Admissions FAQs

For admissions questions, visit the Graduate College. For general information on graduate studies at the University of Illinois, see the Graduate College Handbook and Policies. For program specific information, please contact the Graduate Office (217-333-1083).

Frequently Asked Questions


Question: Can I apply in the Fall, and start in the Spring?

Answer: Yes, the deadline for applications for the spring semester is October 1st.

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Question: I am an international applicant, and English is not my primary language. Do I need to take the TOEFL? Is there a minimum score for admissions?

Answer: If your native language is not English, you must submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

If your native language is not English and you are applying for a graduate assistantship, you must also submit a TSE (Test of Spoken English) score. The TOEFL and TSE tests can usually be taken at the same time. The tests must have been completed within the last two years.

Please request that the scores be sent to International Admissions, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 901 West Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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Question: What factors do you consider when reviewing a graduate application?

Answer: The graduate admissions committee carefully reviews all prior academic work, standardized test performance, writing ability, and letters of reference. They are charged with identifying students with the aptitude, interests, and skills required for success in the graduate program. Preference will be given to applicants who are strong in all areas, but exceptional strength in one area may compensate for relative weakness in another.

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Question: Are there minimum GPA requirements for admission?

Answer: The Graduate College at the University of Illinois requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for any postgraduate studies. In exceptional situations, the department may appeal to the Graduate College for conditional acceptance on probationary status. However, the applicant must provide a compelling rationale that prior academic performance is not a good predictor of present ability to succeed in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.

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Question: Is the GRE required for all applicants?

Answer: Yes, all students must take the GRE general test, and arrange to have the results sent to the department by the application deadline date. The Institution Code for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is 1836 and the Department Code is 0616 (listed as "Public Health" in the GRE booklet).

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Question: I requested letters of reference from people who are in a good position to evaluate my academic ability, but they are also very busy. How can I make sure they write the letters and mail them in by the deadline?

Answer: It is wise to request letters of reference well before the application deadline, and follow up with an e-mail, letter, or phone call reminding the referee of the deadline (or, if they have completed the letter, thanking them for their efforts). As noted earlier, it is usually helpful to give each referee a copy of your personal statement and/or a resume. You may contact the Graduate Program Office to check on the status of the application, but it is your responsibility to insure the letters arrive in time.

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Question: I sent in my application several weeks ago, but haven't received a confirmation. How can I tell if my application is complete?

Answer: We realize the wait can be difficult, but be assured that we are moving through the review process as quickly as possible. We will inform you of the admissions decision when it is approved by the faculty.

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Question: The program literature states "there are a limited number of graduate assistantships available on a competitive basis." How much do these assistantships pay? How much competition is there?

Answer: Full-time graduate students at the Urbana campus may be employed as teaching or research assistants, at 25%, 33%, or 50%, for the nine-month academic year. Appointments are for one year but can be applied for in subsequent years. Assistantships held for the academic year carry stipends of approximately $9,500 for a 50% appointment and $4,750 for a 25% appointment; and include a waiver of tuition and some fees.

Most students accepted into the graduate program are offered a teaching or research assistantship. If you wish to apply for an assistantship, please complete the section pertaining to financial aid in the application for admission. However, note that appointing assistants occurs after the student has been admitted, which is why we typically do not guarantee an assistantship when we offer admission.

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Question: What kinds of assistantships are available?

Answer: The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health annually provide a limited number of teaching and research assistantships. These assistantships serve as a valuable source of experience in research and teaching and, thus, graduate students should endeavor to obtain both kinds of appointments during their period of study. Assistantships which are for more than 25% include tuition and fee waivers and a minimum stipend of approximately.

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Question: Is financial aid other than assistantships available?

Answer: A variety of financial aid sources are available for graduate study at the University of Illinois. For more information, see the financial aid office (link to

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Question: How much time do I have to complete my degree?

Answer: The Graduate College requires that master's degrees be completed within five years of first registering in the Graduate College, and requires that candidates for doctoral degrees complete their programs within seven years.

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Question: How much of my coursework do I have to complete at the University of Illinois?

Answer: One half or more of the courses applied towards a master's degree must be earned in courses meeting on the University of Illinois campuses (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, or Springfield), or in courses meeting in other locations approved by the Graduate College.

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