We know that you may have many questions about the process of applying to graduate school. The answers to all of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found here, as well as throughout our site.

These questions are separated out into categories in the tabs above. Most of the graduate schools and divisions, as well as individual degree programs, also have their own admissions pages and their own FAQ sections, which we encourage you to consult. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu and we can direct you to the appropriate web page that contains the information you need.


Do you offer distance or online programs? Created with Sketch.

No, we do not offer any distance or online degrees, but we do offer a few online certificate programs through the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

Do you offer non–degree, certificate programs? Created with Sketch.

Our Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies offers a number of non-degree certificate programs in fields like visual arts, editing, and community health advocacy. You can view a list of certificate offerings at the Graham School website.

I have not yet decided which program to apply to. Can I take classes at the university without enrolling in a particular program? Created with Sketch.

Yes. The Graduate-Student-At-Large (GSAL) program, offered through our Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, enables eligible students to take graduate and undergraduate courses throughout the university without being enrolled in a degree program. As a GSAL student, you would not be a degree candidate at the University of Chicago, but credit earned here may be transferable to one of our programs or to other institutions.

Can I pursue my degree part–time? Created with Sketch.

Most of our graduate programs require that their students enroll full–time. The few exceptions state explicitly whether they allow students to enroll part-time. These include the Booth School of Business's WeekendEvening, and Executive MBA programs, several programs in the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, the Masters Program in Computer Science, and the MA in the School of Social Service Administration. Other programs may be willing to negotiate part-time status on a case-by-case basis, but it is best to address these concerns with the program's admissions office before applying.

The University of Chicago offers a PhD in my program of interest, but does not specifically mention a master’s degree. Can I apply just for a master’s degree? Created with Sketch.

Our PhD programs do not typically offer terminal master’s degrees. Instead, we offer several interdisciplinary one-year master’s degree programs which allow students to work with faculty in their field of interest while constructing a unique program of study that best suits their needs. These programs are the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH), the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), and the Master of Science in the Physical Sciences Division (MS-PSD) programs.

Do I need a master’s degree to apply to a PhD program? Created with Sketch.

For most of the University's programs, credits do not automatically transfer from another institution. Credit transfers are usually decided on a case-by-case basis with your departmental adviser after admission. By contacting your department directly, you may be able to learn which credits are likely to transfer.

Can I transfer credits from another institution? Created with Sketch.

For most of the University's programs, credits do not automatically transfer from another institution. Credit transfers are usually decided on a case-by-case basis with your departmental adviser after admission. By contacting your department directly, you may be able to learn which credits are likely to transfer.

Can I apply to more than one program? Created with Sketch.

You may apply to multiple programs during the same admissions cycle. Please note that you must submit an application for each program, and pay each application fee.

Can I earn joint or dual degrees? Created with Sketch.

Yes. Application procedures for joint/dual programs vary widely by program. In most cases, students interested in pursuing a joint or dual degree must apply to and be admitted to both programs, though it is not always necessary to be admitted to both in the same year. Application information for all of our joint/dual programs is listed here. All students interested in a joint program are strongly encouraged to contact the admissions office for each program prior to beginning the application process.

I have a different major than the field in which I am applying for a graduate degree. Is that a problem? Created with Sketch.

Some programs, especially those in the physical, social, and biological sciences, have very specific requirements of their applicants’ undergraduate coursework. Those requirements can be found on the individual program websites. In general, the faculty reading an application will typically be concerned with the coursework related to your intended field of study, so if you majored in an unrelated field but clearly have the appropriate academic background and/or research experience, you may still be a competitive applicant. Students who are changing fields of study may also want to consider one of our interdisciplinary master’s programs before applying directly to a PhD program.

Is it necessary to have the support of a faculty member before I apply? Created with Sketch.

No, it is not necessary to have a faculty member sponsor your application. In general, you may contact faculty with questions, but there is no expectation that you do so. However, in certain fields, particularly the sciences, it is more common to contact faculty in advance to inquire about their ability to take on new students. Before contacting a specific faculty member, you may want to contact the departmental administrator or divisional admissions office with any questions you might have regarding admissions, whether a particular faculty member is able to take on students, etc. It’s also always wise to have specific questions for faculty, based on the research you have already done on your program and their work.

