The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is considered to be one of the best schools in the Midwest.
According to the US News & World Report, UIUC is the #15 public university in the US and the #6 engineering program in the US.
The research happening at the Grainger College of Engineering is truly unprecedented – from renewable water, prosthetics for robots, and missions to Mars, students and faculty at the college are paving the way for a safer, more efficient (and more impressive!) future.
Students who attend UIUC will have the opportunity to work with some of the brightest faculty in the country, 26 of whom have received Pulitzer Prizes and 23 of whom have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
Faculty member of forty years – John Bardeen – is the only person in history to have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on two separate occasions. He first won the award for his invention of the transistor and was celebrated again for developing the theory of superconductivity.
UIUC also maintains a spot at the top of various non-academic rankings lists. NCES named UIUC #1 for most students of color among top-ranked Midwest universities, and Livability magazine designated Urbana-Champaign as a top 10 college town.
Those seeking the best value for their tuition investment will be pleased to see that PayScale ranks UIUC #1 in that category within the Big Ten conference.
From top-notch educational and extracurricular opportunities to a desirable social and cultural environment, there are plenty of reasons why students (even outside of the Midwest) might seek to transfer to UIUC.
Ahead, we’ll discuss their transfer acceptance rate, minimum GPA requirements, essential application materials, and important due dates.
UIUC Transfer Acceptance Rate
UIUC admitted 47.1% of transfers for 2021 fall admission, according to their 10-day fall transfer report.
Out of 4,245 applicants, they accepted 2001 students and enrolled 1,266 (a yield of 63.3%).
The Office of Admissions typically receives fewer applications for spring admission, though the acceptance rate is slightly higher than the fall.
UIUC’s 10-day spring 2022 transfer report reveals that 983 students applied for transfer status and 508 were admitted (an acceptance rate of 51.7%). Within that cohort, 327 applicants enrolled, accounting for a 64.4% yield).
UIUC has a total undergraduate population of over 33,000 students, which means that transfer students make up approximately 4% of the student population.
All transfer applicants must select a major and are encouraged to indicate a second major in their application materials – it is only in the circumstance that potential transfers have fewer than 30 graded transferable credit hours that their high school performance will be more thoroughly considered.
Application Requirements & GPA
The UIUC minimum GPA requirement varies based on the transfer applicant’s indicated program of study and ranges from 2.25 to 3.7.
All majors within the School of Engineering expect a GPA of 3.7 to 4.0, while the Gies School of Business stipulates a 3.6 or higher.
Less competitive programs, such as majors offered within the School of Social Work or certain programs in the College of Fine & Applied Arts require a GPA within the range of 2.5 to 3.0.
Potential transfers who are determined to attend UIUC should truly strive to maintain a 3.0, at the minimum.
There are six sets of materials to submit as part of UIUC’s application requirements, with the first item being the application. Within the application, potential transfers should indicate their desired major (or second major), write responses to the essay prompts, and describe their involvement in extracurricular activities, work experience, and honors or awards received.
This is not the time to be humble! After all, the Office of Admissions uses the transfer application to determine whether or not a student is admitted to an honors program or whether they receive a merit-based financial award.
When it comes to essays, transfers are asked to answer up to two prompts, depending on their indicated major or undeclared major status.
All essay responses should be within 300 to 400 words.
If a potential transfer is applying to a specific major, they should explain their interest in the subject area, how they have developed their interest in and out of a classroom setting, and how the major connects to their professional goals.
If applying as undeclared, students should explain their academic strengths and interests as they relate to their future career plans. Some transfers will indicate a second major – in this scenario, they should also use the essay section to explain their interest in the second major.
The second item is the application fee: $50 for domestic applicants or $75 for international applicants. Students applying to UIUC from the University of Illinois at Chicago or Springfield are not required to submit a fee.
Third on the list are transcripts – official copies from all colleges or universities that the applicant has previously attended, as well as from the high school where they graduated. These documents must come directly from the institutions where the student obtained credit, and may not be self-reported.
The fourth items – official ACT and/or SAT scores – are currently optional for transfer applicants to send.
In the scenario where a transfer applicant has fewer than 30 complete transferable semester hours of college credit when they apply, it may be beneficial to submit their standardized test scores (particularly if they will enhance the competitiveness of the student’s application materials).
Like transcripts, standardized test scores must be shared directly from the testing agency and dated within five years of enrollment at UIUC.
Next, all transfer applicants are required to prove proficiency in the English language. There is a list of conditions for satisfying this requirement, and any test scores must be dated within two years of a student’s enrollment at UIUC.
Finally, there may be additional requirements for specific majors. For example, those intending to transfer to the School of Art & Design should complete a portfolio, while dance and theatre applicants will perform an audition.
