Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am qualified for admission?

How do I know if I am qualified for admission?

We consider many factors in evaluating candidates for admission, including academic record, employment experience, statement of purpose, standardized test scores, and reference letters.  For this reason, we cannot evaluate your chances of receiving admission until we receive your application.

Have you received my letters, transcripts, test scores yet?

Soon after you submit your application, an email will be sent to you to confirm that we have received your application.  The message will include a link to a web page where you can check the status of your application; the Grad Status page.  You will be able to see if we have received your letters, transcripts, and test scores.  Please allow at least 4 weeks for your test scores to be marked as received.  It always takes longer than expected for the test scores to make it into the university database.

May I submit more than three reference letters?

Yes, but it is not necessary.  You should pick your three best recommenders.  If possible, your letters should be from past instructors, professors or advisors.   If you have been away from academics for a significant amount of time, you may use non-academic references (i.e., supervisor, colleagues, etc.).

How long should my statement of purpose be and what should it say?

Your statement of purpose should be 1-2 pages, single spaced, 12 pt. font.  It should not exceed two pages.  Your statement should identify personal, professional, and academic goals.  You should also discuss your development and plans as they relate to graduate study.  It is good to include any past work history, your interests, and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in Railway Engineering. Your statement should offer insight into who you are as an individual.

May I submit my application before I take the GRE?

You may submit your application without the GRE scores, but please enter the scheduled test date on the application.  After you take the GRE, send an email to and report the results of the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.  We can use the self-reported scores while waiting for your official scores to be reported by ETS.  Your application will remain on hold until we receive your GRE scores.

What are the ETS CODES for reporting Test Scores?

The Illinois institution code for GRE & TOEFL scores is:  1836

Department codes are not necessary for our school.  As long as the institution code is correct, any and all departments you apply for will be able to view your test scores.

Do I need to answer a program specific question for Railway Engineering?

No.  Railway Engineering does not have a program specific question.

I applied for a past term but my admission was not approved. How can I be considered again?

You must submit an entirely new application and pay the application fee again.  Do not use the previous PIN, but instead choose “Create Account” on the login page of Apply Yourself.  You will need to upload transcripts, a statement of purpose, and a new resume.  We might be able to use past reference letters that are dated no more than one year ago. Contact if you want to use reference letters from your previous application.  If your test scores are still valid, they will still be in our data system.

The Graduate College at Illinois also provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about the graduate application process. These can be found here:

Graduate College FAQs

Program Highlights


Earn a Professional Master’s Degree (non-thesis) in 3 semesters.

36 credit hour program – see degree requirements for more information.

Gain valuable global experience with an international exchange semester at KTH.

Choose electives in your area of interest from a wide array of courses.

Prepare for leadership in your career by applying breadth and depth of knowledge in this area.

Develop professional and leadership skills needed for success in the marketplace.

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