Master of Liberal Arts Admissions

  • Application Deadline

    December 5, 2023

  • Next Start Date

    January 3, 2024

Applying to the UChicago MLA

For admission to the Master of Liberal Arts program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in any discipline. Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE or GMAT) are not required.

Due to our primarily online nature, this program does not sponsor international student visas. International students are enthusiastically invited to apply, but if admitted, the degree program does not include a visa to study in the U.S.

If you need help completing your application or have any other questions about the MLA, contact an enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

To apply to the UChicago MLA, submit the following:

  • Resume or CV
  • Writing Sample
    • A cohesive writing sample of at least five double-spaced pages.
    • You may submit either an academic paper or a piece of professional writing, like a report written for work.
    • If you are unsure whether a sample would be appropriate to use, please check with the MLA admissions team. If you need to write a brand-new sample, you are free to write an opinion piece about a relevant issue or review a book, movie, or drama.
  • Transcripts
    • One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. Please do not mail transcripts as part of your admission application; we accept unofficial uploads only for application evaluation.
    • An unofficial transcript for undergraduate coursework is still required for application evaluation even if you hold an advanced degree(s).
    • If you are offered admission, one official transcript for each university attended will be required prior to the first day of the term. Please see the FAQ page for details on how to submit your official transcript(s).
    • Applicants with international transcripts must provide English translations with their applications. An official course-by-course evaluation of transcripts may be requested through an accredited NACES member. A course-by-course evaluation will translate courses, degree(s), and grades to US equivalents. Please visit the NACES website for more details.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • We require two letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess your academic or professional qualifications.
  • Candidate Statement
    • Applicants are required to demonstrate the motivation, academic potential, and ability to undertake work at the University of Chicago by writing a candidate statement describing their interest.
    • The statement should not exceed four pages, typed and double-spaced.
  • English Proficiency
    • Applicants to the Master of Liberal Arts program who do not meet the English Language Proficiency criteria must submit proof of English language proficiency.
    • The required proficiency standards include a score of 104 on the TOEFL (with four sub scores of 26 each), or seven overall on the IELTS (with sub scores of seven each).
    • If you are taking the TOEFL, request the scores to be sent to the University of Chicago. Our TOEFL and College Board code is 1832. Applicants should plan on taking the TOEFL no later than two weeks prior to the application deadline in order to ensure their applications are completed in time.
    • Students are required to take the Academic Reading/Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing test.
    • University of Chicago downloads IELTS scores that have been transmitted to our e-download account. Please contact your test center and request that your scores be sent to the following IELTS e-download account:
      University of Chicago – Graduate Enrollment
      970 East 58th Street, Third Floor
      Chicago, IL 60637
    • The University does not accept paper IELTS test report forms.
  • $75 Application Fee

MLA Admissions Interview

Once you have completed the online application and submitted all required materials, you will be contacted for an admissions interview:

  • During your interview, you will speak with the MLA program director and a graduate from the program.
  • The interview is not a test of liberal arts knowledge; rather, we will use this time to discuss your background, your academic and professional goals, and your interest in the MLA program.
  • We will delve into how you expect the degree to help you personally or professionally and ask follow-up questions based on your personal statement or application materials.
  • The interview typically takes 30 minutes.

See our FAQ page for answers to commonly asked questions about the admissions process.

Request more information about the UChicago Master of Liberal Arts.

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