Frequently Asked Questions

Below are responses to some of the most frequently asked questions by prospective students. If you have any additional ones, please feel free to call or e-mail Penny Ames at (217) 333-7197 or 1-800-982-0914 or lis-apply [at]

Instructions for filling out the online application

Online application can be found at:

Proposed Program: Select "Library and Information Science" from the pull-down window.

Degree: From the pull-down window, you can select the degree and scheduling option. For the Leep online learning option, choose "LEEP Online."

NOTE: Applicants are only allowed to submit one application per year; i.e., you cannot apply to multiple programs in the same year (example: master's on-campus and master's online). Also, if an applicant has been denied and wishes to re-apply, he or she must wait one academic year before doing so.

Concentration: Choose your concentration from the pull-down window or choose "None" if not applicable.

Desired term of enrollment:

MS on-campus - select spring, summer or fall
Leep online learning - spring and summer only
CAS - select spring, summer or fall
PhD - fall only

Letters of References:
The individuals submitting reference letters on your behalf should submit their letters to our admissions office electronically through your online application, this is the preferred method, but if your referees do not want to submit their letters via your online application, they can do one of several other options:

1. Mail the letter to our physical address:

GSLIS Admissions
501 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820

2. E-mail the letter as an e-mail attachment to this address:

lis-apply [at]

3. Fax letter to 217-244-3302

Again, the preferred method of delivery is through your online application.

How many letters of reference do I need to send in?

We require letters of reference from three individuals who are able to comment on your aptitude for graduate studies and professional pursuits; however, you can have up to six submitted. We strongly recommend that one or more of these letters come from an academic professor. 

Statement Section:
Section 1 - Upload a professional resume.

Section 2 - Upload a GSLIS personal statement; NOT the statement that is being requested on the online application.

Tips for writing the personal statement
The Admission Committee is looking for the following issues to be addressed:

Why have you chosen the LIS field? (The committee would like to see evidence that you know what this field is all about.)
What career plans do you have once you obtain the degree? (The committee wants to see that you will make a difference in the field; have a passion for this area, not just a love of books and libraries.)

Program Specific Question #1:
Upload the interview/career essay for the MS degree or the research statement for the PhD program.

Field of Specialization:
Most applicants do not know what area of interest they wish to pursue. This is quite normal. Feel free to leave it blank. Once your application is submitted you will receive an email request to fill out a preference form that ranks your area of interest.

Financial Aid Preference:
Leave this blank as it does not pertain to our department. All applicants are considered for any scholarships/fellowships that we may have. Awards are based on area of interest, merit, and/or financial need. Once admitted to the school, you can begin the process of applying for an assistantship. Details of this process will be included in your admission letter.

Please see this link for information about FAFSA and various financial aid resources:

What are the Application Deadlines?:
Please see this link for the deadlines for all applications to GSLIS programs:

Do I have to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE)?

The GRE test is only required if an applicant's GPA is below a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale or a "B" average. We calculate GPA using the applicant's last two years of undergraduate studies if the degree was completed in four years and the last three years if the degree was earned in five or more years. Please note that if the degree is still in progress, we will calculate the GPA on the last three semesters of study or a minimum of 45 hours. If the applicant has taken any graduate level work or has a higher degree, then we average that GPA with the undergraduate GPA. If the average GPA calculated is a 3.0 or above on a 4.0 grade scale, then the GRE is NOT required. If an applicant has a JD or a PhD degree they would be exempt from the GRE requirement.

You can find out more information on the GRE test at the Educational Testing Service Web site.

How can I check the status of my application once it has been submitted?

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a communication from GSLIS; this will come to you from our Graduate Application Tool System that we use for admission; the communication will come via the lis-apply [at] e-mail address. You will be able to track the receipt of your recommendation letters; transcripts and the completion of your application via a link provide with in this communication. Please add the lis-apply [at] e-mail account to your address book to ensure that our emails do not end up in your spam folder. You could miss important communications concerning to your application status.

You can also go back into your online application to see if your letters of reference have been submitted, or you can lis-apply [at] (e-mail GSLIS) and ask for the status of your file.

I have a change of address and/or e-mail address and have already submitted my application.

It is very important that you keep the School updated of any address or e-mail change. These forms of communication are generally used by our office. Please go into your application and make the necessary changes as well as lis-apply [at] (e-mail) us any changes.

A note about e-mail addresses: When supplying an e-mail address in your online application, it is best to use a personal e-mail address, such as Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo, etc. as using a work or educational institutional e-mail address can sometimes delay or prevent you from receiving communications from GSLIS or the University of Illinois due to spam blocks set on those e-mail accounts.


It is now required that all applicants upload their transcripts to their online applications. This can be an official or unofficial copy. Instructions on how to upload are within the online application.

In addition to uploading transcripts to your online application we, GSLIS, do require TWO transcripts with at least one of those being the "official" transcript—sent directly from the University in a sealed envelope. If you have an unofficial transcript at home, we can use that for the second one.

Generally, we do not need transcripts from community colleges unless you received a Board of Governors, Trustees or General Studies degree. In this case, those are needed. If you are applying for the K-12 program, ALL transcripts are needed.

Where do I have transcripts sent?

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Attention: Admissions Office
501 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6211

Transcripts must come directly from the University in a sealed envelope. For women whose last name may be different than what is listed on the transcript, please instruct the registrar's office to note the new name on the transcript.

Declaration of Finance and Verification Form

All international applicants must submit these two forms before their I-20 will be processed. Both of these forms are now part of the online application form for international applicants and should be completed when completing and submitting the application to the program. 

General Information

The applicant's complete file is reviewed by the Admissions Committee which evaluates the applicant's background, qualifications, and potential as a whole. Only complete application files will be reviewed and no credentials will be returned to the applicant.

All application materials become the property of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and no item will be returned to the applicant.

Admitted MS or CAS students may defer their enrollment for a maximum of one year and admitted files will be kept for one year after date of admission. Thereafter, he/she must reapply.

GSLIS welcomes students from all backgrounds. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prohibits discrimination based on such characteristics as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Information about resources to assist domestic underrepresented applicants is available at: