Admission Policies

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[The following requirements for admission to Southern Illinois University Carbondale were approved on July 6, 1984, with amendments on June 12, 1987, June 9, 2000, March 7, 2005, October 5, 2010, and March 24, 2011, in accordance with provisions set forth in SIU Board of Trustees 1 Policies E.1.]

  1. Undergraduate and Associate Degrees

    1. Baccalaureate and Associate Degrees
      1. Beginning Freshman
        1. High school graduation and fulfillment of mandated course subject pattern are required for admission. Additionally, applicants meeting any of the following criteria will be automatically admitted to the University. Exceptions to this rule are those programs that have, with the approval of the Chancellor, established additional admission requirements beyond the University's minimum standards for admission and recommendations of the Campus Violence Prevention Committee that deny or place conditions on admission.

          The automatic admission criteria are:

          1. A high school GPA of 2.75 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
          2. An ACT score of 23 or higher (or equivalent SAT score)
          3. A ranking in the top 10% of their high school graduating class

          All other applicants who meet the mandatory course subject pattern requirements will undergo a holistic review to determine potential admissibility. The review will be conducted as a joint process between the academic units and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The academic units will designate members to the University Admissions Review Committee, which will make recommendations to Undergraduate Admissions. The Exploratory Student Advisement center will also be represented on the University Admissions Review Committee. Undergraduate Admissions will use these recommendations to formulate a final decision. Undergraduate Admissions will also receive recommendations from the Achieve Program. Admission of students who do not meet the automatic admission requirements may be subject to conditions. Those who do not meet the automatic admission criteria and/or who do not satisfy the review process will be denied. For admission to a particular college or school, the faculty of that college or school may, upon approval of the Chancellor, establish additional admission requirements beyond the university's minimum standards for admission.

        2. The preferred application deadline shall be December 1st, for the following fall Semester. The secondary deadline shall be May 1st.
      2. Transfer, International, Former and Special Student Categories
        1. Admission of transfer students: transfer students who have a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale (as calculated by the transfer institution grading policy) for all post-secondary institutions attended by the applicant and are eligible to continue enrollment at the last institution attended, will be eligible for admission to the university. For admission to a particular college or school, the faculty of that college or school may, upon approval of the chancellor, establish additional requirements beyond the university's minimum standards for admission. Students with fewer than 12 semester hours must meet the admission standards for beginning freshman. Students who do not meet these requirements may be admitted on probation.
        2. Admission of International Students: admission requirements for international students are the same as for native students except that international students must complete the test for English as a second language according to criteria approved by the chancellor. Students whose TOEFL score is less than 520 may be admitted to limited undergraduate studies based on the level of competency in English certified by the Center for English as a Second Language.
      3. Admission of re-entry students who were in good standing when last attending SIUC are eligible for re-admission. Students who attended another institution since attending SIUC will be considered in the same manner as a transfer student. Students who were suspended for scholastic or disciplinary reasons during their previous enrollment at the university must be approved for re-admission by the appropriate academic or student services dean before they can be re-admitted. Students with less than a C average must be approved for re-admission by an academic dean if they are entering an academic unit other than the one in which they were previously enrolled.
      4. Admission of Veterans: veterans who have not attended an institution of higher education since discharge are admissible in good standing. Veterans who attended an institution after discharge will be considered as transfer students.
      5. Early admission of Freshman: students may be admitted before high school graduation under criteria approved by the chancellor.
      6. Admission of Non-degree Students: Adults may be considered for admission as Unclassified, non-degree students.
  2. Graduate

