Application Checklist

Please use this checklist as a guide to the application process.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Resumé
  • Transcript(s)
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Sponsorship Letter
  • Essays
  • Personal Interview

Online Application

Please use this link to begin your University of Illinois Executive MBA application - Online application.

You may start the application at anytime. Be sure to save your work as you gather the necessary information and submit once your application is complete.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $70 for domestic applicants and $90 for international applicants is required and can be paid at anytime. Payment can be made via credit card through our secure server or via check made payable to the University of Illinois. Typically, students submit this fee at the time they complete their online application.


Please submit a current business resumé that includes your work experience and education history. Your resumé should be uploaded using the online application or emailed to


All applicants should request that their official transcripts from prior academic institutions be sent directly to the Program. Transcripts must be received in sealed envelopes with the university seal or signature across the sealed flap. These documents are required for formal admission.

Prior to receiving those official records, the admissions committee may review unofficial copies of your academic records. Formal admission cannot occur until the committee receives your official transcripts.

Download the transcript request form.

Recommendation Letters

The admissions committee requires three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your work experience and can attest to your growth as a manager and leader. Good sources for recommendations include direct supervisors, clients, former employers or alumni of our EMBA program within your organization. In general, work related recommendations are more valuable than academic recommendations.

Recommendation letters should be received directly from the recommender either through postal mail or online from the recommenders email account. If submitted via postal mail, please ask the recommender to sign the sealed flap of the envelope.

Download the letter of recommendation template.

Sponsorship Letter

A sponsorship letter is required from your employer stating that the company is aware and supportive of your enrollment in the program and of the necessary time commitment involved. Your employer's endorsement of your participation in our EMBA program and the time this will take away from your company are critical to your success. In this letter, it is also helpful to the admissions committee if the letter speaks to how your company views your leadership potential in your firm.

Download a sample sponsorship letter.


The essays are an important component of your application and provide the admissions committee with information about your written communication skills and insight into how you work, think and act. Use your best judgment in determining the appropriate length your essays, but most applicants limit each essay to around 500 words or less.

  • Essay 1: Please share your past leadership experiences, your goals as a future leader and how you see the Executive MBA program benefitting you and your employer as you prepare for the next stage in your career.
  • Essay 2: Tell us about a weakness in your academic or business background that the Executive MBA program will remedy. What 3 or 4 specific how-to skills do you see as most important for improving your performance and personal effectiveness in your profession?
  • Essay 3: Describe what values, experiences or expertise you would bring to the classroom and your study team that will supplement our learning environment.

Personal Interview

An interview is required for all candidates before an offer for admissions is extended. These interviews last approximately 30 minutes and may be scheduled at any time in the application process although most such interviews occur after key documents such as the online application and essays are submitted.


The admissions process is but one step as you gather information about this next step in your development. Choosing to enroll in an Executive MBA program is a major commitment and requires careful thought. For some students, this time of assessment may last several years - which is fine and understandable. Yet at some point, all candidates will need to take time from their hectic schedules to apply and present themselves for consideration.

We recommend to all potential applicants that you begin the process by completing those parts of the application you directly control, even as you continue to gather information and weigh all your potential choices. At this stage, it is useful to get yourself identified in the system and alert the admissions committee of your interest in the program. This includes completing the online application, paying your application fee and submitting a current resumé

Next, some parts of the application process require planning and time for they fall outside your span of control. These include the three recommendation letters, obtaining official college transcripts and securing a sponsorship letter from your employer. These steps may require several weeks if not a few months to complete. Consider that lead time as it may delay the admissions committee's ability to formally review your application.

The final steps involve completing the essays and then visiting the Program for a personal interview. You may request a personal interview at any time in the process that is convenient for you however most candidates wait until the program has received most if not all of the items on the checklist. It is also helpful to arrange your interview to occur on a class day. This allows you to sit in on a class and also visit with our current students during a break or over a meal.

Should have any questions during the course of your application process, you should feel free to contact Lisa Koengeter (312.575.7901). While in many cases she can share her insights into your questions, she may be able to find alumni or current students in our program who can directly answer your questions.

The final piece of advice is to complete your application early while space is not nearly as constrained. Further, the committee uses a rolling admissions process meaning that cases which are not definitively decided on may be carried over and revisited at a later meeting.