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

Previous Illinois Students

Are you a previous Illinois student interested in returning to Illinois?

If you left in good academic standing, please follow the instructions below.

If you were academically dismissed from the university, please pay careful attention to the "am I eligible" information below. 


  • One semester away: If you left Illinois in good academic standing, and you've only been away from campus for one semester, you are not required to complete a re-entry application. You should schedule an appointment with a DGS academic advisor to develop a course plan for your term of re-entry and you will most likely have an advising hold on your record preventing you from registering until you do so.  If you took courses elsewhere during your semester away, please share this with your advisor. The Student Code requires that you report all college coursework to Illinois.
  • More than one semester away: If you have been away from Illinois for more than one semester, please fill out a re-entry application when it's available during the timelines listed below. Though not required, you are encouraged to meet with the DGS Associate Director for Enrollment Management to learn more about the re-entry process prior to applying. Please call 217-333-4710 to schedule an appointment. 

Click on the commonly asked questions below to find answers!

In order to be eligible for re-entry through the Division of General Studies, you must be a former Illinois student who:

  • Has completed fewer than 4 total semesters of full-time enrollment (includes semesters completed at Illinois or any other institution).
  • Has completed fewer than 48 college credit hours at Illinois or any other institution. (This does not include AP credit.)

If you were a former DGS student who was academically dismissed:  

  • Re-entry generally requires that you complete 1 and likely 2 semesters of full-time coursework elsewhere, to show academic recovery prior to applying for re-entry to Illinois.  Grades in this coursework should show an upward trend and should be relevant to your academic goals at Illinois.
  • For most students on drop status, re-entry through DGS is not or will not be possible due to the following:
    • 1) The Illinois grade point average is too low to successfully meet requirements for intercollegiate transfer into most majors or
    • 2) after taking coursework elsewhere to demonstrated improved performance, time in DGS has been exhausted (i.e. the student has completed 4 or more semesters of full-time enrollment, including semesters at Illinois and elsewhere). 

With this in mind, most students who are academically dropped will need to take courses elsewhere and apply for re-entry directly into an intended major.  Please connect with the DGS Associate Director for  Enrollment Management for assistance with developing an appropriate plan for your return to Illinois.

  • Prepare your application essays:
    • Please explain what you have been doing since you left the University of Illinois (education, employment, etc.).
    • What are your academic and career objectives? Why have you made these choices?
    • If you left Illinois on academic probation or dismissal, what adjustments have you made in your personal, social, or economic situations that have improved your chances for academic success?
  • Complete the DGS Re-entry Application when available (see application periods in tab below). You will need to include unofficial transcripts to apply. 
  • Submit official transcripts the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Please note that all holds (such as McKinley Medical Clearance, Financial Aid, Collections, Disciplinary, and Immunization) must be cleared before a reentry application can be officially approved.
Semester Application Period
Summer February 1 - April 30
Fall March 1 - July 15
Spring October 1 - November 30

Please check back on October 1 for the Spring 2025 application. We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2024.