PHD Admissions

FULL CONSIDERATION DEADLINE for applications and all supporting material for Fall 2019 is January 15, 2019.

Admissions Links

Requirements for Admission

Admission to the Ph.D. program in the Department of Business Administration is based on a variety of academic accomplishments, including:

  • Educational goals,
  • letters of recommendations,
  • and demonstrated success in research.

The Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has established a minimum grade point average of 3.00/4.00 for admission. In addition to the “B” average minimum, an acceptable score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required. In some cases, scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) may be substituted. Successful candidates usually score in the ninetieth percentile or better on the GMAT.

Applications are considered for Fall semester admission only. The application deadline for Fall 2019 is January 15, 2019. For full consideration, all materials must be received by the specified deadline. No transfer credits are accepted. Most students will enter with either an MBA or a related Master Degree. A student entering without a Master degree may be required to take additional courses.

All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit acceptable scores from the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These scores are valid only for two years before the proposed term of entry. Graduate applications are exempt only for students who have completed at least two years of full-time study within five years of the proposed date of enrollment at the University of Illinois.

Please note that for international students, financial support is contingent upon the student being certified to teach by receiving a passing score on the speaking portion of either the TOEFL-iBT or the IELTS or the English Proficient Interview (EPI), administered on campus. These scores must be less than two years old from the date of entry. For further information, see

Prerequisites & Business Discipline Proficiency

Entering students must demonstrate a basic level of proficiency in Statistics. Further, in order to gain a PhD in Business Administration, each student must demonstrate some breadth in business-related disciplines: i.e., Microeconomics, Behavioral Sciences, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Strategy. The proficiency requirements can be demonstrated in a number of ways such as documentation of course-work in prior degree programs, relevant work experience, additional courses during the PhD program, etc. Students with no prior exposure to one or more of these areas may be advised to take senior undergraduate or MBA courses, as appropriate, in the summer prior to admission to the PhD program, or during their time of study at Illinois.

Financial Support

An assistantship, which would include waivers of tuition and most service fees, is usually included in an offer of admission. Certain exceptional candidates may be offered additional awards as well. If admitted, your letter of acceptance will specify the nature of your assistantship and/or fellowship. Loans and other forms of assistance are often available through the Office of Financial Aid.


Consistent with the goals of our program, a majority of our students choose to pursue academic careers (98% of graduates since 2005 went into academia). Many of our students find positions at leading business schools and universities in the United States and around the world. Since 2005, these placements have included Georgia Institute of Technology, HEC Paris, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Iowa State University, Louisiana State University, Loyola University, McGill University, Notre Dame University, Ohio State University, Rice University, Tulane University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, University at Buffalo (SUNY), University of Connecticut, University of Kansas, University of Massachusetts (Amherst), University of Minnesota, University of New South Wales, University of South Carolina, University of Sydney, University of Toronto, University of Vermont, and Washington University (St. Louis). Some of our former students are listed in the featured alumni section of our website.

Admissions Checklist

  • completed application form
  • statement of purpose
  • resume
  • three letters of reference
  • transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate work
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores (institution code 1836)
  • Scores of Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for all applicants whose native language is not English