How do I meet with a representative of a program or school? Created with Sketch.

If you would like to meet with a representative from your program(s) of interest, we suggest that you contact the department well before your visit. Contact information for most of our programs can be found on our website. If you need assistance finding appropriate contact information, please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu and we would be happy to assist you. You can also meet with our staff during a campus tour.

Financial Aid & Funding

What funding is offered to PhD students? Created with Sketch.

Students admitted to a PhD program usually receive full financial support for five years. Support typically includes tuition, health insurance, and in most cases, a living stipend. Each program has a slightly different funding structure; you can learn more on your department’s website.

What funding is offered to master’s students? Created with Sketch.

Each department and program has different scholarship and funding opportunities, so please visit the website for your program of interest for more specific information. Some highly-competitive merit-based tuition aid is available to students pursuing a master’s degree, and a few programs offer need-based aid as well. You can find more information on funding your graduate education here.

What are tuition expenses/expenses for living in Hyde Park? Created with Sketch.

Tuition varies by program. Compared to similar neighborhoods in other big cities, the cost of living in Hyde Park is relatively low. You can find out more about what living in Hyde Park is like, as well as information about housing options in the neighborhood and elsewhere around Chicago on our Graduate Housing page.

Test Scores & Required Application Materials

What are your minimum test scores for admission? Created with Sketch.

With the exception of English language proficiency exams, the University of Chicago has no minimum test scores or GPAs. All of our programs share an emphasis on “holistic” admissions—in other words, looking at the entire picture of an applicant, not just a set of test score results or grades. Which tests or subscores are considered and the average scores of admitted students will vary widely by program.

How do I submit my test scores to the University of Chicago? Created with Sketch.

The University of Chicago does not accept copies of test scores— for the majority of programs you must submit official scores for your application to be considered. For students submitting GRE or TOEFL scores, our ETS institutional code is 1832 for all schools and departments. The only two exceptions are the Booth School of Business (1832-02) and the Harris School of Public Policy (1849).

How long are standardized test scores valid? Created with Sketch.

GRE scores are valid if the test was taken less than five years before the date of the application deadline. English-language exams are valid for application deadlines within two years of the date of the exam.

If I submit multiple test scores, which will be considered? Created with Sketch.

Admissions committees will generally superscore—that is, they will consider the highest score from each section of each test, regardless of when you sat for the exam. However, all test scores you submit will be visible to the committee, should they wish to view them.

Is it possible to receive an application fee waiver? Created with Sketch.

Many of our programs waive the application fee for a variety of reasons. For most programs, you can access the application fee waiver request form on the instructions page of your online application. Once you complete the form, typically the program will be in touch within a few days if they require any additional materials from you or further information. Once you complete the form, please do NOT submit the application fee as it is nonrefundable. Please note: applying for a fee waiver does not guarantee that you will receive one. The granting of fee waivers is at the discretion of the individual division or school. Applicants are generally notified on the status of fee waivers through the online application.

Do you accept hard copies of application materials, or provide a paper application? Created with Sketch.

We do not provide a paper application. All application materials must be provided through our online application. Unless specifically directed otherwise, you should only send electronic materials to the University of Chicago.

Application Questions

I am experiencing technical issues with the online application (unable to login, upload materials, unable to submit application etc.). Whom should I contact? Created with Sketch.

Please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu. Please include in the email your full name, application reference number, and the name of the program to which you are applying.

What does it mean to waive my FERPA rights? Created with Sketch.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows students to access their educational records if they enroll at an institution. Applicants may waive the right to access recommendation letters in any FERPA request they may submit in the future, though you are not required to do so. However, please keep in mind that if a recommender believes you may have access to the letter in the future, they may choose not to write a letter or they may write a different letter than they might have otherwise done. In addition, admissions committees may not assign the same weight to such letters because they are often perceived as less candid.

Can I change my decision to waive or not waive my FERPA rights? Created with Sketch.

Once you have submitted a recommendation request, you will be unable to change your decision to waive FERPA rights for that particular request. However, you can contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu and we will assist you.

