Application Materials

faculty books displayed on a bookshelf

All applications must be made through our online system. All supporting documents should be uploaded in the application system and should include your full name and the name of the department to which you are applying. 

Although increasingly rare, and only after contacting the SSD Admissions Office, mailed documents can be sent to:
Office of Admissions Dean of Students
Division of Social Sciences
1126 E. 59th St., Room 101
Chicago, IL 60637

The online application, all supporting documents, and the processing fee must be submitted no later than the appropriate deadline date. We process only those applications for which payment has been made and for which supplementary materials have been received. Please refer to the online application for instructions. Incomplete applications are reviewed after all complete applications have been reviewed and may be severely disadvantaged in the decision process. Late material is reviewed only at the discretion of the faculty admissions committees.

Application Fee

Upon submission of an application, applicants will be prompted to pay the processing fee ($90 for all programs). The application processing fee must be paid online by credit card (Visa or MasterCard only) at the time the application is submitted. Applicants meeting specific conditions (see below) may be granted a fee waiver, and the application can be saved while that request is processed.

For all applicants to our master’s programs who submit the application by December 1, the fee will automatically be waived.

Applications Fee Waivers

All applicants meeting the following criteria and providing appropriate supporting documentation will be automatically considered for a fee waiver:

  • Past/current University of Chicago students (UCID number required.)
  • Past/current participants with the Peace Corps, Teach for America, US military veterans and personnel, and alumni of a variety of academic preparatory and service programs, as detailed in the application instructions.
  • Applicants meeting eligibility requirements may also qualify through Big Ten Academic Alliance. BTAA FreeApp recipients must then follow emailed instructions from UChicagoGrad Admissions.
  • Applicants who have received a fee waiver code from a representative at the University of Chicago

Fee Waiver Request Form

Current undergraduates receiving need-based financial aid can request a waiver by completing the Fee Waiver Request Form and including a letter confirming the receipt of financial aid from their university’s financial aid office. Please note: we do not accept the SAR / FAFSA report.

Any applicant with substantial financial need may also use the Fee Waiver Request Form. A clear explanation of circumstances is required, and we strongly recommend the inclusion of supporting documentation. 

English Language Requirements

Applicants to the Division of the Social Sciences and the University of Chicago who do not meet the criteria below must submit proof of English language proficiency. The score level required for admission varies by program. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency.

Waiver Criteria

English has been a primary language of communication and schooling for you since childhood; or you were enrolled for at least one academic year in full-time status in a course of study at an accredited English-medium post-secondary institution in one of the following countries or territories within the past ten years: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States.

Education in English-medium institutions in other countries or territories does not qualify for the exemption.

Acceptable Tests

In order to meet the proof of proficiency requirement, students may submit either:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (iBT) or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic – Note: applicants are required to take the Academic Reading/Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing test.
  • Any other proficiency tests, exams, equivalent coursework, certificate/certifications, endorsement from faculty, and/or other measurement other than the TOEFL or IELTS are not accepted.

Score Requirements

  • For programs in the Social Sciences except the PhD in Economics: Minimum requirements for the TOEFL iBT: no less than 25 in each of the four sections.
  • For the PhD in Economics: Minimum requirements for the TOEFL iBT: no less than a total score of 90.
  • Minimum required scores in the IELTS for all programs in the Social Sciences: overall score of 7, with sub scores of 7 in each section.

Please see the UChicagoGRAD Proof of English Proficiency webpage for more detail about this policy.