Graduate Non-Degree seeking student FAQ

1. What is Graduate Non-degree seeking status?

 Graduate Non-degree seeking status is designed for two types of applicants who hold the baccalaureate:  1) Individuals who do not wish to pursue a degree but want to take courses for professional or scholarly reasons or personal enrichment. And 2) individuals who have been out of school for several years or in a different field of study and wish to take a few courses before deciding whether to apply for a degree program.

There are two types of non-degree programs.

  • Departmental – You will apply with the specific department’s non-degree code and you will be affiliated with that department. Applying via this option means that your application will have to undergo review by the department. Some departments may require the submission of additional credentials for consideration.  Departmental non-degree may allow registration in courses that are otherwise restricted.  Not all programs allow non-degree study.  Please check with your desired program for availability.
  • General, unassigned. No program is associated with this application.

2. What are the Graduate College minimum requirements for Graduate Non-degree seeking admission?

  • Graduate College Application.
  • Nonrefundable application fee. This fee is waived for applicants seeking readmission who have been previously enrolled at UIC as a graduate student, and employees of UIC.
  • Prior Degree. The equivalent of a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Graduate Non-degree seeking applicants must submit proof of the degree with their application in the form of a photocopied diploma or a transcript with a posted degree.
  • Transcripts are not required by the Graduate College.
  • Tests Required. Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam . (Note: TOEFL scores must be reported electronically to UIC by ETS. Paper score reports will not be.) No other tests are required by the Graduate College.
  • Other Requirements International students who require certification of admission (I-20 or DS-2019) sent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not be admitted as non-degree students. Current F-1 or F-2 visa holders are not eligible for non-degree study.  Other visa holders should contact OAR for eligibility.

NOTE: Some programs require additional credentials for Non-degree seeking  admission.

3. Do all graduate departments admit students as Non-degree seeking?

No, some programs do not admit Non-degree seeking students.

4. Can Graduate Non-degree seeking students enroll in any classes they wish?

No.  Applicants can be admitted as Graduate Non-degree seeking, but remain ineligible to register for certain classes. It is the responsibility of the applicants to contact the program offering the course(s) to determine eligibility to enroll as a Non-degree seeking student.

5. Can students admitted as Non-Degree seeking receive Financial Aid?

No, as a Non-Degree seeking students do not qualify for any financial aid.

6. Do I have an Academic Advisor?

No, as a Non-Degree student you do not have an academic advisor assigned.   Non-Degree students are not eligible to meet with academic advisors, although you may contact the program from which you will be taking courses to determine if they will advise you. For students admitted as Non-Degree in the School of Public Health, please contact the School of Public Health for advising if needed.

7. I need to drop a course but it is after the add/drop period, what do I do?

Contact the Graduate College about any schedule changes after the add/drop period in which you are admitted as Graduate Non-Degree seeking Unassigned.  For students admitted as Non-Degree in the School of Public Health, please contact the School of Public Health for advising if needed.

8. When can I register for classes?

Graduate Non-Degree seeking students fall into the Open Registration Time period.  You can check the exact time under the Registration Eligibility link when logging into your account via  At the Academics tab, select Registration.

9. Do I qualify for the CTA U-Pass?

Graduate Non-Degree students who register for 9 or more credit hours will be assessed for CTA U-Pass.  Please check the CTA U-Pass web site for more information.

10. Will I be assessed tuition differentials as a Non-Degree seeking student?

Yes and No.  Students admitted as Graduate Non-Degree Unassigned will not be assessed a tuition differential.  However, Graduate Non-Degree Unassigned will not allow registration into sections restricted by major.  Students admitted in specific majors as Non-Degree seeking will be assessed the appropriate tuition differential, and will also have access to sections restricted by major provided other approvals are in place. See for more information on tuition and fees at UIC.

11. Can students later change from Graduate Non-degree seeking to Degree seeking?

Yes.  Graduate Non-degree seeking students interested in changing to degree status must submit a Graduate College Application online. All application credentials must be on file before the change to degree status will be considered. The application and all credentials must be submitted by the degree application deadline of the program to which the student is applying.  Admission to a degree program will be determined by the program you are applying to.  Admission is not guaranteed.

No more than 12 semester hours of credit earned as a Graduate Non-degree seeking student can be transferred into the degree program. Students must file a petition for the transfer of Graduate Non-degree credit; only graduate-level courses taken within six years of matriculation into a degree program in which a grade of A or B was earned will be considered.  Approval of the petition by the degree program to which you were admitted and the Graduate College is required.

12. If I am admitted as a Graduate Non-Degree seeking student, do I have a better likelihood of admission as a degree seeking student later?

No. Admission to Graduate Non-degree seeking status does not obligate the Graduate College or any graduate program to later admit a student to a degree program.

13. If I am admitted as Graduate Non-Degree seeking in the School of Public Health will I be assessed the School of Public Health tuition differential?

Yes. Non-Degree seeking students in the School of Public Health will be assessed the Public Health tuition differential.

14. What is the Graduate College? Does it oversee all programs above the bachelor’s level?

The Graduate College oversees students admitted to a master’s program or in a doctor of philosophy, doctor of arts, doctor of education, doctor of nursing practice, or doctor of occupational therapy program at UIC, except for the programs listed below.  The Graduate College oversees unassigned (general) non-degree students and non-degree students in graduate programs, excluding Public Health. The Graduate College does not oversee medical professional students in Medicine (MD), Pharmacy (PharmD) or Dentistry (DDS); nor does it oversee the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Engineering, the Master of Public Health, the Doctor of Public Health or the Master of Social Work.

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