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Application Process & Timeline

Each element of an individual's application is evaluated carefully and is compared to the overall applicant pool. The Admissions Committee evaluates candidates on the basis of personal and professional maturity, character, experience, leadership ability, communication skills, and career potential. Insight is obtained from the essays, résumé, test scores, employment history, recommendations, and community and extracurricular involvement.


Application

Applications may be submitted to the MBA program online through the University of Illinois' Graduate College system. The entire applicaiton may be completed online, but if you need to mail any supplemental materials, send them to:

Illinois MBA Admissions Office
3019 Business Instructional Facility
515 E. Gregory Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

Application Fee

The application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is $70. The application fee for international applicants is $90 (USD). Our preferred method of payment is by credit card online. We also accept checks and money orders, which must be made out to the University of Illinois and drawn on a U.S. bank and paid in U.S. dollars. If you pay with a check or money order, please mail it to us, being sure to indicate your name as it appears on your application:

Illinois MBA Admissions
3019 Business Instructional Facility
515 E. Gregory Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

Application Deadlines

Beginning August 1, 2014, we will accept applications for Fall 2015 admissions. Our Fall 2015 admission rounds are as follows:

  • Early Application Deadline: October 5, 2014
  • Round 1 (Final round for international applicants needing a student visa): January 18, 2015
  • Round 2 (For domestic applicants): March 15, 2015
  • Late Application Deadline (For domestic applicants): May 24, 2015

Illinois Residency

In order to qualify for Illinois residency, the University of Illinois requires that you or at least one of your parents be a bona fide resident of Illinois for one calendar year prior to the term for which you are changing status. The University definition of residency may be different than other Illinois institutions of higher education or government agencies. Bona fide residency involves being gainfully employed and actually living in the state for one year, and taking actions which link you to the state of Illinois. It also requires that you reside in Illinois primarily for reasons that are not related to receiving an education. It's important that actions be completed before the beginning of the year in which you are attempting to establish residency.

Click here to learn more about residency requirements at the University of Illinois.

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Email Contact

Please establish an email address if you do not already have one. This will allow us to communicate directly with you concerning materials that may be missing from your file, to invite you for an admission interview, and to communicate your admission decision.

Change of Name and /or Address

If your name or address changes during the application and admissions process, please notify the MBA Admissions Office immediately by emailing us at mba@illinois.edu or calling us at (217) 244-7602.

GMAT/GRE Requirements

Applicants have the option of taking the GMAT or GRE, but we require one of these examinations for admission consideration.

Official results from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) must be sent to the Illinois MBA by Pearson VUE. If you take the GMAT more than once, the Admissions Committee considers only the highest score. To be valid, the test must have been taken within five years of the date you submit your application to the Illinois MBA. The Illinois MBA program code is VKRTK08.

Official GRE scores should be sent to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If you take the GRE more than once, the Admissions Committee only considers the highest score based on the total score of the verbal and quantitative sections. The test must be taken within five years of the date you submit your application to the Illinois MBA. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign school code is 1836. The department code should be left blank.

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TOEFL/IELTS Requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency. For Fall 2015 admission, your TOEFL or IELTS test must have been taken on or after August 24, 2013

Applicants who have taken the TOEFL should request the Educational Testing Service send scores to the Illinois MBA at institution code 1836; program code 02.

Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.

To learn whether or not you are required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS, please review the Graduate College's requiements for English proficiency. If you still find the English fluency requirements unclear, email the MBA office at mba@illinois.edu for clarification.

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Transcripts

We will review your application and make a final decision with scanned copies of your transcripts and degree certificates that have been uploaded to the application or mailed to us. If you are admitted to the Illinois MBA and decide to accept the admission offer, the University of Illinois will require that you send official and original copies of your transcripts and degree certificates in a sealed envelope from all post-secondary institutions that are listed on your application. We recommend that you mail these official transcripts directly to the MBA Admissions Office at:

Illinois MBA Admissions
3019 Business Instructional Facility
515 E. Gregory Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820

Transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation certified by an officer of the institution issuing the document or by an official employed by the United States Embassy or Consulate. Transcripts should indicate all subjects studied, all grades or examination results in each subject (whether passed or failed), and all degrees and diplomas earned. Transcripts must have official seals and the signature of the institution's registrar.

If you earned your post-secondary degree(s) outside of the United States, you may want to refer to these Minimum Admissions Requirements by Country to make sure you meet the degree requirements of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Resume

The MBA program requires that you submit a copy of your resume with your application. In some countries, it is common to use a curriculum vitae (CV) instead of a resume. For business school admissions, we expect you to know how to create a resume. For a better understanding of the differences between a resume and a CV, click here.

