Apply to our MS/LIS Program

What are the requirements for admission?

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

While a bachelor's degree is required for admission, your degree can be in any discipline.

The MS/LIS degree program is now test-optional for the standardized test requirement (i.e., GRE and GMAT). If you feel that your test scores reflect your potential and promise in graduate school, you can submit your scores for admission consideration. All other applicants, regardless of undergraduate GPA, are not required to submit a standardized test score. We hope to alleviate the financial burden and heightened anxiety associated with taking a standardized test. Applicants that do not submit a test score will not be disadvantaged throughout our application review process, which is holistic and comprehensive.

In addition to the online application, admission requirements include:

  • Three letters of reference
    If you graduated within the last three years of your proposed graduate program start term, one letter of recommendation must be from a faculty member with whom you have taken a class. The two remaining letters should be professional in nature, written by faculty, employers, supervisors, professors, or others who are able to comment on your professional and educational goals as well as your aptitude for success in a graduate program. 
  • A resumé
  • A personal statement

International applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of having passed an English proficiency test. The University accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Duolingo tests.

While our English proficiency requirements are higher than those set by the Graduate College, all applicants are encouraged to apply to the iSchool; however, those who meet or exceed our requirements have a greater chance for admission to our program.

Note: Our School's Institution code is 1836.

Test Grad. College Min. for Limited Status Grad. College Min. for Full Status iSchool's Recommended Scores
TOEFL 79 103 104 total
26 in subsections
IELTS 6.5 7.5 7.5 total
7.5 in subsections
Duolingo 115 135 135 or higher
135 in subsections

The University's Department of Linguistics serves as a resource for currently enrolled Illinois graduate students who wish to improve English-language proficiency.

How do I apply?

To apply, visit the Graduate College's application page, review the information, and select the “Apply Now” button. Follow the instructions for applying as well as uploading your academic credentials, resumé, and personal statement. An application fee is required, and the amount is determined by your citizenship and/or visa status.

We are looking for students who are creative, curious, motivated, and prepared to be leaders in the field. Your personal statement (~750-1,000 words, 12pt Arial font, single spaced) should include your objectives for the degree, including:

  1. how your educational background, work experience, and other relevant experience will contribute to your experience at the iSchool; and
  2. how the degree will help you create a strategy for accomplishing your goals and aspirations using the following resources and opportunities: (a) courses; (b) faculty, staff, and other resources; (c) pre-professional opportunities such as internships, practica, and volunteer work; (d) strategies for engaging and networking with people, organizations, and potential employers; and (e) leadership and extracurricular opportunities at the iSchool and beyond.

Newly admitted students must enroll in their program within one year from the original chosen term of enrollment on their application. If eligible, admitted students can defer their entry term only once.

When are applications due?

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application materials before or on the final deadline in order to be considered for merit-based scholarships. Scholarships will be based on a holistic review of all submitted application materials.

Spring 2023 Admission
Application portal opens: June 1
Final application deadline: September 15
Decision notification date: October 18
Last day to accept admission offer: November 4

Fall 2023 Admission
Application portal opens: August 1  
Final application deadline: December 1
Decision notification date: February 1, 2023
Last day to accept admission offer: April 17

How will my application be evaluated?

Our Admissions Committee will evaluate your application as a whole, taking into account all submitted information. Only completed applications will be reviewed, and application materials will not be returned to the applicant.

Is there a process to appeal a denied decision? 

No, at this time appeal requests are not available and all decisions are final.

What if I have questions?

For more information, contact us! You can e-mail is-futurestudents@illinois.edu for answers to your questions.