Frequently Asked Questions

Application Information Page

Q:???????????? What are ISE’s Concentrations/Fields of Specialization?
A:????????????? The MS Industrial Engineering degree program has an Advanced Analytics in ISE concentration. This is the only concentration available and it is only with the MS IE degree.

Application Information Page—Fee Waiver

Q:???????????? Am I eligible for an application fee waiver?
A:????????????? Certain domestic applicants (U of I Civil Service Staff, Academic Professionals, Faculty, Employees of Allied Agencies, or applicants to designated programs, such as Project 1000, McNair Scholars, CIC FreeApp) may be eligible for an application fee waiver or exemption. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, choose the appropriate waiver in the application. Unfortunately, unless the applicant is covered by one of the waivers described above, the application fee will not be waived. International applicants are not eligible for an application fee waiver unless studying under an exchange contract that includes an application fee waiver. Students applying using the ISE Simple Entry Program should email for waiver instructions.


Q:???????????? Does ISE have any Program Specific Questions?
A:????????????? ISE does have two program specific questions, which will be asked in the application pages. You will be asked to rank your Research Area Preference and provide your bachelor’s major ranking. ?????????????????

Research Area Preference (you will be asked to rank 1-5; with 1 being the highest)

  • Data Analytics
  • Decision & Control Systems
  • Design & Manufacturing
  • Financial Engineering
  • Operations Research

Major ranking in your bachelor’s institution

  • Top 1-2 %
  • Top 5 %
  • Top 10 %
  • Top 20 %
  • Top 50 %
  • Other

Q:???????????? Where can I get a Declaration and Certification of Finances form?
A:????????????? The form is available in pdf format within the online application or at

Q:???????????? If I apply to the Ph.D. degree program and do not get in, will I be considered for the M.S. degree program?
A:????????????? Yes

Q:???????????? What are the minimum GRE scores required for admission?
A:????????????? ISE does not have a minimum GRE score for admission, but GRE scores must be submitted. Average scores for admitted students for Fall 2017 were Verbal: 155; Quantitative: 168; Analytical Writing: 3.6.

Q:???????????? Do I need to find a faculty member to work under before I am admitted?
A:????????????? No. Most of our students are admitted without an association to a faculty member. We expect the student to find a faculty member to work with by the end of the first semester.

Q:???????????? How many students do you admit each term?
A:????????????? We do not admit a set number of students each term. Admission depends upon the quality of the applicant.

Q:???????????? Do I have to submit a Declaration of Finance Form when I submit my application (International Students Only)?
A:????????????? ISE highly recommends that this form is submitted with the application. It will save time if admitted to our program. Students who submitted their proof of funding at the time of application received their I-20 approximately three weeks earlier than those who waited until admission.

Q:???????????? When will I be notified of admission/denial?
A:????????????? ISE does not have a specific date that we notify our admitted students as we do rolling admissions. Fall applicants can expect a decision by April 15, but many times ISE admits after April 15.

Q:???????????? Where do I send my official transcripts?
A:????????????? Simple—You Don’t. ISE does not require official transcripts unless you are admitted to our program. After being admitted, a student may bring or send their official transcripts to the Graduate College, 301 Coble Hall.

Q:???????????? My TOEFL score is not the required minimum of 103. May I still apply?
A:????????????? Yes. Students may be admitted on limited status if their TOEFL score is 79-102, but the applicant must be outstanding in other areas. Limited status requires the student take an English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) at the University of Illinois. On the basis of the EPT results, applicants are generally required to enroll in non-credit "English as a Second Language" courses and take a reduced academic load beginning the first semester at the University. See

Q:???????????? My recommender cannot use the online system. What do I do?
A:????????????? ISE prefers that the recommender submit their recommendation online. If he/she is unable to do so, please ask your recommender to send the letter directly to or mail to:

ISE Graduate Programs
104 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL? 61801

Q:???????????? I completed a degree in a country where English is not the primary language, but my education was completely in English. Do I still need to submit my TOEFL scores?
A:?????????????Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing an English proficiency score if one of the following criteria is met:

  • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in a country where English is the primary language within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this exemption is for admission purposes only. This does not  provide an exemption for international teaching assistants. For more information, please see the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants. Please click here for a list of countries that qualify for an exemption from the admissions requirement.

Q:???????????? How long does it take to complete your MS/PhD program?
A:????????????? There are many factors to consider-the motivation of the student, the number of hours taken each semester, thesis/non-thesis (MS only). Students pursing the MS non-thesis option can complete the degree in a year if they register for 16 hours or more per semester (fall/spring) and 4 in the summer. Students pursuing the thesis option can expect to complete the MS in two years. In the PhD program, if a student is entering with an MS, students have completed the PhD in as little as three years, but the student must be very motivated and organized with a study plan.

Q:???????????? How much does it cost to attend the University of Illinois?
A:????????????? On-campus tuition and fee costs are located at Online tuition and fee costs are located at

Q:???????????? What are the degree requirements for the MS/PhD Industrial Engineering/Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering?
A:????????????? Degree requirements for all majors are located at

Q:???????????? How do I know if I’m admitted to MS thesis or non-thesis?
A:????????????? Students who do not wish to continue on for their PhD are admitted to the non-thesis option. This is listed in the admission letter. Keep in mind that this is not an absolute. Students officially declare thesis or non-thesis during the first semester of their program.

Q:???????????? When will I receive my I-20?
A:????????????? Processing of the I-20 is completed by the Graduate College. Once the I-20 is completed, it can take up to a week before it is received by the ISE Graduate Programs Office. The ISE Graduate Programs Office then requests the document to be sent via UPS World Wide Express, which usually takes approximately one week. A tracking number will be sent to the student