Hello! I had a question in regards to creative supplements. If we're interested in studying creative writing (or even if it's just something students do as a hobby), would it be acceptable to send a short story or other excerpt of our writing? Thanks in advance!
Absolutely! You are welcome to upload a brief example of your creative work (art, music, writing, etc) to your UChicago Account under the header “Supplemental material”. We’re happy to receive this material, but do try and keep it a succinct representation of your work— say, instead of your whole novel, your best short story.
For you New Yorkers out there, or just anybody who wants to hear more about life in the Second City, our admissions counselor for NYC wrote a companion post to our “Chicagoan in Chicago” blog post from earlier in the summer. Go out and read it!
MEDFORD, MA—Leading a group of nearly two dozen high school juniors and seniors to various points of interest around campus, Tufts University tour guide Michelle Davis reportedly took time while describing every location Thursday to remind tour memb…
We love the Onion. (And we love our tour guides, who are incredibly welcoming and provide valuable information to all comers!)
Hey peeps! My name is Sarah and I am absolutely in love with UChicago and everything about it. Y'all already know why your school is so great so I won't get into the sappy details, but the bottom line is that I yearn to be a UChicago student with every fiber of my being. I know that there is no "average" student at your school, however, what qualities do you look for in applicants and what makes an application stand out? I appreciate your advice; keep doin' what you're doin' :)
Hi internet friend! Glad to hear you think UChicago is so special and rockin’. (It is, so, good call there). But, warning: more information than you probably wanted coming on up!
When I’m reading an application for UChicago, here are some things that help it go in to the “yes” pile (it’s not really a pile so much as a cloud-based theoretical yes resting spot). Note that this isn’t a formula for getting in to UChicago— I’ve read applications for several years and even I couldn’t create an applicant who I could guarantee would get in— but just some things that do help an excited applicant stand out as a student we’d like to admit.
Taking the most challenging options available in your environment, and doing well in that work. This doesn’t mean we care if you took one less AP class because Band and Spanish conflicted or that your GPA is .0001 lower than someone else in your class. (We don’t). This does mean we care to see that, whatever the challenging options are at your high school, you’re taking advantage of them across many areas, and that you’re doing well in that work. UChicago is a rigorous environment, and students who are successful applicants (and are successful once they get on campus, which we care about a lot!) are students who have challenged themselves both in subjects they consider strengths and in other areas. (And note: “available at your school” is key here. We know that many schools have different offerings, and so are never going to expect you to take advantage of options that simply don’t exist in your school or environment).
Being genuinely interested in a liberal arts-style education. Our Core Curriculum is the intellectual cornerstone of our college. It’s awesome! You get to take courses in a lot of different areas— you’ll explore humanities, social sciences and civilizations, physical/bio sciences, foreign language, the arts, and math. Cool stuff, right! Well, every year we get tons of applications from students— even really great students!— who have not looked in to this side of the College or who really don’t seem like they’d like taking courses outside of their specific interest area. Now, we don’t expect everyone will want to double-major in math and anthropology. We also know that many of you have followed a pretty standard curriculum in high school that didn’t have a lot of room for exploration beyond a few required subjects, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to/ interested in waxing poetic about philosophy to show a genuine interest here. We simply hope that, even if you’re passionate about a particular subject, you think it might be cool and important to take some classes outside of your principal interest area.
Have fun with your essay. We give you those fun prompts for a reason— no, really, you don’t have to write about your summer vacation! We love learning more about how your brain works by seeing what happens when you encounter a question you’ve never been asked before. So yes, you really can write about whatever you want (*within normal bounds of social propriety) and no, it doesn’t have to be a play-by-play recap of all of the clubs of which you’ve been president. (Please. Please don’t make it about that). As we say in our essay instructions: “Take a little risk, and have fun.”
Howdy! What is the suggested word count on the "why UChicago essay"? Thank you so much!
We suggest keeping your “Why UChicago” essay to about 2-3 paragraphs, which usually winds up in the range between 300 and 500 words. It’s a suggestion rather than a rule, so don’t freak out if you’re at 299 or 501— just try to keep it generally in that range!
Hello! As a possible transfer student, I was wondering how selectively transfer students as well as what type of letters of recommendation the University looks for. (For instance, professors, employers/bosses, volunteer group leaders/bosses, etc) Thank you! :)
Hi there! Our transfer student program is very selective, mainly due to the high retention rate of our first year students and our small class sizes— each year we are able to offer about 20-30 places to incoming transfer students. However, our transfer students come from a broad variety of backgrounds, areas of the country, and the world— so we have no specific preference as to how you get to us beyond having done well in your current environment.
As for recommendation letters, we require 2— we suggest these be from people who have had you in a college-level academic setting. If you don’t have close access to your professors at your current school, it is totally fine to submit letters from a graduate assistant or TA who may know your work more personally. If you have been out of school for some time, a recommendation letter from an employer or volunteer mentor is appropriate as a substitute for an instructor— but know that most of our successful transfer applicants are currently enrolled in a college and show a strong record of success in their current program. We also allow all students to submit one additional recommendation letter, so if you are currently enrolled in school but feel that a mentor or employer could provide a great additional voice, feel free to get your third recommendation from this person.