Prospective Students

Prospective undergraduate students will apply to the College rather than to our Department directly. The programs of study offered to undergraduates by the Department are described on our undergraduate page. 

Prospective graduate students should read our graduate page and consult the list of our faculty members to learn about their current research interests and their publications. One of our professors will serve as your advisor and chair of your dissertation committee. You should therefore consider applying to SALC if your interests correspond in some measure with those of one or more members of the SALC faculty. This correspondence should be made clear in the Statement of Purpose included in your application materials. You are not being encouraged to mimic the research interests of the faculty, but to demonstrate an intellectual curiosity about a topic or field of inquiry that overlaps with the interests of one or more of us.

Application Requirements

  • A statement of purpose which describes the intellectual issues you hope to explore at the University of Chicago.
  • A writing sample of approximately 20 pages in length; this could be an undergraduate thesis, research paper, or a section of your MA thesis that best demonstrates your critical thinking and scholarly writing. 
  • At least three letters of recommendation submitted by persons able to describe your academic achievements and promise. 
  • Transcripts from all previous colleges and universities.
  • All applicants for whom English is not a primary language may be required to submit current scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Current scores are no more than two years old at the time of application submission. A complete description of the English proficiency policy may be found at this website, and questions about the English proficiency requirement should be directed to

*As of the 2021 admissions cycle, SALC will no longer require GRE scores.

For general information, see the Humanities Division Admissions and Financial Aid web page. To learn more about the application, check out the Humanities Division Application Instructions and FAQ. International students can find more information on the UChicago Humanities website.