General Admissions & Academic Information

Admission

Degree Seeking Students

First-year undergraduate students with a strong record of academic achievement who have completed less than 12 hours of college credit after graduation from high school may apply for admission as a freshman. Students must submit high school transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, and a personal statement. Applications are accepted starting September 1 of the year prior to entry into the program, and new students may begin classes in any semester. In addition to general freshman applicants, UIS has an Honors Program that is a selective program and enrolls about 120 students each year. Eligible students will be contacted by the Honors Program.

Undergraduate transfer students with 12 or more semester hours may apply for admission. Students who have earned less than 30 semester hours must submit the same credentials as students seeking admission as freshmen (including official college transcripts). Students who have completed 30 or more transferable hours must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Remedial and developmental courses are not applicable to admission requirements. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and new on campus transfer students may begin classes in any semester.

Graduate students must apply to UIS and have official transcripts and any required test scores submitted to the Office of Admissions. In addition, some graduate programs may request supplemental admissions documents. Admission to graduate studies may be granted to students who have earned a baccalaureate degree and who have met all specific program requirements and prerequisite courses.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students must complete an application and submit it to the Office of Admissions. The undergraduate non-degree student will be asked for clarification of his/her status before exceeding 16 hours; the graduate non-degree student before exceeding 12 hours.

Contact the Office of Admissions for additional information regarding any of the admission items mentioned above.

Advising

UIS is committed to advising students at all phases of their education. The Office of Advising Services, Information and Support (OASIS) serves all freshmen, some sophomores, undeclared majors at any stage of degree completion, and students in transition between majors or other academic programs. OASIS advisors assist students in meeting requirements of the UIS General Education Curriculum and the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE). The OASIS website contains useful information for undergraduates at all stages of the baccalaureate degree. Freshmen students enrolled in the Honors Program may contact the Capital Scholars Honors Program Office for advising assistance.

College advisors are professional staff who work with individual undergraduate students in the college where the student is seeking a major. They assist students with course scheduling, curriculum planning, and navigating academic policy and procedure. Faculty advisors work with individual students to see that satisfactory progress is made toward the degree as well as toward personal and career goals. Students can change advisors at any time by contacting their program office. It is recommended that students arrange appointments with their advisors before registering for any given semester.  Freshmen must see an advisor prior to registering for classes.

Freshmen are assigned an academic advisor prior to summer orientation. Undergraduate transfer students (with 30 or more hours of semester credit) will be formally assigned a college and/or faculty advisor during their first semester at UIS. Master’s degree students will be formally assigned a faculty advisor during their first semester at UIS. Doctoral students are assigned an advisor when they are admitted to the doctoral program.

Assessment

As an institution in which excellence in teaching is an overriding goal, UIS takes seriously its obligation to look carefully and systematically at what students learn — in other words, to assess student learning outcomes. Information about UIS’ assessment activities can be found on the assessment website at www.uis.edu/assessment/.

Catalog Requirements

Students may choose to meet the academic program requirements outlined in the catalog that is in force at the time of their first semester of entry (enrollment) at UIS as a degree candidate or of any catalog in force during a subsequent period, not to exceed seven years for bachelor’s candidates, six years for master’s candidates, and eight years for doctoral candidates. A catalog year includes the fall, spring, and summer of each academic year. Students who are unable to complete graduation requirements within the specified time may, at the discretion of the academic program, be held responsible for requirements of the catalog in force during their graduation year, or may be required to re-take the courses. In the event a student elects to graduate under requirements specified in a catalog subsequent to the one under which he or she entered UIS, the student must submit a Student Petition and have it approved by the student’s advisor and the department chair.

Course Numbering System

The three-letter prefix indicates that the course is in a particular academic program (e.g., SWK – Social Work) or is offered by a particular unit (e.g., CAP – Capital Scholars Honors); UNI – University courses are offered by a number of units across campus and are open to all students. CAP courses are open only to students enrolled in the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

The three-digit identifying number signifies who may enroll in the course for credit, as follows:

000-099Open to all students. An academic preparation course is generally appropriate for first-year students or transfer students fulfilling lower-division requirements.
100-199Open to all students. An introductory course is generally appropriate for first-year students or transfer students fulfilling lower-division requirements
200-299Open to all students who have completed the 100-level prerequisites, if any.
300-399Generally intended for juniors and seniors, but others may register if they have completed the 200-level prerequisites, if any.
400-499Advanced undergraduate, as well as master’s students. Individual master’s programs may limit the use of 400-level course work. Master’s students should contact their program for additional information.
500-599Master’s students and doctoral students. The doctoral program may limit the use of 500-level course work. Doctoral students should contact their program for additional information.
600-699Doctoral students.

