Questions About Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate students are not admitted directly to any major or department. Please see the following for information about undergraduate admissions:

Questions About Masters Programs

For questions about masters programs, please see:

Questions About Ph.D. Program

Do I need a Masters degree before applying for a Ph.D.?


When are applications reviewed?

The review process begins soon after the application deadline, in January.

When are decisions made?

We aim to notify admitted students by mid-February. Occasionally some applicants will be admitted and notified later. Denials will be sent out no later than the end of April.

Do I need any letter of recommendation? 

Yes, each PhD applicant is required to submit three letters of recommendation. 

What are the minimum required TOEFL / IELTS scores?

For most departments within the Physical Sciences Division, such as ours, the minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 90 and the minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7. See English Language Requirements for more information.

What are the GRE and TOEFL institution codes?

Our institutional code for GRE and TOEFL scores is 1832.

Can the TOEFL / IELTS requirement be waived?

International applications are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. For international students who have studied in the U.S., this requirement can often be waived. For more information, please see the English Language Requirements page from the Office of International Affairs (OIA).

Can the GRE be waived?

No. However, we are always willing to show flexibility for exceptionally strong candidates. The Admissions Committee may choose to look at truly outstanding candidates with incomplete credentials, but, given that we review a very large number of excellent applicants, this is definitely not something you should count on.

How long are GRE scores valid?

Five years.

How long are TOEFL / IELTS scores valid?

Two years.

Can MS coursework be waived?

Some applicants have already completed coursework for a masters degree from another university. Whether such coursework can count towards the requirements of the Ph.D. program are determined on an individual basis by the Director of Graduate Studies. In such cases, students may be asked to take a test in a particular area to demonstrate competency.

Do I need to contact a faculty member before applying?

No, it's not necessary. But if you do contact a faculty member before you apply, you should provide that information in the application.

What should a personal statement include? Should I mention faculty members I would want to work with?

Explain your academic interests and career plans, and why you want to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Chicago. You may choose to include specific experiences and interests that are particularly relevant for research groups and faculty members in the department.

Do Ph.D students receive financial support?

Admitted students are guaranteed support throughout six years of study. The support includes tuition waiver, health insurance, and a nine-month (academic year) stipend. The support is in the form of Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantship. It is contingent on satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D., and meeting the obligations of their duties. Incoming students are also guaranteed support with no work obligations during their first summer.

Student health insurance reimbursement (specifically for the University's U-SHIP insurance; reimbursement is not provided for an outside insurer) is in the form of an additional amount added to the base rate salary (i.e., post-tax reimbursement on paychecks).

Overseas students are provided with a one-way ticket to come to the University.

Is there a visit day for admitted students?

Yes, there is a Visiting Day on a Friday in early March. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about the program, meet faculty and students, visit the city, and have some social activities with current students and faculty.

Can I start in Spring 2019?

No. However, a few students each year choosen to start in the summer before the academic year. Such students are designated Non-Degree Visiting Students (NDVS) before official enrollment in the Ph.D. program in the autumn quarter.