Our application process is now entirely online. Please do not send any materials in hard copy. All materials should be submitted through the online application. If for any reason it is not possible to submit materials online, please contact us by email or by phone at 773-702-1552.
We recommend submitting application documents as PDF files for the most reliable results. The application system will also accept Microsoft Word documents, OpenDocument files, and a few other formats with varying levels of fidelity. Regardless of the file format you use, we recommend reviewing your application proof carefully to make sure all documents were successfully added to your file by our system.
Applications will be evaluated on the basis of materials submitted by the deadline, and we cannot guarantee that materials received after the deadline will be given consideration. Late applications will be considered only as long as places are available in the relevant programs. Financial aid (other than loans) is not available for late applicants.
All programs require the following materials:
- 15–20 page writing sample (exceptions: Music, Visual Arts, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities),
- a statement of purpose (exception: Visual Arts),
- 3 letters of recommendation,
- transcripts for all previous degrees and coursework,
- GRE test scores from within the preceding 5 years (exception: Visual Arts),
- TOEFL or IELTS test scores from within the preceding 2 years (if needed to meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement for international students), and
- an application fee of $90
We recommend that you request transcripts and give recommenders adequate time to write supporting letters in order to ensure that your application is complete by the deadline. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of materials submitted by the deadline, and we cannot guarantee that materials received after the deadline will be given consideration. Late applications will be considered only as long as places are available in the relevant programs. Financial aid (other than loans) is not available for late applicants.
If you are also applying to a program in another Division, you should follow the instructions available from the other division or school to submit an application to one of their programs. You can find links to the relevant information for all the Graduate Divisions and Professional Schools at UChicagoGrad.
Applying to multiple programs in the Division of the Humanities
If you would like to apply to more than one graduate program in the Humanities Division, please start and submit a separate application at https://apply-humanities.uchicago.edu/apply/. You will need to submit two separate complete applications. This includes uploading all materials for each application and paying two application fees.
Applicants interested in the joint Ph.D. program in Theater and Performance Studies and the M.D.-Ph.D. Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities should indicate this in the online application. Applicants seeking a joint Ph.D. in other fields may petition to be admitted into a second department only after completing at least one year in a Ph.D. program.
Students starting a doctoral program in the Division of the Humanities with graduate level course work completed outside of the department may petition the department to have previous course work counted toward the program requirements. By divisional policy at least half of the course work must be accomplished within the department. The departmental faculty will determine whether the student will receive credit towards the degree for each previous course completed outside of the department. Each department may determine the maximum number of courses for which a student may receive course credit.
Students starting a master’s program in the Division of the Humanities with graduate level course work completed at the Graduate Student-at-Large program in the Graham School of Continuing and Professional Studies may petition the program to have previous course work counted toward the program requirements. The program will evaluate and determine whether the student will receive credit towards the degree for any of the previous course work completed at the Graham School of Continuing and Professional Studies for up to and no more than two courses. Other graduate level course work completed outside of the program is not eligible for course credit toward the program requirements.
Our online application system does retain materials from one application cycle to the next. In order to reuse materials and information, you should log on to the application site using the same email address and password that you used last year. This should allow you to access any materials from your previous applications that have been retained. If you were admitted to one of our programs, declined your offer for that current academic year, and you are now reapplying for next year, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
An interview is not part of the initial application process for the Division of the Humanities, though some programs do interview groups of applicants during the application review process. However, prospective students are welcome to visit the University of Chicago campus at any time and should contact their department or program of interest to learn more about their program or to inquire about meeting any faculty or current graduate students.
Special Instructions by Department or Program
Applicants to the Department of Music are required to submit at least two writing samples. Composers should also submit recent scores via the portfolio section of the online application.
Applicants to the Department of Linguistics should prepare and upload a document that lists all courses the applicant has taken or will have taken by the time of enrollment which have relevance to graduate study in linguistics (in particular, language courses and courses in linguistics, mathematics/statistics, computer science, psychology, anthropology, and language of philosophy): this list should give the complete title of the course, the instructor's full name, the grade earned (if available), and a brief (at most a paragraph) description of the contents of the course (a list of topics covered, for example), along with the titles and authors of any texts used or papers read.
Applicants to the Department of Visual Arts are not required to submit GRE scores.
Visual Arts applicants will submit an artist's statement rather than a statement of purpose and a portfolio in lieu of a writing sample.
- Artist's statement: one or two pages illuminating your artistic practice by discussion of such questions as sources of influence, character of the inquiry, and some suggestion of future directions you wish to explore.
- Portfolio: twenty digital images. Alternatively, students who work in time-based media may submit a selection of work as video files. A significant number of the images should represent work done within the last twelve months. Three-dimensional works should show the surrounding space and context. Portfolios are submitted online as part of the online application. The portfolio submission interface will allow you to label each image with a title, a date of completion, the materials used, and a brief description of the work. Digital files must adhere strictly to the specifications outlined below. To conform to our viewing format, each still image file may be no larger than 16 MB. Do not format images in any presentation program (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote), or include composite images (more than one work per file). Still image files may be sent in jpeg, png, bmp, or tiff format. Videos will be accepted in QuickTime, AVI, FLV, MP4, or WMV format. Video files should be no longer than two minutes in length, and the size of your video uploads is limited to 250 MB. Please note that videos are considered as part of your selection of twenty files, not as additional material. Do not include titles or credits within the video files.
Applicants to the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) should include a sample of their critical writing that is 10-15 pages in length. In addition, applicants to the MAPH Creative Writing Option must also submit a creative writing sample relevant to the proposed focus of study.