    1. Admission Requirements of International Students to Graduate Programs.
      1. Same admission requirements apply to international students as for native students if international applicants have a full four-year baccalaureate degree (i.e., 100 hours of graded coursework) from an accredited U.S. institution; if applicants do not have such a degree, they must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.
      2. International students must be admitted to a degree program and cannot be admitted as nondeclared students.
      3. Applicants for admission to a master's degree program who have completed the equivalent of a four year baccalaureate degree in another country must have an academic record equivalent to a 2.70 GPA on the last 60 hours as determined by the Graduate School. If the applicant's primary spoken language is not English, a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)is required. Some departments require TOEFL scores higher than 550. Applicants should consult with their major departments or with the Graduate School to determine specific departmental TOEFL requirements.
      4. International students who do not meet Program TOEFL score requirement may be granted conditional admission if:
        1. Such students are sponsored by an outside agency who will cover the cost of English instruction and university enrollment;
        2. Such students have fundamental understanding of English, i.e., a TOEFL score of 450 or equivalent.
        Conditional admission will be valid for one year and require agreement by the graduate programs these students want to attend. Students holding conditional admission status must be enrolled in English instruction until either the required proficiency is achieved or their year of eligibility expires.
      5. Applicants for doctoral programs must meet the regular academic requirements for admission to a doctoral program.
      6. International applicants must demonstrate they have adequate finances for their first year of study. (The current definition of "adequate finances" is included with application materials.)
    2. Admission Requirements to Master's Degree Programs
      1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or completion of all undergraduate degree requirements prior to the beginning of classes for the term for which admission is sought. For international students see B.1.a above.
      2. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.70 or better (A=4.00) computed on last 45 (approximate) semester hours (or equivalent number of quarter hours) if the student has not yet received a degree; or on the last 60 (approximate) semester hours (or equivalent number of quarter hours) if he/she has already received a baccalaureate degree.
      3. If an applicant has completed 12 or more semester hours of graduate work, he/she must have earned a GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate work in order to qualify for admission to a graduate degree program, regardless of the undergraduate GPA.
      4. Applicant may be admitted to a program only if accepted by the department or degree program concerned.
      5. The degree program may add its own GPA requirements or other requirements (above the Graduate School minimums) for admission to that particular program.
    3. Admission Requirements to Doctoral Degree Programs
      1. Master's degree or equivalent (baccalaureate degree entry is possible upon recommendation of the department and acceptance by the Graduate School).
      2. Minimum GPA of 3.25 in all graduate work.
      3. Applicant may be admitted to a program only if accepted by the academic unit offering the program.
      4. Faculty of a degree program unit may add its own GPA requirements or other requirements (above the Graduate School minimums) for admission to that particular program.
    4. Admission Requirements to Nondeclared, Non-Degree Programs
      1. Baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree.
      2. Admission to these programs is granted to those who do not seek a graduate degree, those who have applied too late to be admitted to a degree program or who cannot meet its requirements for the term for which admission is sought, or those who in some way or other cannot meet Graduate School or graduate program requirements at the time of admission.
    5. Admission Requirements to Professional Degree Programs 
      Juris Doctor Degree
      1. Baccalaureate degree or equivalent
      2. Satisfactory undergraduate record
      3. Satisfactory performance on Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
      Doctor of Medicine Degree
      1. Medical College Admission Test Scores
      2. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate work in an accredited degree granting college or university
      3. Recommendations from pre-med committee or other appropriate individuals
      4. Personal interview
      5. Legal resident of Illinois
  3. Criminal Background Check

    SIUC's application for admission includes a series of Public Safety Questions in which applicants are asked to disclose convictions and/or guilty pleas for felonies or other crimes involving violence or the threat of violence, pending charges involving a felony, violence, or the threat of violence, and any disciplinary sanction from any other college or university for an offense involving violence or the threat of violence. If a positive response is given to any of the Public Safety Questions, the applicant is asked to provide supplemental information regarding the conviction, charges, and/or disciplinary suspension and to authorize the University to conduct a criminal background check. Upon receipt of the supplemental information from the applicant, former institution, or court, Enrollment Management will forward the documents to the Campus Violence Prevention Committee (hereinafter, "Committee") for review.

    The Committee will determine, based on the information provided by the applicant, whether the applicant presents a potential threat to the safety of the campus community. If a potential threat is identified, the Committee will request, through the Department of Public Safety, a criminal background check on that applicant for the purpose of making a recommendation to Enrollment Management on the admission of the applicant. In evaluating the results of the criminal background check, the Committee shall consider the rational relationship of the nature, severity, and residency of the crime or disciplinary action to the interests and needs of the University and shall also consider the responsibility and repentance of the applicant.

    When reviewing the criminal background check, the Committee shall:

    1. Compare the results of the criminal background check to the application and supplemental information supplied by the applicant to determine any discrepancies. If there are no discrepancies and if the Committee has made a determination that the applicant does not pose a significant threat to campus safety, the Committee will recommend to Enrollment Management that the applicant may be admitted.

    2. If there are discrepancies between the information provided by the applicant and the criminal background check, the Committee must provide the applicant an opportunity either to demonstrate that the report of criminal, disciplinary or other relevant history was erroneous (e.g., wrong person) or to explain the discrepancy.

    3. If the report is determined to be accurate and there is a discrepancy between the reported information and the application or supporting material the applicant submitted, the presumption is that the admission will be denied if the applicant has failed accurately to disclose relevant information in response to a question on the application. The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate that the omission or misinformation was the result of an honest mistake, that it was not intended to mislead, and that the applicant should be admitted in spite of the failure to disclose.

    4. If the failure to disclose accurate information does not result in the denial of admission or there is no discrepancy between the report and the information provided by the applicant, but there is information that draws the decision to admit into question, the Committee must make an individual determination as to whether the nature of any crime committed or other behavior disclosed, together with other available information, suggests that the applicant will pose a threat to campus safety and advise Enrollment Management of its determination. If the Committee determines the applicant poses a threat to campus safety, it shall recommend that the applicant may be admitted with specific conditions devised to minimize or eliminate that threat, if possible, or that admission should be denied. Enrollment Management shall consider the Committee’s recommendation, make a decision regarding whether the applicant will be admitted, and advise the applicant of the decision. If Enrollment Management decides that the applicant will be admitted and if the Committee has recommended specific conditions, the applicant will be admitted subject to those conditions, and those conditions will be communicated to the applicant by Enrollment Management.

    If an applicant to the undergraduate program is denied admission, or if admission is conditional, based on the determination that the applicant presents a threat to the safety and security of the campus community, the applicant may appeal that decision to the Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management. An applicant to the graduate school may appeal the decision to the Associate Dean and Director of the Graduate School.


Because many universities have been involved in revising their Admissions Policies to include criminal background checks, these policies may look similar. Specifically, several other university policies were reviewed in creating this policy including: University of North Carolina, State University of New York, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.