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University of Chicago’s acceptance rate – Courses & more

Updated on 21 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

The University of Chicago is one of the leading private research universities nestled in Illinois, Chicago. It is renowned for field-defining research within its campus. With a rank of #10 on the QS World University Rankings 2023, it lives up to its reputation as an institute inspiring scholars worldwide. Due to its popularity as a research hub, the university is selective with its admissions. The University of Chicago’s acceptance rate is believed to be a mere 7%. 

The class of 2025 witnessed the acceptance of only 2,460 students to undergraduate programs out of the 37,977 applicants who applied. Of this, 2,053 students were enrolled, putting the University of Chicago’s acceptance rate for undergraduate studies at around 6%.

The data  for postgraduate admissions was higher, hovering around 10% to 20%. The acceptance rate varies according to the size and strength of the application pool. Out of all postgraduate programs at the university, the Master’s programs have a higher acceptance rate than the Ph.D. programs. 

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Admission Eligibility Criteria

The University of Chicago accepts applications from students worldwide for its prestigious undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. University of Chicago’s admission criteria differs according to the level of study one opts.

The University of Chicago’s admission criteria for undergraduate courses are given below:

  • Minimum GPA, depending on the requirements of the course
  • English proficiency tests for candidates whose first language is not English

The admission criteria for postgraduate courses are as follows:

  • A Baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association
  • GRE score 
  • English proficiency tests, namely TOEFL or IELTS

Documents Required

The  demands mandatory and optional documents for candidates to be eliUniversity of Chicago’s admission requirements gible for admission. Documents for undergraduate courses are as given:

Mandatory Documents

  • Application for admission: The university offers the option to fill out a coalition or common application, depending on one’s preferences. It also recommends that one creates an account on Chicago to keep track of one’s admission status.
  • Supplement essays: The application might also require one to submit personal statements or a list of extracurricular activities so that the admission committee can understand one better.
  • Secondary school report and transcript: It comprises the high school academic record and an official transcript of grades and coursework throughout high school.
  • Evaluations from Two Teachers: The university requires one to ask two teachers who have taught them different subjects during high school. In brief, one needs a letter of recommendation from these teachers (two in total).
  • Mid-year report: If one is still awaiting high school results, one  needs to ask one’s high school counselor to prepare and submit a mid-year report with grades for the first semester.

Optional Documents

  • Standardized test scores: The university encourages one to submit  SAT or ACT scores to understand the academic achievement outside school better. Although these tests are not mandatory, good scores can help one’s overall application.
  • Financial aid application: One can apply for financial aid at admission. If one gains admission, the university will coverone’s financials for the duration of the degree.
  • Video profile: One can choose to add one’s voice and submit a two-minute video introduction to familiarize the selection committee with one’s personality and mannerisms.
  • Supplement Materials: One can choose to upload relevant materials associated with a specific talent. Some examples include research and creative writing projects and highlights from a performance.

The documents for postgraduate courses are as follows:

  • Current resume: The student’s resume must be updated with work experience, education, community service, and extracurriculars, if applicable.
  • Motivational statement: Devise a motivational statement to answer a prompted question that will ask the student the reason for choosing a particular course.
  • Optional short essay: Essays can showcase one’s writing, analytical and creative skills to the admissions committee.
  • Unofficial transcripts: One will be asked to submit the official transcripts after admission. 
  • Two letters of recommendation: One should be prepared with at least one reference from a previous professor to assess one’s academic background.
  • GRE scores: One can submit these scores along with one’s online application.

Ph.D. students will require a research statement, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and standard documents like transcripts. 

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Tests Required and Average Score

The University of Chicago accepts ACT and SAT scores for admissions to undergraduate courses. However, the university deems them optional and claims that not sending these scores will not hurt one’s application.

The University of Chicago’s admission requirements asks for these scores to assess one’s intellectual capabilities outside school. Instead, one can send across supplement materials to help one’s application. In addition, the university has no cut-off score. The admissions committee emphasizes all parts of one’s application, including academics and extracurriculars.

For postgraduate degrees, one are required to appear for English language proficiency tests. Among these tests, the University of Chicago only accepts TOEFL-iBT or IELTS scores for admission to master’s and doctoral programs.

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Popular Courses

The University of Chicago offers 53 majors and 59 minors on its Illinois campus. It also boasts around a dozen specialized study and pre-professional preparation programs. The college is divided into major divisions, which are as follows:

  • Humanities
  • Biological Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Physical Science
  • New Collegiate Divisions

Some of the most popular undergraduate courses at the institute include:

The university is also known for renowned postgraduate courses like:

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How the University of Chicago Evaluates Applicants

The University of Chicago considers the candidate’s entire application, from their academic record to their extracurricular activities. It also strongly emphasizes essays and letters of recommendation to gauge the candidate’s overall capabilities.

They focus on familiarizing themselves with the candidate by urging the candidates to tell their own stories without worrying about the views of the admission committee. Some of the questions they encourage candidates to ask are as follows:

  • What is the student’s story?
  • What is student’’s motivation behind choosing specific opportunities?
  • What are some activities that are important to the student?

The university does not place any limits on the kind of candidates that can apply. For example, the admissions committee understands a slump in academic records in some instances and recommends explaining the issue thoroughly to understand one’s circumstances.

Tips for Applying to the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago focuses on holistic evaluation – which means that it tests one’s all-rounder capabilities. It also relies on well-written personal statements and letters of recommendation to understand one’s circumstances and how well one has used the resources provided.

How to get admission in the University of Chicago? Here are some tips to make one’s application stand out at the University of Chicago:

  • Engage with virtual programs of the university and seniors to understand if the college fits one’s professional goals. one can also interact with the alums, faculty, and admissions team to understand the university better.
  • Focus on essays – whether one’s personal statement or letters of recommendation. Narrating a story about one’s experiences and decisions is invaluable and lets the admission committee understand one’s experiences.
  • Plan each element of one’s application carefully and start early to ensure no last-moment tasks.
  • Present a different aspect of one’s personality with each element in one’s application. For example, if one’s letters of recommendation talk about one’s punctuality, highlight one’s other traits in one’s personal statement.
  • Rely on one’s resume to create a framework of one’s experiences and use it in the application form.

One can also choose to submit optional GRE scores to show one’s academic strengths to the selection board.

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Application Deadlines

The University of Chicago accepts candidates for admission to its courses in the Autumn quarter. The application deadlines for undergraduate candidates are as follows:

Application Due DateJanuary 4th
Admission Decision Release DateLate March
Student Reply Due DateMay 2nd

For full-time master’s programs, the application deadlines for 2023 are:

 DeadlineNotificationDeposit Due/Confirm Acceptance
Early ActionOctober 4th, 2022Late November 2022April 15, 2023
Round 1December 1st, 2022Mid-February 2023April 15, 2023
Round 2January 18th, 2023Early March 2023April 15, 2023
Round 3June 15th, 2023To Be DecidedTo Be Decided

One can choose from four application plans and apply for early application. 

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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