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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.

Admissions decisions are made on specific dates for Round 1 (November 3) and Round 2 (January 19) applicants. For the final round (March 16), decisions are made on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed and decisions are made until all seats are filled. It is to your advantage to have your application completed and supplemental materials submitted prior to the deadline dates to ensure a prompt review of your application.


Applications may be submitted online by going to Illinois MBA Application. The entire application may be completed online, but if you need to mail any supplemental application materials, send them to:
Illinois MBA Admissions Office
3019 Business Instructional Facility
515 East 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 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. Print your name on the face of the check or money order and attach it to the application. The application fee is non-refundable.

Application Deadlines

The Illinois MBA is now accepting applications for Fall 2014 admission. The application deadlines are as follows:

  • Early Application Deadline: October 5, 2014
  • Round 1 (Final Deadline 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

Test Deadlines

GMAT/GRE taken no earlier than:
August 2010
TOEFL/IELTS taken no earlier than:
August 2013
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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 or calling us at (217) 244-7602.

Notification of Decision

The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications after the first-round deadline. 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.

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.


Applicants have the option of taking the GMAT or GRE. 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. The test must have been taken in August 2009 or after. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign school code is VKRTK08.

Official GRE scores should be sent to the Illinois MBA. 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 in August 2009 or later. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign school code is 1836. The department code should be left blank.


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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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.

→ Find out about residency requirements at Illinois.


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 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.

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.

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.


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 credit hours and be enrolled as a full-time student for a minimum of three semesters in the MBA program; the first two semesters must be taken consecutively beginning in the fall.

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

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Personal Statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to discuss why you would like to earn an MBA from Illinois. There is no set formula for what to write, but here are a few general tips:

  • Be original: Write about how the Illinois MBA can help you achieve your professional goals by discussing your current and previous employment opportunities, life goals, etc. This is an opportunity for you to tell your story. Try to differentiate yourself from the other applicants by telling a unique story.
  • Research the Illinois MBA and incorporate an understanding of the core values of the program into your personal statement. For example, teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills are critical success factors at Illinois. When telling your story, try to incorporate examples of how you possess these skills into your personal statement.
  • Spelling and grammar are very important as writing is a critical component of any MBA program. Be sure to double-check your statement prior to submission.

Additional Essay

If you feel there are any parts of your application that are weak or need explanation we invite you to write an additional statement addressing these issues.

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.

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