The School of Labor and Employment Relations values racial, ethnic and international diversity in its student body.

Students hail from Thailand, People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, South Korea, Canada, India, Poland, Egypt, Nigeria, Malaysia, Romania and Turkey.

Applying as an International Student

The process for applying is nearly the same for international students as for domestic students, with a few notable exceptions:

  • The application fee is $90.
  • A TOEFL/IELTS is required.
  • A Declaration of Finances is required for on-campus applicants.

Language Proficiency

The University of Illinois requires international applicants submit a current TOEFL or IELTS score. These scores are invalid if two years old or older prior to the first day of enrollment at the University of Illinois.

The TOEFL/IELTS may be waived if, within five years of the proposed term of enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an international student has:

  • completed at least two years of post-secondary full-time study (four consecutive semesters), or
  • completed a four-year degree at a U.S. institution, as defined by the home institution, or
  • completed a degree in a country where English is the primary language, and this degree is from an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction

LER requires a student have at least a 590 PBT, 243 CBT, or 96 iBT score to be considered for admission. However, the University of Illinois has minimum standards for full admission. You must have a 613 PBT, 257 CBT or 103 iBT score to be admitted on full status. If your score is between 590-612 written, 243-256 computer or 96-102 iBT, you may be admitted on limited status. This means that you must take the English Placement Test (EPT) upon your arrival on campus. This test will determine if you need to take any English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at the University. Visit the International Student and Scholar Services website at for more information about student check-in, orientation, temporary housing and social security, or contact with any questions.

Please note, students applying to online programs must satisfy the full status admissions requirement for the TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Declaration of Finances (for on-campus programs)

Each international applicant is required to provide Admission and Records with a Declaration of Finances in compliance with INS laws. You must show you have enough financial resources to support yourself during the proposed time of study at the University of Illinois.

Financial documents may be submitted after admission decisions are made, but it is preferred that the information be uploaded with the initial application. However, all visa forms (F-1 and/or J-1) come from Graduate and Professional Admissions and will not be sent to LER until the Declaration of Finances has been approved. For more information, visit the Graduate College website or contact


International applicants should note that employment opportunities for full-time positions and internships in the U.S. are restricted by strict immigration laws. As a result, an increasing number of U.S. companies are only able to hire U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Some international students are ultimately successful in obtaining internships and full-time employment with U.S. companies, but many are not. Those entering in the spring of an F-1 visa will not be eligible for the practicum. Please contact the International Student and Scholar Services with any questions about your visa and work eligibility.

Vijay Kalagara Book Scholarship

Vijay Kalagara, MHRIR ’07, pledged $1 a day, matched by his employer to provide greater access to future International LER students. He recalls, “In my first semester, the money I spent on textbooks was equivalent to my senior-year college tuition in India.” The Vijay Kalagara International Student Book Scholarship will provide financial support to returning international students who need it most.