Who should pursue an MBA?

Successful applicants come from all walks of life, all over the world. They are engineers, marketers, physicians, entrepreneurs, and accountants. We accept talented students looking to expand their knowledge base with applicable real-world experiences, and can demonstrate why the iMBA from Illinois is crucial for personal and professional success. Ideal applicants are emerging leaders and innovative thinkers who contribute unique perspectives to class discussions.

Benefits of applying for a priority deadline:

  • No application fee
  • Option to begin coursework early

Program start dates:

Program cohorts begin in January, March, May, August, and October of each year. Open courses are available to start throughout the year.

Fall 2021 Cohort Deadlines

RoundApplication Deadline
Priority Deadline 1May 1, 2021 (PAT included)
Priority Deadline 2June 1, 2021 (PAT included)
Final DeadlineJuly 1, 2021 (PAT included)

Application Requirements

The online MBA (iMBA) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is designed for working professionals who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in their careers. Applicants should be ready to explain how the iMBA degree will help them achieve future career plans.

Applicants for the degree program must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree or US equivalent: You must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent degree from an accredited institution in a foreign country. If you earned your degree(s) from outside the United States, refer to the following webpage for academic requirements by country: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/countries. You must have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for the last two years of undergraduate study.
  • 3 years professional work experience: All students are expected to have at least three or more years of rich, valuable operational or managerial experience.
  • 3 professional letters of recommendation: Each applicant is required to submit three letters of recommendation. We strongly recommend that your references come from individuals who know you from a professional setting and can speak to your leadership or management abilities. At least one of the letters should come from a current or previous supervisor.

Concerns about your application profile? Explore the Performance-based Admissions Track:

The Performance-based Admissions Track (PAT) is a first-of-its-kind pathway into the iMBA program.

How do I apply to the PAT? If you’re interested, you simply follow the regular iMBA admissions process, indicating that you would like to be considered for the PAT. You will undergo the same rigorous application review as a degree-seeking student, including a possible interview. If admitted into the PAT, you will take a set of three iMBA courses, and upon completion (cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, including a B or better in at least 2 courses) you will be automatically admitted to the iMBA program as a degree-seeking student. The credits earned in those three courses will also be transferred toward your MBA degree. All students admitted to the PAT will be assigned an academic advisor and will have support throughout the program.

The benefits of the PAT include:

  • Free application
  • No enrollment deposit
  • Opportunity to experience iMBA courses and earn academic credit

The PAT program could be the best fit for you, if you:

  • Do not meet minimum undergraduate GPA requirement
  • Have limited full-time or managerial work experience
  • Are unsure if an online program is right for you
  • Are uncertain about the time commitment needed to earn your MBA

Previously completed iMBA coursework:

If you have completed an iMBA for-credit course or Specialization, we will consider your performance as we evaluate your application. Please note that good performance in these courses does not guarantee admission to the program.

Test Scores:

You may submit a GMAT or GRE score, but these scores are not required.

English Proficiency:

International applicants must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score. Some domestic applicants are also required to take the TOEFL or IELTS if they completed their post-secondary education in a country where English is not the primary language.

You are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination if you meet ALL the criteria listed for either situation below: You have completed two years of post-secondary, full-time study:

  • In a country where English is the primary language;
  • At an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction; and
  • Within five years of the intended term of enrollment

You have been awarded an advanced degree:

  • In a country where English is the primary language;
  • At an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction; and
  • Within five years of the intended term of enrollment

To see if you may qualify for an exemption, check to see if the country where you attended university appears on the exempt countries list which you can find here: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply/exemptcountries

International Applicants:

The iMBA is a completely online MBA degree program. No student visas will be sponsored for this program.

International students must submit attested English translations of all transcripts. While a final admission decision can be made using scanned copies of transcripts and degree certificates, official and original copies will be required before you get started. We recommend that you send all required documents with your application.

Application fee:

A non-refundable fee of $70 for domestic applicants, $90 for international applicants.

Application Process:

The first step is to fill out the online application and attach all required materials (copies of transcripts for all higher education, resume, essay, and names with emails for your recommenders). After the admissions committee reviews your materials, you may be invited to an online interview. After the interview, the admissions committee will notify you with a decision. For admissions support, we offer online office hours, an admissions checklist, webinars, and email and phone support to answer your questions.


If you have questions about the application process or eligibility, please send us an email: onlineMBA@illinois.edu

Class Profile

Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution.

We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.