Admissions FAQ

How are admission decisions made? Are there certain factors that are more important than others?

The Gies College of Business reviews admissions applications on a holistic basis, meaning we look at a number of different factors when you apply. The Gies College of Business admits students who have challenged themselves academically, so we encourage students to take the most challenging classes your high school offers. We look at your grades & GPA along with your level of involvement in extracurricular and community activities. We look for leaders and difference-makers—the people who’ve positively impacted those around them. Dean White explains this process in more detail here.


Will my AP credits transfer?

The University of Illinois’ AP page shows the breakdown of scores accepted for each test. Once we’ve accepted a test as fulfilling a requirement, you’re done with that course and can move on. Always be sure to check with your Academic Adviser to ensure a class has transferred, though.


What coursework will I take in the Gies College of Business?

Gies College of Business coursework is split into 3 types of required classes: General Education, Business Core, and Major Courses. General Education coursework makes up your basic university courses (biology, physics, literature, history, etc.). Business Core courses are primary business classes that give you a broad understanding of basic business topics (accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, computer science, public speaking, etc.) You can begin taking Major Courses once you’ve chosen a major. These are upper-level (300–400-level) courses specific to your major. And because we’re a large university, you can take a variety of courses from different departments.


When do I have to select a major?

When you’re in the Gies College of Business as a freshman, you will have 2 years of exploration before you have to declare a major. While you may declare a major at anytime, we encourage students to explore their Business Core courses to ensure you select the major that is most appropriate for you.


When will I begin business coursework?

Right away! During your first semester you will enroll in Business 101, a class designed to introduce you to business concepts and professional responsibility. After Business 101, you’ll start your Major Courses around sophomore or junior year.


Will professors teach my courses? What about class size?

All Gies College of Business courses are taught by Gies College of Business professors. For General Education courses and some Business Core courses, you may be in a course taught by another college (e.g., economics taught by Liberal Arts and Sciences), but almost all of them will be taught by a professor. Most large lecture courses, like Micro and Macroeconomics, will have smaller discussion sections of 30–40 students to make sure you’re grasping the concepts. Generally, all upper-level Gies College of Business courses are less than 40 students. Visit the college’s classrooms sometime—you’ll see that they’re built for small classes taught by a professor.


I’m not sure I’ll be admitted. If I’m not admitted, what happens?

If you are not admitted to the Gies College of Business, our admissions office will pass your application to the Division of General Studies for review. If you are admitted to the Division of General Studies, you can reapply to the Gies College of Business in May of your freshman year. It’s important to note, however, that the Intercollege Transfer process is competitive, with only about 200 spots.


I’m admitted! Is there a preferred computer and calculator type I should bring?

The university provides computer labs all over campus, but we strongly recommend personal computers for all business students. Whether you bring a netbook, laptop, or desktop depends on your preference. Windows PCs are the preferred computer for the college. If you’re a Mac user, you should know that ECON 203 (a required business core course) requires the Windows version of Excel. You’ll have to use a computer lab or a friend’s PC for this part of the coursework.

The Texas Instruments BA-II Single Line LCD Financial Calculator is required for most business courses, but the Hewlett Packard 12C or 12C Platinum can be used, too. When you’re enrolled in the required math courses, you’ll need a TI-83 or TI-84 calculator. (Classes like MATH 125: Linear Algebra for Business Applications require the matrix functions that these calculators provide.) TI-89 calculators are not allowed for most courses.