The information below will help you prepare to begin your program of study in the Physical Sciences Division. You should expect to receive important communications over the summer with reminders and further details about these topics and others, as well as important resources available to you as a graduate student at the University of Chicago.
Students who accept their offers of admission will receive their University of Chicago student ID (UCID) numbers in the Spring. Once you receive your UCID number, you may claim a CNetID username through IT Services. Your CNetID serves as the basis of your UChicago email address (e.g. if your CNetID is "example," firstname.lastname@example.org is your corresponding email address).
Your CNetID is also used to connect securely to the University's wireless network and often serves as your account name or login ID when connecting to University of Chicago resources.
Please note that your CNetID cannot be changed once you create it. Please create your CNetID as soon as possible after receiving your UCID number.
New students can pick up their UChicago ID cards in person at the ID and Privileges Office, located in the lobby of the Regenstein Library.
The Office of International Affairs (OIA) will work with you to secure the necessary documents to apply for a student visa. You can read an overview of the visa process at OIA’s website.
The I-20/DS-2019 application process typically begins in mid-April. You will receive an email with additional details and instructions when the process is open for the upcoming academic year.
The English Language Institute serves the linguistic and cultural needs of multilingual students, empowering them to raise their confidence and English proficiency to new levels.
Incoming PhD students who score less than 26 on the TOEFL speaking section will be required to take an additional Academic English Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) before entering the program to further assess their readiness to participate in teaching roles. This is facilitated online through UChicago’s Office of Language Assessment and takes between fifteen and thirty minutes. If students are assessed at a level below “Proficient,” they may be asked by their program to attend an Academic Year Course in the English Language Institute (ELI) that has been recommended by the ELI before engaging in teaching responsibilities. When required, students will not be assessed a fee for this course.
All students must submit official proof of degrees to their department or program contact.
The following are acceptable forms of proof of degree:
(1) Sealed, official transcript from an institution that granted you a degree.
For electronic transcripts, the institution should send a secure copy directly from your alma mater to your Student Affairs Administrator. We cannot accept scans, copies, or photographs.
For paper transcripts, the institution should send a sealed copy of your transcript to the address provided by your Student Affairs Administrator.
(2) Degree Certificate (may be needed)
If your transcript does not include the date your degree was conferred or the name of the degree, you should also submit a Degree Certificate.
Electronic degree certificates should be sent directly from your alma mater to your Student Affairs Administrator. We cannot accept scans, copies, or photographs.
For paper degree certificates, the institution should send a sealed copy of your degree certificate to the address provided by your Student Affairs Administrator.
The State of Illinois and the University of Chicago require students to have proof of immunity and/or vaccinations for certain diseases and illnesses. You should plan to complete this requirement at least 30 days before classes begin. You can read more about how to complete this requirement on the Student Health Services Immunizations page.
Effective Autumn Quarter 2021, the University is also requiring all students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Incoming students must submit proof of vaccination by September 1, 2021. Students should not upload their documentation until two weeks after they received their final vaccine dose.
International Students and COVID-19 Vaccines
If an international student arrives in the United States and has not yet been vaccinated or has received a vaccine that has not been approved by the WHO by the time they arrive on campus, the University will facilitate access to a FDA-authorized vaccine when they arrive on campus. Please note that students may be subject to additional travel restrictions/requirements as designated by local authorities. Students will also be subject to weekly testing and may be required to follow additional mitigation measures until they have been fully vaccinated.
International students who do not have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine in their home countries can request a vaccine by emailing UChicago Student Wellness at email@example.com. Please provide your phone number, eight-digit student ID number, and if you are not currently on campus please indicate the date you anticipate arriving on campus. Staff will contact you to arrange an appointment time.
If your offer of admission contained information about receiving a stipend, you will receive additional communications prior to matriculation about documentation required for onboarding.
If you self-identify as a student with a disability, you are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services Office and visit the Student Disability Services website to learn more about your rights and responsibilities.
Our University community is returning to campus with a renewed spirit of care for one another, and a commitment to maintaining UChicago’s distinctive academic and intellectual qualities and values. In close collaboration with public health experts and UChicago Medicine, we’re implementing a wide range of health precautions while building a campus culture focused on shared responsibility for health and safety.
The links below are good resources on public health guidance and COVID-19 health and safety protocols:
Note for international students: International students who do not have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine in their home countries can request a vaccine by emailing UChicago Student Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your phone number, eight-digit student ID number, and if you are not currently on campus please indicate the date you anticipate arriving on campus. Staff will contact you to arrange an appointment time.
All University of Chicago students are required to carry adequate health insurance coverage. Students may satisfy this requirement either by enrolling in the University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP) or by providing proof of comparable coverage before the enrollment deadline.
Important note for PhD Students: Starting with the 2021-22 University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP) coverage year, which begins September 1, 2021, all enrolled PhD students will receive their individual U-SHIP premium coverage at no cost to them. PhD students do not need to engage in the enrollment/waiver process for Autumn Quarter 2021.
For information about enrolling in U-SHIP or waiving the requirement by providing proof of comparable coverage, please visit the Student Insurance website.
Please note that failure to waive the student insurance plan by the deadline will cause you to be enrolled in and responsible for U-SHIP premiums by default, even if you have existing coverage.