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Undergraduate Admissions

How to Apply

As a Grainger Engineer, your opportunities to do the impossible are limited only by your imagination. Here, you apply directly to your major of interest. This enables immediate interaction with faculty and peers, builds community, and assists your involvement in research and extracurriculars related to your academic goals.

All engineering applications are submitted through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. We do not use the Common Application.

Begin Undergraduate Application

Check Application Status


  1. Select a program of study that best fits your skills and interests.
  2. Review all application requirements and prepare for each stage of the application process.
  3. Complete the online application through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  4. Carefully read all emails sent from the department and university to ensure no additional forms must be completed after you submit the online application.

What's Considered

Your application will be reviewed holistically, meaning a wide variety of factors are taken into consideration:

High School Courses & GPA
When planning what courses to take in high school for entry into engineering, it’s important to:

Have strong academic rigor. Take the most advanced courses available to you that will allow you to earn grades that reflect your academic ability, especially in math and science. If your school offers a pre-engineering or AP track, we will look to see if you followed it. If you did take AP/IB/A Level exams, you may be able to enter Illinois with some college credit.

Consistently perform well in these courses through senior year, final semester.

Test Scores (ACT or SAT)
There is no minimum required standardized test score (ACT/SAT). However, we do like to see a good score, especially in math.

Students applying for Fall 2021 freshman admission to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will not be required to submit SAT or ACT test results due to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting students’ opportunities to take the exams.

If you choose not to report SAT or ACT scores, a TOEFL or IELTS may be required. If you are including these scores, you should report your highest TOEFL (do not use MyBest score) or IELTS score and highest sub-scores, regardless of test date. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended our testing options to also accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IETLS Indicator.

High School Class Rank
Admission into Grainger Engineering is most selective. Therefore it’s important to see that you have excelled throughout high school and acted as an academic leader in your class. If schools track high school percentile rank, it will be reviewed with your application.

Extracurricular activities, work, volunteer experience, and achievement outside the classroom demonstrate personal strengths and skills. We look for students who are going to continue that involvement once on campus and participate in the wealth of activities found at Illinois.

Awards and other accomplishments:
We will take note if you have demonstrated a significant impact or level of accomplishment in your school, community, state, and/or national activities.

Selectivity for 2018 Admitted Freshman Engineers (Middle 50%)

ACT: 32-35
SAT (no writing): 1430-1530
GPA: 3.70-4.00
TOEFL: 106-113

Application Essays

The essay portion of the application is vital. It provides you the opportunity to:

  • Describe why you're interested in the major to which you applied
  • Showcase your passion through chosen activities, work experience, research, or course selection in high school
  • Address the challenges you have faced and overcome
  • Share how you've matured and grown through past experiences or provide evidence of character development, cultural insight, community awareness, and/or leadership
  • Set yourself apart
  • Prove strength of writing

Most of all, we look for a genuine passion in the pursuit of an engineering career.

Essay Tips:

  1. Do your research. Write about how your interests and/or relevant activities match the CURRICULUM that you want to study. This does mean looking into our majors and classes and sharing how you look to benefit from them.

  2. Make use of the second essay. We are excited about your interest in attending Grainger Engineering. Writing the second essay allows you the opportunity to tell us more about you, what difference you hope to make as an engineer, what transition you look forward to making  and preparing for upon graduation from Illinois. When you don't write a second essay, it tells us that you are not interested in any other major. This limits our ability to offer majors/opportunities that we feel can best help you reach the same or similar academic goals.

Writing Your Admissions Essays

Some tips on how to write your admissions essays for Grainger Engineering

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Programs
College of Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

206 Engineering Hall
1308 West Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Call: 217-333-2280
Fax: 217-333-0015