Required Essays

We require two short essays that can be completed on your online application, but feel free to answer these essays in a word processor and then copy and paste to your online application.

  • Short Essay #1 – Please explain two ways in which you are eager to contribute to the Illinois community, inside and/or outside of the classroom?You can discuss specific electives, programs, extracurricular activities, community service, etc. (1,000 character maximum, including spaces)
  • Short Essay #2 – What differentiates you from others? You can discuss character traits, special talents, etc. Feel free to be creative and write about anything that you think the Admissions Committee will find interesting. (1,000 character maximum, including spaces)

We require two full essays to be uploaded with your online application as individual documents.

  • Full Essay #1 (Personal Statement) – Please upload your personal statement that answers the following questions, 1 through 4, in one essay. Take time to reflect and consider the direction you want to take your professional career. Remember to write a cohesive essay, complete with a thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, and a comprehensive conclusion. (maximum of 750 words, double-spaced)
      1. What are your short- and long-term goals?
      2. Please briefly discuss your career history to date. What capabilities have you gained through your professional experience?
      3. What skills or knowledge will an MBA education give you that you currently lack, but that you need to realize your goals?
      4. What specific electives, programs, extracurricular activities, etc. at the College of Business will prepare you to realize your goals?

  • Full Essay #2 (Choose essay a, b, or c) – Please upload an essay that addresses one of the following three prompts. (400-word maximum, double-spaced)
      1. What is the greatest obstacle or setback that you have overcome, either personally or professionally? How did that experience help you grow as an individual and prepare you for future success?
      2. Tell us about your most significant leadership experience.
      3. Tell us about a time when your efforts positively influenced someone else’s life.

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Optional Essays

You can use this optional essay for one of the two purposes below. If you opt to write an additional essay, you will need to upload it as a document to your online application. Please note that no preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. (400-word maximum, double-spaced)

      1. Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your test score or grades demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain. Also, it is appropriate to discuss any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be made aware.
      2. If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have been unable to discuss in other areas of the application, you can do so in this essay.

Recommendation Letters

You are required to submit two letters of recommendation with your application, but we will accept additional letters of recommendation in support of your application. If you only submit two letters of recommendation, they should both be professional recommendations who are able to address your strengths and areas for improvement. Only use a recommendation from a former or current professor if you have worked for or with him or her in a professional capacity. The third recommendation letter is optional if you would like to provide the Admissions Committee with another perspective.

Admissions Interview

Admissions interviews are by invitation only. Although we prefer on-campus interviews, we make accommodations for students unable to make it to campus by offering a Skype video interview. The interview is evaluative and provides the Admissions Committee with additional information on your qualifications and career goals. Students who interview on campus may also have the opportunity to talk with current students, observe a class, and take a guided tour. Invitations to interview will be sent by email.

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Notification of Decision

The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications after the Early Decision deadline (October 5, 2014). Decisions are made on completed applications only. Applicants are notified of the decision regarding their admission by email, and in some cases, by postal mail.

For those who are invited and complete their admissions interview, a final decision is generally released within two weeks following the interview. If the decision takes longer than two weeks following the interview, you may e-mail your interviewer for clarification as to the expected notification date.

If you receive a deny decision from the Admissions Committee, that decision is final for the year for which you applied. The Admissions Committee does not reconsider decisions for the same term. However, you are welcome to re-apply for admission to a later term.

Waitlist Tips

If you were placed on the waitlist, please review our FAQ on waitlist tips to learn ways you can strengthen your application.

Please mail or fax any waitlist documentation to us at:

MBA Waitlist Administration
3019 Business Instructional Facility
515 E. Gregory Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone:  (217) 244-7602  (217) 244-7602
Fax: (217) 333-1156
Email: mba@illinois.edu

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Deferral of Admission

The Illinois MBA will defer admission to the program for one year on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Admissions Office to discuss your situation. The Illinois MBA will defer admission for joint-degree applicants for one year if they choose to start the other program first.

Matriculation

Regular MBA students must complete 72 credit hours and be enrolled as full-time students for two years of study. Joint-degree students must complete 60 business credit hours and be enrolled as a full-time MBA student for a minimum of three semesters in the MBA program; the first two semesters must be taken consecutively beginning in the fall. Joint-degree students must also complete the degree requirements of their joint program before the MBA degree will be conferred.

Transfer Policy

Because of the uniqueness of our curriculum, it is not possible to transfer any credit from another school.

If you have already earned an MBA from another college or university within the United States, you are not eligible for admission to the Illinois MBA. If you have earned an MBA outside of the United States, you will need to provide a letter of justification as to why the Illinois MBA is not a duplicate degree program.

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