Admissions Requirements and Process

Students with a bachelor's degree in electrical or computer engineering (or related field) who are interested in a course-work only professional master's degree should apply to the MEng program.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in electrical or computer engineering (or related field) may apply to the MS program or to the direct Ph.D. program. Students with an MS degree in electrical or computer engineering (or related field) should apply to the PhD program. Minimum admission requirements, listed by country, can be found on the Graduate College's Minimum Admission Requirements page.

Application process

Prospective graduate students are to apply online through the Graduate College. Through this site you can track your admissions progress and conduct most of the admission process electronically. The university application fee is $75 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $90 for all other applications. Students who are unable to apply online must contact graduate admissions at

In addition to the Graduate College Application form, all applicants to the ECE MS and PhD programs must fill out and submit online a Preferences Form, which indicates your areas of research interest. Applicants may access this form two days after they have submitted their application here: ECE Graduate Applicant Preferences Form.

All applicants whose native language is not English must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 96 (iBT), 243 (CBT), or 590 (PBT); or minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic exam scores of 6.5 overall and 6.0 in all subsections. Applicants who have attended a university in an English speaking country for at least two years may check to see if they are exempt from this requirement based on their country of citizenship. For those taking the TOEFL or IELTS, full admission status is granted for scores greater than 102 (TOEFL iBT), 253 (TOEFL CBT), 610 (TOEFL PBT), or 7.0 (IELTS). Limited status is granted for lesser scores and requires enrollment in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses based on an ESL Placement Test (EPT) taken upon arrival to campus. The institution code for the TOEFL is 1836.

Application checklist

  • Graduate College application form submitted.
  • Application fee paid.
    Between September 16, 2019, and January 15, 2020, the Grainger College of Engineering is offering an application fee waiver to domestic applicants who apply to a Grainger Engineering PhD program and who hold a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA in their undergraduate degree. Qualified applicants must select the option “Are you applying for the 3.5 GPA or higher app fee waiver?” from the dropdown box in the “Fee Section” of the online admission application. Applicants must meet the admission requirements to enter the department’s PhD program in order to receive the application fee waiver. Applicants who have questions may contact Rhonda McElroy, Executive Director of Graduate Programs, at
  • Official copies of transcripts are requested once admitted.
  • Three letters of reference submitted.
  • Statement of purpose submitted.
  • Scores on the GRE general aptitude tests verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions (Note: A GRE subject test is not required. Our institution code is 1836 and the ECE department code is 1203.)
  • ECE Interest form submitted (only for MS and PhD applicants).
  • Financial certification only needed if you wish to be admitted without financial aid.

Note: Please do not send additional materials (e.g. publications, photographs, videos, CDs, or portfolios). These items are not reviewed during the admissions process.


If you love math, physics, and the idea of learning with the best, you should consider ECE ILLINOIS. Built on a foundation of hands-on learning and incredible innovations, the department features cutting-edge research, an incredible curriculum featuring classes you won’t find anywhere else, and the support you’ll need for a lifetime of success.