FAQ

Applications

What is your minimum GPA or required SAT or ACT score?

There is no minimum GPA or test score. At UChicago, the admissions committee considers a candidate’s entire application. We call this a holistic review process, and you can learn more about it here.

Do you accept College Credits from classes in high school, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit?

Yes. Generally, we accept a 4 or 5 on AP tests and a 6 or 7 on IB examinations. You can learn more about entering the college with outside credit by visiting our College Catalog.

Do you require SAT II Subject Tests?

No. We require either the SAT Reasoning test or the ACT. If you have done exceptionally well on a particular subject test and would like to show us, feel free to send us that score. However, SAT II’s are truly optional, and not sending us Subject Tests will not hurt your application.

Do you look at the writing section of the SAT?

The writing section of the SAT or the ACT is considered supplemental.

Should I use score choice (will earlier/lower testing count against me)?

We recommend you send us all of your test scores. Only your best testing results (highest sub-scores AND/OR best result of the 2 testing options – SAT vs ACT) will be included/used in your admission review. Lower testing will not be included in your final/official application so it cannot count against you.

Do you superscore test scores?

Yes, we superscore both the SAT and ACT. That means, if you take the test multiple times, we will take the highest individual scores and combine them. For example, let’s say you submitted scores from a June test, and they were 600 critical reading (CR) and 700 math (M). Later, you submitted scores from a November test, and they were 700 CR and 600 M. We would consider your overall score to be 1400 (700 CR and 700 M).

For applicants after January 1, 2016: The Redesigned SAT

Starting in March 2016, the College Board will offer a new, redesigned version of the SAT. The test itself may be changing, but the way we use SAT scores in the admissions process will not—they will continue to be used as one piece of a much broader holistic review process.

We will continue to accept scores from the old version of the SAT for the five years scores remain valid, and will superscore within both the old exam and the new, but will not superscore between the two versions. Have your scores sent directly from the testing agency, and no matter what scores you send, we’ll be considering your best.

What types of recommendation letters are required?

We require two recommendations from two different academic teachers (the forms can be found on the Common Application website). If someone that is not a teacher can provide a different perspective on your work or personality, they are certainly welcome to send in a recommendation, as well; it will be considered supplemental, however, to the two academic recommendations.

May I submit supplemental letters of recommendation?

You may submit one additional letter of recommendation. The writer should know you personally or have mentored you closely in some capacity; this could include a coach, religious leader, group adviser, employer, etc.

Do you accept paper applications?

Yes. However, we strongly encourage students to submit applications online.

Is there a word limit or suggested word limit to your essay responses?

There are no strict word limits. We suggest that for the first essay (where you choose one of the seven prompts), the extended essay stay around 650 words. While we won't as a rule stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as you'd hoped it would. For the “Why UChicago” and “Favorites” essays, we suggest about 250 words.

How do I make sure that UChicago has received all of my required application documents?

Should I call or e-mail if I am not sure if my materials have been received? Once you have submitted your application, you will receive information about creating a UChicago Account. In your account, you will be able to check to see which application materials we have received and processed. We realize that college applications are a stressful time for you, but please know that our office handles a large volume of material every year, and that there will be a reasonable amount of processing time between when you submit your documents and when they will appear in your account. If you do not see your documents in your account, please do not call or e-mail us to check whether they are missing or in process. We will contact you if we find that a required application document is missing, and we will give you ample time to re-submit it.

May I submit supplemental materials in the arts, music, or my own original research?

Yes. However, this should be reserved for high-level art and research. Successful supplements demonstrate a truly unique talent. One to two minutes of a recorded work, two or three high-quality prints of a work of art, the best paragraph or page of a creatively written work, or an abstract of original research is preferred.

Interviewing

How can I obtain an interview?

You can schedule one here.

I would like to interview, but I cannot come to campus. How may I request an alumni interview?

Students who have completed and submitted their Common Application and UChicago supplement will be sent log-in instructions to a UChicago Account, through which you will be able to express interest in an interview with an alumnus/a. Please note that while we will do our best to accommodate requests, due to alumni availability, we cannot guarantee interviews to all students who request them. Also, an interview is a completely optional portion of the application, and not receiving an interview will not negatively affect your application.

Special Circumstances

I had bad grades or a special circumstance that affected my performance in high school. Does this mean I won’t get in?

We understand that no one’s record is perfect, and that sometimes students’ transcripts have grades that are not indicative of where they are when they apply to college. If you have made significant strides in your academic performance, please make sure that comes across in your application. (The Additional Information portion of the Common Application is a great part to communicate this.)

