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How to Get into the (UIUC) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Yocket Editorial Team

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), is a public land-grant research university in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area, Illinois, United States. Established in 1867, UIUC is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". It is a highly regarded university, ranked #35 in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report and #64 in QS World University Rankings 2024.

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This blog will address all your concerns regarding studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From why you should consider this university and the challenges of getting admitted, to the costs and scholarships offered at UIUC, it will cover everything!

Table of Contents

Why Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks among the top public universities in the US and worldwide, renowned for its rigorous academics and research activities. UIUC faculty and alumni consist of 27 Pulitzer and 23 Nobel Prize winners. UIUC offers 150+ undergraduate programs leading to baccalaureate degrees, alongside 100+ fields of study for postbaccalaureate students.

The overall University of Illinois acceptance rate is 63%, meaning that almost two-thirds of applicants get in. However, this number is slightly lower (60%) for applicants outside of Illinois and slightly higher (69%) for Illinois residents. UIUC is home to 60,000+ students, out of which 20,500 consist of graduate students. Students hail from 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. Moreover, 12,000+ students are international, and approximately 23,057 students are of color on campus, more than any other top-ranked Midwest university (NCES).

With 1,000 academic, athletic, cultural, philanthropic, political, religious, and social student groups, you are sure to find something that interests you at the UIUC campus. In 2023, 92 Fortune 100 companies recruited UIUC graduates. This showcases the high demand for UIUC students in worldwide organizations. It also boasts the #1 return on investment in the Big Ten (PayScale).

Now, let us discuss some prerequisites that Indian and other international students must meet to increase their chances of receiving admission to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

How to Get into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Admission to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign involves building a strong application that showcases your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and potential contributions to the university community. Here's a breakdown of key areas to focus on:

Eligibility Criteria

International students applying to the Graduate School of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign must meet the following criteria before applying:

  • Choose the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Myillini portal to submit your application.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or a comparable GPA for an international applicant, for the last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for graduate admission. Aiming for a strong GPA, preferably through challenging courses, demonstrating your academic prowess.
  • Submit mandatory English proficiency test results to demonstrate your proficiency in the language. The minimum score considered acceptable for full-status admission by the Graduate School is 103 on the TOEFL iBT, an overall band of 7.5 on the IELTS, and a 135 score on Duolingo.
  • The GRE is not a requirement of the Graduate College at UIUC. However, it may be a program admissions requirement. Visit the program website for specific test score requirements.
  • Complete the university-specific supplemental essays to showcase your interest in UIUC and elaborate on your unique experiences and aspirations. Request recommendation letters from teachers or mentors who can speak to your academic abilities, work ethic, and potential.
  • Finally, provide proof of funding documentation, to showcase that you have the money and means to tackle the educational and living expenses at UIUC.

In the next section, explore some tips for getting into UIUC, which help you stay on track and be more confident with your application.

Suggested: Courses at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tips to Get into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

With careful planning and execution, you can increase your chances of getting into any prestigious institution abroad. Here are some tips to help you on your journey of pursuing higher education at UIUC:

Tip 1: Maintain A Decent Academic Record: Score 3.0 or higher throughout your undergrad. Consider taking higher-level courses or additional subjects relevant to your preferred program. This demonstrates your academic rigor and commitment to the field.

Tip 2: Craft Compelling Essays: Showcase your personality, values, and aspirations through them. Use them to tell a unique story and highlight aspects not conveyed elsewhere in your application.

Tip 3: Venture Beyond Academics: Demonstrate your passions and interests through meaningful involvement in extracurricular activities. Look for leadership positions and sustained commitment over quantity. Focus on activities that align with your chosen major when possible.

Tip 4: Meet Deadlines and Research Scholarships: Submit your application and all required materials well before the deadline to avoid last-minute complications. Also, explore scholarships and financial aid options to make attending UIUC more affordable beforehand.

Sushmita V, a Yocket Premium user got admission to UIUC in the fall of 2023, for an MS in Business Analytics. To know more about her journey and profiles of similar people who applied to UIUC and got in, click here.

