Although IEEE 802.11 based wireless local area networks have become more and more popular due to low cost and easy deployment, they can only provide best effort services and do not have quality of service supports for multimedia applications. Recently, a new standard, IEEE 802.11e, has been proposed, which introduces a so-called hybrid coordination function containing two medium access mechanisms: contention-based channel access and controlled channel access. In this article we first give a brief tutorial on the various MAC-layer QoS mechanisms provided by 802.11e. We show that the 802.11e standard provides a very powerful platform for QoS supports in WLANs. Then we provide an extensive survey of recent advances in admission control algorithms/protocols in IEEE 802.11e WLANs. Our survey covers the research work in admission control for both EDCA and HCCA. We show that the new MAC-layer QoS schemes and parameters provided in EDCA and HCCA can be well utilized to fulfill the requirements of admission control so that QoS for multimedia applications can be provided in WLANs. Last, we give a summary of the design of admission control in EDCA and HCCA, and point out the remaining challenges.