Graduate Admissions FAQ
This page contains questions that the civil and materials engineering department often receives from MS and PhD applicants. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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All applicants who hold a visa, even if they currently live in the United States or attend another U.S. school, must apply as international students and meet the international applicant deadlines for the admissions process. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.
No, it is not necessary to submit these materials until you are admitted. They are needed for official admission to the university if you are selected for admission by the department.
The Graduate College admissions office will continue to send reminder notifications that these documents are missing, but you can ignore them until the time if and when you are admitted.
If admission is granted, these documents need to be provided to the Graduate College admissions office immediately if you plan to attend UIC. Students who receive an assistantship must also complete the Declaration of Finances form and submit any additional bank statements requested by the Office of International Services.
The I-20 will be processed about three weeks after all the documents required by Graduate College admissions office are received. I-20s are sent by regular mail to your current address and are not express mailed.
If you would like a friend or family member to collect your I-20 for you, contact the Office of International Services to make special arrangements.
Please keep in mind that during the months of May and June, OIS is the busiest, and many international students are waiting for the same documents and have the same concerns that you do. Please be patient, and please direct all questions or concerns to OIS.
All inquiries regarding I-20s should be directed to the Office of International Services and not to the CME department.
Deferring your admission to a subsequent term must be done through the Graduate College admissions office and is subject to approval.
If you do not attend in the term you applied for, you cannot simply register for courses in the following term unless you previously received approval from the Graduate College for a deferral.
If you did not receive approval to defer, you will need to reapply for admission.
Please note that deferring is not an option for admitted non-degree students.
Consideration is given to the transfer of credit in three categories:
- Previous graduate work for which a degree was not awarded.
- Graduate work completed elsewhere after admission to UIC and for which a degree was not awarded. Students considering taking graduate work elsewhere during a leave of absence should consult their advisor and the director of graduate studies about such plans and the courses that may be considered for transfer.
- For students who completed their undergraduate education at UIC only, graduate work completed in the senior year at UIC that was not applied to the baccalaureate.
To be considered for transfer, graduate work must have been completed in an accredited institution approved by one of the regional accreditation associations or by the agencies recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Education, and it must meet the quality and content standards of courses offered at UIC.
For probation and graduation purposes, transfer credit is not computed in the cumulative grade point average or graduate degree GPA unless such credit was earned in courses taken at UIC.
A Graduate Petition for Transfer Credit Toward an Advanced Degree is required for all transfers of credit except the 32 hours of credit for a prior master’s degree. The graduate program evaluates the student’s petition and makes a recommendation to the Graduate College. The petition should show the courses recommended for transfer by the graduate program and the number of semester hours of credit received. Students must attach to the petition an original transcript showing grades if courses were not taken at UIC, and a certification from the registrar or college dean of the applicable institution stating that the courses are graduate-level and were not used toward fulfillment of the requirements for a degree if not self-evident from the transcript itself.
Credit for Prior Master’s Degree
Doctoral candidates who have previously earned a master’s degree or its equivalent approved by one of the regional accreditation associations or by the agencies recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Education may be granted 32 semester hours of credit toward the doctoral degree if approved by the program and the Graduate College. The 32 hours are subtracted from the total hours required for the PhD. The 32 hours are not counted toward the maximum allowed transfer credit limit or computed in the cumulative GPA or degree GPA. A General Graduate Petition is required, along with a copy of the student’s MS transcript with specification on the transcript that the MS was awarded.
Students with deficiencies in their prior coursework may be admitted to graduate study on “limited standing.” Students in this situation are required to take additional courses and/or meet specific academic performance goals to be moved to full standing.
Limited standing may, for example, be awarded to graduates of undergraduate programs in engineering fields outside of civil and materials engineering. They must complete additional coursework to resolve gaps in their preparation and demonstrate that they have the ability to complete the CME graduate program.
In general, inadequate undergraduate preparation is a common reason for limited standing. Please note that students with severe deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation should consider developing an academic background equivalent to an undergraduate degree in civil or materials engineering before applying for graduate study, to improve their chances of admission. UIC’s own bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering offers one such pathway.
Students must complete their deficiency courses within the specified time range indicated on their admissions letter and receive grades of A or B in these courses in order to continue in the graduate program. Substitutions for deficiency courses will not be permitted.
Once the limited standing requirements have been met, it is the student’s responsibility to request a status change from limited to full. Requests are to be made in the CME graduate office as soon as the limited standing conditions have been satisfied.
Yes. Non-degree status is designed for:
- Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree and do not wish to pursue a degree but want to take courses for professional or scholarly reasons or personal enrichment
- Applicants who do not hold a prior degree in civil engineering and wish to eventually pursue an MS degree in civil engineering
The Graduate College minimum requirements for non-degree admission are as follows:
Prior Degrees: A baccalaureate or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Non-degree applicants must submit proof of the degree with their application.
Transcripts: Required by the CME department to calculate the last 60 hours of the students GPA (2.75 minimum).
Other Requirements: International students who require certification of admission (I-20 or IAP-66) sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service will not be admitted as non-degree students.
Permanent Residents who studied outside the United States may be required to still submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.
Visit the Graduate College non-degree admissions page for more information.
Switching from Non-degree to Degree seeking: Non-degree students who wish to be considered for a degree program must complete the full graduate admissions process when they are ready to be considered. Admission to a degree program after completing non-degree coursework is neither automatic nor guaranteed. Students admitted as non-degree may not change to degree status in their initial term of non-degree enrollment (for that same term). Only a total of 12 hours of non-degree graduate coursework (grade “A” or “B” only) will be transferable from non-degree status to a degree program.
Current UIC graduate students in other colleges or departments who wish to transfer from their current program to the CME MS or PhD program must submit the following documents to the CME graduate program coordinator eight weeks prior to the start of semester that the student is applying for:
- Copy of file from current program at UIC
- Personal statement (for PhD only)
- Three letters of recommendation (for PhD only)
- Résumé/CV (for PhD only)
- Letter of financial support from a research advisor or self-funded letter (for PhD only)
- GRE scores received within the last five years (for PhD only)
Current MS students in the CME department who wish to transfer to the PhD program must submit the following:
- Personal statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- GRE scores received within the last five years
- Letter of financial support from a research advisor or self-funded letter
If you have any questions, please contact the CME graduate program coordinator.