Preferred Pathway Application

ISE undergraduates in their final year of study at Illinois may use the Preferred Pathway Application to apply to an ISE Masters program – Industrial Engineering or Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering. Students are not required to take the GRE to be apply; however, students wishing to pursue a PhD after the MS will be required to take the GRE prior to admission into the PhD program. Students wishing to apply directly to the PhD program should go through the standard application, rather than the Preferred Pathway Application. 


  • 3.5 UIUC GPA in beginning with the junior year (3rd year) forward
  • Students must enter the program the semester following graduation in their undergraduate program. If one year or more has passed since the student has graduated, the student will have to apply using the standard application process.
  • You can confirm eligibility if needed by emailing

Application Materials

The following application materials must be submitted:

  • Online application (fee will be paid by ISE; contact after submission)
  • uAchieve Report (wait for fall or spring grades to post; name must be on report)
  • Academic Statement . Please write a statement that answers the following questions (recommended length: 750 words max):
    1. How has your academic background, including any training, research, or other academic experiences, prepared you for graduate study?
    2. What are your intellectual interests and what scholarly questions are you interested in exploring in graduate study?
    3. Are there any specific faculty members whose research interests align with your own that you would like to work with?
    4. How will our program help you achieve your intellectual and professional goals?
  • Personal Statement (recommended length: 250 words max): Do you have any personal experiences, achievements, strengths, or circumstances not discussed in your academic statement that you would like to include or that you believe will help you succeed in our program?
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation from an ISE faculty member
  • Passport (international only)
  • Evidence of financial resources (international students only*)

Applicants will not automatically be considered for research assistantships or teaching assistantships at the time of admission. To be considered for a research assistantship, the admitted student must contact a faculty member for involvement in their research program. To be considered for a teaching assistantship, the student must meet the English proficiency requirements and apply. More information about the TA application for ISE can be found on the ISE Financial Support Wiki Page. Applicants will not be considered for fellowships. 

How to Apply

  1. Login or create an account for the Graduate College application portal and begin your application as usual
  2. In the application, there is a section regarding Application Fee Waivers – indicate you are eligible for an application fee waiver and check the box for “ISE Preferred Pathway Application.”
  3. Leave the GRE section blank.
  4. In the reference area section, enter the information for the ISE faculty member you have requested to write your letter of recommendation.
  5. Upload a copy of your uAchieve Report report after fall grades are posted (for fall applicants) or after all summer grades are posted (for spring applicants).
  6. Complete/upload your Academic Statement of Purposes, Resume, Passport (if international), and Funding Documentation (if international).
  7. Email the Graduate Programs Office ( to let us know your application has been submitted. We will then begin your application review.

Final admission decisions rest with the Graduate College Admissions Office and require the completion of any academic degrees that were incomplete at the time of your application and maintaining a satisfactory GPA.

Any questions may be directed to the ISE Graduate Programs Office.

*All international applicants requesting visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are required to demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to cover the cost of their education while in the United States. Financial documentation is required as part of the application process in order for visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) to the U.S. to be issued. International applicants should upload the documentation directly to the online application using the Declaration and Certification of Finances form. This form includes the amount of funding required and the type of documentation required.

ISE does not require evidence of financial resources at the time of application. Students who uploaded their documentation during the application process received their I-20 approximately three weeks sooner than those who waited until admission. All funding offers will be subtracted from the total amount of funding the applicant is required to show.