Application Requirements

All applicants must apply using our online application system. The next application deadline for Autumn 2024 is January 9.

The following documents are required for admission to our program. All supporting material – including letters of recommendation, transcripts, supplemental material, and writing samples – must be submitted electronically with your online application. The Division of the Social Sciences allows for a short grace period of about one week for receipt of recommendations and required test scores. Materials that arrive more than a week after the deadline may place your application at a significant disadvantage.

The Admissions Committee evaluates all official transcripts of academic work, candidate statements and essays, letters of recommendation, performance on any required standardized test, and any special factors brought to its attention. The committee considers each application on the basis of all materials submitted and does not automatically eliminate applications based on grade point averages or test scores.

Current UChicago College students applying to the BA/MA: View BA/MA application requirements on the Division of the Social Sciences website.

Online Graduate Application

Available now; next application deadline is November 15 (Early Action). The Round 1 deadline is January 9; Round 2 is rolling on a space-available basis through May 1. 

Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts are required from all prior post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts are not required for an institution if all grades are reflected on the transcript for a different school (for example, when a student has transferred or participated in study abroad).

Candidate Statement

You must submit a 2-4 page candidate statement outlining your research interests, relevant training, your prior academic distinctions, and your interest in pursuing the CIR degree specifically. You should also include the names of 2 or 3 faculty members whose research interests align with your own, who you may wish to serve as your faculty thesis advisor.

Writing Sample

Your writing sample should be single-authored and speaks to your abilities in the discipline to which you are applying. A total of 15 to 30 pages is ideal, but 7 pages is the minimum. More than one document may be uploaded if you have two or three shorter papers that best show your ability.


Upload a current resume, reflecting your work experience, education, community service, professional honors, and any other relevant information.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Recommenders must submit letters through the online application. To submit your application, you must provide the names and contact information for three recommenders in the application portal. The application will not allow you to submit without the contact information for three designated recommenders listed in the portal. You can submit your application prior to the actual letters being received, but you must list the names and contact information for three recommenders in order to submit. We allow a grace period of one week for receipt of recommendation letters after our deadline; applications incomplete after that grace period may be at a disadvantage in the review process.

Guidance for who to select as a recommender, as well as best practices for requesting letters, can be found on the Division of the Social Sciences website.

Short Answer Essay

We ask you to answer in a few paragraphs, the following question: What are the most important challenges you have faced, as an individual, in your educational path to date? How have you tried to meet or overcome those challenges?


Applicants who do not qualify for a waiver of the University’s English proficiency requirement must submit official IELTS/TOEFL scores. Acceptable test variations, score requirements, and a detailed explanation of the waiver options can be found on the Division of the Social Sciences website.

Application Fee

A non-refundable $90 application fee is required of all applicants. Application fee waivers are available; learn more about available application fee waivers on the Division of the Social Sciences website.