Admissions: General Information and Procedures
Dear prospective student,
Thank you for the interest you have expressed in graduate study in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese (SIP) at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to learn more about our department, including our graduate programs and detailed application requirements, by taking a look at our website. If you have any questions about the graduate programs in Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese, you should direct them to the Director of Graduate Study, Professor José I. Hualde.
The University of Illinois has a web-based application. If you go to the Graduate College’s application website, you will see links to information for applicants, application instructions, and the link to the application itself. Please complete the online application form for the Fall 2013 term. The online application will accept uploads of the following required application materials—please do not send them to the department.
- Personal Statement
The personal statement is an important element in the application package for graduate study. We would like 1 or 2 double-spaced pages explaining why you are interested in graduate study in your chosen program, and how our department in particular might fit your intellectual needs and interests. The Graduate Admissions Committee would especially like to know about any specific research areas that interest you, and what your long-term professional plans are.
- Resume or CV
Not required, but greatly appreciated.
- Academic Documents
Provide scanned copies of your transcripts (a complete list of all the courses you’ve taken and the grades you received) and any certificates of degree completion or diplomas for all post-secondary schools attended (undergraduate and graduate programs). English translations should be provided when applicable, preferably from the school attended. We will accept translations done by the applicant. They should follow the same format as the original document. Official documents (original or “attested” copies) will be required if you are admitted.
- Writing Sample
About 20 pages of writing from one or two sources (e.g., term papers or research papers). You may want to send a sample in English and another one in the language of the program to which you are applying (Spanish, Italian or Portuguese), so that the committee can judge your writing in both languages. Please upload to the online application in the Program Specific Question 1 section.
- Letters of Recommendation
We require 3 letters, preferably from professors familiar with your work. When you fill out the online application, you will include email addresses for all of your references. They will automatically receive emails from Apply Yourself with instructions on how to upload their letters of reference to your online application. If they don’t receive this email or have trouble uploading their letters, they should contact SLCL Grad Student Services.
The information you submit online, as well as the application fee ($70 for domestic applicants, $90 for international), goes directly to the Graduate College Admissions Office. The online application materials will then be made available to the SLCL Graduate Student Services office, which will prepare your application file for the Department’s admission committee to review.
- GRE Scores
Current GRE scores are required from all domestic applicants who are native English speakers. GRE scores are strongly recommended for non-native speakers of English only if they have earned a degree in an institution of higher education in which English is the primary language of instruction. The exam must have been taken no more than 5 years prior to the start of your first semester at UIUC. Applicants should have their scores sent by ETS to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, institution code #1836, dept. #0000. (We do not use department codes here, but ETS will ask for one.) No minimum scores required.
- English Proficiency Exams
All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a TOEFL iBT or Academic IELTS score report. The test must have been taken no more than 2 years prior to the start of your first semester at UIUC. Minimum score requirements for admission are 79 total on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 total with at least a 6.0 in all subsections on the IELTS.
This requirement may be waived if you have completed at least 2 academic years of full-time study – or have completed a graduate degree – at an English-language university in an English-speaking country no more than 5 years prior to your first semester at UIUC. The requirement may also be waived if you were raised in and/or went to school in one of the countries on this list.
These waivers are for admission purposes only and do not provide an exemption from the English proficiency requirement for international teaching assistants.
In order to hold a teaching assistantship (our most widely available source of financial aid), all applicants whose native language is not English must pass the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT with a minimum score of 24, or the speaking section of the IELTS with a minimum score of 8, or pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a minimum score of 50.
This requirement is not waived like the admissions requirement above, and no teaching assistantship will be awarded prior to passing one of these exams.
We would appreciate receiving your official score report by the application deadline or shortly thereafter, so please arrange to take any of these tests as early as possible in the application process. Have ETS send the TOEFL iBT or TSE score report to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, institution code #1836, dept. #00. If you took the IELTS, please upload the score report to your online application.
In order to receive full consideration for all financial aid opportunities, your application for Fall 2013 must be complete (with all of the above materials in place) no later than December 10, 2012. If space and financial aid are still available, we will review late application files. All admitted applicants are considered for financial aid based on their application materials and available funds. Financial aid may be awarded in the form of fellowships, assistantships, or a combination of the two.
The SIP Graduate Admissions Committee may contact you via phone or Skype to assess non-primary language skills and/or to discuss any aspect of your application in general.
The University of Illinois has many opportunities for funding beyond those provided by the department. The Graduate College’s financial assistance web page has more details about the sources of funding available to graduate students. There is a fellowship database that lists fellowship funding potentially available to you. Students who are studying certain specific languages may want to look at the fellowships available through the FLAS Fellowships program.
If you are interested in second language acquisition, it is important that you know about the SLATE (Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education) advanced certificate program. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program can simultaneously earn this certificate. You can read more about the program on the SLATE website at http://www.slate.illinois.edu/.
If you have any further questions about the application process, please feel free to contact SLCL Graduate Student Services.
We look forward to receiving your application for fall 2013!
José I. Hualde
Director of Graduate Studies (email@example.com)
Department of Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese
707 South Mathews Avenue, 4080 FLB
Urbana IL 61801
Should you need assistance with the application itself, please contact SLCL Graduate Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org).