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Transfer Applicants

"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.”
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—Christian S.
Chicago, IL

If you have already completed at least one term as a full-time student in a degree-seeking program at another college or university, you may apply as a transfer student. Transfer students may only enter the College in the Autumn Quarter. High school students who have taken college-level courses should apply as first-year applicants.

If you would like to visit the University to study for one year or less before returning to another institution, you should apply as a student-at-large. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to apply to the undergraduate College at the University of Chicago, as the College does not grant second bachelor’s degrees. As with first-year students, transfer students may only enter the College in the Autumn Quarter. However, you are welcome to pursue a graduate degree or apply as a graduate-student-at-large through the Graham School of General Studies.

Timeline

Application Due Date March 1*
Admission Decision Release Date Early May
Student Reply Due Date June 1*

*11:59 p.m. applicant's local time

Required Application Materials

Transfer Application for Admission

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.

Extracurricular Activities

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.

Application Essay

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.

UChicago Supplement

The University of Chicago Supplement requires one extended essay of your choice from our list of several prompts and two short answer essays:

  1. Why you would like to attend the University of Chicago
  2. 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.

The Supplement is available through your UChicago Account, the Coalition Application, or Common Application.

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.

Credit Card

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.
Rosenwald 005
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.

Supplemental Recommendations

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. 

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized testing, while important, is only one piece of a much larger picture. You're so much more than a number, and the application process is about so much more than scores.

The college admissions process is all about finding the right fit, and there's no single piece of your application, including a test score, that could indicate whether or not you would be a good fit for UChicago. We read applications holistically and consider your test scores alongside your grades, course selection, and letters of recommendation to determine whether you're prepared to do good academic work in the College, which most students who apply are.

We require an ACT or SAT score and 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); if your scores are more than five years old, you must retake the test.

Reporting Scores

Transfer applicants are 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 or reported on a transcript. UChicago’s SAT code is 1832; the ACT code is 1152.

Testing Deadlines

While we would, of course, like to receive your scores before the appropriate deadline, we will accept the February ACT or March ACT.

Outside the U.S.

We understand that access to the SAT and ACT is not available in all countries. While we hope that you will make your best effort to take one of these tests if you can, we will give full consideration to the applications without an ACT or SAT score from students in these countries.

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.

College Transcripts 

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.

Optional Components

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.

Supplemental Materials

Sometimes there's an aspect of who you are that simply can't be conveyed through the required application materials.  If this is the case, you are welcome to submit supplemental materials. In general, it's best to make sure that any non-required materials you choose to submit to a college are focused in scope and add a new perspective on who you are that's not already there.

You may submit supporting materials for music, theater and dance, or visual arts and film digitally through the "Portfolio" section of your UChicago Account. You may also submit a short creative writing sample or scientific research abstract through your UChicago Account using the "upload" feature.  Please keep in mind that more is not always better.

Additional recommendations from school officials (e.g. a coach, club sponsor, or arts teacher) may be submitted through the Coalition or Common Application. Additional recommendations from those who do not have access to the Coalition or Common Application (your boss,  a community leader, someone who knows you well) may be mailed to us at this address:

The Office of College Admissions
1101 E. 58th St.
Rosenwald 005
Chicago, IL 60637

Materials may be faxed to us at 773.702.0661.