University of Chicago
School Name: University of Chicago
School Location: Chicago, IL
School Type: Research University
- Total Applications: 32,283
- Total Admitted: 2,348
- Total Acceptance Rate: 7.2%
- Note: Early/Regular split statistics not officially reported
- Regular Decision Acceptance Rate: 4%
- Note: Early/Regular split statistics not officially reported
SAT/ACT Score (Test Optional for 2020 Applicants)
- SAT: 1500-1560
- ACT: 33-35
- High Reach
- Early Action/Early Decision 1: November 1
- Early Results: Mid-December
- Regular Decision/Early Decision II: January 2
- Regular Results: Late March/Mid-February
- Schedule: Quarter System
- Curriculum Type: Common Core
- Greek Life: Yes
- Athletics: D3
Here’s everything you should know before you apply to the University of Chicago
Where is UChicago?
Chicago is home to UChicago’s main campus, but the university has international campuses all over the world: in Paris, Beijing, New Delhi, and Hong Kong. UChicago’s Chicago campus is actually 20 minutes south of Chicago, in the college town of Hyde Park. Hyde Park is buzzing with culture and fun activities, such as museums, restaurants, concert halls, and theaters. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities for UChicago students who want to engage with their community in a meaningful way. The campus itself is the quintessential cozy college campus, with gothic buildings intermixed with grassy lawns, a pond, and towering trees.
What is Campus Life Like?
Although only 55% of UChicago students live on campus, campus life is vibrant and the community is tight knit. UChicago’s seven residence halls contain 39 houses, each of which are home to 80 students on average—though they can range from 40 to 110 students. The houses aren’t separated by year or field of study, so living on campus is an opportunity to meet students you might otherwise never cross paths with in the classroom. Each house has its own traditions and a staff of both students and faculty who keep the house culture alive. There are three dining commons, as well as a dozen cafes around campus, where students can bond with each other or residential deans over a meal.
Living on campus isn’t the only way to find a community you feel comfortable in at UChicago. With over 400 student activities, you can find a team or club in which you can discover your passions and get to know your peers outside the classroom.
Is UChicago Diverse?
UChicago’s Class of 2023 is 22% Asian, 16% Hispanic or Latino, 10% Black or African American, and 16% International. 11% of students are from New England, 25% are from the mid-atlantic region, 15% are from the south, 23% are from the midwest, 18% are from the west coast and northwest, and 8% are from the southwest. UChicago has a long history of diversity; they awarded the first PhD to an African American woman and their business school was the first to offer a minority scholarship program in the U.S.
What are academics at UChicago Like?
UChicago has five collegiate divisions: Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and the New Collegiate Division (an interdisciplinary division). Regardless of collegiate division, UChicago students must fulfill the core curriculum requirements. Students have 50 majors and 40 minors to choose from, as well as 20 specializations. Since UChicago operates on the quarter system, the school year moves at a faster pace than most other four-year universities. This schedule challenges students to gain more knowledge during their undergraduate years. Fortunately, UChicago offers a lot of support to students with its many academic and career advisors to help students keep up with the demanding pace and course load.
What is UChicago’s core curriculum?
The Core is distinctive for its small, Socratic-style classes with no more than 19 students per seminar. The Core Curriculum consists of the following course requirements:
- Two quarters of physical sciences
- Two quarters of natural sciences
- One-two quarters of math
- One year of college-level language
- One-two quarters of arts, music, or drama
- Two-three quarters of humanities
- Three quarters of social sciences
- A writing seminar
- Two-three courses of civilization (can be completed by studying abroad)
What special opportunities does UChicago offer students?
Through the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program, UChicago students have exclusive access to 3000 paid, substantive internships each year. With over 900 internships in Chicago alone, and other internships around the U.S. and 85 foreign cities, UChicago students have the world at their fingertips. For students choose to spend their summers at home or studying abroad, but still want to take advantage of the work experience opportunities that UChicago offers, there are
1-5 day mini internships, called externships. If you want to go abroad without the goal of simply studying or working, Treks take groups of 10-20 students around the world to meet face-to-face with alumni who work in the arts, business, public policy, governmental work, and beyond. Treks take place in cities from Los Angeles to New York, and from Chicago to Austin, as well as around the globe.
Additionally, over 80% of UChicago students conduct research via the over 160 research institutions and committees on campus, not to mention various off-campus opportunities, preparing them for the world of scholarship that awaits them in post-grad life.
How do I apply?
You can apply to UChicago through the Coalition or Common Application as well as the Questbridge National College Match program. In addition to submitting your Coalition or Common Application, you’ll need to submit a UChicago supplemental essay. While the supplemental essay is required, there are also other optional supplements for students who want to demonstrate their artistic, research, or musical skills. Additionally, you can submit a video profile to share your thoughts and personality in a way that can’t be conveyed as effectively on paper.
UChicago is a test-optional school, but domestic students are strongly encouraged to submit their SAT or ACT scores, and international students must submit them. For the class of 2023, the ACT 50th percentile was 33-35 and the SAT 50th percentile was 1500-1560. These scores only reflect the average scores of admitted students; the overall range was 20-36 for ACT and 1020-1600 for SAT.
What Are the Various Application Plans at UChicago?
Most schools have two or at most three application plans, but UChicago has four options. Students can apply to UChicago Early Action (EA), Early Decision (ED), Early Decision II (EDII), or Regular Decision (RD). Early Action is the best option for students who are competitive applicants and want to hear back from UChicago early, but don’t want to commit before considering other admissions offers. Early Action applications are due November 1st, and UChicago sends out decisions in mid-December. ED I and ED II are both binding application programs, meaning that admitted students must revoke all other college applications and enroll in UChicago. The difference between ED I and ED II is merely one of timing: the ED I deadline is November 1st, and students receive their decisions in mid-December, whereas the ED II deadline is January 2nd and students hear back in mid-February. The benefit of having an ED II option is that students technically have the opportunity to apply ED or EA elsewhere first, and if they don’t get in, they can apply to UChicago ED II and still hear back earlier and benefit from a higher admissions rate than if they were to apply RD. The Regular Decision plan has a deadline of January 2nd and a decision release date in mid March.
Is UChicago Affordable?
UChicago practices a no barriers policy, which is “a comprehensive plan to increase access to college, support students as they receive an empowering education, and prepare them for lifelong professional success.” That being said, UChicago’s estimated cost of attendance, without aid, costs $57,642 for tuition and $17,004 for room and board. Students from families who earn under $125,000 per year pay $0 for tuition, and students from families earning less than $60,000 have tuition, fees, room, and board all covered by financial aid. All first generation students receive a $20,000 scholarship over the course of their four years and are guaranteed a paid internship for their first summer, which helps bridge a major achievement gap between students from different educational backgrounds.
If you’re curious about what you and your family would be expected to pay for an education at UChicago, you can use their net price calculator.