Application Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions

Below are responses to some of the most frequently asked questions by prospective students. If you have any additional ones, please feel free to call or e-mail Penny Ames at (217) 333-7197 or 1-800-982-0914 or ischool-apply [at]

Instructions for filling out the online application

Online application can be found at:

Proposed Program: Select "Information Sciences" from the pull-down window. (This is for all programs in the school.)

Degree: From the pull-down window, you can select the degree. For the MS/LIS Leep online learning option, choose "LEEP Online."

NOTE: Applicants are only allowed to submit one application per year; i.e., you cannot apply to multiple programs in the same year (example: master's on-campus and master's online).  If an applicant has been denied and wishes to re-apply, he or she must wait one academic year before doing so.

Concentration: Choose your concentration from the pull-down window or choose "None" if not applicable.

Desired term of enrollment:

MS/IM on-campus - select spring or fall
MS/IM online learning - select spring or fall
MS/LIS on-campus - select spring, summer or fall
MS/LIS Leep online learning - select spring, summer or fall
CAS - select spring, summer or fall
PhD - fall only

Letters of References: Once you enter your referee's names and e-mail addresses, the application system will generate an e-mail to them with a special password allowing them access to the recommendation section of your application and specific instructions on what they need to do to complete the recommendation form and upload their letters of recommendation. Please note that notification emails will indicate "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" as the sender but will come from support [at] If they use a spam-blocking tool, please ask them to add this email address to their list of known/safe addresses.

You do not have to have your application completed or submitted in order for your referees to complete the recommendation process and they can submit their letters after you have submitted your application as well. The preferred method of recommendation letter delivery is through the online application system, but if your referees do not want to submit their letters via your online application, they have several other options:

1. Mail the letter to our physical address:

iSchool Admissions
501 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820

2. E-mail the letter as an attachment to ischool-apply [at]

3. Fax letter to (217) 244-3302.

Statement Section:

Section 1 - Upload a professional resume.

Section 2 - Upload a school-specific personal statement; NOT the statement that is being requested on the online application.

Tips for writing essays for the MS/LIS program
Tips for writing essays for the MS/IM program

Program Specific Question #1: Upload the research statement for the PhD program.

Field of Specialization:  You may leave this blank. Once your application is submitted you will receive an email request to fill out a preference form that ranks your area of interest.

Financial Aid Preference: You should leave this blank; we do not use financial information for our admission review process. Please see this link for information about various financial resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Application Deadlines?

Please see this link for the deadlines for all applications to our programs:

Do I have to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE)?

The GRE test is only required if an applicant's GPA is below a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale or a "B" average. We calculate GPA using the applicant's last two years of undergraduate studies if the degree was completed in four years and the last three years if the degree was earned in five or more years. Please note that if the degree is still in progress, we will calculate the GPA on the last three semesters of study or a minimum of 45 hours. If the applicant has taken any graduate level work or has a higher degree, then we average that GPA with the undergraduate GPA. If the average GPA calculated is a 3.0 or above on a 4.0 grade scale, then the GRE is NOT required. If an applicant has a JD, MD, or a PhD degree they would be exempt from the GRE requirement. You can find out more information on the GRE test at the Educational Testing Service Web site.

How can I check the status of my application once it has been submitted?

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a communication from the school; this will come to you from our Graduate Application Tool System that we use for admission; the communication will come via the ischool-apply [at] e-mail address. You will be able to track the receipt of your recommendation letters; transcripts and the completion of your application via a link provide with in this communication. Please add the ischool-apply [at] e-mail account to your address book to ensure that our emails do not end up in your spam folder. You could miss important communications concerning to your application status. You can also go back into your online application to see if your letters of reference have been submitted, or you can ischool-apply [at] (e-mail) and inquire about the status of your file.

I have a change of address and/or e-mail address and have already submitted my application.

It is very important that you keep the School updated of any address or e-mail change. These forms of communication are generally used by our office. Please go into your application and make the necessary changes as well as ischool-apply [at] (e-mail) us any changes.

A note about e-mail addresses: When supplying an e-mail address in your online application, it is best to use a personal e-mail address, such as Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo, etc. as using a work or educational institutional e-mail address can sometimes delay or prevent you from receiving communications from the School or the University due to spam blocks set on those e-mail accounts.


It is now required that all applicants upload their transcripts to their online applications. This can be an official or unofficial copy. Instructions on how to upload are within the online application. Official transcripts will not be needed until an official admission decision has been communicated. At that time, please have your official send directly to the School at the address noted below. Generally, we do not need transcripts from community colleges unless you received a Board of Governors, Trustees or General Studies degree. In this case, those are needed. If you will be applying for the School Librarian Licensure program, ALL transcripts will be needed.

Send transcripts to:

iSchool Admissions
501 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6211

Transcripts must come directly from the University in a sealed envelope. For applicants whose last name may be different than what is listed on the transcript, please instruct the registrar's office to note the new name on the transcript.

Declaration of Finance and Verification Form

All international applicants must submit the Declaration of Finance form and proof of funding before their I-20 can be processed. This form can be completed either when applying to the program or after an admit decision has been communicated.

Appeal for Reconsideration Form

Denied applicants are able to submit an appeal for reconsideration using the iSchool's Appeal for Reconsideration Form. The appeal must be submitted by the date listed on the form. For questions contact ischool-apply [at]

General Information

The applicant's complete file is reviewed by the Admissions Committee which evaluates the application as a whole, taking all submitted information into account. Only complete application files will be reviewed and no credentials will be returned to the applicant. All application materials become the property of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and no item will be returned to the applicant.

Admitted MS/LIS, MS/IM, or CAS students may defer their enrollment for a maximum of one year and admitted files will be kept for one year after date of admission. Thereafter, he/she must reapply.

We welcome students from all backgrounds. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prohibits discrimination based on such characteristics as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Resources to assist domestic underrepresented applicants are available via the Graduate College.