- Should I apply to the Ph.D. program or the Master's program?
- Is the Ph.D. program in computer science at the University of Chicago appropriate for me?
- Do students in the Ph.D. program receive a Master's Degree?
- I don't need a Ph.D. but I'd like to get the Master's Degree in the Ph.D. program. What do I do?
- Does the University of Chicago offer programs or courses in Engineering?
- I have years of experience with a number of programming languages in an industrial or business environment. I am a successful software engineer or systems analyst. Do I qualify for your Ph.D. program?
- How do I apply?
- What is the deadline for applying to the Ph.D. program?
- What is the fee for applying to the Ph.D. program?
- Is it necessary to contact a potential advisor before applying?
- What are the requirements for application to the Ph.D. program?
- What are the TOEFL score requirements?
- What are the minimum GRE and GPA scores?
- What are the ETS GRE codes?
- What should I write about in my Statement of Purpose?
- I participated in student competitions. What do I need to write about them?
- I have published research. What documentation do I need to provide?
- I did not participate in student competitions and I have not done any research yet. Do I have any chance of admission to your Ph.D. program?
- My grades are less than stellar. Do you care to know why?
- How precisely do I need to specify my research interests?
- If I state a preferred area of research, can I later change this?
- How are Ph.D. students funded?
- For how many years do I get funded?
- Would I have the opportunity to teach?
- How do I prepare for my duties as a Teaching Assistant?
- When do the Ph.D. studies begin?
- Is it possible to enter the Ph.D. program in Winter or Spring?
- If I need more information, how do I obtain it?
Should I apply to the Ph.D. program or the
If you have a strong background in computer science, mathematics, or a related field such as linguistics and you wish to do independent research in computer science in a highly competitive world-wide research environment, we encourage you to apply to our Ph.D. program.
If you are a computer professional or a novice to computer science and wish to gain a formal understanding of the principles and techniques of applied computer science, our Master's Program may be the right choice for you.
Is the Ph.D. program in computer
science at the University of Chicago appropriate for me?
The key question is a match between your interests and faculty research. Please study our web-site to see which research group and which individual faculty members perform research to which you feel affinity.
Another key question is how you feel about our formal requirements. Please study the web-page about these requirements.
Do students in the Ph.D. program receive a
Upon successful completion of the Course requirements and the presentation of a research-oriented Master's Thesis, students in the Ph.D. program receive a Master's Degree. This concludes the first phase of their work toward their Ph.D. and is expected to take two years.
I don't need a Ph.D. but I'd like to get
the Master's Degree in the Ph.D. program. What do I do?
We do not offer the "Master's Degree in the Ph.D. program" as a separate program. Only students admitted into the Ph.D. program are eligible for this avenue toward the Master's Degree. If you are not interested in Ph.D.-level research, you may want to consider our Master's Program.
Does the University of Chicago offer
programs or courses in Engineering?
No. The University of Chicago does not offer study in any type of engineering. If you wish to study Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, etc., then the University of Chicago is not a good match to your interests.
I have years of experience with a number
of programming languages in an industrial or business environment. I am a
successful software engineer or systems analyst. Do I qualify for your
This depends on your background and interest in performing Ph.D-level independent research in one of the areas of faculty interest. Please study our web-page to find out about the research areas pursued by our faculty.
- How do I apply?
What is the deadline for applying to the
The deadline is January 3rd. Late applications will be considered only if exceptional merit is demonstrated.
What is the fee for applying to the Ph.D.
The fee for applying to the Ph.D. program is $55.
Is it necessary to contact a potential
advisor before applying?
No, this is not necessary; in fact, we ask you to refrain from doing so because of the high volume of applications. You are, however, encouraged to mention on your application form as well as in your Personal Statement any faculty members whose research appeals to you.
The Admissions Committee assigns an initial advisor to each incoming student. Students can change advisors later, after personal interaction with our faculty.
What are the requirements for application to
the Ph.D. program?
- Completed application, including Statement of Purpose
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts
- GRE scores
- GRE Subject Test scores are not required but strongly recommended
- TOEFL scores (foreign applicants)
- Curriculum Vitae
- Any other supporting documentation you deem appropriate (e.g., copies of authored papers, diplomas from student competitions).
What are the TOEFL score requirements?
Applicants whose first or native language is not English must demonstrate an adequate command of both spoken and written English, and they are required to submit English proficiency test scores as part of their application. We recognize the internet-based test (iBT) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants whose total score on the four-part TOEFL falls below 90 (or IELTS falls below 7) will not normally be admitted unless other demonstrable evidence of proficiency in English is available.
