International Students

Additional requirements for graduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English. 

TOEFL/IELTS Requirements:

IMPORTANT: Applicants must meet both the University of Illinois Graduate College and School of Music TOEFL/IELTS requirements. Please note that the School of Music  requirements differ from those stipulated for admission to the Graduate College, as follows:

• ALL applicants who are non-native speakers of English or who are not citizens of an exempted country (see below) MUST provide a TOEFL iBT score to be considered for admission to the University of Illinois School of Music. Official results of the TOEFL iBT or IELTS must be submitted by December 1st in order for the application to be reviewed (including being granted an audition). Scores reported after this date will be accepted; however, in such instances the University of Illinois School of Music will not guarantee that an applicant will be given admission consideration (or an audition, if applicable). Scores must be received by January 1, 2017.
• Test scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry and must be submitted directly from ETS (institution code 1836, department code 00). This means that if you plan to begin your studies at the University of Illinois on August 16, 2017, your test scores cannot be older than August 16, 2015.
​• In contradistinction to University of Illinois Graduate College policy, students who have completed  two years or more of post-secondary full-time study, a graduate degree, a performer’s certificate, or an artist diploma in a country or institution where English is the native language or primary language of instruction are NOT exempt from the TOEFL requirement.
​• For exempted countries, see the University of Illinois Graduate College English Proficiency Requirement for Admission. Click here to see miniumum admission requirements by Country (including TOEFL information). Any additional exemptions must by authorized by the School of Music Enrollment Management Director.
Please note: In accordance with the University of Illinois Graduate College English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants, the School of Music requires a score of 24 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT or a minimum score of an 8 on the IELTS for any international applicant wishing to be considered for a teaching assistantship. The TOEFL iBT or IELTS is thus required of ALL international applicants who are non-native speakers and seek this type of award.
​• A TOEFL iBT of 103 or higher is required for Full Status Admission to the University of Illinois Graduate College and School of Music. Minimum scores required for admission to the various School of Music degree programs follow below. (Please note, these scores are HIGHER than the minimum requirements set by the Graduate College.)
    ​• Artist Diploma (AD): 79 iBT
    ​• Master of Music (MM), excluding MME and Musicology: 90 iBT
    ​• MME; MM Musicology; DMA; PhD: 96 iBT​
• An IELTS of 7.0 or higher on all subsections is required for Full Status Admission to the University of Illinois Graduate College and School of Music. Minimum scores required for admission to the various School of Music degree programs follow below. (Please note, these scores are HIGHER than the minimum requirements set by the Graduate College.)
    ​• Artist Diploma (AD): 6.5
    ​• Master of Music (MM), excluding MME and Musicology: 6.5 
        ​• must have a score of 6 or higher in all sub-sections of the IELTS
    ​• MME; MM Musicology; DMA; PhD: 7
        ​• must have a score of 6.5 or higher in all sub-sections of the IELTS
​• As per University of Illinois Graduate College policy, any student admitted with a TOEFL score of between 79 and 102 will be accorded Limited Status Admission and required to take the University’s English Placement Test, administered by the Department of Linguistics, upon arrival at the University (as soon as possible after arrival, but AT LEAST two business days prior to meeting with their advisor or departmental representative to select courses). Students must successfully complete any English as a Second Language (ESL) courses prescribed by the examination results BEFORE they will be permitted to enroll in graduate academic courses. (Students should consult with their Graduate Advisor and/or the Assistant Director for Graduate Studies in the School of Music to select appropriate coursework while enrolled in ESL courses.) Tuition costs for ESL courses are similar to those for other courses; however, credits earned in ESL courses do not meet degree requirements. Students required to enroll in ESL coursework should therefore anticipate a longer and more expensive degree program. Failure to successfully complete any required ESL coursework will delay degree progress and may result in termination from the degree program. Applicants with low TOEFL scores, who lack confidence in their English ability, or who are not financially prepared to take on the additional time and cost of supplemental English-language instruction at the University of Illinois may wish to delay their applications until they can demonstrate adequate English-language proficiency.


Materials required for the I-20:

These requirements must be met by May 15th. To avoid delays processing your I-20, we recommend that all materials (including official bank statements and Declaration and Certification of Finances form) be submitted on or as close to the December 1st deadline date for all other items. If your materials are submitted in May, your I-20 will NOT be available until mid to late June. All applicants are responsible for the cost of shipment for their I-20s. The School of Music will be in contact with you to make arrangements.

The following materials should be uploaded to your University Application:

​• Declaration and Certification of Finances Form
​• Official Bank Statements (be sure to review acceptable forms of documentation)
​• Complete the International Student Verification Form through your application.