Illinois State University's graduate programs prepare students for scholarly, professional, and creative endeavors. Our nearly 3,000 graduate students call Illinois State home. You will find the University in the twin cities of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, a metropolitan area of 150,000 about midway (120 miles/200 kilometers) between the major cities of Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri.
We offer doctoral and master’s degree programs, with new programs being introduced each year. In addition to master’s and doctoral degrees, Illinois State offers dual and combined degrees, specializations and certificates. There are numerous opportunities to pursue research and engage across other disciplines.
Applicants are considered on the basis of their academic record and on other performance requirements determined by the individual programs/schools. These may include minimum GPAs, minimum scores on the GRE, GMAT or other standardized exam, personal statements or interviews, examples of work, or letters of recommendation.
In order to be admitted to ISU, a student must have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association.
All students need to present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Students seeking readmission or who have been formerly enrolled at Illinois State do not need to resubmit transcripts.
To be deemed official, transcripts must be sent electronically directly from the prior university to Admissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to:
Illinois State University
Office of Admissions
201 Hovey Hall
Campus Box 2200
Normal, IL 61790-2200
To better match your transcripts with your file, we recommend sending your transcripts after you've submitted your application. If your transcripts are showing up on your to do list after you've sent them, please call the Admissions office at (309) 438-2181.
New students are required to submit a $50 nonrefundable application fee or documentation for an application fee waiver. Your application will not be processed until the application fee or fee waiver verification is received. This fee or waiver must be received by the supporting document deadline.
The application fee is waived for McNair Scholars, Project 1000 applicants, and for current Illinois State graduate students applying for a different program at the same degree level. Applicants may petition the Graduate School for an economic hardship fee waiver; appropriate verification may be requested.
In addition to the overall university requirements above, international students must also:
Although not required for admission, students who will be applying for an F-1 (student) visa must provide:
In addition to the overall Graduate School requirements above, a student applying to a master's program must also have a minimum 2.8 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work (approximately the junior and senior years).
The GRE and/or GMAT is required by many master's programs.
In addition to the overall Graduate School requirements above, a student applying for a specialist program must also:
In addition to the overall Graduate School requirements above, a student applying to a doctoral program must also:
Unlike for a bachelor's degree where all students apply with a common application and requirements, admission to a graduate program requires that you meet program-specific requirements at three levels:
An unconditional admission generally carries no academic restriction, though you may be expected to take some courses to make up for some undergraduate deficiencies.
A probationary admission may be granted to students who don't meet the minimum requirements of the program and the Graduate School but whose academic records demonstrate promise of high achievement. These students will be on probation when admitted and will frequently be given a trial period of one semester to meet specific requirements. Students who meet these requirements within the trial period will be taken off probation and admitted unconditionally; students who don't meet these requirements may be terminated from graduate studies at Illinois State at the end of the trial period.
A conditional admission is issued when the application for admission is incomplete because required supporting material is missing. This is not granted if a student is missing a required GRE or GMAT scores or if an international student is missing a TOEFL or IELTS scores. A provisional admission is generally for one semester only. The student may be terminated from graduate studies at Illinois State if the missing documentation is not provided within one semester.
As a current student you may be interested in pursuing a graduate certificate while you're currently pursuing a graduate degree program.
In order to be eligible for a certificate, you must:
1. Submit an application for admission for each certificate program.
It is recommended that your certificate application be submitted by the preferred deadline for the application term.
Fall preferred application deadline: May 1
Spring preferred application deadline: November 1
2. The Office of Admissions will waive your application fee. Upon submission of your certificate application, you will need to call or email the Office of Admissions. Please provide the office with your application number and University ID.
A graduate certificate application takes 1-2 weeks to process. If you submit your application after the preferred deadline, it may take 2-3 weeks to process.
Seniors currently attending Illinois State may begin graduate work, if in addition to the overall university requirements above, they are in their final semester and have no more than 12 hours of undergraduate course work to complete.
See the policy on Seniors Taking Graduate Courses for Graduate Credit in the Graduate Catalog for details.