upload my documents electronically?

The link in the notification email will direct you to your application login webpage where you can begin uploading required items one at a time, as necessary. Please prepare an electronic copy of the required application materials in PDF format, a .doc Word file is also acceptable, so that they are available when requested. You must click on each blue hyperlink in order to browse for the documents you have prepared and upload them.

Each item can be verified as received and accepted by checking the “Received Date” and the “Status” field, which will state “Verified-Correct” in your application status. If a date does not appear in this area after an upload attempt, it means that the document has not been successfully sent.

Additional requests may be added after submitted items are reviewed by Admissions or program staff. Please be sure to check your status on a regular basis .

Please see the Document Upload Process for more detailed information.

I was never informed of a deadline or of the necessary documentation. What can I do?

The Graduate Admissions office receives and reviews over 15,000 applications every year. Due to this high volume, we are not always able to maintain personal contact with individual students. All of the information necessary to successfully apply to UIC is included in our online application. If you have questions about deadlines or required documents, please refer to Graduate College Deadlines.

How do I qualify for a waiver or deferment of the application fee?

The following are acceptable reasons for fee waiver eligibility:

Students must provide proof of their qualification before the fee waiver will be granted. Fees will not be waived based on statements of financial hardship. Payment of the application fee cannot be deferred until the student’s arrival on campus.

What financial support is available to me?

Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships are awarded through your academic department. More information on financial support can be found at: http://grad.uic.edu/cms/?pid=1000078.

Will you contact me to verify that my documents are properly uploaded to the UIC application? When will I know that my file is complete and if a decision has been made?

Both of these questions can be answered by tracking the status of your application online for updates as they occur.

You may log into http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/grad/check_status_grad.html using the ID and password you created during the online application process and choose "Edit your incomplete application/View your application". Any documents that we are currently requesting will be posted under the Requirements section. Updates made to your account will be reflected immediately in both the "Received Date" and "Status" fields.

Once a decision has been made on your application, it will be viewable online next to "Decisions" and an official letter of admission will be mailed to you. A decision of "Pending - Manual Review Required" means that your file has been sent to your department and is awaiting a decision. The Office of Admissions cannot give you any further information on a deferred application.

How can I change my mailing address?

If you are a newly admitted or currently enrolled student, your mailing address may be changed through UIC Connect. Please go to: https://my.uic.edu/common/ .

If you are a current applicant, please submit address changes to us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form .

Is non-degree right for me? How do I go about applying?

Non-degree study may be a viable option for students who simply wish to attend a few classes at UIC without committing to a degree program. In general, non-degree graduate students may take any classes offered at the university as long as they have not been restricted by the department.

You are not eligible to study as a non-degree student if you require or currently hold a student (F-1 or F-2) visa.

Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

In order to apply as a non-degree student, the Office of Admissions requires the following:

  1. Completed Graduate College application
  2. Non-refundable $60 application fee
  3. Proof of Bachelor's (or higher) degree or proof of foreign equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree -- This may be a photocopy of either your diploma or a transcript with posted degree
  4. Evidence of English competency for students who have completed education outside the U.S.

There are two types of non-degree programs.

For more information, please visit the Non-degree FAQ.

I am currently enrolled at UIC. How can I change my program? How can I add a 2nd program to my current course of study?

Currently enrolled students do not need to submit a formal 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 contact their current department for further information. The Change of Program form may be found at https://grad.uic.edu/cms/?pid=1000363.

Are joint programs available?

UIC offers students the opportunity to pursue more than one graduate degree at the same time, either through one of our approved joint degree programs, or through concurrent enrollment in more than one program. Applicants who wish to apply to more than one degree program must submit a separate application for each program involved, even if applying to an approved joint degree program. Only one application fee per term is required. If you are planning to pursue more than one degree simultaneously, please indicate this in the Planned Course of Study Section in the application.

How do I register for classes?

Your official letter of admission will contain both your University ID Number (UIN) and Temporary Control Number (TCN, if applicable). Once you have this information, you may go to www.my.uic.edu . Your ID number (along with your SSN or university provided TCN) should allow you to set up an enterprise ID and password which will then allow you to proceed to registration. You will not be allowed to register until a time ticket has been issued to you. Most new students are able to register during Open Registration times. Please consult the Office of Registration and Records for further details http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/current_students/registration.html.

