First-Year Application Plans

The University of Chicago offers first-year applicants a choice of four application plans. Your application will go through the same careful review process no matter which of these plans you choose, so you should pick the one that best suits you. We encourage you to consider a broad range of college options before making a decision about where and how to apply.

In picking the UChicago application plan that's right for you, you'll want to consider when you will be ready to apply and whether or not you are ready to make a binding commitment to UChicago. If you are certain that UChicago is your first choice and would definitely attend if admitted, we offer two Early Decision rounds. If not, that's okay too! We offer a non-binding Early Action plan in addition to our Regular Decision plan.

Early Action

Application Deadline November 1
Decision Date Mid-December
Reply Date May 1

Our Early Action (EA) deadline is best for students who would like to apply early and receive an admissions decision early, but are not certain about what college they would like to attend. Applying as an Early Action applicant does not constitute a binding commitment to attend if admitted, and you have several months to let us know whether or not you will attend.  If you would like to compare admissions offers and financial aid packages from multiple colleges when making your final decision, Early Action is a better choice than an Early Decision plan.

Early Action applicants will receive an admissions decision of admit, deny, or defer.

Early Decision I

Application Deadline November 1
Decision Date Mid-December
Reply Date January 15

Our Early Decision I (ED I) application option is best for students who have identified UChicago as their absolute first choice and know they would choose to attend UChicago immediately if offered admission. This admissions plan is binding, meaning that if admitted, you commit to attending UChicago, withdrawing outstanding applications from any other school, and not applying to any additional colleges. If you are enthusiastic about applying to UChicago early but would like to compare admissions offers and financial aid packages from multiple colleges before making a final decision, you should consider applying through the Early Action plan.

Students may only apply Early Decision to one college, but may apply to other schools through non-binding admission plans in addition to an Early Decision application.

Early Decision I applicants will receive an admissions decision of admit, deny, or defer.

Early Decision II

Application Deadline January 2
Decision Date Mid-February
Reply Date March 15

Our Early Decision II (ED II) application option is best for students who have identified UChicago as their absolute first choice and know they would choose to attend UChicago immediately if offered admission, but are not ready to apply by the November 1 Early Decision I deadline. This admissions plan is binding, meaning that if admitted, you commit to attending UChicago, withdrawing outstanding applications from any other school, and not applying to any additional colleges. If you are enthusiastic about applying to UChicago but would like to compare admissions offers and financial aid packages from multiple colleges before making a final decision, you should consider applying through the Regular Decision plan.

Students may only apply Early Decision to one college, but may apply to other schools through non-binding admission plans in addition to an Early Decision application.

Early Decision II applicants will receive an admissions decision of admit, deny, or waitlist

Regular Decision

Application Deadline January 2
Decision Date Late March
Reply Date May 1

Our Regular Decision (RD) deadline is the standard non-binding application plan. Applying as a Regular Decision applicant does not constitute a binding commitment to attend if admitted, and you have over a month to let us know if you will attend. If you feel that you will be able to prepare a stronger application by January than by November and would like to be able to compare admissions offers and financial aid packages from multiple colleges, Regular Decision could be the best choice for you.

Regular Decision applicants will receive an admissions decision of admit, deny, or waitlist

Changing Your Decision Plan

If you would like to switch from our non-binding EA or RD decision plans to a binding Early Decision option, please email collegeadmissions@uchicago.edu to let us know of your change in plans and download, complete, and submit an Early Decision agreement form by uploading it to the "Forms" section of your UChicago Account.

Please note that our deadline for decision plan change from Early Action to Early Decision I is November 15th. Our deadline for deferred Early Action candidates or students who previously selected Regular Decision as their decision to change to Early Decision II is January 6.

What Your Admissions Decision Means

Applicants will receive one of four possible admissions decisions.

  • Admit. Congratulations! If you applied through the Early Decision I or Early Decision II plans, you have made a binding commitment to attend UChicago.
  • Deny. Unfortunately, there is not a spot in the class for you that year. There is no appeals process, and you may not apply through a later application round that same year.
  • Defer. If you applied through the Early Action or Early Decision I application plans, your application may be deferred. This means that the admissions committee wants to review it again in the context of the Regular Decision pool. Your application will be automatically rolled over to the Regular Decision round, and you do not need to reapply or submit additional application materials. If you would like, you can reach out to your regional admissions counselor to express your continued interest in attending UChicago.
  • Waitlist. If you applied through the Early Decision II or Regular Decision application plans, you may be put on the waitlist. This means that the admissions committee thought you put together a strong application and may offer you admission if there is space in the class. You do not need to submit additional application materials, but if you would like, you can reach out to your regional admissions counselor to express your continued interest in attending UChicago.