International Applicants

The Social Sciences Quad in early fall

In addition to the requirements articulated in the Admissions section, international applicants should also consider the following admission requirements regarding the English language requirement and visas:

English Language Requirements

International applicants to the Division of the Social Sciences and the University of Chicago must demonstrate an adequate command of both spoken and written English and are required to submit English proficiency test scores as part of their application. Domestic and permanent resident applicants whose native language is not English or who have not attended undergraduate or graduate schools in countries where the primary language is English may also be required to submit proof of English proficiency.

Proof of English proficiency is not a requirement if the applicant is a native of or studied in full-time status for at least one academic year within the last five years in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago), or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa. Students who studied in English in other countries (for example, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.) are not exempt from the English language requirement. Applicants who attend an American school’s international campus (such as NYU-Singapore) or an American University in another country (for example, American University in Cairo) are required to meet the English proficiency requirement. Employment in an English-speaking country does not exempt applicant from the English proficiency requirement.

If you received a degree from one of the exemption countries but the degree was granted more than 5 years ago, or you have left the qualifying country for any reason, you will be required to submit a valid English proficiency exam as part of your application.

We accept the internet-Based Test (iBT) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for the purpose of meeting this requirement. Unofficial TOEFL/IELTS scores must be listed in the online application with date of exam in the Test section. Official TOEFL reports must be sent by ETS to institution code 1832. Official IELTS reports must be sent via online delivery to the University of Chicago Graduate Enrollment (no code is needed). Keep in mind it can take up to 8 weeks after the test date for us to receive the official reports. Official reports are required by the time of review, which begins shortly after the deadline.

  • Minimum requirements for the TOEFL iBT: no less than 26 in each of the four sections.
  • Minimum required scores in the IELTS: overall score of 7, with sub scores of 7 in each section.

For TOEFL or IELTS exams which do not meet the minimum required scores in all sections, retesting must be done immediately as scheduling can be difficult.

Please note: TOEFL or IELTS score reports are valid for two years from the department's application deadline. Scores will be considered expired and no longer valid if the test was taken more than two years prior to the application deadline. We do not combine test reports to meet the minimum requirement.

  • For more information regarding the TOEFL visit the ETS website.
  • For more information regarding the IELTS visit the IELTS website. The University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council, and IDP Education Australia jointly manage the IELTS.


The process to be issued official documents for the purpose of obtaining a visa to study at the University of Chicago does not begin until after you have been offered admission and accepted that offer. Any documents required for this process should not be sent until you have received the informational email sent from the Office of Admission following acceptance of the offer of admission.

Primary contact for I-20 / DS-2019 application issues is the SSD Admission Office

Please also visit the Office of International Affairs website for more information.