How To Get Into The University Of Chicago: A Complete Guide

Picture of a white and orange building located on the University of Chicago campus
October 17, 2022
University of Chicago Admissions RequirementsHow to Apply to the University of ChicagoUniversity of Chicago Application DeadlinesUniversity of Chicago Supplemental EssaysFAQs: How to Get Into the University of Chicago


Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/19/22

Interested in the University of Chicago? This guide tells you everything you need to know about getting into UChicago. 

As you get ready to start applying to universities, you may have considered attending the University of Chicago. It is a consistently high-ranking school and has a reputation for excellence. This guide will outline everything you need to know about getting into the University of Chicago. 

Read on for information on University of Chicago admission requirements, a breakdown of the application process, and some examples of UChicago essay prompts. 

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University of Chicago Admissions Requirements

There is no minimum GPA or test score requirement for University of Chicago admissions. Its admission process is holistic and test-optional. UChicago realizes that standardized testing is not a fool-proof way of determining one’s potential. 

However, recent admissions statistics can give you an idea of where you stand in comparison:

University of Chicago SAT Requirements

The recent class profile notes how the middle 50% of admitted applicants had SAT scores ranging from 1510 to 1560. 

Turquoise bubble outlining the average SAT score of UChicago's admitted students

The overall score range for admitted students was 1020-1600 for the SAT.

University of Chicago ACT Requirements 

While the college has no official ACT requirements, the middle 50% of admitted students had ACT composite scores that ranged from 34 to 35. The overall score range for admitted students was 20 to 36 for the ACT. 

University of Chicago GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for the University of Chicago are not specified, but UChicago’s average GPA is 4.48. So, achieving an unweighted GPA of at least 3.5 in challenging classes will give you the best chance at admission.

How to Apply to the University of Chicago

Applying to the University of Chicago involves preparation and planning. Here, we will discuss the steps of the application. 

University of Chicago Application Process

The University of Chicago Application consists of several materials. The process includes:

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the details and get started early! Also, Uchicago accepts the Coalition App!

University of Chicago Application Deadlines

Your University of Chicago application deadline will depend on which round of applications you choose: 

The UChicago decision date varies. As such, UChicago lists a general timeframe rather than a specific date. The student reply due date is when you’ll have to accept or turn down the offer of admission. 

University of Chicago Supplemental Essays

The UChicago supplemental essays can show an admissions committee another side to you. The essays are the place to put forward the unique aspects of your personality. You can discuss your life experiences and the things that drive you.

To write stellar essays, pick topics that you feel passionate about. Ensure you answer all parts of the questions, avoid clichés, and use your own voice! 

UChicago Essay Prompts

The essay portion of the UChicago application is unique. There are two required essays, and both are very different from the other. For the first essay, you have one prompt to answer:

“How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.”

For the second essay, The University of Chicago presents prompts that are a lot more outside-of-the-box. You will have to pick one to answer in the best way that you see fit. 

Here are several recent examples of UChicago supplemental essay prompts:

Option 1

“What if the moon were made of cheese? Or Neptune made of soap? Pick a celestial object, reimagine its material composition, and explore the implications. Feel free to explore the realms of physics, philosophy, fantasy…the sky is the limit!”

Inspired by Tate Flicker, Class of 2025

Option 2

“What’s so easy about pie?”

Inspired by Arjun Kalia, Class of 2025

Option 3

“‘There is no such thing as a new idea’ - Mark Twain. Are any pieces of art, literature, philosophy, or technology truly original, or just a different combination of old ideas? Pick something, anything (besides yourself), and explain why it is, or is not, original.”

Inspired by Haina Lu, Class of 2022

Please note that these essays should be written in addition to the Common Application essays. Alternatively, if you apply to UChicago via the Coalition Application, you’ll have to respond to several different prompts

FAQs: How to Get Into the University of Chicago 

Still curious about how to get into the University of Chicago? Here are some common questions answered. 

1. How Hard is it to Get into the University of Chicago? 

The University of Chicago's acceptance rate is only 6%, which means that around 94% of applicants will not get accepted. However, despite this extremely low acceptance rate, with good grades, strong essays, and solid recommendations, you can give yourself a good chance of getting in. 

2. What Does the University of Chicago Look For in Applicants?

The University of Chicago places a heavy interest in inquiry, debate, and critical thought, and then using these values to make impactful changes to the world. If you align with these goals and values, you will stand out to the UChicago admissions committee.

The University of Chicago admission requirements are holistic. There are no UChicago GPA requirements or minimum test scores. 

3. Does the University of Chicago Accept Transfer Credit?

The University of Chicago does accept transfer credit for specific courses depending on the subject, and the grade received. 

4. What GPA Do I Need to Get Into the University of Chicago?

The University of Chicago does not place the most emphasis on applicant GPAs. If you can portray your best qualities through your essays or make excellent test scores, you will be able to make up for what might feel like a low GPA. There is no minimum GPA for admission. 

5. When should I prepare for the University of Chicago?

You should start preparing your application early. The University of Chicago admissions process can take a lot of time. You can have a more streamlined, relaxed application process by starting your application well in advance. Make sure to keep the UChicago application deadlines in mind. 

6. What should I do if I get rejected from the University of Chicago?

If you get rejected from the University of Chicago, it does not reflect your intelligence or abilities. You can try again in the next admissions cycle as a first-year student or spend a year at a different school and then apply as a transfer candidate.

Final Thoughts

The University of Chicago is a diverse, prestigious school known to produce successful alumni. To give yourself the best chance of getting in, make sure to start your application early. Pay attention to the details, and don’t miss the deadlines! 

Overall, the University of Chicago is a challenging school to get into. However, with the right amount of time, energy, and preparation, you can increase your chances of attending this prestigious school.

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