Ready to apply?

Don’t worry, we’ll make this easy.

Before you start, check out our admission criteria on the Before You Apply page to make sure you meet all the requirements.


Completed applications are due January 15. To be eligible for fellowships, December 1 is the priority deadline for completed applications. ALL application documents/materials listed under the Checklist must be received in order for the application to be marked completed. Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed. Documents/materials to include in the application will NOT be accepted after February 1.



  • Application
  • Transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • Statement of academic interests
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample

Official UIC application

Submit your application online via the UIC Website—just follow the instructions listed there. There is a non-refundable application fee of $70 for all applicants.

You don’t have to enter and submit all application information in one sitting. You can return to the system as many times as you need to. You can also return to the system checklist as often as you like to see what materials have been uploaded and verified as received.


Upload transcripts from each university and college attended.


GRE scores are required for all applicants.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores should be sent directly from Education Testing Service to UIC. If you have taken the GRE within the past five years, you must request that scores be sent from ETS to UIC. UIC Institution Code: 1851.

The minimum scores we accept are a combined verbal and quantitative score of 297.

Statement of academic interests

Submit a statement of no more than 500 words that describes your research interests and focus. Include how the area of disability studies and the research focus of this program are of interest to you. It’s also helpful to include the names of up to four faculty members whose work most interests you and to explain why their research program align with your goals. Visit our department directory and use the focus area filters to help you find the right individuals.

Letters of recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation in support of your application.

People who can comment meaningfully on your work in academic and professional settings are best suited to submit recommendations. Don’t seek recommendations from peers, family, friends or social acquaintances.

After submitting the application and fee online (typically the next business day), you’ll be sent further instructions to generate requests to your recommenders for letters. Each person should submit their recommendation online.

Curriculum vitae

Submit a current CV, including scholarly activities and publications to date.

Writing sample

Include a writing sample no more than one year old. This should be a formal piece of research (e.g., a class paper, a chapter from your thesis, a publication paper where you are the primary author).

If you don’t have a formal writing sample, please include an informal writing sample that provides a sense of your voice, skill and interests as a writer (e.g., an opinion piece, a blog entry, a one page statement on a topic of choice).

International students

If English is not your native language, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the exam of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Scores must be submitted to UIC directly using the institutional code 1851.

We require a minimum score of 550 for the paper-based TOEFL. The minimum score for the internet-based TOEFL is 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21.

Minimum scores for IELTS are 6.5 for the total score, 6.0 for each of the four subsections.

Declaration and Certification of Finances

The Declaration and Certification of Finances form must be signed by you and your sponsor.

Headshot of Maris and Maitha together smiling


If you have questions about the application process, contact DHD’s Office of Student Affairs.

You can contact DHD's Office of Student Affairs:

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