Taking advanced classes can increase your chance of being accepted to Illinois. Tougher coursework proves that you like a challenge and are willing to work hard, and it can help you earn higher test scores and receive scholarships. Don't get down if you receive slightly lower grades in these classes. We take the level of difficulty into consideration.
Coursework & Grades
Following are the kinds of courses you need to take while in high school and the number of years you need to take them. You should work to consistently make strong grades in these courses.
- English: 4 years required
- Math: 3 or 3.5 years required, 4 years recommended
- Social sciences: 2 years required, 4 years recommended
- Lab sciences: 2 years required, 4 years recommended
- Language other than English: 2 years required, 4 years recommended
- Flexible academic units: 2 years required, 4+ years recommended
When we review your application, we want to know what’s important to you. The quality of your involvement outside the classroom is much more important than quantity. Take part in the activities you're passionate about and enjoy. We take notice when you demonstrate leadership skills and show long-term commitment to the things you love.
If you know what major you want to pursue at Illinois, seek out experiences and opportunities related to it now. Doing so will not only show your passion and motivation, but it will also help you in getting a feel for your potential field. If you don't know what you want to do yet, don't stress! This is your chance to explore any areas of interest you might have.
We accept either the ACT or SAT I (both the pre-March 2016 test and its redesign), and we don’t prefer one over the other. Your scores will be used in our decision-making process, as well as for course placement and academic advising. They may also be a factor when it comes to scholarship and aid decisions. For last year's middle 50% score range, view our class profile. Don’t stress if you don’t perform as well as you’d like—this isn’t the only factor we review!