"I fell absolutely in love with the University of Chicago when I visited during my Sophomore year of high school. The campus was beautiful but ultimately it was the passion for the development of various sort of ideas that exists on this campus that drew me here.”-Christian S.Chicago, IL
Required Application Materials
Transfer Application for Admission and Supplement Essays
Applicants should submit their choice of the Coalition Application or Common Application and must also complete the University of Chicago Supplement. Applicants will also be be prompted to create a UChicago Account, where they can submit information and view their admissions decision.
Select One of Two Applications
There are several online application platforms accepted by many colleges and universities. Through the online application platform, you submit basic information about your background, academic profile, and extracurricular activities, as well as an essay, and that information can be easily shared with multiple colleges you decide to apply to.
UChicago accepts the Coalition Application or Common Application. We treat both equally in the admissions process. You'll want to pick a single application platform to use, whichever you feel works best for you.
Questions about technical matters related to using one of the consortium applications should be directed, respectively, to the folks at the Common Application or Coalition Application. Questions about our own requirements should be directed to us.
In your list of extracurricular activities, you should include whatever it is that you spend your time doing outside of class. This could be an official club, team, or competition; a hobby you pursue on your own; a part-time job; a family responsibility; or anything else you do with your time outside of class. Colleges ask for this information not because they have any specific expectation or preference for how you spend your time, but to see what's meaningful, worthwhile, or interesting to you. We do not require certificates proving participation in activities. If the space provided on the Coalition or Common Application to list all extracurricular and work experiences is not sufficient, you may share further details in the Additional Information section of the application.
The transfer application essay has a different name depending on the online application you choose: the Coalition Application calls it a Personal Statement, while the Common Application calls it a Transfer Essay. Regardless of the name, this essay is your chance to present yourself and your ideas in your own words. Through the Common or Coalition Application, your essay will be sent to all of the schools you are applying to. As a result, it should not be specific to any one school. Your essay should be appropriate for a wide array of audiences and should put your best foot forward. Be sure to proofread and edit your essay, and have someone you trust, like a friend, family member, or counselor, read it over before submitting it.
The University of Chicago Supplement requires one extended essay of your choice from our list of several prompts and two short answer essays:
- Why you would like to attend the University of Chicago
- Why you want to leave your current institution.
The content of the Common Application Transfer Essay may overlap with your short answer essays and it is acceptable if you reuse text among them. The Coalition Personal Statement will be on a completely different topic.
Your UChicago Account
Students may create a UChicago Account before or after beginning the Coalition or Common Application. To create a UChicago Account before you begin working on either application, please visit getstarted.uchicago.edu. If you begin by working on the Coalition or Common Application, you will receive an email with instructions on how to set up your UChicago Account. When you sign in to your UChicago Account, you will be able to submit your UChicago Supplement, complete and update your profile, apply for financial aid, upload supplementary materials, and view your admissions decision.
Application Fee or Automatic Waiver
The University of Chicago does not charge an application fee for students applying for need-based financial aid. For students not applying for need-based financial aid, our application fee is $75 and can be submitted through the Coalition or Common Application.
Please follow the instructions on the Coalition or Common Application for submitting the application fee online.
Check or Money Order
Please include a note with the check or money order with the applicant's full name and address, and mail it to the College Admissions Office by the appropriate application deadline. Checks should be made payable to the University of Chicago.
The Office of College Admissions
Attn. Matt Cowell
1101 E. 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Final High School Transcript
An official transcript detailing your coursework and grades over your entire high school career should be sent from your high school. The transcript should list your graduation date if there is one. In reading your application, your transcript will serve as a roadmap of your academic path in high school. We will be looking at your academic record across all four years of high school, primarily to see that you have challenged yourself productively in your course selection and done well in those courses.
Your transcript is considered in the context of your high school. Course offerings and opportunities can look very different from one high school to the next, and we want to see how you took advantage of what was available to you at your high school. You would never be at a disadvantage in the admissions process for not having pursued an opportunity that was not available to you. A School Profile is usually included with your transcript that tells us about the environment at your school, course offerings, curriculum, and educational outcomes. We do not require complete syllabi.
If you have taken courses at a school other than your current high school, such as a previous high school or a local college, please be sure to have those grades sent as well. They may be reported either on your current high school transcript or in a separate transcript from the original institution.
Transcripts written in a language other than English should be accompanied by a certified translation and a grading scale.
Two Teacher Evaluations
We require two recommendations from teachers who have taught you in an academic subject: high school teachers for first-year applicants and college instructors for transfer applicants. Academic subjects, as defined for the purposes of letters of recommendation, include mathematics, social studies, history, science, English or literature, foreign language, and other courses in which you are doing substantial amounts of reading, writing, or class discussion. If you have questions about whether a particular course is a good choice, feel free to contact your regional Admissions Counselor.
Ask for recommendations from teachers who know you well and can speak specifically and positively about your contributions in the classroom, academic interest, and interactions with classmates. This does not necessarily need to be the teacher who gave you the best grades, but instead someone who best knows your academic personality and thinks highly of you. Plan to have a brief conversation with your recommender to give them context on your educational plans, as this can be helpful in writing a more detailed letter.
As teachers are often writing letters of recommendation on their own time and are therefore not getting paid to do it, we also strongly encourage students to write their recommenders a thank you note.