What are the minimum GRE and GPA scores?
What we are most interested in is the applicant's research potential. These scores are just one of many criteria we consider. There are no minimum scores. We much prefer students who have taken challenging advanced courses to those with top scores on rudimentary courses. There are many ways for applicants to demonstrate their research potential.
What are the ETS GRE codes?
Our GRE institution code is 1832 and our department code is 0402.
What should I write about in my Statement
There are no rules about this. Make it as informative as you can. We love to hear details about your background, about your career so far, about your goals, about your research interests, about your reasons for choosing certain areas of research, about your reasons for choosing the University of Chicago, and any other thoughts you wish to share with us.
I participated in student competitions.
What do I need to write about them?
Please mention your participation and achievement in your Statement of Purpose. Please give a precise indication of what your achievement meant. We'd like to know the organization running the competition and the population of the area from where students were eligible to participate. If you received a prize, we'd like to know how many students shared each prize. We'd also like to know if there is a web-site where some of these data can be verified. It is also helpful if one of the letters of recommendation explicitly verifies your statements.
I have published research. What
documentation do I need to provide?
Please send us a copy. If the publication is not in English, an English translation is helpful. If the publication appeared in a local outlet not easily found in American libraries, it is helpful if at least one of your letters of recommendation specifically comments on the nature of the publication (student publication, major publication of new research, etc.).
I did not participate in student
competitions and I have not done any research yet. Do I have any chance
of admission to your Ph.D. program?
Participation in student competitions and having a prior research record are not required for admission to our Ph.D. program; in fact, only a fraction of our current graduate students had such background at the time they applied to our program. The key to admission is your research potential as perceived by our Admissions Committee through the examination of all documents in your application material.
My grades are less than stellar. Do you care
to know why?
What we are interested in is not grades but research potential; grades are but one indicator. A lower grade in a challenging course is worth more than a perfect grade in an easy or irrelevant course. If you feel your grades do not reflect your academic potential, please let us know why.
How precisely do I need to specify my
We do not expect that applicants have decided upon a precise thesis topic. Applicants tend to have a preference for one or more of the broad areas of research pursued by the faculty in our department. These areas include algorithms and complexity, artificial intelligence, programming languages, computational mathematics, distributed systems, networks, databases, systems, computational biology. This list is incomplete; please study our web-page for departmental research for up-to-date information. Tell us why you prefer a particular area.
If I state a preferred area of research,
can I later change this?
We fully expect students' interests to change over time, partly in response to their interaction with our faculty. (Please note that our faculty's interests also change.) Preferences you express in your Statement of Purpose will not be binding on you, they simply give us a chance to know more about you at the time of application.
How are Ph.D. students funded?
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program receive a stipend from the department as long as they make satisfactory progress toward their degree. The stipend is more than adequate to cover a student's typical living expenses, and also covers tuition. In return, students have to perform services for the department, most often as Teaching Assistants. Some advanced students may be funded by their advisor's research grant as Research Assistants for varying periods of time depending on the student's progress and on grant availability. During the periods of such funding, no service to the Department is required.
For how many years do I get funded?
Funding depends on satisfactory progress toward your degree. Students are expected to graduate in five years or less. If sufficient progress is demonstrated, the faculty may extend funding through a sixth year. After the sixth year, support from the department is not generally available.
Would I have the opportunity to teach?
The department takes its undergraduate teaching responsibilities very seriously, and offers supervised teaching opportunities to the graduate students. Most graduate students will act as teaching assistants or work as lab assistants; qualifying graduate students will act as lecturers. The program allows students to develop their teaching abilities and gain significant classroom experience. The department also works with other University departments to make campus-wide teaching seminars available to its students.
How do I prepare for my duties as a Teaching
Please check our undergraduate course descriptions. You are likely to teach a course with a course number beginning 10, 11, or 12. You may need to master specific programming languages such as C++ and Scheme to be able to perform your teaching duties.
When do the Ph.D. studies begin?
Classes start in the third or fourth week of September.
Is it possible to enter the Ph.D. program
in Winter or Spring?
Our program starts in Autumn. Only in cases of exceptional merit do we consider exceptions to this rule.
If I need more information, how do I
If, after having studied these web sources, you still have further questions, you may write to email@example.com. Please keep your message short. Due to the large volume of incoming mail, long messages and messages containing attachments run the risk of not being read.