Application Information

All application materials must be received by March 4 to ensure full consideration for admission to the following autumn class; students are only admitted for the autumn quarter.  Applications received after March 4 will be considered if open spots are available.  Interviews are not required, but prospective students are encouraged to visit campus.

The application is online and all supporting materials are submitted electronically.  These include:

  • A personal statement of academic and career objectives.
  • One transcript from each educational institution beyond high school.  Students seeking admission to the program normally must have a baccalaureate degree in a traditional discipline of the physical sciences.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.  The general exam is required.  A GRE Subject Test in an area of physical sciences is strongly recommended.
  • TOEFL scores (see below).
  • $90 Application fee (waived for University of Chicago alumni: see fee waivers section in the application for other instances).

The University of Chicago GRE & TOEFL institution code is 1832.

English Language 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. 

The English language requirement may be waived if the applicant is a native of or studied in full-time status for at least one academic year within the last five years in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa.  Students who studied in English in other countries, for example, India, Pakistran, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc., are not exempt from the English language requirement.

More infomation about taking the TOEFL and scoring is available from the Office of International Affairs.