One of my recommenders cannot access/has not received the link to your system. What should I do? Created with Sketch.

In some cases, institutional email servers may block our automatic emails. If your recommender has not received the email with their link, please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.

How can I alter my list of recommenders? Created with Sketch.

As long as your application has not been submitted, you can add more recommenders. If you have made a mistake with your recommender’s information or wish to delete a recommender, please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.

My recommender made an error in my reference. Whom should he/she contact? Created with Sketch.

If your recommender is unable to submit your reference, or has made an error, please have your recommender contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.

I would like to alter my application, but I have already submitted it. How can I do this? Created with Sketch.

If you wish to add new material, such as grades from a recent semester or quarter, you may do so by uploading them through the “Other Miscellaneous Documents” section of your online account. If you have submitted erroneous information, or if you believe there has been some technical or formatting error that occurred during your application’s submission, please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.

Why have my test scores not been verified on my online application? Created with Sketch.

Test scores can take up to four weeks to reach us after you submit them. Please be patient. If you believe your test scores have already been received by the university and should have been verified, please contact us at gradadmissions@uchicago.eduPlease include in the email: your application program, reference number, and any information you have regarding how/when the official score was sent. For the GRE and TOEFL, the batch number from ETS is usually helpful, as is information on any possible mismatches in how your name, email address, or other data may appear between your application account and your test scores. For the IELTS, we will need the TRF code.

Do you accept materials through Interfolio? Created with Sketch.

Yes. Our system also supports automatic uploads from their system. To submit your letters in this fashion, you will need to enter the unique Interfolio email address in place of your recommender's email address in our application system. Once the request is received by Interfolio you will need to log in to their system to approve the submission. Once that is completed, Interfolio will upload your recommendation request to our application system, typically within 48 hours.

Some of my application materials will be submitted late. Will my application still be considered? Created with Sketch.

We strongly encourage applicants to submit all materials by the application deadline. If you must submit materials late, the policies vary across the University. If you believe any part of your application will be submitted after the deadline, please contact the admissions office for the program to which you are applying.

Is an interview required? Created with Sketch.

If your program requires an interview, they will contact you directly to set up an interview appointment.


When will I receive an admissions decision? Created with Sketch.

The date decisions begin to be issued varies widely between programs, so you should contact your program of interest if you have any concerns about the status of your application after it has been submitted. Once an update has been made to your application status, you will receive an email directing you to log into our application system to view your decision. Most programs will not provide decisions via email or phone.

How do I appeal an admissions decision? Created with Sketch.

We do not offer an appeals process for admissions decisions. All decisions of admissions committees are final.


I wish to apply for a PhD. Do I need a master’s degree to apply? Created with Sketch.

Not usually. The vast majority of our graduate programs accept applicants with a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The exceptions are the PhD programs in the Divinity School and the School of Social Service Administration, which require a master’s degree, and our master’s degree in Public Health Sciences, which requires a doctoral-level clinical degree (e.g., an MD, DO, or PhD in Nursing). However, it is not uncommon for some programs to have a preference for individuals already holding master’s degree, and an increasing number of entering doctoral candidates in some fields do already hold a master's degree.

I have not graduated with a four-year bachelor’s degree. Can I still apply? Created with Sketch.

For admission to most of our programs, applicants need the equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree. However, our faculty understand that in many parts of the world three-year undergraduate degrees are standard. In those cases, our programs will typically accept a three-year degree, provided it is equivalent to a bachelor's, such as a BTech or BSc degree. That said, it is not unusual in some programs for students to do a fourth-year program of some type to enhance the competitiveness of their application.

Do you offer conditional admission? Created with Sketch.

Very few programs at the University of Chicago offer conditional admission to students who have yet to formally apply to a program or do not yet meet our English Language requirements. The best way to find out if your program offers conditional admission is to contact them directly.

What financial aid is available to international students? Created with Sketch.

