The Pre-Engineering Program (PREP)

What is PREP?

The Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) is intended to provide an opportunity for highly qualified students who are not currently in the Grainger College of Engineering to prepare themselves for possible transfer into the Grainger College of Engineering. Students in PREP will reside in DGS while they complete the prescribed PREP curriculum and prepare for the Intercollegiate Transfer (ICT) process to the Grainger College of Engineering.


Read more to find out if the program is right for you.


External transfer students are not eligible to apply for the Pre-Engineering Program.*

* See below regarding Spring 2021 transfer students

New Pre-Engineering ICT Periods

Starting in Spring 2021, there will now be two application cycles for the Pre-Engineering Program, one at the beginning of May (May 1-15), and one at the end of November (November 15-30), with the following modifications to PREP Eligibility Requirements:

  • Freshmen can apply in their second and/or third semester at Illinois. 
  • Students who deferred in Fall 2020 and attended UIUC in Spring 2021 will first be able to apply to PREP in Fall 2021
  • Spring 2021 transfer students, who had one semester of college work before coming to Illinois, can apply to PREP in May 2021 only. This change is only for transfer students who started in Spring 2021.
  • No students will be allowed to apply to PREP in their fourth semester.
  • Students who apply to PREP in their 3rd semester may be on a delayed graduation timeline.
  • Students must be enrolled at Illinois the semester they apply to PREP.
  • Students must still meet the ICT to PREP requirements, including credit in MATH 220/221 and CHEM 102/103.
Information Sessions:

To learn about requirements to transfer (ICT) to the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP), you are strongly encouraged to attend one of our Information Sessions. These will cover the transfer requirements and process, application timeline, and give a sense of what your prospective experience would be in PREP. These sessions will also give you the opportunity to speak with a PREP advisor directly.

Note that PREP ICT Sessions are for current, Illinois students only. If you are a prospective University of Illinois student who has been admitted to the Pre-Engineering Program and have further questions about the program, please consult the main page or e-mail DGS Admissions:


January 19th @ 9am CST

February 4th @ 330pm CST

February 22nd @ 130pm CST 

March 9th @ 11am CST 

April 13th @ 10am CDT

May 5th @ 230pm CDT

All sessions will be held online. Registration is required here.

You need to be signed in through Google Apps @ Illinois in order to access the registration form. You can set this up here.

If you require any accommodations to more fully participate in this event, please email:

Make an appointment with a Pre-Engineering Academic Advisor to discuss the ICT process. It is our preference that students would attend one of the ICT sessions first, but it will not be required to meet with an advisor. We know that some students cannot attend an ICT session or have more questions they’d rather discuss 1:1 with an advisor. Students should call DGS at 217-333-4710 to schedule an appointment with a PREP advisor.

Eligibility for Pre-Engineering

The following are the minimum qualifications for the Pre-Engineering Program. Click each card for further information.

Note: you may need to adjust your display settings if you are unable to read all of the card. Otherwise, all information can be found here

  • The Pre-Engineering Program will accept credit earned through “PZ” for spring 2021 courses and will view it similarly to credit earned in AP or IB scores, proficiency exams, etc.
  • Pre-Engineering will view grades of “A’s” and “B’s” more positively than grades earned as “PZ” in Spring 2021. This view is in alignment with the stance from Grainger Engineering.
  • The ICT application review for Pre-Engineering is holistic and we rely on all of the information we have about a student’s academic record. If a student is admitted to Pre-Engineering and has earned “PZ” in technical courses, we will have an advising conversation about readiness to move forward in the next course of a sequence.
  • Students interested in applying to the Pre-Engineering Program should work with their academic advisors before electing “PZ” in a course to ensure they’re making the best decision possible.

Who is eligible to apply?

Current Illinois students enrolled in their first year of college

Students may only apply to PREP in May following their first year of college.

The following are not eligible to apply to PREP. Current Illinois students that:

  • Enrolled prior to Fall 2019.
  • Enrolled as TRANSFER students for Fall 2017 or after.
  • Are enrolled beyond their first year of college at Illinois.

Minimum GPA

Overall Illinois GPA and Specialized GPA* of 3.0 or higher

The specialized GPA is calculated based on all foundational technical courses related to the Engineering core curriculum. Grade Replacements will not be factored into the calculation of the Specialized GPA; instead all on-campus grades provided for one technical course will be averaged together. 

Minimum Course Requirements

MATH 220 or 221 & CHEM 102 & 103

Courses must be completed by end of the semester of application.

Please note the above minimum GPAs are required to apply. The competitiveness of the applicant pool will determine the average GPA.

Students who already have credits for the courses listed above (and do not want to forfeit that credit) are expected to successfully complete higher-level technical courses, following as best as possible the course sequencing for majors of interests that is listed in the Academic Catalog.

The CHEM 103 requirement is waived if you have AP credit for CHEM 102. Be advised that some programs on campus may still require earned credit in CHEM 103. Please reach out to the PREP team at to discuss.

Tips for Competitive Applications:

There is no guaranteed admission into the Pre-Engineering Program. The following will increase your competitiveness:

  • Grades of B or higher in all technical courses taken at Illinois
  • Completion of PHYS 100 or PHYS 211 by the end of freshman year
  • Completion of the Composition I General Education Requirement by the end of freshman year
  • Evidence of campus engagement and exploration of majors and/or careers of interest
Applying to Pre-Engineering

The next ICT application period to Pre-Engineering will be in May 2021. We encourage you to attend an Information Session (details listed above) to learn more about the program and requirements.

If you meet the above eligibility requirements listed above, please click below to learn about the application process to the Pre-Engineering Program and to apply.