Thank you for your interest in the University of Chicago! Our team of international admissions officers is happy to answer your questions. We hope to be as helpful as possible, so we have collected many “Frequently Asked Questions” (a.k.a. “FAQs”) along with the corresponding answers to provide additional information to help you understand the application process.
If you find that still have unanswered questions after exploring our site, we are here to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I an international student for purposes of applying to UChicago?
If you are a student attending school outside of the US, you will apply as and be read as an international student. For purposes of your application, we will read your application in the context of where you attend high school regardless of citizenship. If you are US citizen attending high school abroad, then you will be able to apply for federal financial aid, and your application will be reviewed on a need-blind basis like other domestic applicants.
Do I need to take the SAT or ACT?
We do require standardized testing in some format for students who attend a high school outside the U.S. International students may select from a flexible set of requirements, through submission of either predicted IB or A-Level scores instead of the SAT or ACT.
Do I need to take an English proficiency test?
If you attend high school outside of the U.S., you must take either the TOEFL or the IELTS English proficiency exam for your application to UChicago. The only exceptions are for applicants who for two or more years have attended a high school where the primary language of instruction is English.
Can I substitute SAT, AP or A-level results for the English proficiency exam requirement?
While you should send any positive testing results to us, you cannot substitute an SAT, AP, IB or A-level exam result for a TOEFL or IELTS test score. The English proficiency exams test you on speaking and listening in a way that other exam results do not. The SAT and ACT standardized exams test your thinking and comprehension skills in ways that English proficiency exams do not. Because our curriculum is very discussion driven, it is important that you have the appropriate skills to be an active participant in our classes.
Do my application materials need to be translated?
If your application materials include any documents that are not in English, you must provide us with an official English translation in addition to the original documents.
Should I send photocopies of certificates and awards?
Please do not send us copies of certificates, awards, or news clippings. Simply list your major activities and awards on the Common Application. We believe you!
Is the application process for international students different?
International students use the same application forms and follow most of the same processes as all other applicants. The primary differences are 1) that there is an English proficiency exam requirement for most international students, 2) that if you think you may need financial aid at any time during your four years of college, you must apply for need-based financial aid at the same time you submit an application for admission, and 3) that we do require standardized testing in some format for students who attend a high school outside the U.S.
My school does not have a counselor. Who should complete the Secondary School Report?
If your school does not have a counselor, any school administrator can complete the Secondary School Report. If you are working with an accredited community-based organization, such as an Education USA Center, you may ask a mentor or counselor in that program to assist you as well. Independently hired educational consultants may not complete the Secondary School Report.
What if my school does not report class rank or have GPAs?
If your school does not report class rank or have grade point averages, leave that information blank. We understand that many schools do not report class rank or compute averages as a matter of policy. Please do not estimate or guess.
Should I convert my grades into a GPA on a 4.0 scale?
Please do not convert your grades into a 4.0 scaled grade-point average. We evaluate all transcripts based upon the system of where you attend school. We have international admissions officers who travel to and review applications from schools all around the world so that we can effectively evaluate your transcript in the context of your school and country.
Do you admit a fixed number or percentage of students from each country?
We do not admit a fixed number or percentage of students from each country. Overall, our classes are comprised of 12-15% international students from over 80 countries throughout the world.
How many students on campus are from my country?
Unfortunately we do not have statistics available about students from specific countries, however, please note that UChicago is committed to recruiting and admitting students from diverse backgrounds all around the world. You can learn more about what we do for students of all backgrounds here: http://diversity.uchicago.edu/.
If I attend UChicago do I have increased chances of getting into the Booth School of Business, the Law School or Pritzker?
UChicago graduates are typically successful when applying to professional degree programs, however there is no automatic advantage for UChicago graduates when applying to the university’s professional schools.
Do you have an ESL program or a conditional acceptance program for international students?
No. Currently, UChicago does not offer ESL courses, and we do not offer conditional admission.
If I give you my academic credentials could you tell me if I will be admitted?
We cannot give an assessment of eligibility based on academic credentials you provide. We have a holistic reading process, and on our application, we ask for a large variety of information, from test scores and transcripts to essays to letters of recommendation. When making decisions, we take all of these documents into account and also the pool of applicants at the time of application. Furthermore, no one person decides who is admitted to UChicago. It is a long process that requires us to read your entire application several times and then present to a committee. You can learn more about our holistic application process on our website, http://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu
Do you have partnerships with recruiters or consultants from agencies in my country?
No. UChicago does not have relationships with recruiting agencies overseas or domestically and we are not interested in pursuing relationships of that nature. Students should contact us directly with any questions they may have regarding our admissions process.
Are international students eligible for financial aid?
First year international students are eligible for need-based and merit-based financial aid. In fact, if you apply for need-based aid, and we offer you admission, we are committed to meeting 100% of your demonstrated financial aid. For this reason, our process is need-sensitive. With a limited amount of funds available for international students, we need to know if you think you will need aid. If you think you may require aid at any time during the four years of college, you must apply for financial aid at the same time you submit an application for the College. If you do not apply for aid, there will not be funds available after you are admitted. To learn more about international financial aid, instructions can be found here.
I read that you do not provide financial assistance to international transfer students, are there any exceptions?
Unfortunately, there are no exceptions. We have limited funds available for international students and because we promise to meet 100% of demonstrated need for first year students, we simply have no funds left for international transfer students.
What do I need to do to apply for financial aid?
The International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA) should be filled out and submitted online, through a student's UChicago Account. You can preview a PDF of the ISFAA before you start your application and create a UChicago account, but should apply using the digital version. You should also submit supporting documents, like tax returns, receipts and bank statements.
Do you have scholarships for international students? How do I apply?
International students are eligible for merit scholarships. We automatically consider all applicants for merit scholarships. There is no separate application or essay for merit scholarships. Merit scholarships can be partial-tuition scholarships, single lump sum awards, and some are renewable each year.