Application Process Overview

Applying to UChicago

Each of the graduate programs at the University of Chicago use an online application system, most of them coordinated through the Graduate Admissions office. Applicants to the Law School and the Pritzker School of Medicine must apply through the LSAC and AMCAS systems, respectively. Because the actual admissions process takes place within each school, division, and department, if you wish to apply to more than one program, you will usually need to create a separate application for each one. For the same reason, we offer some general guidelines about the application process here, but encourage you to follow up directly with the admission staff for your program(s) of interest with questions specific to their application process.

General Guidelines

  • Find the application instructions on our Apply page or on the webpages of the programs that interest you.
  • Sign up for an online application account.
  • Register for and complete any and all standardized tests and keep that information ready when you work on your application.
  • Contact individuals you would like to write letters of reference for your application, and give them plenty of time to do so. Detailed instructions will be included with your program’s application.
  • Request transcripts from all post-secondary schools you have attended, and if needed secure translations.
  • Update your resume or CV.
  • Carefully prepare the specific components of each application, typically written statements or essays.
  • Submit your application before the posted deadline, and check your email and online account for any updates that might come from the admissions office.

International applicants should also visit the International Applicants page for additional requirements.

Deadlines
As a general rule, applications should be submitted as early as possible so that you can track the status of your application and the receipt of standardized test scores and letters of recommendation. You should log into and check the status of your application frequently once you have submitted it. In most cases, you will not be allowed to submit an application after the deadline for your intended program has passed.

For information specific to your program or application (including deadlines), visit the program’s webpage or contact an admissions representative from your particular graduate program.

General Admissions Details/Required Materials

Application Fees and Waivers
The applications to our programs require an accompanying fee. This fee will be clearly indicated in the instructions to your application, and you will be prompted to pay the (non-refundable) application fee once you submit your application. If you plan to request a fee waiver, you should not submit the application fee until after your fee waiver request has been reviewed. If necessary, you will be able to return to your account to pay the application fee.

Fee waiver applications, if accepted, can usually be made as part of the application itself. Please do not be deterred from applying based on the application fee. Many programs will grant fee waivers if the applicant meets certain criteria, which will be stated in their online application. Typically, if you submit a fee waiver request, the school or division will be in touch with you if they require further information. Please note that with a few exceptions, most programs will only grant waivers based on financial hardship to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Current UChicago students and alumni will receive automatic fee waivers when applying to most of our schools and divisions. Participants in certain programs, including the Leadership Alliance, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), Project 1000, and the CIC FreeApp, should complete the fee waiver forms as part of the application, and submit any requested documentation through those organizations, rather than submitting the application fee. If you experience any difficulty with these program-based fee waivers, please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.

Transcripts
For most programs, you will need to scan and upload a copy of your transcripts for every college or university you have attended, including the page(s) which provides details on the grading criteria and other information. If you are currently enrolled in school, you should upload a current transcript available at the time the application is ready to be submitted. Once fall term grades are posted to your record, you should upload a revised transcript.

Applicants who have attended international institutions whose transcripts are in a language other than English must submit those transcripts or certified attestations of study along with certified English translations. Both the original transcript and the certified translations should be uploaded to your online application.

Admitted students will need to submit an official copy of final transcripts before they can enroll. Note: any discrepancy between your personal copy and the official, final copies may be grounds for rescinding an offer of admission.

Standardized Testing
Please read the requirements for applying to your program, as each one will have a different requirement regarding standardized tests. If you are unsure about testing requirements, feel free to reach out to the admissions staff at that particular program for clarification. In most cases, GRE and subject test scores may be submitted simply to the University of Chicago (GRE School Code 1832), and your scores will be shared with the program(s) to which you are applying. If scores are not recorded as received within a few weeks, be sure that your name and email address match exactly on both your application and the test, or contact us to provide the information needed to match your scores to your application. Please provide any available reference number or other information, as well as which program you are applying to.

In most cases, international students will have to supply a valid TOEFL or IELTS score. It is best to read the specific instructions carefully for each application to determine if you fall into the exceptions they will offer. You can find more information about English proficiency testing on the International Applicants page.

Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose
A statement of some kind is a required component of nearly every application. The expectations for this differ between fields, so it is critical to read the instructions carefully. Your statement should usually address your past work, preparation for the intended field of study, relevant background and interests, academic plans, and career goals. It should be used to describe your reasons for applying to the particular department or program. This statement may assist the admissions committee in evaluating your preparation for graduate study, and help them understand your academic and professional experience, training, and interests beyond what is apparent from your transcripts, as well the specific fit between you and the department. In some cases this will be separate from a statement regarding your research or academic interests.

Interviews
If a video statement or interview is required for your admission, the admissions committee for your program will indicate that in the instructions, and they will provide information about the interview process.

Admissions Decisions
Each degree program will release decisions at different times, and some degree programs may release decisions on a more “rolling” basis instead of all at once. The admissions committee will contact you directly about the status of your application.

Still have questions about the process? Please visit the Application FAQs page for answers to frequently–asked questions.