Graduate Programs FAQ

CPT (Curricular Practical Training)

Please see the College of Engineering published policty on CPT at


To be eligible to be considered for a teaching assistantship, international students must pass an exam of spoken English. This can be the TOEFL IBT (with a minimum score of 24 on the speaking portion), the IELTS (with a minimum score of 8 on the speaking portion), or the UIUC English exam, the EPI, “English Proficiency Interview,” (with a minimum score of 4CP/5). Scores on a TOEFL or IELT must be within two years of admission to the graduate program.

Information on the EPI exam can be found here.


1. Does my name automatically get added to a degree list? No. You must add your name to the electronic degree list by logging in to the student self-service system ("Enterprise") and clicking on the “Graduation” tab, and choose the term you wish to add your name to. You must also submit a hard copy application for degree to the Graduate Programs Office (166 MEB). You must do both of these to be considered on the degree list.

2. What happens if I don’t make my thesis deposit? Will I automatically be added to the next degree list? As long as you are within your time-to-degree, there is no problem with having to move to the next degree certification period. You do not, however, get automatically put on any degree list, ever. You must go through the process outlined in #1 to re-add your name to the list for the next degree certification period.

3. Is a Degree Audit necessary? If so, who do I speak to about having an audit done , and at what point should I request an audit? Yes, it’s very important that a student know for sure where they are at in the program as far as completion of requirements. The “DARS for Grads” online degree audit is not set up to take certain things into account and could likely provide an incorrect picture of your requirement completion. If you look at the audit and see something that does not look correct, you should contact the Graduate Programs Office to make an appointment for a degree audit. MS students should have a reliable audit done no later than when you are ready to register for your last semester. PHD students are automatically audited for coursework completion when they submit their request to take the Prelim Examination.

4.  What are the steps to depositing my thesis?  The department format review must be done before the thesis can be uploaded to the graduate college.  When you are ready for the format review, you should e-mail a pdf version of your thesis/dissertation to the Graduate Programs Supervisor. Before initiating the format review, you will need to bring your signed TDA form (Thesis Dissertation Approval Form) to the Graduate Programs Office, 166 MEB. MS students will only need to have their advisor sign the TDA forms (you will find the form at ).  The Graduate Office will provide the TDA form for Ph.D. students in their defense packet that is given to their Doctoral Committee Chair before the exam. The committee will sign the form at the end of the exam. The Graduate Programs Supervisor will not do the department format review until signed TDA forms have been submitted because this indicates the Advisor/Doctoral Committee will have no further changes to request.  You will be e-mailed once the format review is complete, telling you what changes are to be made, if any.  You will receive e-mail from the department format reviewer once all changes are accepted.  You will be told to upload the thesis to the Graduate College so that they can begin their review, and to come to the MechSE Graduate Office and pick up the TDA forms and take them, along with a simple hard copy of the thesis/dissertation, to the Department Head’s office and leave them with the secretary.  Once the Department Head has signed the TDA forms you will be e-mailed to pick them up.  You will deliver one to the MechSE Graduate Office and take one to the Graduate College (204 Coble Hall).  This is the only piece of paper you actually have to deposit.

5. The Ph.D. Exit Interview – what is this?  The Ph.D. Exit Interview is an approximately 15 -20 minute interview with the Department Head prior to Ph.D. students leaving campus.  This is scheduled by the Department Head’s secretary and can be scheduled as soon as the Final Defense has been passed.  You do not need to wait until you deposit your thesis to schedule the interview – but you do need to have passed the Final Defense.  This is an opportunity for the Department Head to hear from the graduating students concerning how they feel about their time at UIUC, what they liked, what could have been better…and a time for students to reflect on the fact that a major life goal has been achieved.

6. Do I have to be enrolled to deposit my thesis/dissertation? No. Domestic MS students are not required to enroll once they have satisfied all coursework/hour requirements for the degree. However, you should remember that if you are not enrolled, you may not hold an appointment. Domestic PHD students must be enrolled (at least for 0 hrs of thesis research – ME 599/TAM 599) the semesters they take their Prelim and Final defense. They do not have to be enrolled to deposit. International students must maintain enrollment in order to keep their student Visa status (F1 Visa). However, if all coursework and hour requirements are met, they can enroll for 0 hrs of ME 599/TAM 599 thesis research. International students should always consult ISSS, as they are the primary source of information concerning these issues.

7. Where can I find deadlines concerning graduation? You will find the Graduate Academic Calendar, which lists all important dates, by logging on to the Graduate College Homepage ( , click on “current students”, “campus calendars”. The MechSE Graduate Programs Office also sends out e-mail to students at the start of each semester to give them key dates and deadlines for graduation.


Contact Info

Graduate Programs Office
166 MEB
1206 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 244-3416
mechse-gradatillinois [dot] edu

MechSE Grad at-a-glance