Application Process

Undergraduate Admissions

The application process for undergraduate admissions is handled through the College. More information can be found at their College Admissions site.

Graduate Admissions

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in Humanities is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines, and department-specific information is available online at

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-1552. All correspondence and materials sent in support of applications should be mailed to:

The University of Chicago
Division of the Humanities
Walker, Suite 111
1115 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Foreign students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Application Requirements and Information about NELC

The most up-to-date information about our department is on this website. Please read it carefully and check the "faculty interests" section. If you have general questions, please contact the department; specific questions about a particular program might be addressed to a relevant faculty member.

Your application must include:

  1. transcripts from all colleges and universities that you have attended;
  2. a minimum of three letters of recommendation submitted by persons able to describe your achievements and promise;
  3. your statement of purpose, which should describe the intellectual issues and historical/linguistic/archaeological subjects which you hope to explore at the University of Chicago;
  4. a writing sample of approximately 20 pages, research paper, or an MA thesis (usually more than 20 pages, perhaps with a specific section highlighted) that reflects your ability to present the question; to present consistent arguments using clear expository prose; to exhibit critical thinking; and to support a conclusion using correctly formatted footnotes and bibliography;
  5. your scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE): less than five years old, no minimum score required; send the scores to University Code 1832, Department Code 2999;
  6. for non-native English speakers, your scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
    • minimum score of 600 with a minimum of 60 in each section on the paper test;
    • minimum score of 250 with a minimum of 25 in each section on the computerized test if taken prior to September 2008;
    • minimum score of 26 in each section on the computerized test if taken September 2008 or after.

The application form has a place to indicate the department/program; from the pull-down menu choose, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. For field of specialization, please be sure to enter one of the fields of study exactly as listed on NELC's web page. We need these fields to sort information in our database. You may wish to further specify your area of interest in your statement of purpose. In addition, please note that you must indicate your native language (even if it is English) as well as any foreign languages you've studied previously, including ancient languages (e.g. Akkadian, Demotic, etc.)

The University of Chicago considers students on the basis of individual merit and without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or other factors irrelevant to academic success.