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PhD Programs

The online application opens in early September. Deadlines fall between early and mid-December depending on the program. Review of applications begins shortly after the deadline. The Office of the Dean of Students formally notifies applicants of the admissions decision generally within the first two weeks of March. Admitted PhD students are required to notify the division of their response by April 15.

  • Anthropology: December 1
  • Comparative Human Development: December 15
  • Conceptual and Historical Studies in Science (CHSS): December 15
  • Economics: December 15
  • History: December 10
  • Political Science: December 15
  • Psychology: December 1
  • Social Thought: December 15
  • Sociology: December 1


After applications are submitted, they are sent to faculty within the programs for review. Each application is read in full by at least two reviewers. Once review of applications has started, we cannot accept further supplemental materials or updates to the application.

After initial review, departmental/program committees meet to choose the final cohort of applicants who will be admitted to the program. Some programs conduct in-person or remote interviews of a shortlisted group of candidates. If you are being invited to interview, the program will contact you directly to arrange.

Admissions decisions at the University of Chicago are made within a highly competitive context in which the number of applicants greatly exceeds the limited number of places available in our programs.

For applicants without a previous MA degree in the field of study from a US institution, our doctoral programs may recommend referral of applications to one of our MA programs for further preparation for the doctoral program. In these cases, the MA program would then consider the application within the context of their full cohort.


The Office of the Dean of Students notifies applicants of the admissions decision in the first two weeks in March. In some cases, departments may informally notify applicants of decisions earlier. Admissions decisions cannot formally be shared earlier than the official decisions.

All member institutions of the Council of Graduate Schools, of which the University of Chicago is a part, have agreed to the “Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants.” Under this Resolution, member universities and colleges recognize that applicants often consider multiple admission awards and allow admitted students until April 15 to return their decision. Therefore, admitted students are under no obligation to notify their graduate schools of their decisions prior to April 15.

Thus, we ask students admitted to PhD programs to respond to us by April 15. Students admitted to our M.A. programs have until May 1 to respond to our offer.

The Division does not defer admission, except when matriculating in sanctioned dual programs with the University of Chicago law school or medical school. Other applicants are invited to reapply for the next academic year application cycle and may contact the SSD Admissions Office to have the fee waived. Applicants who were not offered admission must fill out a new application, pay the application fee again, and resubmit most supplemental materials to be considered for admission for any subsequent year. Any applicant interested in reapplying  should contact the Admissions Office as early as possible.

In some cases, applicants who do not already hold master’s degrees in related disciplines whom our faculty feel would be very strong students and whom we cannot fund in our doctoral programs may be reviewed by one of our intensive master’s degree programs without a separate application process.


MA Programs

The online application opens in early September; specific deadlines can be found below. Review of applications begins shortly after the deadline. Admitted MA students are required to notify the division of their response by May 1. Please visit the program site (linked below) for detailed information.

For UChicago College students considering a BA/MA, please see further below for deadline information.

Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences*:

  • Priority Deadline: January 4
  • Final Deadline: April 30

Master of Arts in Computational Social Science*:

  • Priority Deadline: January 4
  • Final Deadline: April 30

Committee on International Relations*:

  • Priority Deadline: January 4
  • After our Priority Deadline, further applications to the program are considered in the order they are received and completed as late as April 1, as long as there is still room in the cohort. Although we make every effort to accommodate later applications, we cannot guarantee full consideration to those received after January 4th. 
  • (Note: for 2021-2022 ONLY, applications will be accepted through April 30)

Middle Eastern Studies*:

  • Priority Deadline: January 4
  • Final Deadline: May 2

*Fee waived for applications to MA programs submitted by December 1.


BA/MA Programs

For more information on these programs, please visit the College Catalog.

  • Social Sciences: February 1
  • Computational Social Science: February 1
  • International Relations: February 1
  • Middle Eastern Studies: February 1

All documents supporting your application must be uploaded by the posted deadline.