International applicants are given equal consideration for all awards and sources of University funding for which they qualify. However, sources of aid are limited and competitive because some programs receive funding from the U.S. government that cannot be used to support international students. International students are also not eligible for U.S. student loans in most cases. For these reasons, we encourage all international students to investigate outside sources of aid, including programs within their home country, as well as organizations like Education USA, the Institute of International Education, and International Education Financial Aid. Further information on financial policies can be found here.

What work opportunities are available to international students? Created with Sketch.

There are many employment opportunities available for graduate students, regardless of their citizenship status. Visit our international student funding page and the Office of International Affairs website to learn more about applying for work as an international student.

Will the University sponsor a visa for me? Created with Sketch.

The University of Chicago only sponsors visas for students who have been accepted to and are enrolling at the university. Our Office of International Affairswill facilitate this process once you accept an offer of admission.

English Language Requirements

What are the English language test requirements? Created with Sketch.

International applicants to graduate programs at the University of Chicago are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores during the application process. The English requirement may be waived for applicants who are native to or have studied in certain English-speaking countries. Students who studied in English in other countries are not exempt from the English language requirement. For most programs, the minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall, with four sub scores of 26 each. If you are applying to a program in the Physical Sciences Division or the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME), the minimum TOEFL score may be lower. You should confirm your individual program’s requirements before applying. Minimum required scores on the IELTS are an overall score of 7, with sub scores of 7 each.

Can I have a waiver for the English language test requirements? Created with Sketch.

The English language requirement may be waived if the applicant is a native of or studied in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa. Further information regarding the English language requirements can be found here. Exemptions are granted by the division or school during the application process, and there is no form required—only submission of your transcripts which indicate you meet the waiver requirement.

Does the university offer English language courses? Created with Sketch.

Our English Language Institute offers classes for non-native English speakers through the Academic English Pre-matriculation Program (AEPP), as well as special interests classes and workshops during the school year. However, these classes are not part of an accredited program at the University of Chicago and do not satisfy any University requirements. All international applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores during the application process. Information about minimum scores required for admission can be found here.

I studied at an English medium university in a country which is not in the TOEFL/IELTS exempt list. Do I still have to take the exam? Created with Sketch.

Yes. Unless you are a native of or have studied in an English-speaking country, you must take an English language exam. If you attended an English-medium university not in one of the approved list of countries, you must still take the exam.

Application Questions

What is the application process? What extra is required of international applicants? Created with Sketch.

Each department handles its own admissions process, so please be sure to check the admissions requirements listed on your program’s website carefully. For most programs, international applicants provide all the same materials as domestic applications. However, they must also submit TOEFL/IELTS scores meeting our minimum requirements, and in some cases programs may also ask international applicants to upload video statements to their application or interview via Skype or Google. In some cases, due to visa timelines, programs may require international applicants to apply during one of their earlier application cycles.

Do I need to convert my GPA to a 4.0 scale? Created with Sketch.

Unless you are specifically requested to do so in the instructions on your application, please do not convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale.

Do I have to have my transcripts translated into English? Created with Sketch.

Yes. Please send documents in their official language along with an English translation. Translations should be prepared or verified by someone whose position requires knowledge of both English and the other language—for example, a professor of English at a French university. The University of Chicago does not offer translation services. However, applicants seeking a translator might consider contacting their home country’s consulate or embassy or searching the directory of the American Translators Association.

Prospective Students & Applicants

Will deadlines be extended for Autumn 2020 applicants? Created with Sketch.

Some Master’s programs have extended their deadlines, while others have not. All PhD applications for the 2020-2021 school year have closed. Please refer to the websites of your programs of interest or contact the departments and divisions directly. A full list of programs may be found here, with links to their websites. Their applicant information pages will be updated with new information if their deadlines have been extended.

Due to COVID-19’s impact on my college or university, some of my classes this term will be graded pass/fail or credit/no credit. Will this affect my application? Created with Sketch.

Faculty and admissions committees are aware of the disruptions impacting not just academic coursework and grading systems, but also research, travel, internships, employment, and many other activities. UChicago will evaluate applicants with this in mind. Given the widespread nature of these changes to grading and other impacts, we believe that it is likely that this will have affected a large proportion of applicants, and will not be unique to only a few individuals.

