Guidelines and Deadlines

Each of the graduate programs at the University of Chicago use an online application system, most of them coordinated through the Graduate Admissions office. Applicants to the Law School and the Pritzker School of Medicine must apply through the LSAC and AMCAS systems, respectively, and the Booth School of Business manages its own admissions platform. Because the actual admissions process takes place within each school, division, and department, if you wish to apply to more than one program, you will need to create a separate application for each one, often in different online systems. Be sure you are creating your account in the right system for the program you want to apply to. We offer some general guidelines about the application process here, but encourage you to follow up directly with the admission staff for your program(s) of interest with questions specific to their application process. 

General Guidelines 

  • Find the link to the online application and instructions for each of the schools and divisions on our How to Apply page or on the webpages of the programs that interest you. 
  • Sign up for an online application account in the correct application system; each academic unit has a different online application site. 
  • Register for and complete any and all standardized tests and keep that information ready when you work on your application. Have official scores submitted electronically by the testing agency to the University of Chicago by your application deadline. 
  • Contact individuals you would like to have write letters of recommendation for your application, and give them plenty of time to do so. Detailed instructions will be included with your program’s application. You should enter them on the application as soon as you create your account to give them plenty of time to submit their letter.
  • Secure copies of transcripts from all post-secondary schools you have attended, and if they are not already in English, secure translations. The application system requires a transcript to be uploaded for every school attended. We do not require official transcripts for the application process.
  • Update your resume or CV. 
  • Carefully prepare the specific components of each application, typically written statements or essays. 
  • Submit your application well before the posted deadline, and check your email and online account for any updates that might come from the admissions office. We recommend submitting at least a week before the deadline to allow time to resolve any issues you may encounter.
  • There are no separate application requirements specifically for international students. All applicants must meet our English proficiency requirement or qualify for a waiver, regardless of citizenship. Our transcript requirement is based on the language of the document, not the country it is located in: if the document is not in English, it must be uploaded with a certified English translation.


As a general rule, applications should be submitted as early as possible so that you can track the status of your application and the receipt of official test scores and letters of recommendation. You should log into and check the status of your application frequently once you have submitted it. In most cases, you will not be allowed to submit any additional documents after you submit your application. 

For information specific to your program or application (including deadlines), visit the program’s webpage or contact an admissions representative from your particular graduate program. 

General Admissions Details/Required Materials 

Application Fees and Waivers 

The applications to our programs require an accompanying fee. This fee will be clearly indicated in the instructions on your application, and you will be prompted to pay the non-refundable application fee once you submit your application. If you plan to request a fee waiver, do not submit the application fee until after your fee waiver request has been reviewed. If necessary, you will be able to return to your online account to pay the application fee. If you pay the fee before your waiver request is reviewed, you will not receive a refund.

Fee waiver requests, if accepted, are either part of the application itself, or will be posted to your application account portal after you submit your application. Once you submit a fee waiver request, the school or division will be in touch with you if they require further information. Please note that with a few exceptions, most programs will only grant waivers based on financial hardship to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 

Participants in certain programs, including the Leadership Alliance, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), National Name Exchange, and those who will submit a Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp request, should complete the fee waiver forms as part of the application, and submit any requested documentation through those organizations, rather than submitting the application fee. If you experience any difficulty with these program-based fee waivers, please contact us at 

Prior Education and Transcripts 

All applicants to our graduate and professional programs are expected to be enrolled in or to have completed a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Applicants from a three-year bachelor’s program will be given due consideration. Because all of our programs feature competitive admission, no particular academic degree or background will guarantee admission to one of our graduate divisions.

As part of the online application, you will need to upload a copy of your transcript for every college or university you have attended for credit, including the page(s) which provides details on the grading criteria and other information. If you are currently enrolled in school, you should upload a current transcript (or something that shows what you are currently enrolled in, if you just began a new program) available at the time the application is ready to be submitted. Once fall term grades are posted to your record, you should upload a revised transcript through your online account status portal. 

Applicants who have attended institutions whose transcripts are not in English must submit those transcripts along with certified English translations. Both the original transcript and the certified translation should be uploaded to your online application. 

Official documents – issued by your institution electronically, or in sealed envelopes – are only required if you are admitted and plan to enroll. At that point, the school or division will tell you exactly what their official document requirements are, and the deadline for submitting them. Generally, you will be asked to submit an official copy of final transcripts showing the degree(s) awarded before you can enroll. Note: any discrepancy between your personal copy and the official, final copies may be grounds for rescinding an offer of admission. 

Standardized Testing 

Please read the requirements for applying to your program, as each one will have different instructions regarding standardized tests. If you are unsure about testing requirements, feel free to reach out to the admissions staff at that particular program for clarification. In most cases, GRE and subject test scores may be submitted simply to the University of Chicago, and your scores will be shared with the program(s) to which you are applying. If you are required to submit any test score, a valid electronic score must be received from the testing agency to meet the requirement.

University of Chicago School and Program Codes 

  • ETS School Code (GRE, TOEFL) for all programs except the Booth School of Business and the Harris School of Public Policy: 1832 
  • ETS School Code (GRE, TOEFL) for the Booth School of Business: 1832-02 
  • ETS School Code (GRE, TOEFL) for the Harris School of Public Policy: 1849 (applicants to Harris may send their scores to either 1832 or 1849)
  • GMAT, University of Chicago-Financial Mathematics: H9X-WG-39 
  • GMAT, Booth School of Business: H9X-9F-50 
  • GMAT, Harris School of Public Policy-Masters in Public Policy: H9X-9Z-17  
  • GMAT, University of Chicago-Masters Program in Computer Science: H9X-WG-56 
  • IELTS does not use a program code for electronic delivery. Please contact your test center and request that your scores be sent to our IELTS e-download account: University of Chicago – Graduate Enrollment, 970 East 58th Street, Third Floor, Chicago, IL 60637. 

For all programs except Booth, Law, and Medicine, our office will send an automated email confirming receipt of your score(s) within 24 hours of when we receive them. That confirmation email will include further instructions on how to be sure that your scores match to your application. The most common problems are differences between your application record and the information we receive from the testing agency. Be sure that your name and email address match exactly on both your application and the test, and that you have entered your date of birth correctly in your application record.

If you need to contact us about your test score, include your full name, date of birth, which program you are applying to, and the reference number listed on your application, in addition to the specifics of the test name and date, and the date you received your confirmation of receipt email from us. 

Candidate Statement/Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement

A statement of some kind is a required component of nearly every application. The expectations for this differ between fields, so it is critical to read the instructions carefully. Your statement should usually address your past work, preparation for the intended field of study, relevant background and interests, academic plans, and career goals. It should be used to describe your reasons for applying to the particular department or program, and in some cases you are also expected to list the specific faculty members with whom you are most interested in working, particularly in PhD applications. This statement will assist the admissions committee in evaluating your preparation for graduate study, and help them understand your academic and professional experience, training, and interests beyond what is apparent from your transcripts, as well the specific fit between you and the department. In some cases this will be separate from a statement regarding your research or academic interests, but for doctoral programs especially, it is usually a single document. 


If a video statement or interview is required for your admission, the admissions committee for your program will indicate that in the instructions, and they will provide information about the interview process. 

Admissions Decisions 

Each degree program will release decisions at different times, and some degree programs may release decisions on a more “rolling” basis instead of all at once. The admissions committee will contact you directly about the status of your application. 

Still have questions about the process? Please visit the Application FAQs page for answers to frequently–asked questions.