For International Applicants

International applicants, whether attending an undergraduate institution in the United States or a college or university in their own country, follow the application procedures outlined in the Master's application procedures or the Doctoral application procedures, and the following:

  1. Application Fee: The $75.00 application fee must be paid in U.S. currency, by bank draft or postal money order. This fee is most easily paid online with a credit card as part of the application process. Personal checks are acceptable only if written by a United States bank. This fee is an official requirement for admission, and international governments will approve the release of funds for this purpose.

  2. Education and Transcripts: Applicants who have completed their post-secondary education at a college or university located outside of the United States are expected to have earned a baccalaureate-level degree or its equivalent. Applicants are also expected to have completed some prior social work experience before applying for admission. International academic credentials, including courses taken, grades received, and degrees granted, should be sent directly to the Admissions Office by the issuing instituion. If this is not possible, copies in the applicant's possession may be acceptable if they have been certified by the proper school authorities. Applicants may not validate their own documents. The class or division of the degree must be stated if this is the customary method of reporting the quality of academic work. If the Admissions office is unable to complete a degree verification based on the documentation submitted, the Admissions office reserves the right to require a credential evaluation by an approved outside agency.

  3. English Proficiency Waiver Policy: Applicants to the graduate schools and divisions of the University of Chicago who do not meet the criteria below must submit proof of English language proficiency. This policy applies to all graduate programs; the score level required for admission varies by program. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency.

    Waiver Criteria:

    English has been a primary language of communication and schooling for you since childhood; or

    You were enrolled for at least one academic year in full-time status in a course of study at an accredited English-medium post-secondary institution in one of the following countries or territories within the past ten years: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States.

    Education in English-medium institutions in other countries or territories does not qualify for the exemption.

    The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall (IBT) with a sub-score of 26 in each category. The minimum required score for the IELTS is 7 overall, with sub-scores of 7 in each category. Check the TOEFL and IELTS sites for more information about the test. The results of the test will be sent to the University by the Testing Service. Applications will not be given final consideration until the results of the test have been received. The University of Chicago Institutional Code for TOEFL is 1832; the department code for SSA is 95.

    Note to graduates of the University of Puerto Rico: Because the language of instruction is not English, graduates of the University of Puerto Rico will be required to take an English examination.

  4. Financial Plan: Once an international applicant has been granted admission, the applicant must submit a financial statement, itemizing sources of funds for maintenance and transportation, and must provide documented proof (certification by a bank or subsidizing agency or agent) of resources sufficient for their support during the two years. It is estimated that educational and living expenses, exclusive of travel to and from the student's home country, will be approximately $82,000 for one year of study for a master's student. 

  5. Financial Aid: Applicants who need financial assistance are advised to explore possibilities in their home country and from United States government sources. Information about the latter may often be obtained from a United States consulate or information service office. The Institute of International Education, One East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021, also provides information about scholarship opportunities. The University of Chicago provides information on non-Federal alternative loan funds for international students who meet the relevant requirements and have an eligible co-signer. Information can be found on the Graduate Financial Aid website.

  6. Additional documents may be required at the request of the admissions committee.