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Undergrad Profile


Chartered in 1890, the University of Chicago quickly became a world leader in higher education and research and has since boasted 89 Nobel Laureates. 

UChicago’s approximately 5,700 undergraduates comprise a community of exceptional student scholars who are eager to explore, take risks, challenge themselves intellectually, and determine the direction and focus of their own education. Students choose UChicago for its rigorous liberal arts curriculum, small Socratic-style seminars, and 6:1 student-faculty ratio. Students also prepare for challenging careers and competitive graduate schools through professional and recreational opportunities on campus and in Chicago.


An educational ideal
College seminar-style classes promote invigorating discussions that begin in the classroom and extend into the community. Focused on careful reading, analytical writing, and critical thinking, UChicago’s Core Curriculum is the perfect foundation for any major and all future endeavors. Through Core classes in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, foreign language, natural sciences, physical sciences, biological sciences, fine arts, and civilization studies, students investigate the human experience and the natural world. With nearly 50 majors and 30 minors, students can double-major, create their own major, or explore interdisciplinary opportunities. Undergraduates choose electives from more than 3,000 courses offered in the College each year, and over 40% study abroad through more than 45 faculty-designed and taught programs.

The University sponsors a wealth of undergraduate research opportunities in programs ranging from economics and psychology to astrophysics and sociology. More than 150 institutes and centers provide a home for true innovation. The Institute for Molecular Engineering provides a unique opportunity to pursue molecular-level science in both an academic and research context. Similarly, the partnership with the Marine Biological Laboratory furthers biological research and education across the world.

UChicago students blend academic exploration, innovation, and theoretical investigation by interacting with peers, professors, and graduate students. Additionally, students develop relationships with their academic advisors. Affiliated with the Dean of Students Office, advisors guide undergraduates through their college journey.

No Barriers, no loans
The University of Chicago is deeply committed to ensuring that students from every background, regardless of financial need, will find a home on campus. No Barriers enables students to graduate debt free and prepared for lifelong success. Generous funding is provided for summer and school-year involvement—from internships and research to study abroad and career exploration treks. Students are paired with personal career advisors who grant access to more than 1,300 funded internships annually.

Campus life
The residential housing system is a vital element of the College community. Modeled after the British house system, the 38 College houses eat together at shared dining tables, explore Chicago at sporting and cultural events, and compete against each other in intramural sports. Each student is guaranteed housing for four years, and though it is only required for first-year students, many remain to enjoy the house system’s perennial traditions.

Undergraduates actively participate in more than 400 student organizations encompassing athletics, the arts, community service, and Greek life. Varsity teams compete at the NCAA Division III level in the UAA Conference. More than 70% of the student body participates in UChicago’s extensive intramural and club sports programs, which offer a wide range of sports such as softball and inner tube water polo.

UChicago is also the birthplace of modern theatrical improvisation, which continues to thrive via weekly performances by student improv groups. Student actors, playwrights, designers, producers, directors, and technicians stage over 35 plays annually through University Theater. The music scene provides an equally broad array of opportunities for student involvement across many different genres. Daily film screenings happen at DOC Films, the nation’s oldest student-run film society. Additionally the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs hosts dozens of cultural groups, while the LGBTQ Resource Center offers programs and support for LGBTQ students. The multitude of community service projects at the University Community Service Center (UCSC) includes the Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP) and Summer Links, an 11-week paid internship program for students committed to public service, community-building, and social change. The nonpartisan Institute of Politics, led by political strategist and alumna David Axelrod, is an extracurricular program designed to nurture in students a passion for politics and public service.

A University of Chicago education cultivates intellectual independence that empowers individuals to excel in any pursuit. UChicago’s Office of Career Advancement enables students and alumni to translate their academic foundation—regardless of major or background—into professional success, providing industry-specific training, global networking connections, and opportunities to put ingenuity into practice. Through UChicago’s Office of Career Advancement, substantive paid internships in worldwide locations are available for UChicago students in almost any field, including arts, business, government, public policy, and the sciences.

Hyde Park and Chicago
The University’s neighborhood, Hyde Park, is a vibrant yet relaxed residential community located just seven miles from downtown Chicago. More than 65% of the faculty and their families call Hyde Park home. With its stimulating diversity, Hyde Park boasts a thriving cultural scene ranging from the Barack Obama Presidential Center to Promontory Point, a peninsula extending into Lake Michigan and an ideal site for Frisbee and barbecues, to the DuSable Museum of African American History. Because of its close proximity to UChicago’s many educational resources, Hyde Park is home to a community whose common bond is a shared passion for invigorating intellectual discussion.

Admission
Successful UChicago applicants will have succeeded in a wide variety of challenging high school courses and have impressive letters of recommendation, essays, extracurricular activities, and test scores. Applicants must submit the Common Application or the Universal Application and the University of Chicago supplement, which includes an additional extended essay and two short-essay questions. Prospective students and families are welcome to visit campus for an information session and student-led tour. Interviews are optional.

 


 

AT A GLANCE

“Most competitive”
Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges rates the University of Chicago as “most competitive.” Approximately 98% of the 1,447 students in the Class of 2018 graduated in the top 10% of their class. The middle 50% of enrolled students had a combined score between 1450–1550 on the SAT or 32–35 on the ACT.

Small classes
Nearly 80% of classes at UChicago have fewer than 20 students, with most featuring seminar-style discussions.

World-class faculty
UChicago’s 1,140 full-time professors are among the leading scholars in their fields but remain committed to teaching undergraduates.

Programs of study
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees are awarded in nearly 50 fields.

Majors, Minors, and Interdisciplinary Programs of Study
• Anthropology
• Archaeology†
• Art History‡
• Astronomy and Astrophysics†
• Big Problems†
• Biological Chemistry
• Biological Sciences‡
• Chemistry
• Chicago Studies†
• Cinema and Media Studies‡
• Classical Studies‡
• Comparative Human Development
• Comparative Literature
• Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies‡
• Computational Neuroscience† ‡
• Computer Science‡
• Creative Writing†
• Early Christian Literature
• East Asian Languages and Civilizations‡
• Economics
• Education†
• English and Creative Writing† ‡
• English Language and Literature
• Environmental Science
• Environmental Studies‡
• Fundamentals: Issues and Texts
• Gender and Sexuality Studies‡
• Geographical Studies
• Geophysical Sciences
• Germanic Studies‡
• History
• History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS)‡
• Human Rights† ‡
• Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities
• International Studies
• Jewish Studies‡
• Latin American Studies‡
• Law, Letters, and Society
• Linguistics‡
• Mathematics‡
• Medieval Studies
• Molecular Engineering‡
• Music‡
• Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations‡
• Norwegian Studies‡
• Philosophy‡
• Physics‡
• Political Science
• Psychology
• Public Policy Studies
• Religion and the Humanities
• Religious Studies
• Romance Languages and Literatures‡
• Russian Studies
• Slavic Languages and Literatures‡
• Sociology
• South Asian Languages and Civilizations‡
• Statistics‡
• Theater and Performance Studies‡
• Tutorial Studies
• Visual Arts‡

† Interdisciplinary Studies
‡ Minors available


Pre-professional Programs*
• Business
• Education Professions
• Entrepreneurship
• Health Professions
• Journalism, Arts, and Media
• Law
• Public and Social Service
• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

* All programs are coordinated by the Office of Career Advancement: careeradvancement.uchicago.edu.


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