Marching Illini Trumpets
Frequently Asked Questions

Each program within the college requires particularly desirable skills and talents, but students must first meet the general university qualifications. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has tips on how to prepare for college. We have some general advice on getting ready to apply to our programs, and you can contact a departmental advisor for more detailed information on what students need to be good candidates for acceptance.

Students apply online to the university. Some programs—for degrees in dance, acting, and some specializations in music—require auditions. Others, like many in theatre and art and design, ask for portfolios and have interviews. See the next steps in the application process or check with an advisor for more information on the specifics.

A degree from Illinois is a great value. Illinois is ranked as one of the top institutions in the world, and students at this "Public Ivy" acquire an outstanding education for a fraction of the cost of attending an elite private school. The Office of the Registrar maintains information on tuition and fees. Once a student is admitted to the university and a specific program, the tuition rate is locked in for four years. Qualified in-state students can take advantage of the Illinois Commitment: four years of free tuition and fees.

Our students receive millions of dollars in scholarships and fellowships each year—and for many of these awards the application to the university serves as the selection process. No additional forms are required to be considered for this valuable assistance and acknowledgment of a promising future. The Office of Student Financial Aid is your starting point for grant, scholarship, waiver, employment, and loan options at the university. Also check our list of some arts-related scholarships. State residents also have access to the Illinois Promise, which provides guaranteed funding for tuition and fees through a combination of grants, scholarships, and employment.

Global conditions for resuming study abroad programs are being examined, but browsing the possibilities is still enjoyable. In addition to the many options through Education Abroad, some degree programs have their own immersive courses. Architecture offers a yearlong exchange at the Technical University of Catalunya in Barcelona. Dance has ongoing relationships with universities in Taiwan and Israel. Musicians can take a summer residency in Cambridge, England. Theatre sends students to Dublin, England, and New Zealand. Artists, designers, and planners have numerous choices across the planet. FAA International Programs is the best source for identifying arts-related programs. Or you can contact a departmental advisor to find out other ways that students can live and study in cultures around the globe.

A degree will provide a broad liberal arts education, collaborations with students across disciplines, rigorous training, and close mentorship by acclaimed faculty, visiting artists, and other experts. Students at Illinois make valuable contacts and have a built-in network to locate jobs, start graduate work, and pursue their individual expression as artists. Just ask our class of 2020: according to a 2021 survey, 89% were employed or continuing their education. You might also be interested in the survey by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project on what students across the country do with their arts degrees after graduation.

The College of Fine and Applied Arts is a great start: the average course has just 15 students. Many buildings are within a few blocks, plus there's a reliable—and free—campus bus system. The atmosphere of a large research university offers original thinking, expansive courses, hands-on workshops and labs, fascinating talks and concerts, world-class libraries, people from around the world, diverse student organizations, volunteer opportunities, sports events, and experiences not available anywhere else. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions can give you a glimpse into campus life.

We can get you both to graduation. The Illini Union Parent and Family Programs Office supports families during the college years through organizations like parent associations, tips on building strong relationships, financial advice, events, and other resources.

With fewer than 250,000 people, the cities of Urbana and Champaign live big: world-renowned thinkers, wide access to technology, green spaces, an energetic arts scene, businesses focused on environmentally friendly living, cultural diversity, extensive bike paths, eclectic shopping, and numerous restaurants featuring global cuisine.

Our Career Services Office offers online resources that include details on career fairs, tips for creating arresting portfolios and résumés, and strategies for networking effectively. Arts students also can gain a huge advantage in the job market through internships. Opportunities are available in all career fields for students to earn college credit or income while acquiring on-the-job experience.

Start with a departmental advisor or someone in the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (217.333.6061 or faa-uaa@illinois.edu). You also can fill out a form to request info or send questions by email to faa@illinois.edu. We'd be glad to help. You might enjoy getting an overview of FAA too. Browse our viewbook to see the big picture.