FAQ: Admissions

1. What are the requirements for admission?
Please refer to the admission requirements page.

2. Do I have to take the GMAT or GRE to apply?
For those with three or more years of full-time work experience:

  • A GMAT/GRE score is not required
  • Applicants may opt to submit a test score as part of the application
  • The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request test scores as additional information to more thoroughly assess an applicant when necessary

For those with less than three years of full-time work experience:

  • A lot depends on the type and breadth of your experience and other aspects of your application, and you should consider submitting a GMAT/GRE test score

3. Do I need to hold an undergraduate degree?
Yes, you must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent degree from an accredited institution in a foreign country. If you earned your degree(s) from outside the United States, refer to the following webpage for academic requirements by country: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/countries

4. Is work experience required?
All students are expected to have three or more years of rich, valuable operational or managerial experience. This is an especially critical component of the admissions decision because the knowledge and skills developed from professional experience enhance the academic experience for all students and faculty.

If you have less than three years of work experience, you are welcome to apply, but you must submit a GMAT or GRE score.

5. What if I don’t meet the minimum educational requirements?
It is possible that some applicants with very strong professional backgrounds may not meet minimum educational GPA criteria. We will evaluate such candidates’ professional experiences on a case-by-case basis and may determine an adequate substitute for the appropriate academic credentials; however, work experience will not be accepted as a substitute for an undergraduate degree.

6. Are letters of recommendation required?
Yes, each applicant is required to submit three letters of recommendation. We strongly recommend that your references come from individuals who know you in a professional setting and can speak to your leadership abilities and to your commitment to succeed in a rigorous program.

If you run into any delays getting recommendations, we encourage you to submit your application anyway. We can begin initial review of your application once it is received

7. Can course credits be transferred into the iMBA program?

The following conditions must be met in order for course(s) to be considered for transfer credits. If your coursework meets all of the following requirements, please email giesonline@illinois.edu with a copy of your transcripts and syllabus for each course. Requests for transfer credits will be reviewed on a case by case basis and are not guaranteed even if the following criteria are met. A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred.

  • School must be AACSB accredited
  • Course(s) must have been completed within the past 4 years
  • Course(s) must not have been used towards any other degree
  • Course(s) must have been taken at the graduate level
  • Student must have earned an A- or better

8. Can somebody who is not a US citizen or permanent resident apply?
The iMBA program is a truly global program with more than 90 countries represented. We welcome international applicants to the program. Please note that the iMBA program does not sponsor your visa for a stay in the USA.

9. Can I waive the application fee?
The application fee is collected by the Graduate College to defray administrative costs of processing the application. This fee cannot be waived, unless the application meets the following criteria specified in the Fee Waiver section of the application. (international applications are typically not eligible for fee waivers). Please see fees for more information.

10. Do I need to complete an interview?
The iMBA committee may choose to interview select candidates over video conference.

11. Do I need to take TOEFL or IELTS to apply?
International applicants must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score to the Illinois iMBA.

Applicants who currently have full time professional work experience in a country where English is the primary language but may not qualify for a TOEFL waiver could be considered for a waiver after an interview as part of the application evaluation process.

You are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination if you meet ALL the criteria listed for either situation below:

You have completed two years of post-secondary, full-time study:

  • In a country where English is the primary language;
  • At an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction; and
  • Within five years of the intended term of enrollment

You have been awarded an advanced degree:

  • In a country where English is the primary language;
  • At an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction; and
  • Within five years of the intended term of enrollment

To see if you may qualify for an exemption, check to see if the country where you attended university appears on the exempt countries list which you can find at  http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply/exemptcountries

12. When can I apply for admission?
The iMBA program is growing and accepting applications at different times throughout the year. Check the admissions page for upcoming application deadlines.