What are the requirements for admission?
The Office of College Admissions reviews each application on a holistic basis—a complicated name for a very simple concept. The admissions committee considers a candidate’s entire application—academic and extracurricular records, essays, letters of recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores, if these are submitted—in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of a student’s qualifications and potential. Learn more about our college admissions process.
Is it possible to transfer to UChicago from another college or university?
Yes. The University of Chicago defines a transfer applicant as a student who has completed at least one term as a full-time student in a degree-seeking program at another college or university.
Transfer students must attend the College for at least two academic years (six quarters) and complete the Core curriculum and at least half of their major with us. Tentative evaluations of transfer credit are conducted by the Office of the Dean of Students and mailed out over the summer to enrolling students. Learn more about transfer credit.
Does UChicago consider applicants who have been homeschooled?
Yes. Homeschooled applicants have the same application requirements as any other candidate.
Can students begin studies at UChicago during the spring quarter?
No; all students must begin studies in the fall quarter only.
The Application Process
When are applications due?
November 1 is our submission deadline for Early Action and Early Decision I applications. January 2 is our submission deadline for Early Decision II and Regular Decision applications.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. UChicago commits to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every admitted student through a need-based financial aid award that includes no loan expectation. Each financial aid award is tailored to the student and family’s particular financial profile; we require a few forms in order to offer students an appropriate package. Although domestic applicants may apply for financial aid at any time, we recommend that they apply for aid when they apply for admission in order to receive an aid decision in a timely manner. UChicago does not charge an application fee to students who indicate that they intend to apply for financial aid. Learn more about applying for UChicago’s financial aid.
Do students apply to specific academic departments or schools?
No, students apply into the one undergraduate College as a whole. However, students are encouraged to indicate their academic interests in their application to help the admissions committee to a more complete picture of themselves.
How can students let the admission staff know about their extracurricular talents?
Students may submit supporting materials for music, theater and dance, or visual arts and film, and/or a short creative writing sample or scientific research abstract. These items should be submitted digitally through the “Portfolio” section of the student’s UChicago Account. They may also submit an additional recommendation from anyone who knows them well (e.g. a coach, music teacher, mentor, or member of their community).
We will accept supplemental materials even after submitting an application Our deadlines for supplemental materials are: November 15 for Early Action and Early Decision I; January 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision.
How can students let the admission staff know about their interests in athletics?
Interested student athletes interested in one of our Division III varsity programs should contact our coaches for more information about varsity athletics UChicago.
How do students apply to UChicago?
Students should complete the Coalition Application or Common Application and the University of Chicago Supplement. The Coalition and Common Applications allow students to enter information about their background, academic profile, and extracurricular activities and submit applications to all the schools to which they are applying.
The University of Chicago Supplement requires one extended essay from our list of several prompts and one short essay on their interest in UChicago. It can be submitted through the Coalition Application or Common Application, or through the UChicago Account. View our supplemental essay questions.
Is there an application fee?
The University of Chicago does not charge a college 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 Application or Common Application.
Are standardized test scores required for admission?
Many applicants will feel that an SAT or ACT score can reflect their academic preparedness.
Some applicants may feel that an SAT or ACT score does not fully reflect their academic preparedness or potential. If this is the case for a domestic first-year applicant, they may select UChicago's test-optional method of application and not supply SAT or ACT scores with their 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 their scores with us if they think that they are reflective of their ability and potential. Given that many of our peers do require testing, we anticipate that the vast majority of students will continue to take tests and may still submit their test scores to UChicago.
*We require an SAT or ACT score from transfer applicants and some form of standardized testing from students who attend a high school outside the United States. International students may elect to submit one of several other forms of testing in lieu of an SAT or ACT score. Visit the International Applicants page for details. Students who are undocumented/DACA and attend high school in the United States may choose to use our test-optional policy.
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. Students are able to self-report test scores through the Coalition or Common Application, or may share a transcript that includes test scores.
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, if possible, like to receive applicants' 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.
What materials should the school counselor or teachers send UChicago?
Secondary school counselors should complete the Secondary School Report and submit it along with an official transcript. We also require two recommendations from teachers who have taught the applicant in an academic subject.
All high school counselors and teachers have the option of submitting letters of recommendation and school forms online via the Coalition Application or Common Application. Teachers and counselors may print out and submit these forms on paper even if students submit their applications online.
Counselors should also submit a midyear report with grades or transcript for a student’s first semester or first trimester by February 1 or as soon as possible thereafter. The Coalition and Common Application provide a Midyear Grade Report form, or you may use your own school’s midyear report. Students are also welcome to make updates to their application by logging into their UChicago Account and clicking “Update Your Application.”
Can students 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, it is a good idea for students to let us know as soon as possible. Alerting our office to a possible gap year will not negatively affect an application. If an admitted student is interested in taking a gap year, they should review the gap year section of this FAQ page and contact their regional admissions counselor.
How should students accept their spot on the waitlist?
To be considered for admission, a student who has been offered a place on the waitlist needs to accept that place through their UChicago Account. Our waitlist is not ranked, meaning that students have a place in a pool of students who have been waitlisted rather than a ranked position in a line.
At the point of decision release, we do not yet know if or when we will be able to extend offers of admission to students off the waitlist. Therefore, it is imperative that waitlisted students accept and secure a place at a school to which they have been accepted by May 1.
Can students appeal their admission decision or ask to have the decision explained?
There is no appeal process, and we cannot reconsider applications or offer individual explanations for our decisions.