Preparing for Graduate Study at UIC
Prior study: Successful applicants to the graduate programs in civil and materials engineering should have completed prior study at an accredited college or university in engineering or a related field.
MS programs: Applicants to the MS programs should have earned a GPA of at least 2.75 on a scale of 4.0 based on the last 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study. Admission preference is given to students with stronger academic records.
PhD programs: Doctoral program applicants should have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0, based on the last 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate coursework completed. PhD applicants may apply after having completed (or with the expectation of soon completing) a master’s degree in engineering or a related field, or, via a program called “direct admission,” they may apply having only earned a bachelor’s degree. Please see the direct admission section below for more information.
There are two phases to the admissions process for graduate study in civil and materials engineering.
Step 1: Graduate College review. Prospective graduate students must apply for admission through the UIC Graduate College. Within two to three days of completing your online Graduate College application, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt and indicating that you can log back into the system to begin uploading supplementary application materials (see Step 2 below).
Step 2: Departmental review. The department is very interested in reviewing the additional documents you will upload as part of the application process. These include your statement of purpose, résumé, GRE general test scores, specialization form (for PhD applicants only), and other documents you might want to submit for consideration. These documents will help to distinguish you from other applicants. The next section explains them in detail.
Application Requirements for MS and PhD Students
Applicants must meet the requirements of the Graduate College and the requirements of the civil and materials engineering department. In general, applicants should be prepared with the following:
- Admissions application completed online
- Transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
- English competency test. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English competency test. Minimum required scores are: iBT Internet-based TOEFL of 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21; New Paper-Based TOEFL (after August 2018) of 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21; Institutional Testing Paper-Based TOEFL (prior to August 2018) of 550; IELTS of 6.5, with all four subscores of at least 6.0; or PTE-Academic of 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
- GRE general test scores (PhD applicants only). GRE general test scores are required only for applicants to our PhD programs. Requirements are a minimum verbal score of 150 and a minimum quantitative score of 155, or a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 305. For score reporting, our institution code is 1851, and no department code is required.
- Application for Graduate Appointment form, personal statement, and résumé/CV (PhD applicants only). These items are required for PhD applicants who want to be considered for fellowships, assistantships, tuition and fee waivers, and other forms of financial aid.
- Letters of recommendation (PhD applicants only). Letters should be written by people who are familiar with your academic work and who can assess your potential for success in graduate studies and research. Note: during the application process, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of your references, and UIC will contact these individuals to request the references directly.
Direct Admission for PhD Applicants
Most PhD applicants already have earned (or are about to complete) a master of science degree in engineering or a related field. However, exceptional applicants who seek to start the PhD with only an undergraduate degree may be considered for what is called “direct admission.” Students who are admitted to the PhD program with only a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field must complete all 108 credit hours toward the PhD degree (compared with students entering with an MS degree, who can transfer in 32 earned credits from their master’s program).
More information about application deadlines is available on the Graduate College’s admissions deadlines page.