Application for Graduate Study

Main Content

The online application for admission to the Graduate School can be found on the Graduate School home page. This application is required for admission to all programs and allows the student to upload most of their application materials. 

Items routinely uploaded are: unofficial copies of test scores such as the GRE, GMAT, MAT and TOEFL / IELTS, unofficial copies of transcripts, statements of purpose, specific materials required by your program; financial statements/ bank statements for international applicants, as well as copies of passport pages for applicants and dependents. Contact information for persons being asked to provide letters of recommendation is required. References will be contacted by the Graduate School and asked to submit reference letters through the application online portal.

Application Fee

The Graduate School requires a non-refundable application fee of $65 which must be submitted with the Application for Admission to Graduate Study. If you are applying to more than one program, a fee must be paid to each program. McNair and Fulbright Scholars should submit proof of participation in that program directly to the Graduate School in order to be considered for an application fee waiver. The application fee is subject to change without notice.


Students applying for admission to a degree program are required to submit transcripts for all universities and colleges they have attended (undergraduate and graduate). It is acceptable to submit unofficial transcripts during the application process. However, after admission, and prior to the second semester of registration, students are required to submit official transcripts. 

Students applying for admission as nondeclared are required to send one final official degree transcript that shows a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree earned.

Official transcripts may be sent electronically from an institution to Graduate School Admissions, 1263 Lincoln Drive, Mail Code 4716, SIU Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901 or as a password protected PDF to

Under certain circumstances, the Graduate School will notify students to submit official transcripts in person; these must be submitted in the original sealed envelope.

Transcripts submitted will not be returned or forwarded to other institutions.

Any student wishing to be considered for Graduate School fellowships must submit transcripts for all universities and colleges they have attended (undergraduate and graduate) to the School where their program is housed.

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, no non-Southern Illinois University person, firm, or agency may have access to an applicant’s or a student’s credentials without written consent of the individual concerned. Graduate students shall be permitted to examine their own records upon request. Such requests should be made by the student to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Test Scores

The Graduate School does not require any graduate tests for admission. Individual programs may require, at their discretion, the GMAT, GRE, MAT, or other appropriate standardized tests for admission. Students should check the website or catalog page of the program to which you are applying or contact the program directly for more information. 


While the Graduate School does not have an application deadline, many programs do. The deadlines may be as early as December 1st for the following fall semester. Please check the program to find out what application deadlines they may have. These deadline dates are also listed under “Degree Program Information” on the Graduate School home page, but should be verified with the program. Regardless of any deadlines, applicants should submit materials to the department as far in advance as possible, to have the best chance to be considered for admission and funding.


The admission requirements of the Graduate School and the academic program must both be met before the student is admitted to an academic program, and both the Graduate School and the academic program may specify admission conditions. After the admission decision is made, the student will be informed by the Graduate School via email to retrieve the decision letter in the application online portal.

Terms of Admission

Please note that some programs may not admit students for all semesters. Some allow admissions for fall semester only, some for summer only, and some for fall and spring terms only. For more information, students should check with the program to which they are applying or also check the Graduate School home page for “Degree Program Information".

Updating Admission for Future Terms

All admissions are for the specific term indicated. Should a student wish to change their admission to a future term, they must contact the Director of Graduate Studies in the program to which they are applying. The petition to change can only be granted within one calendar year of the initial admission term and only with the agreement of the department and the Graduate School. Official transcripts will be required for any course work completed since the original application. After one year, the student must submit a new application and new application materials. International students may be required to submit a new TOEFL score and/or update financial documents in order to defer admission to a later term.

Admission of Faculty Members

No one who holds a faculty appointment at any of the academic ranks—lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor—shall be admitted to a graduate degree program at any level, or be eligible to register for courses to be taken for graduate credit, in the graduate degree program in which the faculty member holds the appointment. If a faculty member has been admitted to a graduate degree program in some unit other than the one in which such appointment exists, no member of the faculty of the unit in which the appointment is held may be a member of that colleague’s thesis committee, graduate program committee, dissertation committee, or any other examining committee. (See also faculty appointments in the section titled Financial Assistance.)

Admission of International Students

(Policy approved March 2021.)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant international students. A student from abroad is subject to all requirements for admission established by the Graduate School. For other information concerning international students, applicants should contact the Graduate School Admissions Office, 1263 Lincoln Drive, Room 310.

To allow ample time for visa and other departure procedures, the applicant should have an application and all supporting documents on file with the University no less than six months prior to the proposed entry date. Some program deadlines may require an even earlier application.

Prior to admission to a degree program, the applicant will be required to certify that personally adequate financial resources will be available to undertake and continue in a program of study.

English Proficiency Requirements for Admission

All applicants whose native or first language is not English must take one of the following English proficiency tests no more than 24 months prior to the term for which the applicant is seeking admission (higher scores may be required for admission into specific degree programs):

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (paper - PBT) or 80 (internet - iBT).
  2. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band score of 6.5.
  3. The iTEP Academic Plus Exam with a minimum score of 3.8.
  4. The Cambridge English Exam with a minimum score of C1.
  5. Duolingo English Test with a minimum score of 115.
  6. The Pearson PTE Academic (PTEA) English Test with a minimum score of 64.

Official English proficiency test scores will be sent only to the Graduate School Admissions Office. A photocopy of the student’s examinee score report should be uploaded with other materials in the online application.

Exemptions to English Proficiency Requirements

Graduate applicants can be exempt from providing an English proficiency test score if one of the following criteria is satisfied. All of the exemptions provided below will require an exemption request to be submitted by the graduate program director or their representative to the Dean of the Graduate School.  

