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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign(UIUC) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Dec 
International :15 Dec 

PhD Computer Science

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

32628 USD
17834 USD

Application fee

International 90 USD
National 70 USD
Department of Computer Science
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)104
TOEFL-PBT (min)607
GRE (avg)330
GMAT (avg)659

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About this course

Discover your future at CS LLINOIS, a top-5 program. As the next generation of computer science leaders, Illinois students continue to change the shape of computing as we know it. Our beliefs – the values we hold dear – influence everything we do. We believe:

  •  computing is (real) life;
  • addressing the computing challenges of tomorrow cannot be done in isolation-they require a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach;
  • you cannot tackle a problem without taking on the entire problem chain;
  • a flexible approach, grounded by mastery of fundamentals, leads to transformational solutions;
  • inspiration is found in the unexpected.

Come and pick our brains, collaborate, and live your passion for computing, discovery, and life at Illinois!

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Minimum requirements for admisson

  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.
  • Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS (please see instructions below for Submitting Official Scores regarding our institution code and program number).
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid.
  • Important, please note: Individual academic programs may require a higher score, or evidence of spoken English language proficiency; contact your proposed program of study office for the minimum TOEFL, TSE, or IELTS requirement for admission.

Test information and instructions for requesting official scores
TOEFL (Test of english as a foreign language)
Website: www.toefl.org

TOEFL Services at Educational Testing Service (ETS):

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the TOEFL should request the Educational Testing Service send scores to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our institution code number 1836.

IELTS (International english language testing system)
IELTS is jointly owned by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.

Website: www.ielts.org

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.


 Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if one of the following criteria is met:Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Completion of a graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.

Minimum requirements

Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission. If your undergraduate study is longer than 4 years, additional semesters may be used to calculate the admission GPA. Please note that proposed programs of study may require a higher GPA than the Graduate College's minimum standard.

Applicants enrolled in the final year of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college in the United States or a or comparable degree program from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad, and who meet the GPA requirements stated above will be admitted conditionally pending receipt of final academic credentials showing the undergraduate degree as conferred.
International applicants must meet minimum requirements based on their country of origin. Please note that proposed programs of study may require a higher GPA than the Graduate College's minimum standard.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Requirements -Entering with approved M.S. degree- Entering with B.S. degree

Credit hours: Hours -Hours

  • Total Credit for the Degree 64 96
  • Thesis Research – CS 599 (minimum applied toward degree) 32 32
  • Course Work 16 48
  • 500-level course work 16 (12 must be CS courses) 24 (12 must be CS courses)
  • 400- or 500-level course work 16 24
  • Additional graduate-level course work or thesis research credit (subject to Other Requirements and Conditions below) 16 16
  • Other Requirements and Conditions (may overlap):*
  • Minimum hours of CS course work 12 20

CS 597 (Independent Study) and CS 591 (Seminar) may not be applied to the 500-level course work requirement.
CS 591 section PHD must be taken in the first semester. A maximum of 4 credit hours of CS 591 can be applied toward the Ph.D. degree.
The minimum program GPA is 3.0.
A teaching assistantship for an entire term, with a satisfactory performance evaluation by the department, is required by the end of the 5th year.
Ph.D. exam and dissertation requirements:

  • Qualifying exam
  • Preliminary exam

Final exam or dissertation defense
Dissertation deposit
[Note: International Students must show demonstration of English proficiency (equivalent to that necessary to be a TA-see Financial Aid) before taking the Qualifying Exam.]

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

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

2. Pay the application fee
The university's application fee is $70 for US citizens and permanent residents and $90 for all other applicants. The fee must accompany the application by credit card payment with the web application. Application fees are non-refundable.

3. Transcripts
All applicants must send official transcripts for all completed university coursework and certification of degree (for international students only) for all completed degree programs directly to the department.

Department of Computer Science
Grad Academic Office
University of Illinois
201 North Goodwin, 1210 Siebel Center
Urbana, IL 61801

Recipient e-mail address for submitting electronic transcripts: admissions@cs.illinois.edu.

Official transcripts (sent directly by the institution) must be received by the application deadline, December 15th.Official transcripts may also be sent by the applicant and be considered as official if received in a sealed/signed envelope. If transcripts are submitted electronically, they must be submitted through a password-protected secure web portal to be considered official. Electronic transcripts emailed by applicant as PDF files toadmissions@cs.illinois.edu will not be accepted as official. Please note that submitting scanned transcripts with your online application does not replace the requirement to submit official transcripts directly to the CS Department. Applicants will not have a "complete" application until official transcripts are received. Current students from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign do not need to order official transcripts as the department can access them.

