iMBA Admissions

Application deadlines and incentives

Apply today for our next cohort. View deadline benefits by clicking the drop down options below.

Fall Priority 1 Benefits: Thursday, May 2, 2024

Fall Priority 1 Deadline: Thursday, May 2, 2024

  • No Application Fee
  • Deadline to Apply for Scholarship Consideration
  • Priority Registration
  • Early Access to Illinois on Coursera
  • Begin Engaging with Classmates via our Networking Platforms
Fall Priority 2 Benefits: Thursday, June 6, 2024

Fall Priority 2 Deadline: Thursday, June 6, 2024

  • No Application Fee
  • Priority Registration
  • Early Access to Illinois on Coursera
  • Begin Engaging with Classmates via our Networking Platforms
Final Deadline (August Start): Thursday, June 27, 2024

Final Deadline (August Start): Thursday, June 27, 2024

  • Final Deadline to Start Courses in August
  • All completed applications will receive full consideration
Final Deadline (October Start): Thursday, September 5, 2024

Final Deadline (October Start): Thursday, September 5, 2024

  • Final Deadline to Start Courses in October
  • All completed applications will receive full consideration
June 27

Final Deadline to Start in August

The iMBA program is offered by Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  You will earn an MBA degree with the same faculty and rigor as an on campus program but in a flexible and online format. Our admissions team is looking for evidence of academic ability, as well as indications of past performance and future potential in your professional career.

  • Bachelor’s Degree with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent)*
  • Minimum of 3 years full-time, rich work experience
  • All required application materials

*Though recommended, we do review applications holistically and consider work experience, positive references, and a strong personal statement as indicators of future success as well. If you feel your profile may not be strong enough for admittance, please consider the Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT).

Application Requirements

It's simple to apply online for the Gies iMBA program. All materials below will be submitted through the University of Illinois Graduate College application portal. 

Graduate College Application

All the steps below must be completed online through the University of Illinois Graduate College application.

Academic Credentials

Applicants must upload their academic credentials (transcripts, marksheets, certificates of degree, etc.) as required by the Graduate College. For the application review process, applicants do not need to submit official academic credentials; unofficial or scanned credentials are acceptable. If admitted, however, you will be required to submit official academic credentials. When uploading your academic credentials, please keep the following in mind:

  • Credential evaluations (such as WES or ECE) are not accepted.
  • Uploaded credentials must include applicant’s name, institution name, and a transcript legend, grade scale, or grade criteria.
  • For domestic degrees, your transcript must have your degree awarded information and the date your degree was conferred.
  • For international degrees, you must include the certificate of degree.
  • If the credentials were originally in a language other than English, credentials in native language and English must be uploaded.
  • If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree at the time of application, we will review your application based on the in-progress unofficial transcripts you have uploaded.


Your professional resume should include personal information (name, address, telephone number, and email address), educational background, work experience (start and end dates for each position and a brief description of responsibilities), internship experience, educational training, professional associations, and leadership experiences. Technical resumes are not required. Please limit your resume to two pages.

Essay Prompts

All degree applicants will be required to submit both an academic statement and a series of short answer personal statements. Exact essay prompts can be found within the graduate application.

  • Academic statement: A 300-500 word statement that addresses three questions noted in the application.
  • Short answer personal statements: A maximum of 250 words that address 2-4 questions noted in the application.
  • Stacking essay: Learners applying to stack their first Gies degree into the iMBA will not have to complete the academic or personal statement essay. They will only have to complete a stacking essay of 300-500 words.


Two references are required. Once contact information is entered into your application, an email is sent to your references where they will be asked to complete a short form describing their professional relationship with you. A letter of recommendation can also be submitted but is not required. It is preferred that at least one of your references is a current or former supervisor. Reference forms can be received after an application is submitted. Applicants cannot submit references on their own behalf.

English Proficiency Scores

(International applicants only) If you are a non-native English speaker or do not meet one of the Graduate College’s exemptions, you will need to upload your TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores directly to your application. If you do not have scores and do not meet an exemption, you may also upload an essay requesting an exemption. Please note that if your test scores fall within the limited status range, you will be admitted to the Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT) program to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Optional Materials

GMAT or GRE score (optional): The GMAT or GRE is not required for the application, but you are welcome to submit scores to supplement your application. Unofficial scores can be loaded into your application, but your official GMAT scores must be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Institution Code – 1836.

Transfer Request Form: Requests for transfer credits will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed even if the following criteria are met. A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred. Transfer requests must be submitted with the application.

  • Institution must be AACSB accredited 
  • Course(s) cannot have been previously applied toward a degree or other transcripted credential
  • Course(s) must have been taken at the graduate level
  • Course(s) must have been completed within the past 4 years
  • Student must have earned an A- or better
  • A maximum of 12 credit hours will be approved for transfer

Gies Online Coursera Scholarship application essay: At Gies College of Business, we are committed to breaking down barriers and making high-quality business education affordable and accessible to as many learners as possible. As part of this commitment, we are proud to offer, in partnership with Coursera, a limited number of scholarships covering 70% of the tuition for the program. These scholarships are focused on making our programs more accessible and impacting the global community of our students. This essay must be submitted with your application by the scholarship deadline for full consideration for this scholarship.

Forte Scholarship application essay: Forté Fellowships are prestigious, competitive awards that are recognized within the business school community and beyond. Forté Fellows exhibit exemplary leadership and demonstrate a commitment to advancing women in business — all of which align with Forté's mission. One iMBA Forté Fellowship will be awarded per enrollment cycle and receive a $20,000 scholarship for their program. All applicants will be notified of their decision prior to the start of coursework for the term in which they have applied. Scholarship funds will cover $20,000 in tuition and fees and be dispersed throughout the duration of a student’s program. This essay must be submitted with your application by the scholarship deadline for full consideration for this scholarship.

Admissions Help Videos

Our admissions team has put together a few helpful videos to assist you as you work on your application. These videos address the most common questions regarding your essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and resume. 

View All Admission Help Videos ›
Do I have to take the GMAT or GRE to apply?

For those with three or more years of full-time work experience:

  • A GMAT/GRE score is not required
  • Applicants may opt to submit a test score as part of the application
  • The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request test scores as additional information to more thoroughly assess an applicant when necessary

For those with less than three years of full-time work experience:

  • A lot depends on the type and breadth of your experience and other aspects of your application, and you should consider submitting a GMAT/GRE test score
What happens after I submit my application?

Applicants can expect to hear from admissions within 1-2 weeks from the date they submit a complete application (no missing materials, including letters of reference) with a decision or invitation to interview.

Is work experience required?

All students are expected to have three or more years of rich, valuable operational or managerial experience. This is an especially critical component of the admissions decision because the knowledge and skills developed from professional experience enhance the academic experience for all students and faculty.

If you have less than three years of work experience and are ready to begin your graduate degree, we suggest starting with the iMSM program and stacking into the iMBA program once you've reached the three-year minimum work requirement.

Always feel free to reach out to our team to discuss your goals further.

Apply to the iMBA Program Today