Chemistry at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Graduate Admissions

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois

Basic Admissions Requirements | Personal Statement | Transcripts |
Graduate Record Examinations | Areas of Study | English Proficiency Requirements |
Graduate Application Process | Graduate Application Fee | Fellowship & Award Opportunities |
Transfer Students | Program Codes and Field of Specialization Listings |
Transcripts and Supporting Materials
| Information

Thank you for your interest in the Chemistry Ph.D. Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our recommended application deadline for full consideration for the Fall 2018 semester is December 1, 2017. However, we strongly encourage earlier submission of applications to maximize opportunities for fellowships. We do not accept applications for spring semester admission.

Basic Admission Requirements for the Chemistry Ph.D. Program

The basic requirements for admission to the graduate program in chemistry are an undergraduate degree with at least 25 semester hours in chemistry (properly distributed) and a grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Your academic record and recommendations must be a strong indicator of your fitness to pursue advanced study and research in chemistry.

We ask applicants for admission to our graduate program to submit the following information:

Personal Statement

Personal statements should be at least one page typed. Our department does not have “area specific questions”. Your statement should discuss your previous academic work in chemistry including: course work, other educational experiences, teaching or other relevant employment, publications, and your plans for graduate study and a professional career.

There is no maximum length, word count, or other formatting requirements. We do not ask that you answer any “program specific” questions.


Applicants must send final official transcripts from each institution for all completed university course work, in a sealed envelope (if the original seal from the institution has been broken, it will not be considered official). In addition, international students need to send their certification of degree for all completed degree programs. Please mail all official transcripts and certificates of degree directly to the following address:

Chemistry Graduate Admissions
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
300 A&B Noyes Lab, Box 57-1
600 S. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

(800)516-0276 (US only)

For the purpose of admissions consideration, we encourage you to upload digital/scanned copies of your official transcripts with your application. (Note: We will not accept class lists or grade reports. Transcripts must contain the name of the institution and have the university seal to be accepted as a transcript). Please keep in mind that submitting digital/scanned transcripts with the online application does not replace the requirement to submit final official transcripts directly to the Chemistry Graduate Admissions Office. Final official transcripts must be submitted as soon as they become available. If you have earned a degree, your transcript must indicate the date your degree was conferred to receive credit for completing your degree. Your admission will not be considered “complete” until your final official transcripts are received.

Graduate Records Examinations

To submit GRE scores: Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send official test scores for the Graduate Records Examination. You may also use this site to submit you Chemistry Subject test scores, which are optional but highly recommended.

Our department does not have an average or expected GRE score.

The institution code for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is 1836 and the department code is 0000.

English Proficiency Requirements

Teaching is a requirement in the Chemistry Graduate Program, and there are special requirements for applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement cannot be waived, because it is campus policy and state law. If your native language is not English, please read this entire section.

Any applicant whose native language is not English is required to provide Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores in order to receive full consideration for admission and financial aid. Exemption from the TOEFL through the Graduate College does not give exemption from the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT, or the speaking section of the IELTS. (There is one exception: Students who have continuously attended English speaking institutions since 7th Grade or before, will be considered exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS.)

The university requires a minimum score of 24 on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT or a minimum score of 8 on the speaking section of the IELTS. Note: You must also score a minimum of 103 overall on the TOEFL or 7 overall (with no score on any sub-section less than 6, and the speaking sub-score must be at least 8)on the IELTS.

Our average departmental TOEFL score is above a 105 for the TOEFL iBT. The minimum departmental IELTS overall score is a 7.

TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than 2 years old from the first day of class of the proposed term of entry. Students who are already attending an institution in the United States, if you have already submitted a TOEFL or IELTS score, you may need to retake those exams to make sure they are still valid. In order for your TOEFL or IELTS scores to be valid, they must be within 2 years of your first day of class for this graduate program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The requirement for submitting your Official English Language Proficiency test scores can be met one of two ways:

For English Proficiency Exams, the institution code for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is 1836 and the department code is 00.

Areas of Study

Within the Department of Chemistry areas of study include analytical, chemical biology, inorganic, materials, organic, and physical chemistry. Applications for those interested in pursuing a Master's degree are not encouraged except for the Master's Program in the Teaching of Chemistry and the Joint Degree Program in Chemistry.

Master's Program in the Teaching of Chemistry
Applicants interested in the Master's Program in the Teaching of Chemistry are expected to have a valid teaching certificate in addition to the usual undergraduate background in chemistry. Those who do not have a valid teaching certificate should plan to spend an additional year in the program for student teaching and to take other courses required for the certificate.

For further information and admission requirements please click here.

Joint Degree Program - JD/MS in Chemistry
View a complete description of the Joint Degree Program.

Transfer Students

Students who are currently enrolled in other graduate programs must complete a degree before being considered for admission to our program. Only under exceptional circumstances might students be admitted without a degree from their current institution. In all cases, we require a statement from the applicant detailing the situation and a letter from the applicant's research advisor or department head.

Graduate Application Fee

The application fee for US citizens and permanent residents is $70.00 and $90.00 for all other applicants. The application fee must be paid by credit card at the time the on-line application is submitted. Application fees are non-refundable. In some instances, students involved in certain domestic programs may be eligible for a fee waiver, as described in more detail at the Graduate College website (

Fellowship and Award Opportunities

A large number of fellowships are awarded to graduate students in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois. These range from Departmental fellowships sponsored by chemical companies and private donations to national fellowships from various federal and private foundations.

Departmental awards:

Springborn Fellowships (Post-Doctoral)

Springborn Fellowships

Graduate College awards:

Illinois Distinguished Fellowship

Graduate College Fellowships

Sloan scholarships

Training programs:

Chemistry-Biology Interface - Please indicate interest in the CBI-TG in your personal statement.

Students need not apply for the above, but those offered admission will be considered and nominated at the department-level. Students may search for additional internal and external fellowship and award opportunities at the Graduate College Fellowship Finder database.

Graduate Application Process

Please contact us if you have any questions about the application process.

  • To apply online, please use the following link: listings needed to fill out the application form can be found below.)
  • If you cannot apply online, please e-mail us.
  • We do not require the Declaration and Certification of Finances Form at the time of application. The Chemistry Graduate Admissions Office will contact you if a form is needed.
  • International applicants must upload a copy of their passport.

Program Codes and Field of Specialization Listings

Program Codes

10KS0335PHD — Chemistry-PHD
10KS0337PHD — Chemical Physics-PHD
10KS0294MS — Teaching of Chemistry-MS
10KS8101NONE — Joint Degree Program- Chemistry MS/Law JD

Fields of Specialization for the Chemistry PhD Program (10KS0335PHD)
(Please list up to 3 areas on your applications under "Other Specialization")

Chemical Biology



To receive information about the graduate program in chemistry,please fill out an information form by clicking here.