Application Deadline for Fall 2021 Graduate Program Entry:

December 19, 2020* (no Spring admissions)

*This date does not apply to our Professional Science Master's program, which has a rolling application deadline.
The University of Illinois is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution.

All applications must be submitted electronically via the University of Illinois Graduate College portal. The non-refundable application fee is $70 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $90 for international applicants. Application fee waivers are only available in very specific cases for domestic applicants, and international applicants are not eligible for a fee waiver unless coming under an existing exchange agreement.

Completed applications must include the following items:

  • Statement of purpose
    Please mention the graduate program/concentration that interests you the most, your career goals, and the name(s) of the Geography & GIS faculty member(s) with whom you would like to study. We do not have program-specific questions.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    Your recommenders should submit their letters electronically through the Graduate College online application system. If recommenders are unable to receive the Slate-generated email (or reminder email) with letter submission link, they can email the letter directly to our Graduate Program Contact Matt Cohn (, who can then upload their letter to your application.
  • Transcript(s) and certification of degree(s)
    Uploaded documents must include your name and the institution name. Include a copy of the transcript legend or university key (back page in most cases) for each institution. Do not mail transcripts or degree certificates to the department.
  • Additional Requirements for International Applicants:
  • Not required: Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores
    Effective for the Fall 2020 admission cycle, our Admissions Committee will NOT consider GRE scores when evaluating applicants to our graduate degree programs.

Submitting an application for admission by the required deadline places you in the candidate pool for consideration for departmental fellowships and assistantships. In addition, highly qualified students and students from underrepresented groups may be considered for fellowships administered by Geography & GIS and the Graduate College.

Our department is committed to encouraging a diverse and supportive environment for every student who pursues a degree in geography. Students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Applicants who are recommended for admissions will need to request a copy of their final transcript (showing completion of all courses and degree awarded) to be sent from their previous institution(s) directly to the Graduate College (do not send transcripts to our department).

After our department sends an admission offer, applicants are referred to the Graduate College for a final check of credentials and academic/financial eligibility. Please review the Graduate College Application Checklist. All admission decisions and requests for further information/documents will be communicated via email to the email address provided in your application.

Graduate student assistantships and their accompanying tuition waivers provide graduate students with financial resources that help defray the expenses associated with completing their graduate degrees. Please see the Office of the Registrar website for tuition and fees rates.

International applicants may need to submit a Declaration and Certification of Finances to be eligible for visa documents (I-20 or DS-2019) if the value of their tuition waiver and assistantship do not meet the minimum financial requirements set by the Graduate College.

Professional Science Master's in GIS students are not eligible for tuition-waiver generating research/teaching assistantships or fellowships, but are eligible for graduate hourly employment when fulfilling the program's internship requirement.


Additional Questions?

Graduate Program Administrator: Matt Cohn
Director of Graduate Studies (MA, MS, PhD): Dr. Brian Jefferson
Professional Science Master's (PSM in GIS) Advisor: Dr. Michael Minn