Effective Fall 2025, DGS will become the Division of Exploratory Studies. Same mission; new name.

International Students

Preparing to come to campus can be an exciting and yet nerve wracking experience. The Office of Admissions has created a helpful Admitted Student Checklist to help you prepare for your summer registration advising appointment and arriving on campus in the fall. As an International student you should also be referencing the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) pre-arrival checklist.

Illinois offers two different types of housing options for our first year students. You can choose to live in the University Residence Halls or in Private Certified Housing. The biggest differences between these two options are the amenities that are offered. More information about your housing options can be found on the Housing website.

Click on the commonly asked questions below to find answers!

Yes, all majors are open to DGS students who start at Illinois as a first-year student. When you meet with your DGS Academic Advisor to discuss course registration you will talk about the top three or four majors you wish to explore and then your schedule will be crafted to help you take the entry level classes in these majors. Please note, external transfer students interested in Gies Business or Grainger Engineering must apply directly to these programs when applying to the university. 

There are some majors on campus that are more competitive to transfer to than others. Right now it is very difficult or impossible to transfer into some majors in the Grainger College of Engineering. It is also a competitive process to transfer to the Gies College of Business. Students interested in Gies Business are only able to apply at the end of their first year at Illinois. Students interested in  Engineering majors may apply to the Engineering Undeclared Program at the end of their second or third semester. More information about the transfer process for each major at Illinois can be found at the Office of the Provost's Changing Major page. Please note, external transfer students interested in Gies Business or Grainger Engineering must apply directly to these programs when applying to the university. 

This really depends on the major(s) you are interested in exploring. The good news is that you will meet one on one with a DGS Academic Advisor to identify appropriate courses you should take in your first semester to help you explore your majors of interest and fulfill general education requirements at the same time.

International students are given the option of completing their New Student Registration appointment online. This way you can register for your classes prior to arriving on campus. Check your myillini account to make sure you are eligible for online advising during New Student Registration.

There are several ways to stay in touch with a DGS Advisor. If you do not have a specific advisor you work with you can always email the DGS general email at genstudies@illinois.edu. Your email will then be sent to the appropriate advisor who will answer your question. Once you arrive on campus we encourage students to meet with their DGS Academic Advisor one to two times per semester. One time to talk about your transition to campus and about major exploration. Then a second time (typically in the middle of the semester) to talk about class options for the upcoming semester.

Unfortunately there is currently no way to set up your Illinois email account prior to arriving on campus if you are from a country that does not have Gmail access, like China.

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) has some great information available on their website to help International students learn about the options of how to get to campus.

Major exploration can happen in a variety of ways. Whether through the classes you are taking, to the student groups you join, to the volunteer experiences you have, to the conversations you have with upperclass students. More information on how DGS helps students' explore major options can be found on our Major Exploration page.

Congratulations and welcome to the Illinois family! Once you accept your offer of admission you should use the Admitted Student Checklist which can be found on your myillini page or on the Office of Admissions website. The Admitted Student Checklist includes information about signing up for Housing, setting up your NETID & Computing information, completing your Financial Aid application, signing up for your New Student Registraiton appointment, and much much more.

Our international student admission decisions are based on a thorough review of your application package.