The following terminology is associated with UIS course numbers. Courses numbered 000 to 099 are considered academic preparation courses and cannot be used to meet degree requirements. Courses numbered 100 to 299 are considered lower-division undergraduate courses. Courses numbered 300 to 399 are considered upper-division undergraduate courses. Courses numbered 400-499 are considered upper-division undergraduate courses or graduate courses, depending on the level of the student at the time the course is taken. Courses numbered 500-699 are considered graduate courses (though they can be considered as upper-division undergraduate or graduate courses, depending on the level of the student at the time of enrollment).

English Language Proficiency

Students whose native language is not English and who have not earned at least an associate's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university must submit an official score report documenting their performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or another equivalent exam approved by the university.

In certain situations, students whose native language is not English may submit a petition to waive the English test requirement. These situations include:

  • Applicants who have successfully completed with a “B” or higher Composition 1 and 2 and a Speaking course at an accredited college or university in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada (English-medium school), Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa.

  • Applicants who transfer with 60 credits and a GPA of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada (English-medium schools), Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa.

  • Applicants who have a minimum of two years of professional employment experience in the U.S. This demonstration is subject to employer verification.

Students who believe they qualify for a waiver of the English Language test should submit the petition to the UIS Office of Admissions. The form can be found online at http://www.uis.edu/admissions/international/englishwaiver/.

Undergraduate Students

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores (or the approved equivalent exam). A TOEFL score of not less than 500 (paper-based) or 61 (Internet-based) fulfills the English proficiency requirement for undergraduate admission. Those who earned an associate degree in the United States with a GPA of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, or those who graduated from and attended a U.S. high school for three or more years, are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

Master’s Students

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores (or the approved equivalent exam). A TOEFL score of not less than 550 (paper based) or 79 (Internet based) fulfills the English proficiency requirement for admission to master’s-level study at UIS. Applicants who hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree with a GPA of  2.50 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) are not required to submit TOEFL scores. (NOTE: Some programs require a GPA of  3.0 to waive TOEFL. See individual program statements for any additional proficiency requirements.)

Doctoral Students

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores (or the approved equivalent exam). A score of at least 575 (paper based) or 88 (Internet based) fulfills the English proficiency requirement for admission to doctoral study at UIS.

Evaluation of Faculty Oral English Proficiency

As required by state law and UIS policy, students are asked to evaluate their instructors on oral English proficiency in the classroom. Procedures call for this evaluation to occur twice during the semester.

Final Exam Schedule

Final exams at UIS are scheduled during the last week of the semester in the fall and spring.  Specific information pertaining to the final exam schedule can be found on the Office of Records and Registration website.  Please note that if a specific class day/time is not included in the list, students should ask their course instructor for the day/time and place of the exam.

Graduation Information

Commencement

Commencement will be held each May for graduating students. The following groups of individuals may be eligible to participate in commencement if they meet all of the listed guidelines. There will be no exceptions to the criteria listed below. Please note that students can only participate in the commencement ceremony in which they are first eligible. Students cannot participate in more than one ceremony for the same degree program.

Summer and fall graduates are automatically eligible to participate. Spring candidates are eligible to participate if their graduation application has been submitted by the posted deadline and if they will complete all degree requirements by the end of the spring semester (unless otherwise instructed by their academic programs). Summer candidates are eligible if they have submitted a graduation application and have a Student Petition form (approved by their program) on file in the Office of Records and Registration asking to participate in the ceremony by the posted deadline. PLEASE NOTE that generally students cannot have any incomplete courses or more than eight hours (undergraduate) or four hours (graduate) still to be taken during the summer term.

All students participating in commencement must purchase a cap and gown through the UIS Bookstore. Information pertaining to graduation and commencement eligibility will be sent to students from the Office of Records and Registration in early spring. Students with questions regarding graduation or commencement eligibility should contact the Office of Records and Registration.

Completion of Degree Requirements

All requirements must be completed in order for a student to receive a degree or a certificate. Students should refer to the online catalog for a complete listing of degree/certificate requirements. Degrees/certificates are awarded three times per year, at the end of the spring, summer, and fall semesters. All requirements must be completed by the end of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Students who do not complete all requirements by the end of the semester for which they initially apply to graduate must wait to receive their degree/certificate until the end of a subsequent semester once all requirements are met.

Graduation Application

All students who plan to earn a degree or a certificate must indicate their intent to graduate by submitting an online graduation application and an approved Graduation Application Signature Form. It is important to complete this process by the posted deadline. A mandatory, non-refundable graduation application fee will be charged to each student upon submission of the graduation application. Instructions pertaining to the graduation application can be found on the Office of Records and Registration website. Students with questions regarding the graduation application should contact the Office of Records and Registration.