With that in mind, we truly embrace a holistic approach approach to reading applications; we pay attention to all the aspects, not just a single side, of the student.

Can I postpone matriculation at UChicago?

Yes. Students interested in taking a "gap year" between acceptance and attendance are welcomed to postpone their matriculation at UChicago. If this might be an option for you, it is a good idea to let us know as soon as possible. Alerting our office to your possible gap year will not negatively affect your application. If you are an admitted student interested in taking a gap year, please see the Gap Year section below and contact your regional counselor.

I have attempted to register for a UChicago information session in my hometown, but the session is full. May I still attend the session?

Many of our UChicago information sessions are held at libraries and public facilities in local areas that place limits on the number of registrants in order to comply with relevant building codes. If a session is full, unfortunately we will not be able to accommodate further visitors, although will try our best to add additional sessions to meet demand. You do not need to email your regional counselor. We will email you if we add additional sessions.

I am taking the November SAT or October ACT as an Early Action applicant, or the January SAT/February ACT as a Regular Decision applicant. Will you consider these scores?

While we would, of course, like to receive your scores before the appropriate deadline, we will accept October ACT and November SAT scores for Early Action and Early Decision I, December SAT and ACT scores for Early Decision II, and January SAT and February ACT scores for Regular Decision.

I am interested in participating in a varsity sport. How may I contact a coach?

Contact information for our varsity coaches, as well as a survey for students interested in participating in varsity athletics, may be found here.

Does the University of Chicago grant second bachelor’s degrees?

We do not offer second bachelor’s degrees. Please visit the website of the Graham School of General Studies for information on post-baccalaureate coursework and non-degree-program coursework.

May I apply to UChicago for entry in the Winter or Spring quarters?

No. Entering students may only begin study at UChicago in the Autumn quarter.

Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit?

Yes. Generally, we accept a 4 or 5 on AP tests and a 6 or 7 on IB examinations. You can learn more about entering the college with outside credit by visiting our College Catalog.

I am not a US citizen or permanent resident, but have been living in the United States for some time, or am in the process of obtaining a green card but have not yet received one. Am I considered an international student?

Yes, for application and financial aid purposes you will be considered an international applicant until you receive a green card. For further help and questions as they arise during this process, contact us at internationaladmissions@uchicago.edu.

Visiting Campus

How may I sign up to visit a class?

Prospective students who are high school seniors or transfer students are welcome to visit undergraduate classes during their campus visit. No advance notification is necessary to visit a class. You will be asked to select a course from the College's course listings upon arrival in the Office of College Admissions.

How may I sign up for an overnight visit with a current student?

Overnight visits are available only for high school seniors on Tuesdays and Thursdays in October and November. There are additional overnight visits available for admitted students in February and April. See here for registration information.

I am interested in speaking with a member of the faculty in my area of interest when I visit campus. How may I arrange this?

You are welcome to arrange a meeting with a professor in your area of interest; departmental websites are a great place to start looking for faculty who you may wish to speak with.

Do you offer tours of your residence halls?

We offer extensive web-based resources for students to learn more about our house system, as well as opportunities for high school seniors to stay overnight in the residence halls. However, because each dorm is so different from each other, a tour of one would not give a very representative picture of the many options available to incoming first-years.

What do I bring to campus when I visit?

Questions! We love answering them, and we hope you have a bunch about UChicago. If you’re worried about forgetting some of your questions, don’t feel embarrassed to write them down. There is no need to bring an activities list or a resume to our campus. We prefer that you indicate activities and accomplishments directly on your application.

If you are coming for a pre-scheduled overnight visit, please bring a sleeping bag or blanket, pillow, and any personal toiletries that you will need for the evening.

Gap Years

Do you accept Gap Year students?

Yes! We have many students that participate in gap years before enrolling at UChicago. Gap year opportunities can range from exchange student programs, to academic research, to working with political campaigns and more. Gap years can be a great fit for certain students.

When/how do I defer for a year?

We encourage students to apply during their senior year of high school, and once admitted they can defer their enrollment for the duration of their gap year or years. It is easier to apply during high school as students have better access to high school resources, such as teacher letters of recommendation, transcripts, and advising. When students are admitted to the college and are certain that they will be participating in a gap year, they will write a letter to their regional admissions counselor for the deferral to be approved. This will be an ongoing conversation between the prospective student and their admissions counselor.

After high school, I am obligated to serve religious or military service before college, does this count as a gap year?

We certainly understand these obligations and are more than willing to work with student to help facilitate these gap years!