  1. An applicant who has completed at least 48 credit hours of graded undergraduate coursework (earning a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale) or 12 credit hours of graduate coursework (earning a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) at an accredited institution in the United States, within 5 years of the proposed semester of initial enrollment at SIUC. Proficiency credit, pass/fail or satisfactory/ unsatisfactory grades are not counted as legitimate credit hours. The determination of the applicant’s grade point average shall be the responsibility of the Graduate School.
  2. An applicant who has completed the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree (earning a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale), a master's degree or higher (earning a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from an international institution in a country on the SIUC Exempt Country and Territory List, within 5 years of the proposed semester of initial enrollment at SIUC.
  3. An applicant who has completed the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree (earning a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale), a master's degree or higher (earning a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from an international institution that is officially recognized by a country not listed on the SIUC Exempt Country and Territory List, and the sole medium of instruction for the program was in English, within 5 years of the proposed semester of initial enrollment at SIUC. The graduate degree program should submit an exemption request to the Graduate School, along with an official letter from the institution on letterhead indicating language of instruction or provide information on the institution website to verify language of instructionIf fully admitted, the graduate program and Graduate School may require the student to successfully complete LING 290 in the first year of study at SIUC.
  4. An applicant who has acquired at least two years of relevant professional work experience in a country on the SIUC Exempt Country and Territory List, within 5 years of the proposed semester of initial enrollment at SIUC. The graduate program director or their representative should submit an exemption request (along with letters of recommendation from the applicant's employers, evidence of professional work to be verified and approved by both the Graduate Dean and Department Chair/School Director of the respective program that the student applies for) to the Graduate Dean.
  5. An applicant who has earned a Certificate of Completion from an accredited English language program, such as The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) or equivalent, within 5 years of the proposed semester of initial enrollment at SIUC.

SIU Exempt Country and Territory List

The following is a list of the countries and territories that qualify for an exemption to English proficiency requirements:

  • United States of America and Territories of the United States
  • United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Cameroon-Anglophone
  • Canada
  • Christmas Island
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Gambia, The
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia, Federated States
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norfolk Island
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Samoa
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Kitts and Nevis
  • Lucia
  • Vincent and Grenadines
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Tokelau
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Conditional Admission of International Students

Conditional admission of international students will be considered on an individual basis. The student must apply to a program which requires only the Graduate School minimum score on the standardized tests listed previously in the section titled "English Proficiency Requirements for Admission". Schools which require a higher minimum score may not use this option; for those programs, the required score must be submitted in advance before an application will be considered. Please note that some programs will not allow this option.

Before this option can be considered, the student must submit all required application materials to the school, including a recent English proficiency test, however low. Schools may confer with the Graduate School Admissions Office with regards to using this admissions option. The student must be acceptable for admission based on all other academic criteria, with the possible exception of a graduate test score such as the GRE or MAT. Graduate admissions will coordinate with the CESL Office to arrange for the student’s enrollment in CESL classes, and will issue a Training Language I-20, along with a conditional admission letter guaranteeing the student admission to the graduate degree program following successful completion of all required English language courses, submission of the required English proficiency test score and all other required documents.

Enrollment in Distance Education and Online Courses for International Students

Per Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulation 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G), an online or distance education course is a course that is offered principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing.

  • Only one class or three credits during each term or semester may count toward a full course of study for an F-1 student if the class is taken online or through distance learning
  • No online or distance learning classes may count toward an English language training student's full course of study requirement.
For SEVP purposes, a course is considered online if 50% or more of it is conducted online.

Qualification for Assistantship with Teaching Duties for International Students

Every non-native English speaker assigned a graduate assistantship with teaching duties must pass the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Interview before interacting with undergraduate students as part of their TA duties. If the international student was required to submit an English proficiency score for admission to the graduate program, then that student must pass an ITA Interview in order to be hired as a teaching assistant.

The purpose of the ITA Interview is to assess the student’s proficiency in oral communication in English. Assessment is completed by a committee comprised of two or three members: one representative from the student’s graduate program and one or two representatives from the Graduate School, the Center for Teaching Excellence, or another designated reviewer.

ITA Interviews may be conducted in-person or virtually. Virtual interviews may be conducted synchronously or asynchronously.

The interview begins by asking the student to provide general information such as their home country, their reason for choosing Southern Illinois University, their chosen field of study and major emphasis, and/or plans for graduation and the future. The student is then asked to explain ideas from their TA field of study. They could explain some relevant research or describe a concept and elaborate on how they might explain that concept to an undergraduate learner.

Upon completion of the interview, the interviewers will independently rate the student on:

  1. Comprehension (how well the student understood what was asked);
  2. Fluency (how smoothly and continuously the student spoke);
  3. Pronunciation/accent (how comprehensible and phonetically correct the student’s speaking was);
  4. Vocabulary and Syntax (how grammatically correct and robust the student’s vocabulary was).

The outcome of the interview will be a consensus of the interviewers’ assessment and ratings.

There are three possible outcomes for the interview:

  1. Full Pass, which allows the student to serve as a teaching assistant without restriction.
  2. Partial Pass: Monitor, which allows the student to serve as a teaching assistant with limited duties. Duties are specifically tailored to the student’s performance level, for example: grading only, help sessions, laboratories under close supervision, one-on-one tutoring sessions, etc.
  3. Failure, which prevents the student from being hired as a teaching assistant for that semester. Remediation will be offered for students who need it.

The Center for Teaching Excellence will notify the student, the student’s program, and the Graduate School of the interview outcome.

Students who have the outcome of Partial Pass: Monitor or Fail, may complete another ITA Interview the following semester to attempt to earn the outcome of Full Pass.