My application process has been affected by COVID-19. How can I let the university know? Created with Sketch.

Applicants who find that one or more aspects of their application are impacted should make use of our Hardship Request policy in order to submit their applications by the stated deadline. Please take the appropriate steps as relevant to your situation to submit your application:For any missing testing component, please enter the test on the test score page with a testing date in the future and scores of '0'.Recommenders are always given a grace program after the deadline to submit letters of recommendation, and you should let them know if they are concerned. The deadlines apply to you and your submission of your application, not receipt of your recommendations.Provide a Word or PDF document explaining why you will be unable to submit the missing component at this time. Submit your application, and then on your application portal status page, upload the document as a "Hardship Request."

I am unable to take a required standardized test due to the closure of testing centers. Created with Sketch.

We pay careful attention to the information provided by testing agencies. Currently, most required tests are available remotely in most areas of the world, and we accept the remote administrations of the GRE and TOEFL. Please allow extra time to schedule a date, as we are aware of delays.

Which remotely administered tests are you accepting? Created with Sketch.

We will accept the remote GRE and the remote TOEFL. We are not currently accepting the remote IELTS "Indicator" test - or any exam other than the TOEFL or IELTS - to satisfy our English proficiency requirements.

I am located in mainland China and these remote tests are currently unavailable. What should I do? Created with Sketch.

Given that these tests are available elsewhere, it is our hope that mainland China will also have this capability eventually. Until then, unfortunately, we are not aware of any good solutions to this issue.

If I have not heard back about my application, what should I do? Created with Sketch.

First, check your application status portal to be sure that you did not miss any updates. If no decision has been released, we encourage you to be patient, since all admissions staff are currently working remotely and may be experiencing delays. If you have received other offers of admission and need to be able to make a decision, you should contact the program's admissions office directly. Our office is not able to release decisions.

Are admissions events continuing on campus and/or in my area? Created with Sketch.

Campus remains closed based on Illinois’ Stay-at-Home order so we are not holding any in-person events. When we re-open, we will post updates on our Visit and Connect website here. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our Admissions website for general questions, and you may contact us via email (gradadmissions@uchicago.edu) or schedule a virtual meeting with an Admissions staff member here. You may also take a virtual tour of campus here.

Where can I find more information about the University's response to COVID-19? Created with Sketch.

UChicago's announcements and updates are being aggregated at coronavirusupdates.uchicago.edu . This includes posting copies of all emails that are sent to the campus community by the University administration.

Admitted Students

Will on-campus classes resume Autumn 2020? Created with Sketch.

Plans for Autumn Quarter 2020 will be announced by the University by July 1.

I was supposed to attend a program prior to the start of Autumn Quarter (AEPP, math camp, etc.). Will that occur, and will it be in-person or remote? Created with Sketch.

Although no final announcements have been made regarding most of these programs, Summer Quarter courses have been shifted to remote. Based on that we expect that many pre-matriculation programs are likely to either offer remote options or be held remotely.

I have been accepted, but is it possible to defer for a year so I may attend classes in person on campus the next year? Created with Sketch.

Deferrals of admission may only be granted by the admitting school or division, and usually only AFTER you have accepted your offer of admission. If you have already replied to your offer, then please do feel free to contact the listed email address in your admission letter for more information about deferral options. A list of department contacts can also be found here.

Is a tuition deposit required? Created with Sketch.

Your acceptance letter will indicate if you are required to pay a deposit. If you are not directly instructed to pay a deposit, you do not need to.

If I cannot visit campus, how can I get a feel of the neighborhood and the student experience at UChicago? Created with Sketch.

Please visit our Life at UChicago page which has information about Student Resources to help you navigate life on campus as well as Housing Resources to get acquainted with arranging for living near campus and transportation to and from campus. You may also take a virtual tour of campus here, or contact current students in your program via social media or other channels. Check with your program to see what options they offer.

What if I sign a lease but have difficulty relocating to Chicago? Created with Sketch.

Some management companies are guaranteeing to allow students to push back their move-in date without penalty. Ask about this option before signing a lease.


Ask Grad Admissions Created with Sketch.