How much is tuition?

Tuition and fees vary from year-to-year. For the most recent estimates, please go to: http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/financial_matters/tuition.html. International students should visit the  Office of  International Services website for estimated expenses at: http://www.ois.uic.edu/students/prospective/estimated_expenses/ .

I have a registration hold. When does this take effect? What do I need to do to have my hold lifted?

Holds may be placed on your account for many reasons. Graduate Admissions is only responsible for placing holds for 2 reasons.

If you have any other hold (Immunizations, OIS-SEVIS, Advising), you will need to contact the corresponding office for information on how that hold may be lifted.

How do I calculate my GPA?

Our application provides a place for students to report their GPA. If your department receives a copy of your application before it reaches the Office of Admissions, your self-reported calculation gives them an easy way to see your GPA at a glance. You may access our online GPA calculator for assistance.

What is the minimum GPA required?

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, including all of the work taken in the term in which the student began the final 60 semester hours of study (programs may require a higher GPA). If your GPA is below 2.75, your application must be approved by the Graduate College.

Can I be admitted conditionally without the submission of English proficiency scores (TOEFL) or GRE scores?

Conditional admission is only offered to applicants who have completed their application by satisfying all of the institutional and departmental requirements. An English proficiency score, whether it be TOEFL or IELTS, is required of all applicants to the University.

GRE scores may or may not be required by the department and may or may not be waived in certain circumstances. You must apply and contact your department for more information regarding GRE scores. Links to the department websites can be found here.

What happens if my GPA or TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum requirement?

A low GPA, TOEFL/IELTS, or other test score does not automatically mean you will be denied admission. These are only a few factors when departments are considering your application for admission. If your department wishes to recommend you for admission, they may be able to do so with the approval of the Graduate College. All applications recommended for admission that do not meet the minimum GPA and test score criteria will have to undergo a mandatory review by the Graduate College.

The Graduate College will decide whether to uphold the department’s recommendation or to reject it. If you are admitted on limited standing, you will need to complete specific requirements set forth by the department (usually during your 1st year of study). Full standing may be granted upon successful completion of the limited standing stipulations.

I’m being charged out-of-state tuition, but I’m an Illinois resident. How can I get this corrected?

New students are notified of their residency status in their admission letter. If you have been classified incorrectly or you feel your residency status has changed since your date of admission, you will need to file a Residency Petition with the Office of Admissions. More information on residency and the residency petition may be found at http://www.usp.uillinois.edu/residency.asp. Please carefully review all instructions when filing a petition because deadlines do apply.

I currently reside in the United States, but I am not a citizen. 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. Here is a brief description of some of the commonly misunderstood citizenship categories.

US Citizen
Born or naturalized
U.S. Permanent Resident
Green card holder. You should submit an Alien Registration Number and a copy of your PR card with the application.
International
Current holders of any type of visa or those applying for a visa. If you are on a valid visa, you should submit a copy with your application. If you require an I-20 or DS-2019 to study, you will need to submit evidence of financial support.
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 USCIS.
Non-citizen (Other)
This should only be used if none of the other categories apply to you. Once again, valid visa holders or those seeking a visa should not use this category.

I’m a legal permanent resident. Do I follow domestic or international guidelines?

Legal permanent residents are oftentimes caught between processing policies for domestic and international students. Since students in this category are not in need of an I-20 or DS-2019, the Office of Admissions generally accepts applications up to the domestic deadline. The Office of Admissions still encourages students who completed studies overseas to apply early since the review and processing time may be longer when international credentials are involved. Permanent residents should expect the following:

What is a TCN and how do I obtain it?

A TCN is a 9-digit Temporary Control Number that is issued to students who do not have or did not report a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN). Your TCN can be found at the top of your admit letter. If you provided a SSN, no TCN will be issued to you.

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. UIC does not require students to provide a SSN at the time of application. Students seeking financial aid who submitted the FAFSA or will be filing a FAFSA or seeking employment at the university will be required to obtain a SSN and submit it to the appropriate office. 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: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10096.html.

I have used different versions of my name. What should I do to ensure that all of my documents are matched with my application?