Note: For international mail, we suggest you send through a delivery service that can track your shipment.

4. Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are required to have three letters of recommendation submitted.
It is recommended that letters of recommendation be from academics. They can either be your faculty, advisors, supervisors, or colleagues. If you have been away from academics for a significant amount of time, you may substitute non-academic references of your choice (e.g. immediate supervisors, colleagues, etc.).
The letters should address your academic and research abilities and your potential to be successful at graduate level academic performance.
Individuals writing letters of recommendation on your behalf should submit their letters through the online application system. Any recommendations that do not follow this process may impact timely application processing.
Please make sure recommenders complete the section on the “Recommender’s Form” that states “To what extent do you recommend this applicant for admissions as a graduate student in their proposed field of study”.

5. Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose is part of the online application form.
This statement should include your goals and background as it relates to the field of computer science. It is good to include any past work history, your interests, and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in computer science.
Your statement will be evaluated for your conciseness, scientific research interests, leadership skills, and eloquence.
Generally the statement of purpose is between one to two pages.

6. CV/Resume
Your CV/resume is a part of the online application form.
Your CV/resume should address your education, job and research experience, remarkable achievements, publications, organizations, awards, and leadership experiences.
This information helps the admissions committee understand your background. In addition, it helps when identifying applicants for RA and TA assistantships.

7. Interest Form
Complete the CS Interest form (go to the "Supplement Form" area on this website). You will have access to this form 48 hours after you submit your online application. You will need to enter in the same email address and birthdate that is on your application to complete the form.
Select one primary research area of interest. It is highly recommended that you also select a secondary research area of interest and a third optional research area of interest. This helps the committee understand your top interests.
Select a faculty member within each research area of interest you feel will best match your research interest and serve as a possible advisor.

8. General Record Examination (GRE) – Not Required
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general aptitude tests (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical) and subject test scores are recommended, but not required. In some cases, the scores may provide helpful supporting information. Applicants may email a scanned electronic copy of their official score report s directly to admissions@cs.illinois.eduor they may have official GRE scores sent via ETS.

Additional Application Materials for International Students Only
TOEFL and IELTS Exams Requirements
This section is for all students whose native language is not English, which includes permanent residents of the United States (green card). All TOEFL test scores should be reported through ETS to Institution Code 1836. A Department code is not needed, however, if one is required, please use “78”.

  • The Department of Computer Science requires all MS and PhD applicants to submit a valid TOEFL score as part of their application materials.  The University of Illinois has a total minimum score that is required for admission.  
  • International students may check to see if they are exempt from this requirement based on their country of citizenship. Please note that the CS Department requires all international students to submit their TOEFL test scores that are not from one of these exempt countries as part of their required application materials.

Financial Aid
To be eligible for all forms of financial aid awarded by the Department of Computer Science, a TOEFL iBT score (Speaking section only) must be submitted, regardless of eligibility of waiver for admission requirements. If currently working on an academic degree in the US or country whose official native language is English (not medium of instruction), this requirement supersedes the waiver of the TOEFL by the university.
This requirement is regardless of naturalized U.S. citizenship or permanent residency and is for any assistantships (RA or TA). Non-submission of these scores will restrict the department from giving full financial aid considerations.
A passing score on the TOEFL iBT (spoken portion of the exam only) is 24/30. And, a passing score on the IELTS (on the spoken portion of the exam only) is 8.
SPEAK scores taken on a US campus other than Illinois are not eligible to fulfill the requirement at Illinois. The department has no authority to waive this requirement. A passing score does not guarantee an assistantship offer.

Financial Certification Form – Complete Only if Offered Admissions
If admissions is offered, international applicants requesting financial aid must submit the Financial Form and certification of finances.  This form does not need to be submitted with the application materials. 

Final Application Checklist
Before the application deadline, we strongly encourage applicants to go through the checklist below to ensure all applications materials have been submitted.

  • Application submitted.
  • Application fee paid.
  • Official Transcripts mailed to the department at address below. Note: Transcripts must be received by the deadline so plan accordingly.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted.
  • Statement of Purpose submitted.
  • Program Sponsor/Agency section completed on application form. (for international applicants only who have personal or sponsor support).
  • CV/Resume submitted.
  • Interest form completed.
  • Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or IELTS) sent (international students only). Note: Copies are acceptable pending official scores.
  • Check your status of application materials.

Check further details on University website

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