How to Get into UIUC - Admission Requirements + Tips

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA
May 6, 2024
8 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/6/24

Read on to learn how to get into the University of Illinois.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is a globally renowned institution, attracting students from all corners of the world. Aspiring to join UIUC is an exciting journey, one that blends personal growth, endless opportunities, and academic rigor.

For those who are eager to learn how to get into UIUC, this article is your guide. We'll delve into the admission requirements, the application process, and share valuable tips to ensure your place at the university.

Whether you're a high school student planning your future or a transfer student looking for a new academic home, this article has all the answers you need to navigate your path to UIUC. It equips you with the knowledge and tools necessary to turn your academic aspirations into reality.

UIUC Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for UIUC is 43.7%, with about 35,467 undergraduate students enrolling in the most recent admissions cycle. The school has over 150 degree programs, allowing applicants to apply to any program. 

There are various factors affecting the acceptance rate and whether an applicant will be accepted or not. Below are we’ve outlined some of these factors:

The Application Size

The total number of applications received in a year can affect the UIUC acceptance rate. There will be increased competition and a low acceptance rate when the applications are many. For example, over 67,000 applications were submitted in the most recent admission cycle.

High Selectivity

UIUC is known for its high academic standards and rigors. Hence, their admission typically seeks applicants with strong academic records, which makes their admission process highly selective.

Admission requirements into UIUC include your GPA score, standardized test scores, and completion of the required coursework. These requirements can affect whether an applicant will be admitted into the university. You should have the following: 

  • A minimum high school 3.7 GPA
  • Have A grades in your high school courses
  • Score 31 or above on the ACT
  • Score 1460 or above on the SAT
  • Graduate as part of the top 10% in your class.

Having all these requirements will increase your chances of getting admission into UIUC.

Some factors strengthen your application to be admitted into the university. Such factors include extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. They all play a significant role in the admission decisions.

Choice of Program

Some programs are more competitive than others. Highly sought-after majors, like engineering, business, and marketing, will have lower acceptance rates than other programs. 

Residency Status

UIUC has different acceptance rates for in-state and out-of-state applicants. Most public universities often reserve admission spots for their in-state residents, which can affect the college's overall acceptance rate. For example, about 67% of applicants who are residents are admitted, as opposed to 57% of non-residents accepted in the recent admission cycle.

Is UIUC Hard to Get Into?

Getting into UIUC can be hard because of the selective admission process and acceptance rate. Competitiveness during the admission process depends on the specific program you are applying for, your academic credentials, and the number of applicants who applied that year.

So, make sure you are familiar with the specific admission requirements for your chosen program and do your best to present a strong application that accurately shows your academic abilities and achievements.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Admission Requirements

To get into the UIUC, set your target SAT score at 1460 or higher or your target ACT score at 31 or above. You should also strive for A’s in all of your classes and maintain a GPA of at least 3.7. Differentiate your application by engaging in volunteer work and leadership roles and crafting memorable essays.

To give yourself the best chance of acceptance into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, make sure you are familiar with the school’s specific criteria for admission. Keep reading to learn more about the University of Illinois admission requirements for freshmen, transfers, and international students.

Admission Requirements for Freshmen Applicant

Here are the admission requirements for freshmen applicants:

High School Diploma

A major requirement for admission is a high school diploma or its equivalent. You must have completed a high school diploma from an accredited institution to be considered for admission to UIUC.

High School Coursework

The admission committee expects the applicant to have a strong high school curriculum experience. This curriculum will serve as a strong foundation for university applicants. Below are some of the subjects that a high school curriculum should have:

  • Four years of English
  • Three or three and half years are required for mathematics, which includes algebra, geometry, and advanced mathematics.
  • Two years of social sciences
  • Two years of lab science, including biology, chemistry, and physics
  • Two years of foreign language

This high school coursework is an important building block for applicants seeking admission into UIUC.

Standardized Test Scores

Although UIUC is test-optional, applicants should have high scores on their standardized tests to increase their admission chances. Most students who are given admission have a high school average of B+ or above. 

To beat the competition, applicants strive to score between 1400 to 1560 on the SAT. This way, you will meet the University of Illinois SAT requirements. To be a competitive applicant, you should aim to meet or exceed the average score, which would be 1460.

Extracurricular Activities

It is important you include information about your extracurricular activities in your application. Examples of extracurricular activities include leadership experiences, community services, and volunteering work. Participating in meaningful extracurricular activities can increase your chances of admission.


Writing a good and engaging college essay is essential in increasing your chances of admission. An essay highlights your unique qualities that test scores and transcripts do not show. It also highlights your personality, commitment to learning, and eagerness to contribute to the college community. 