Electronically uploaded documents will be automatically matched with your application, but in any other case, you should always use your full, legal name on all credentials that you are submitting to UIC. Please include any alternate names in the space provided on the application. When possible, include your University Identification Number (UIN) on all documents. If you provided a different ordering or spelling of your name to ETS for GRE or TOEFL/IELTS reporting, please provide this name to the Office of Admissions.  You may send name changes or updates to us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form (no attachments).

Can I get a refund of my application fee?

As stated in the application, the application fee is nonrefundable. By submitting it, you agree that you understand the terms presented within the application. A cancellation or deny decision does not mean that no review was done. In fact, the instant you submit an application to us, a review is done. Before any decision is made (admit, cancel, or deny), a final review is made. In reality, no application goes un-reviewed!

If for some reason you submitted two payments for the application fee, you may request a refund by contacting us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form. You will be asked to provide proof that two payments were made (e.g. copies of 2 cancelled checks, 2 payments made to UIC on a bank or credit card statement). Once your rebate request has been reviewed, it may take 6-8 weeks for your refund to be issued.

Decisions

How long will it take to get a decision?

The time it will take to receive an admission decision will vary by department. Once your application is complete (all of your academic materials have been received and reviewed by the Office of Admissions) it will be forwarded to your graduate program for review. Some departments review applications as they arrive and make decisions on a daily basis. Others will have review committees which meet a few times during the admissions season and return all recommendations to the Office of Admissions in a batch.

Once your department has made its recommendation, your application will still have to be approved by the Office of Admissions and the Graduate College before official acceptance can be issued.

As always, you will receive an early decision if you apply well before the deadline and submit a complete set of required materials in one packet to the correct office.

I received an admission letter from my department. Why haven’t I been admitted?

Your academic department does not have the authority to officially admit you to the university. The letter you have received from them states their intention to recommend you for admission to the program. This recommendation must then be reviewed by the Office of Admissions and approved by the Graduate College. 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.

What does conditional admission mean?

Conditional admission means that you were admitted pending the submission of final, official documents.  The Office of Admissions will place a hold on your registration after the 10th day of your 1st term at UIC. You will be allowed to enroll and study during your 1st semester with outstanding documentation. We recommend that all students clear their pending conditions by submitting the required transcripts/degrees when they arrive on campus. Without accomplishing this step, you will not be able to register for your 2nd semester of study. Transcript 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.

Why was my application cancelled?

Cancellations may be made by the Office of Admissions or by your academic program. Your application may have been cancelled for the following reasons:

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 give you specific reasons for the decision. Your department may also be able to advise you on how to successfully seek admission for a future term.

How can I defer my 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 (international students should see below regarding evidence of financial support).

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.

International Students -- 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 correct financial documents.  If your deferral is approved by the Office of Admissions , you will receive a letter of admission for the new term.

International students will be sent a new I-20. Please return any unused I-20s to the Office of International Services.

 

Academic Credentials

When can I upload my academic credentials?

Approximately 8-12 days after you have submitted a web application, and following electronic delivery of both a Confirmation and Acknowledgement Letter from our office, you will be notified by email that you are able to upload your academic credentials.

What file types and sizes are acceptable to upload?

 

How will I know if you accepted the documents I have uploaded?

Each item can be verified as received by checking the "Received Date" in your application status and the "Status" field which will state "Verified - Correct". A missing received date and any status other than "Verified - Correct" may indicate that you must upload documents again or follow up with the Office of Admissions.

My program only requires a Bachelor’s degree for admission. Why am I being asked to submit my post-baccalaureate (Master’s) transcripts?

It is university policy to ask for records pertaining to the 1st 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.

I was a UIC student. Do I need to obtain transcripts to submit with my application?

Applicants with UIC coursework may upload either a copy of their Web Academic History, available through Student Self Service, or a copy of a transcript, if one is readily available. We have access to your UIC transcripts through our student system. Some departments may require you to submit UIC transcripts to them for their records. You will need to contact your academic program regarding their policies.

Please note, while we are part of one university system, we cannot obtain transcripts from UIUC or UIS internally. You will need to have transcripts from those institutions sent.

I participated in a semester, year, or summer abroad program. Do I need to submit a transcript from the Institution where I studied abroad?

o 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 will need to upload an official transcript from the study abroad institution.

