Admissions

Please see the Future Students section of our website for specific application requirements, deadlines, and forms.

Application Review

All applications are assessed by the Doctoral Studies Committee. The DSC then invites promising candidates for a telephone interview. The interview gives the applicant and the committee an opportunity to explore in more depths various aspects of the application. It is also used to assess a candidate's ability to think analytically and communicate ideas effectively.

Applicants will know by the end of February if they will be invited to interview for the program.

Financial Aid and Enrollment Status

The iSchool is generally able to offer support for four years. Continued support decisions depend upon remaining in good standing and making progress toward graduation. Students are assessed in annual reviews from the student’s annual review committee (Advisor and one other faculty member) and the Doctoral Studies Committee (DSC). Support usually takes the form of the following, which typically are awarded throughout a student's course of study, depending upon funding opportunities and school needs:

  1. Research assistantships (typically 50%, or 20 hours per week)
  2. Teaching assistantships (typically 50%, or 20 hours per week) and/or
  3. Fellowships, which are tied to the dissertation process and students may submit an application for the 4th year; fellowships are only available to students who have passed the dissertation proposal exam. Exceptions can be made, e.g., students may apply to start receiving a fellowship in the term in which they take the proposal exam. Any sub-set of a 12 month duration of the fellowship can be applied for, and the fellowship does not have to be received over 12 continuous months.

These forms of financial aid generally include full or partial tuition and fee waivers for 11 months (2 out of 3 months in summer). Students will owe additional fees assessed by the University of Illinois, approximately $550 (in Fall and Spring) and $300 (in Summer) (see http://www.registrar.illinois.edu/tf-rates-term for details).

Students should work with their advisors to express their assistantship interests to Executive Associate Dean Linda Smith, who coordinates assignments each term (fall, spring, summer) for the following term (spring, summer, fall). Financial support is awarded at the time of admission, and information about the overall support awarded will be included in the admissions letter. However, your form of financial support may vary from semester to semester. Please note: closely monitoring emails from Dean Smith about assistantship assignments in upcoming semesters is of crucial importance for finding
appointments suited to your needs and interests.

The Graduate Assistant Employee Orientation, which is offered through the Graduate College, provides orientation for teaching, research, graduate, and pre-professional assistants on terms of appointment, waivers, stipends and benefits (http://www.grad.illinois.edu/assistantships). We expect our students to attend this orientation. We also require our PhD students who TA to take FERPA training (https://registrar.illinois.edu/training-ferpa).

Students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress (minimum GPA 3.25 on a 4.0 scale) in order to be eligible for continued support. Students holding fellowships must register as full-time students (12 hours in Fall and Spring and 4 hours in Summer Session II). Those holding 50% assistantships awarded and/or administered by the school must be registered for at least 10 hours each semester during the academic year. Students with assistantships in the library or elsewhere on campus must follow the enrollment requirements of the units employing them. Students may seek additional opportunities in the forms of hourly funding or additional assistantships, but total assistantship appointments may not exceed 67% in order to remain eligible for full or partial tuition and fee waivers. See the Graduate College handbook for details, including restrictions on % time
employment for international students.

Graduate hourly positions are usually supplemental to assistantships at the doctoral level, and do not come with stipends or tuition waivers. See also Graduate College resources for seeking funding: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/funding-jobs.