Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

Admission Requirements

Prospective students will have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to community development, such as education, communication, economics, geography, sociology, planning, political science, business, or other social science. If the degree is unrelated, it is preferable that the applicant have demonstrated exposure to community development practice through an internship, work, or volunteer experience. The following is required to be considered for admission into the WIU community and economic development program:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or last two years 3.0 or better
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Two-page essay explaining career goals and how the graduate program in community and economic development at WIU will help the student achieve those goals, and
  • Official transcripts from previous academic institutions

Application Process

After submitting your application online, you will receive a confirmation from the WIU School of Graduate Studies. Upon admission, you will receive additional information from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs.

US Students – View application for admission information.

International Students – Contact the School of International Studies at for complete information about immigration requirements, I-20 forms, housing, and tuition.

Application deadlines – If you are interested in starting the degree program in the Fall, it’s a good idea to have your online application complete before July 1st. For Spring admissions, plan to have everything complete by December 1st.