Challenges of Getting into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a highly sought-after institution, and international students face several challenges in gaining admission. Familiarize yourself with some of these obstacles so that you are more informed. Some obstacles faced by international students when applying to UIUC include:

  • UIUC has a competitive acceptance rate of around 45% for international students. With thousands of applicants vying for a limited number of spots, international students are competing against not only other foreigners but also highly qualified students from within the US.
  • Scoring as per UIUC's requirements on standardized and English proficiency tests in one attempt might be difficult, causing international students to make recurrent attempts that are not cost-effective.
  • International students face additional documentation requirements, such as proof of financial support and valid visas. Navigating these processes can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Adapting to a new academic environment and cultural context can be challenging for international students. UIUC offers resources and support to help international students adjust, but navigating cultural differences and building new social connections can still be hurdles.

Despite these challenges, UIUC provides dedicated resources and support services to help students with academics, career planning, and personal well-being, ensuring a smooth transition and successful college experience for international students.

Suggested: UIUC Rankings 2024

In the next section, let us discuss the MOST important aspect of studying at UIUC - the costs of attending.

Costs of Studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tuition fees and living costs for international students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's graduate schools vary depending on the programs. The cost of attendance also includes indirect cost allowances for food, housing, books, supplies, and other expenses.

Analyze the table below to get a rough idea about the total tuition costs at UIUC’s top graduate programs.


Nonresidents/  International


USD 32,340 / INR 26,80,430

Chemistry & Life Sciences

USD 34,570 / INR 28,65,250

MENG Bioengineering

USD 39,524 / INR 32,75,860

Fine & Applied Arts

USD 30,910 / INR 25,61,900

Master of Health Administration

USD 32,760 / INR 27,15,240

Master of Social Work

USD 32,704 / INR 27,10,600

MS in Business Analytics

USD 49,200 / INR 40,77,830

MS in Management

USD 39,360 / INR 32,62,260

MS in Financial Engineering

USD 47,100 / INR 39,03,780

Law (Masters of Laws - LLM)

USD 49,500 / INR 41,02,690

Next, read on to learn about some scholarships and funding options available in and outside the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that can help you fund your education!

Scholarships for Studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

For international students, financial aid is generally limited. However, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offers a few scholarships and financial aid options for graduate international students. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

  • Graduate Assistantships (GAs): These are the most common form of financial support for graduate students at UIUC. They provide a stipend and often include health insurance and tuition waivers. To be eligible, you must be admitted to a graduate program and be offered a GA position by a faculty member.
  • College-Specific Scholarships: Many colleges and departments at UIUC offer their scholarships for graduate students. These scholarships are usually awarded based on academic merit, research experience, and other factors.

Some external scholarships specifically for Indian students to pursue higher education at UIUC include:

  • Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships are for talented Indian students seeking to pursue Master's or Ph.D. programs in the US. UIUC is a popular destination for Fulbright-Nehru fellows.
  • Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarships offer support for Indian students pursuing graduate studies abroad, including at UIUC.
  • Aga Khan Foundation's International Scholarship Program provides funding for Indian students to pursue postgraduate programs at top universities across the world.

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Admission Deadlines at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Deadlines for graduate programs vary depending on the specific program. You can find the deadlines for your program on the program's website. However, the deadlines are between December and May for almost all programs.

Here are some examples of deadlines for specific programs:

  • Social Work (MSW): February 1
  • Nursing Practice, Post-Master's (DNP): March 1
  • Public Health (MPH): March 1
  • STEM and Business programs (for international students): April 1 (fall), September 15 (spring)

Suggested: 8 Best Universities In Illinois: Top Universities

From the Desk of Yocket

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offers a compelling mix of academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and strong career prospects, making it a strong contender for your college search. Hopefully, this blog helped you become more informed regarding the eligibility criteria, challenges, and costs of attending UIUC.

Embarking on your study abroad journey alone could get overwhelming, wouldn't you agree? Well, do you know who can serve as a great companion? Yocket Premium! We are here to simplify every complicated step. Whether it is shortlisting and applying to prestigious universities like UIUC, or getting loans and student visas, our Yocket experts can guide you throughout. Book A FREE Consultation Call Today!

Frequently Asked Questions on How to get into the UIUC

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What is the acceptance rate at UIUC?

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