Submitting Letters of Recommendation
All school counselors and teachers have the option of submitting letters of recommendation and school forms online via the Coalition Application or Common Application. They should follow the instructions on the relevant application for submitting these forms. Teachers and counselors may print out and submit these forms on paper even if you submit your application online. Letters of recommendation must come directly from the recommender and should not be sent by the applicant. Letters of recommendation can be added to your application after the application deadline, so you do not need to ask your recommender to submit their letter before or at the same time as you have submitted your application.
If your recommenders are most comfortable writing in a language other than English, they may do so. Have them submit the original letter accompanied by a translation.
If you feel that we won't be able get a full picture of who you are without a third letter of recommendation from another teacher, an employer, role model, youth leader, or friend, you may submit one additional letter. Submitting a supplemental letter of recommendation is not an expectation, and please be considerate of the significant time commitment writing a good letter of recommendation takes before asking a potential recommender.
If you feel that you have not had satisfactory contact with professors at your college or university, you may ask a teaching assistant or lab instructor who may have had more experience working with you to provide a recommendation.
Your transcript shows your academic record in the context of your school, but, since one school can be very different from another, it is useful to see evidence of academic achievement that exists outside of the context of your school. This is why some colleges ask applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score. For many applicants, an SAT or ACT score can reflect their academic preparedness in this broader context.
Some applicants may feel that an SAT or ACT score does not fully reflect their academic preparedness or potential, or may feel that it is out of date. If this is the case for you and you are an applicant who attended a high school in the U.S., you may select UChicago's test-optional method of application and not supply SAT or ACT scores with your application. We welcome any student regardless of testing plan to submit additional material (detailed in the Supplements section) that they feel best highlights their skills, talents, and potential contributions to UChicago.
The SAT, ACT, and other standard measures can continue to be an important part of the University of Chicago’s holistic admission process for students electing to send scores and are a required part of the application process at many other highly selective schools. These tests can provide valuable information about a student which we and other colleges will consider alongside the other elements in a student’s application. We encourage students to take standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, and to share your scores with us if you think that they are reflective of your ability and potential. Given that many of our peers do require testing, we anticipate that the vast majority of students will continue to still submit their test scores to UChicago.
For students who elect to submit an ACT or SAT score, we have no preference between the two tests or between the "old" SAT and the "new" SAT. We will continue to accept scores from the old version of the SAT for the five years scores remain valid. The writing portion of the ACT or the SAT is not required, nor are any SAT Subject Tests. We do not have minimum test score requirements.
We will superscore both the SAT and the ACT, meaning that if you have taken either test more than once, you should submit all your scores, and we will add your highest subsection scores together to give you the highest possible combined score. We will superscore within both the old SAT and the new SAT, but will not be able to superscore between the two versions of the test. We encourage students to take the test more than once, but do not recommend excessive retaking of standardized tests, as we generally do not see significant improvement after the second time taking a test. Test scores are valid for five years (with an exception for veteran applicants).
Students who attend high school in the U.S. and choose to submit SAT or ACT scores may share either official or self-reported SAT or ACT scores. These students will not be required to submit official score reports unless they are admitted and choose to enroll. You are able to self-report test scores through the Coalition or Common Application. You will not need to superscore your own results or recalculate your scores in any way; send your scores exactly as you receive them.
Students who will graduate from a high school outside the U.S. and transfer applicants will be required to submit an official score report at the time of application. To be considered official, scores must be sent to the University of Chicago directly from the testing agency. UChicago’s SAT code is 1832; the ACT code is 1152.
While we would, of course, like to receive your scores before the appropriate deadline, we will accept the February ACT or March SAT.
College Report and Transcript
College Official's Report
The College's Official Report should be submitted by a dean or academic adviser who has access to your disciplinary and academic records at your current or most recent college or university. If a college or university cannot provide an official report, don’t panic! We will still be able to review your application in its entirety without any penalty. We do not require the Midterm Report from the Common Application.
Request that official college or university transcripts from every post-secondary school you have attended be sent directly to the Office of College Admissions. If you received pass/fail marks for college or university courses instead of grades, please request that your instructors submit written evaluations of your work.
Transcripts written in a language other than English must be be accompanied by a certified translation and a grading scale.
Financial Aid Application
The University of Chicago meets a student’s full demonstrated need throughout their undergraduate career at UChicago. The number of quarters for which you receive financial aid will depend on your transfer credit evaluation, which you will receive after you are offered admission. Learn more about applying for financial aid.
If you are neither a citizen of the United States nor a permanent resident, then we consider you to be an international transfer applicant, even if you are currently studying at a U.S. college or university. International transfer applicants are not eligible for financial aid.
Optional Video Profile
If you would like to add your voice to your application, you have the option to submit a two-minute video introduction in lieu of the traditional college interview, which is not part of our application process. Your recording does not need to be extensively rehearsed or polished, and the video does not need to be edited.
You may record your video introduction using the platform of your choice, and then upload either a file of or link to the introduction into your UChicago Account. If there is any important information relevant to your candidacy you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.
Supplemental Materials: Optional Art, Creative, Research, or Other Supplements
Students may submit supplemental material representing a significant talent, passion, or achievement by self-upload through their UChicago Account. These materials include, but are not limited to, creative writing projects, highlights from music/dance/visual art/theater performance, school capstone projects such as AP Capstone or the equivalent, research projects, business plans, or other work of note.
Students may also elect to submit results of AP exams, SAT-II subject tests, predicted IB or A-Level scores on an optional and self-reported basis.