Class Rank

If your high school provides a class rank, you should submit it. This way, you improve your chances of being given admission because the rank provides context for your academic performance. However, it is important to note that UIUC does not make class rank compulsory. Hence, if your rank is low, do not bother to submit it. 

Admission Requirements for Transfer Students

Below are the admission requirements for transfer students who want to continue their education at UIUC:

College Coursework

The applicant should have completed or be in the process of completing a minimum number of college credits, which is about 30 semester hours of its equivalent. This is a general requirement; the specific college credit requirements may vary based on the major you want to be admitted to. 

GPA Requirement

The minimum GPA requirement for transfer applicants applying to UIUC ranges from 2.5 to 3.5. However, this varies based on the major the applicant wants to study. A GPA of 3.00 is usually required for transfer coursework and is important in the application process.

Extracurricular Activities and Essays

Like the first-year application, transfer students must also include information about their extracurricular activities. They are also to submit these essays during their application process.

Course Prerequisites

Some of the majors or programs may have specific prerequisite coursework requirements. Hence, you must complete this coursework for your intended major or are in the process of completing it.

Test Scores

Unlike the freshmen applicants, transfer students are not required to submit their standardized test scores. They can only submit it after completing part of the specified number of college credit hours.

Residency Status

The UIUC may have different admission requirements for in-state and out-of-state transfer students like the freshmen. Hence, transfer students must check the school website to know the requirements asked of them.

Admission Requirements for International Applicants

International students are required to meet the same admission requirements as first-year applicants with one exception: they must submit either TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test scores to prove their English proficiency, regardless of citizenship or residency. 

How to Apply to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

To apply to UIUC, you’ll need to complete the school’s online application. Before starting the process, you should look into the following:

  • Be sure you meet all the requirements
  • Select your major from the list of programs of study
  • Read the application instructions
  • Read the additional information for domestic, transfer, and international applicants.

Ensure you do not leave out any requirements when completing the online application.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Application Process and Deadlines

Knowing the application process of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whether as a freshman, international student, or transfer student, is important. Below, we’ll outline the step-by-step process you’ll need to follow to apply to UIUC:

Choose Your Category

Identify your applicant category before starting your application. Different categories of applicants apply to UIUC. Examples of such categories include freshmen, transfer students, and international applicant categories. This set of applicants may have specific application requirements and procedures.

Create an Account

First-year applicants applying to UIUC can apply through Myillini or the Common App. The school does not give preference based on the application type. Transfer applicants applying to the school can do so through Myillini, the student portal.

Select Your Campus and Major

In your application, you should specify that you are applying to the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois. After this, choose the program you intend to study. Some of the programs have requirements peculiar to them.

Complete the Application Form

Ensure you fill out the online application carefully with accurate and complete information. The form will require your personal information, academic history, essays, and extracurricular activities.

Pay the Application Fee

After completing your application, you will pay $50 and $75 nonrefundable domestic and international fees, respectively. Sometimes, the fee varies depending on the applicant category. Also, there may be fee waiver options for eligible students.

Submit the Required Documents

You must submit documents based on your category after applying for admission to UIUC. These documents are important in your admission process. 

Monitor Your Application Status

You can monitor your application status through the application platform you choose. The portal will keep you abreast of the status. You can receive updates and notifications regarding your application.

Check for Financial Aids

As an applicant, you can explore various financial aid options UIUC offers. This way, you will reduce the financial burdens on you regarding your admission into the university. Hence, review the scholarship application deadlines and complete the necessary financial aid forms.

Respond to Admission Offers

If you receive an offer of admission, ensure you review the terms and conditions carefully as stated in the offer letter. Also, you may be required to deposit a commitment fee to secure your spot in the university. After this, follow the enrollment instructions provided by the school.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for first-year applicants seeking admission into UIUC is January 5. However, the school gives an early deadline of November 1. The application for admission opens on September 1, and the admission notification for the early action is on January 26.

Tips on How to Get Into UIUC

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is known for its innovative research, academic excellence, and tight-knit community. With all these features, most high school students aspire to join this prestigious institution. Here Are a few  tips you can apply to  increase your chances of acceptance:

Start Early

It is good you start preparing early for your application to UIUC. Preparing early gives you ample time to plan your coursework and extracurricular activities to meet the admission requirements. It also helps you to build a strong foundation.

Research Your Program

There are a wide range of programs offered by UIUC. Each of these programs has its own admission criteria and competitiveness. Ensure you research your intended major well and thoroughly understand the specific requirements. Also, ensure that your academic and extracurricular activities align with your intended program.