Obtaining a Second Degree

Bachelor's Degrees

Students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree and seek a second one from UIS must complete all hours toward the major that are required by the academic program. A minimum of 30 semester hours toward the second degree must be completed at UIS. Students who earned the first degree at UIS must complete only those general education hours required by the academic program as prerequisite or foundation courses for the second baccalaureate degree. If the first degree was earned at another institution, the student must meet requirements in the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE). Credit from a previous degree may not be used for the degree in progress.

Master's Degrees

All program and campus requirements for the master’s degree are in effect even for those students who have previously earned an advanced degree. Credit from a previous degree may not be used for the degree in process.

Doctoral Degree

All program and campus requirements for the doctoral degree are in effect even for students who have previously earned an advanced degree. Credit from a previous degree may not be used for the degree in process.

Student Classification

Undergraduate students are classified into the following categories based upon the number of hours earned:

FreshmenLess than 30 hours of credit
Sophomores30 to 59.99 hours of credit
Juniors60 to 89.99 hours of credit
Seniors90 or more hours of credit

Graduate students are those working toward a master’s or doctoral degree or certificate.

Transcripts

The Office of Records and Registration will issue official transcripts of a student’s UIS academic record when the student submits a formal request.  Students must be in good financial standing with the University of Illinois. A fee is charged for each transcript at the time the request is made. Specific information about requesting and paying for transcripts can be found on the Office of Records and Registration’s website.

Tutorials

Tutorials are intended to supplement, not supplant, regular course offerings. Students interested in a tutorial must secure the consent of the faculty member concerned before registration and submit any required documentation to him or her.

Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses

An undergraduate student who wishes to enroll in 500-level courses for credit must obtain the approval of the student’s faculty advisor and work with the course instructor to have the necessary electronic approval entered. The student’s work will be evaluated at the graduate level. Credits earned by undergraduates permitted to enroll in graduate courses may be counted toward graduate degree requirements if they are not applied to a student’s undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate/Graduate Concurrent Enrollment

An undergraduate student within 16 hours of completing all bachelor’s degree requirements may enroll in undergraduate and graduate courses concurrently. Undergraduate students taking courses for graduate credit will be evaluated at the graduate level. Students must complete a Student Petition and have it signed by the instructor of the graduate course (if the course is at the 400-level), the graduate advisor, department chair, and dean. Graduate courses will be so designated when the bachelor’s degree is granted, but this does not imply admission to the graduate program in which the course was taken.

Students seeking financial aid funding should contact the UIS Office of Financial Assistance to discuss their situation as limitations exist on awarding financial aid.

University of Illinois Residency Status for Admission and Assessment of Tuition

General Information

The University of Illinois’ definition of the term “resident” may be different from the definitions developed by other, non-university agencies. Thus, a person who is an Illinois resident for tax or voting purposes, for example, is not necessarily a resident for University of Illinois tuition and admission purposes. The university’s definition of resident status applies both to payment of tuition and admission to the University of Illinois.

Principal elements that determine residency are domicile in Illinois and actions that evidence the intent to make Illinois the person’s permanent residence for a period of 12 months prior to the first day of class. A person has but one domicile at any time. Mere physical presence in Illinois, regardless of how prolonged, is insufficient to establish residency without the existence of action and intent to make the place a permanent residence and principal home. In order to establish bona fide residency under this policy, a person must be independent and demonstrate presence and intent to reside permanently in Illinois for reasons other than educational objectives.

The burden of establishing that a student is domiciled in Illinois for other than educational purposes is on the student. The regulations, factors, and procedures enumerated in this policy will be considered by the university in determining the residency status of students.

Procedures

The Director of Admissions, or a designee, shall determine the initial residence classification of each student at the time the student enters or reenters the university.

A student who is not satisfied with the determination concerning his/her residence classification may request that the responsible official reconsider the determination. For the purposes of admission, the written request must be received by the Office of Admissions within 20 calendar days from the date of notification of residency status. For the purposes of assessment of tuition, the written request must be received by the Office of Admissions within 20 days of the date of assessment of tuition or the first scheduled day of classes for the term for which the tuition is payable, whichever is later.

The request should include the Petition for Determination of Residency Status and all other materials applicable to the claim. The request and accompanying documentation will not be returned, and the student is advised to maintain a copy for his/her records.

If the student is still not satisfied with the determination after it has been reconsidered, he or she may appeal the decision to the director, University Office for Academic Policy Analysis. The appeal shall be in writing and shall include reasons for the appeal. The appeal must be received by the Director of Admissions within 20 days of the notice of the ruling. It will then be referred to the director, University Office for Academic Policy Analysis. A student who fails to file an appeal within 20 days of the notice of the ruling waives all claims to reconsideration for that academic session. Filing deadlines cannot be extended or waived and applications and appeals not filed in a timely manner will not be reviewed. The decision of the director, University Office for Academic Policy Analysis, shall be final in all cases.

For detailed information on regulations and statutes used to determine residency, contact the Office of Admissions.