UIUC Transfer Deadline
For fall admission to UIUC, transfer application filing operates from December 15 to March 8 – the Office of Admissions advises interested students to apply as soon as their first semester grades are available, as degree programs tend to fill quickly.
If a potential transfer is applying for spring admission, they must submit all of their application materials between September 1 and October 15.
A transfer applicant’s admission decision is based in large part on earning remarkable grades in the college-level courses they enrolled in prior to entering UIUC.
It is just as important to continue excelling in class work at the applicant’s current university, even after they receive an acceptance notification from UIUC.
Students who plan on transferring in the fall should send their final college transcripts to the UIUC Office of Admissions by June 15. Spring transfers must submit their transcripts as soon as fall grades are posted in their student records.
It is important to note that transfer applicants cannot self-report their grades – all transcripts must be shared directly from the institution that the student is currently attending and where the courses were completed.
What Is the Decision Date for UIUC?
Students intending to transfer to UIUC in the fall will receive their admission decisions from February to mid-April, while spring applicants will hear from the Office of Admissions between November and mid-December.
The decision dates vary based on the college and major to which the transfer student is applying.
The application review committee makes decisions, in large part, based on a transfer applicant’s desired course schedule. It is important to note that transfers will not be able to unenroll from a required course for their major after they have already been accepted to UIUC.
Transfer applications are also used to determine eligibility for merit-based scholarships or entrance to an honors program, and students will be contacted directly should they be awarded either.
The Office of Student Financial Aid has a supplemental application for need-based and merit-based scholarships that transfer applicants may submit along with their standard application materials.
For need-based aid, potential transfers should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. Doing so before March 15 will guarantee notification of their financial aid package between mid-March and mid-April (applicants can review their financial aid status online).
Students who apply for fall admission to UIUC must accept their financial aid package by May 1 (or within two weeks of receiving their admission decision after April 15). Those who apply for spring admission also have two weeks to accept their financial aid package, pending admission.
Transfers who accept their admission decision sooner than later receive priority registration status for orientation, housing, and other benefits – it also grants the student more time to prepare for the transition!
Deciding Whether You Should Transfer to UIUC
UIUC students credit the institution with feeling more like a family than a school – an inclusive community where people of all demographics belong and contribute. Students who still feel “lost” or “untethered” at their current university may find the UIUC to be more appealing.
Located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, UIUC is both welcoming and familiar yet updated and representative of various cultures. Over 1,700 seats line the streets of the towns, which feature an abundance of cafes, book stores, antique shops, and other unique commodities.
Students craving an active, outdoor experience will enjoy Crystal Lake Park on the north side of Urbana – a scenic urban park that hosts various seasonal events.
Within the park, visitors can also check out the rock wall and aquatic center that features three waterslides. Don’t forget to check out the Anita Purves Nature Center and the Busey Woods interpretive trail, both of which are also housed within the park.
Looking to satisfy a sociocultural sweet tooth? The State Farm Center hosts various sports- and theatre-related events, while the Krannert Art Center regularly rotates their exhibitions.
Bookworms will find a happy haven at the highly-rated Champaign Public Library, founded in 1868 and the recipient of various awards for design and library leadership.
Outside of the many social and environmental advantages to attending school within the UIUC community, there are additional monetary benefits to graduating with a degree from the institution.
The average salary for full-time employed UIUC graduates (representative of all disciplines) is an impressive $69,000, with titans like Amazon, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCooper on the list of top graduate employers.
Midwestern students who seek a diverse, inclusive community with strong potential for high earnings immediately after graduation are on the right track if they’re considering a transfer to UIUC.
RECAP: How to Apply As a Transfer Student to UIUC
Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher? If so, you’re in an excellent place to start your transfer application to UIUC. Whether applying to the fall or spring semester, the requirements are the same: all applicants must submit six materials before their application will be reviewed.
The first order of business is to complete the full application, which includes the essay prompts related to one’s major and second major.
It is okay to apply as an undeclared major, but still important to highlight one’s interests and career-related goals within the essay responses.
The next item to take care of is the application fee, which will be $50 for most (domestic) applicants.
Potential transfers should contact all current and previous collegiate (and high school) institutions they have attended and request the point of contact to submit their official transcripts. UIUC will not consider self-reported documents.
Only one of the six application materials is optional, and that’s a transfer’s standardized test scores. To submit or not to submit?
If the ACT or SAT scores will increase the competitiveness of one’s application, or if the applicant has fewer than 30 transferable credit hours on their transcript, it may be best to submit the scores.
Fifth, all applicants must prove their English language proficiency. The final requirement may only apply to specific program applicants (like those interested in art, music, or dance).
These students should check the requirements for their specific program, which often include a portfolio or audition of some kind.
All transfer applicants should remember to maintain a high level of academic performance at their current institution since colleges reserve the right to change their admission decisions pending a student’s final course grades.