Application & Deadlines

Application Process

To apply online, you will need the Program Code (for M.S. study is 10KS0130MS; Ph.D. study is 10KS0130PHD) and, applicants must indicate their field of specialization or area of research interest. By using the online system, your application is available to us immediately upon completion of the payment transaction. Please read all instructions carefully before starting the application process.

Please do not send copies of your online application to the Department. For questions regarding the application process, contact the Department Graduate Admissions Officer.

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Application Package

The following requirements must be submitted for an applicant to be considered for admission and financial support.

  1. Transcripts and certificates of degree*
  2. One-page statement of purpose**
  3. Resume
  4. Three letters of reference
  5.  GRE Score optional (waived) For more information see here /frequently-asked-questions/GRE)
  6. TOEFL and/or IELTS score (international students only)
  1. Non-refundable application processing fee ($70 domestic/$90 international)
    At this time, our department does not provide application fee waivers. However, the application fee may be waived in some instances. Please see here: for more information about the application fee requirements, fee waivers and eligibility. International applicants are not eligible for an application fee waiver unless coming under a valid exchange agreement that has an approved application fee waiver. 

*Final or original transcripts will only be required if admission is offered.

**One page academic statement of purpose (1000 words) and personal statement short answer questions (250 words).

Academic Statement of Purpose
Please use the Academic Statement of Purpose to describe (within 1000 words): (1) the substantive scholarly question you are interested in exploring in graduate study, (2) your academic background, intellectual interest, and any training, research, or other experiences that have prepared you for graduate study, (3) how our program would help you achieve your intellectual goals, (4) any specific faculty members, if applicable, whose research interests align with your interests, and (5) your professional goals.

Personal Statement
Please use the Personal Statement short answer questions on the application to describe (within 250 words max): 1) the impact of experiences or challenges on your intellectual and personal development; (2) your potential to foster a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect for scholars with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences, promoting productive and positive collaboration.

Additionally, consider incorporating information on (1) how your educational, socio-cultural, or geographic background can enrich graduate study at the University of Illinois; (2) your sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion in academic, professional, or civic realms, demonstrating through work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership in student or community organizations, and its direct contribution to the university's intellectual environment; (3) any encounters with financial hardship due to family economic circumstances; (4) if you are the first generation in your family to graduate from a four-year college.


The University of Illinois institution code for reporting test scores is 1836. International applicants receiving financial assistance from the Department are not required to complete the Financial Certification Form. International applicants admitted with outside financial assistance (government scholarships, corporate support, or personal funds) must submit the Financial Certification Form. Find more information and details regarding evidence of financial resources for international applicants on the university's graduate website.

Application Deadline (Fall Admissions)

*PhD: December 15
*MS: February 15

Graduate applications are accepted for the spring and fall semesters, however spring applications are accepted only by request of a MatSE faculty member. Fall applicants to the graduate programs are admitted at large. Students admitted to the PhD program typically interview with professors who have openings for new students and choose a research advisor within one month of arrival on campus or sooner. Incoming PhD students are encouraged to contact potential research advisors early on after they have accepted offer of admission.  Incoming MS students are assigned an academic advisor at the beginning of their first semester. The review of applications typically begins prior to the deadline and early offers of admission may be extended to outstanding applicants. Early submission is encouraged. Applicants can check the status of their application at
 Please note: Information may not be immediately available as some documents (i.e. test score reports) sent directly to the institution will be matched and manually uploaded to the application. 

Additional Information

General information on graduate study at the University of Illinois is available from the Graduate College. The Grainger College of Engineering also hosts Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE) which is designed to give talented underrepresented students from across the nation an opportunity to visit our campus early in the application process in order to learn about the opportunities at Illinois.

Schedule a department visit, or get in touch.       Contact Us

*Spring Prospective Student Visits: PhD applicants offered admission for Fall will be invited to visit our department. Additional information, including registration, will be provided via email to admitted PhD students.