FAQ: New Students

I received my admission letter and I am admitted on limited status. What does that mean?
You may be admitted on limited status for a variety of reasons. The admission letter will clearly indicate the admission terms and the steps that need to be completed before full-admission status can be obtained. Some possible reasons for limited-status admission are:

  1. admission has been granted as long as a minimum grade-point average is maintained,
  2. non-native English speakers admitted with English scores below 103 on the iBT are required to complete an English Placement Test prior to their first semester of classes. Based on their performance on this test, they may be required to take English as a Second Language course(s) as part of their degree requirement.

If you are admitted on limited status you will be allowed to enroll for the first semester. You must satisfy whatever restriction is indicated in your admission letter to continue in the program.

How will I receive my tuition bill?
The University provides electronic billing and notifies students of a pending bill by email. Information about student accounts and billing can be found at Office of Student Accounts and Cashiers.
My netID and/or password do not work. Who can help?
If you have your netID and password and they are not working, you need to go the CITES Help Desk to have them reset. This is in 1211 Digital Computing Lab, 1304 W. Springfield, Urbana. Ph: 217- 244-7000 or email consult@illinois.edu
I am encumbered. What does that mean and what should I do?
The University places an “Encumbrance” on a student as a reminder that some issue must be taken care of if they wish to continue enrollment at the University. If a student is encumbered they will not be allowed to register for classes the following semester unless the encumbrance is lifted. Students can be encumbered for a variety of reasons. Some examples: (1) McKinley Health Center may place an encumbrance if a student has failed to provide proof of immunizations; (2) Student Accounts may place an encumbrance for a delinquent account.
Do I need a laptop for the MSF program?
Yes, a laptop is required. The classrooms are equipped with ports for the laptops and most of the faculty use the Internet to post course information, assignments, etc. Additionally, laptops are needed for group meetings and presentations.


  • English version of Microsoft Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X
  • At least 2 GB of memory (at least 4 GB recommended)
  • A license and media for Windows. Windows can be upgraded for free at https://webstore.illinois.edu
  • A license and media for Microsoft Office 2010/2013 or Office 2011 for Mac, both of which are available at https://webstore.illinois.edu
  • It is strongly encouraged that you use a Window based computer. If you decide to use a Mac, we recommend you have an English version of Windows installed through Bootcamp or some other means on your Mac in case a particular program that only runs on a PC is required for your class.
  • No particular browser is specifically required for general use.  Some software may perform better on different web browsers, so it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with at least Chrome, IE and Firefox.