I am applying for readmission to the Graduate College. I submitted credentials when I was first admitted. Do I need to submit them again?

The Office of Admissions typically keeps the records of students who were admitted and registered for classes for several years. If you are applying for readmission, there is a chance that the documents you initially submitted are still on file. An admissions counselor will be able to verify if your old records are still here and if they can be used toward completing your new application. In some cases, you will be asked to upload credentials.

I applied for admission, but was denied or unable to attend. I want to apply for a future term. Will you keep the documents that I already uploaded or submitted?

You will be required to upload documents for each application submitted regardless of the documents on file with the Office of Admissions. You will be notified whether or not you will be required to submit official documents at a later time based on what the Office of Admissions already has on file.

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.

Am I required to send official paper documents after having them uploaded to my application?

You are not required to both upload documents and submit a paper copy for the processing of your application. Official documents will only be required if you are admitted to UIC.

I sent official credentials to the Office of Admissions. Why aren't the official credentials shown as received in my checklist?

Official documents will not be reflected until you have been admitted to UIC, at which time they will be reviewed and displayed in your application checklist as official. Applicants are required to upload unofficial credentials for the processing of their application regardless of whether or not they have submitted official paper credentials.

What does “official” transcripts/degree mean?

Official documents are those which have been issued by your university and bear an original attestation. In the United States, sealed transcripts issued directly from the Registrar's office are considered official. The university may issue transcripts directly to UIC or to the student. As long as the seal is not broken, the transcripts will be considered official. We will not accept transcripts or degrees printed off the web.

From foreign institutions, copies of original documents which have been attested by the Registrar or Controller of Examinations and sealed by the same individual will be considered as official. Each document should be attested.

My documents have been reviewed by the United States Educational Foundation (Education USA). Are these acceptable? Are they considered official?

UIC does not consider academic credentials which have passed through the hands of a third party as official. We may take these documents for processing purposes if they fulfill our requirements. However, in order for documents to be considered official, they always need to be submitted from the issuing university directly.

I sent official documents from an international institution. Why am I being asked for them again?

Documents may be considered unofficial for the following reasons:

My documents are in a language other than English. What is an acceptable method for having them translated?

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, court-appointed translators, or from the consulate. You may find an ATA translator at their web site: www.atanet.org. 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.

Should I obtain an ECE or WES evaluation?

For students applying to graduate programs, the Office of Admissions does not require students to submit credential evaluations (ECE or WES reports). The Graduate Admissions office will perform its own review of your academic course work. We will not accept evaluations performed by another agency in place of your original transcripts, marksheets, or degrees. Evaluations will also not be used in place of certified, English translations.

Evidence of Financial Support

When do I need to submit my bank statement and financial certification?

UIC does not require students to submit evidence of financial support at the time of application. If you have received a letter of admission from the Office of Admissions or an official notification asking for financial documents from the Office of International Services, you will need to provide a bank statement and a signed UIC International Student Declaration and Certification of Finance form. If you have received a departmental award that covers the full amount of tuition, fees, and living expenses then you may be exempt from submitting separate evidence. You must still submit the UIC International Student Declaration and Certification of Finance form. Evidence from personal funds will be required of all students who have not received departmental support or whose award is insufficient to cover all expenses. Please visit the Office of International Services website at www.ois.uic.edu for more information.

Evidence of English Competency

*TOEFL scores must be submitted to us directly from ETS using our institutional code 1851. Paper score reports will not be accepted.*

English is commonly spoken in my country. Do I need to take TOEFL/IELTS?

Yes. TOEFL/IELTS exemptions are not determined by the prevalence of spoken English in your country. If a TOEFL/IELTS score is being requested of you then students from your country do not qualify for an automatic waiver.

All classes at my university were taught in English. Do I need to take TOEFL/IELTS?

Yes. TOEFL/IELTS exemptions are not determined by the language of instruction at your university.

How can I receive a TOEFL/IELTS waiver?

You may qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver if you can provide the following:

Can I submit IELTS scores?

Yes, IELTS scores may be uploaded. You will need to indicate that you will be submitting IELTS scores in the application so that the Office of Admissions can include an upload request for it in your checklist.