We take the time to consider your application as a whole. It is critical that you submit a complete application by the application deadline. There is no one component that weighs more heavily than another; being less strong in one area can be balanced out by another.
Additionally, your personal statement is an opportunity to address any deficiencies in your application. Successful applicants take the time to complete each piece of the application. They also ensure the entire package represents who they are as a student and how they envision using a master's degree from our program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The university has a minimum grade point average (GPA) for graduate assistantship eligibility campus wide. SO, to be eligible for the Fellows Programs, you must have at least a 2.8 GPA for your last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Alternately, if you have taken nine or more hours of graduate credit, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA for your graduate courses.
Applicants who submit all materials according to the posted instructions and by the posted deadlines, and whose materials indicate potential for success in their chosen program will complete a required interview (by phone or in person).
Select anthropology/ACED, applied economics/ACED, kinesiology and recreation/ACED, political science/ACED, or sociology/ACED to indicate the appropriate master’s degree plan and sequence.
It is in your best interest to submit your application as soon as you have completed all attachments (résumé, etc.) and entered all email addresses for your references. You don't need to wait for GRE scores or official transcripts to be uploaded to the system.
You may NOT apply to more than one program at a time.
Required attachments include:
The statement of purpose should describe why you would like to be in the Applied Community & Economic Development Fellows Program in your chosen department at Illinois State University. A strong personal statement provides us with a sense of your trajectory as a student and professional. It helps us to understand where you have been and how this master's degree will help you achieve your future goals. Why are you interested in your specific academic field?
Applications are considered by both your department and the Stevenson Center. We want to understand why a degree in a given discipline is the best choice for you and how you plan to use your degree in the future. What will you gain from your work with your department, the Stevenson Center, and your fellow students, plus your professional practice? How will you contribute?
Samples should be at least five pages and reflect your best work as a student. Again, we understand some of our applicants have a significant time period between their last academic experience and application to our program. If you don't have an academic paper, you can choose another piece of work.
An ideal writing sample is one that you feel best demonstrates your ability to write well, think critically, and handle sources. The writing sample helps demonstrate your readiness to research and to write well at the graduate level. A grant application, project proposal, or professional report could serve this purpose.
(Kinesiology and recreation applicants should upload the writing sample IN PLACE OF a "cover letter" in the online application for kinesiology and recreation/ACED.)
Graduate Admissions Office
Illinois State University
Campus Box 2200
Normal, IL 61790-2200
The GRE General Test is required for all ACED Sequence degree programs EXCEPT kinesiology and recreation. The GRE Institution Code for Illinois State University is 1319. Be sure to take the GRE in plenty of time for your scores to ARRIVE at Illinois State University BEFORE the application deadline above. You can find more information on the timing of score reporting on the GRE FAQ page.
Applicants must also submit contact information for a minimum of three references. This information can be entered directly into your online application, as well as a personal message if you choose. Your references will each then be contacted by the university to supply a letter of recommendation for you. You should have at least one letter from a former professor, preferably more, but we understand that applicants are often returning to school after a hiatus. Letters from supervisors, project partners, or others who have known you in a setting that is pertinent to your admission to the Stevenson Center are acceptable. You will be able, through the online application portal, to monitor the submission of recommendations, though you will not be able to read the letters.
Letter of Service
Submit a letter from an organization(s) confirming that you have had at least one year of full-time experience in community development or social services or the equivalent (1,700 hours)—as either a paid professional or a volunteer. (AmeriCorps alumni can generate a letter through the My AmeriCorps Portal.)
An international student holding the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree from a recognized international post-secondary college or university, as determined by the Graduate School, may apply for admission by submitting additional documentation.
You must first complete the Graduate School Application, which will provide you with a University ID number. Your academic department will access your completed Graduate Assistantship Application.