Maintain a Strong GPA

Academic excellence is a fundamental requirement for admission for applicants into UIUC. Hence, you should strive to maintain a high GPA throughout high school or from the school you are coming from if you are a transfer student. This way, you meet UIUC GPA requirements and boost your chances of admission by taking challenging courses, including honors.

Score High in Standardized Tests

You can choose to submit your test  ( ACT or SAT) scores. If you want to submit the scores, prepare well for the test and ensure you aim for good scores. This is because your strong test scores can strengthen your application.

Write Compelling Essays

Crafting good essays and personal statements is an opportunity to show the review committee your personality and values and why you should be admitted into the university. Ensure you demonstrate your passion for your chosen program and make it look original. You can take time to learn how to craft a compelling essay from experts.

Engage in Meaningful Extracurricular Activities

Engaging in extracurricular activities strengthens your application and makes you invaluable. You can seek out volunteer opportunities and leadership roles that align with your interests and engage them actively.

Have Strong Letters of Recommendation

Obtain your letters from strong recommenders who you know can attest to your character, work ethic, and academic potential. These recommenders should also be able to name two specific examples of your accomplishments and academic abilities.

Highlight Diversity and Inclusion

As stated earlier in the article, UIUC is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion. If you have a unique background, ensure you include it in your application because it might interest the admission review committee.

Plan Your Coursework Well

Some courses are needed as prerequisites for your intended program in the university. Hence, ensure your high school courses meet the admission requirements of UIUC. Also, consult your high school administration to help you plan and align your curriculum with your intended program.

Apply for Scholarship and Financial Aid

UIUC has many scholarship opportunities for interested students. Scholarships and other financial aid can make your education smooth. Stay updated about scholarship application deadlines and complete all the related forms.

Cross Check Your Application

Ensure you submit a complete application. Cross-check several times to ensure you have submitted all the required documents and information. A complete application can ensure your admission is completed on time.

Submit Your Application Before Deadline

Adherence to the application deadline is crucial in your application process. Hence, be aware of your application's deadline and submit it before that time. The admission review might consider only on-time applications.

Prepare for Interview

Some programs may require an interview as part of the admission process. You should prepare well if you are called for an interview. You can check common interview questions online and practice your response to them.

Show Your Continued Interest

You should show your continued interest in the school by checking out information on them. You can attend virtual sessions and connect with the students or the alumni. Being enthusiastic shows your curiosity about the school and getting to know them better.

Should I Apply to UIUC?

You should apply to UIUC because of the opportunities and benefits you will be exposed to. Examples of the benefits include affordability, a strong reputation, extracurricular opportunities, and homely campus environment. 

The decision to choose a university is an important one because it can be life-changing.   The above are reasons why you should consider applying to UIUC. Admission into the school will be a good foundation for your academic and professional future.


Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions about getting into UIUC:

1. Does UIUC Consider Standardized Test Scores in the Admissions Process?

UIUC temporarily adopted a test-optional policy in 2021 because of the pandemic that ravaged the whole of the previous year. The standardized test scores are not required, but you can submit them if you take the test.

2. Does UIUC Consider Extracurricular Activities in the Admission Process?

Extracurricular activities are important in the admission process at  UIUC. They demonstrate your leadership skills and other activities that you are involved in outside of academics. Quality activities that align with your passion strengthen your application.

3. Are There Specific Admission Requirements for Different Majors at UIUC?

Some programs at UIUC have specific admission requirements attached to them. Some of them have prerequisite courses. Hence, applicants should research the admission requirements for their intended program.

4. Does UIUC Have Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students?

UIUC has scholarships and Financial Aid for Students to help ease their financial burden. Hence, students should use this opportunity judiciously and apply for the scholarships. Check the ones you are eligible for and apply.

5. When Should I Start Preparing for the UIUC Application?

You should start preparing for your UIUC application early. You can begin during your high school. Start researching your intended program prerequisites to build a strong academic profile. You can also engage in extracurricular activities related to your planned program.

6. Is UIUC a Competitive University to Get Into?

Yes, UIUC is less competitive compared to other universities, especially for some programs. The acceptance rate is 60%, which shows that they accept more than half of their applicants. 

Final Thoughts

Conclusively, knowing how to get into UIUC is important for applicants who want to get into the university. This article is a comprehensive resource that will greatly assist the applicants in making informed decisions about the school. With proper research, dedication, and consideration of their goals, applicants will increase their chances of admission to the prestigious University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Good luck!

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