FAQ- Information for International Students

I read that applicants to the Divinity School must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree (for master’s level applications) or of a U.S. master’s degree (for doctoral students) in order to be eligible to apply. How do I know whether my educational background is sufficient?

The Divinity School offers general guidelines on eligibility for applicants on our Information for International Applicants page (see the tab marked “International Academic Records”). 

Must international applicants submit scores for both the GRE and the TOEFL (or IELTS)?

Yes. International applicants must submit scores for both the GRE and the TOEFL (or IELTS). Please note that students are required to take the Academic Reading/Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing Test. International students may qualifty for waiver of the English Language Requirements- See next question.  

Can international students receive a waiver for the English Language Requirements?

Natives or legal permanent residents of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and English-speaking provinces of Canada and South Africa are exempt from the requirement. Current J-1 status holders who are transferring thier status to the University of Chicago may also be waived from submitting English language requirements. International students may be waived from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores if they earned a degree or attended an accredited acadmic or English language school in the United States, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, or English medium university in Canada or South Africa within the past 5 years. 

What are the minimum score requirements for the TOEFL and IELTS? 

The Divinity School adheres to minimum language requirements of the University of Chicago. The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall, with 4 sub-scores of 26 each. The minimum required scores in the IELTS are an overall score of 7, with sub-scores of 7 each. Please note that students are required to take the Academic Reading/ Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing test.

How long are TOEFL and IELTS scores valid?

The Divinity School accepts TOEFL and IELTS scores that are no more than two (2) years old on the date of the degree program’s application deadline.

Do my transcripts need to be evaluated or translated?

Please refer to our International Transcripts page for more information about the certification of international transcripts.

How else is the application process different for international applicants?

Beyond the notes about academic records and test scores, the initial application process is much the same. Admitted international students will complete a secondary process in the service of obtaining a visa. Among other things, admitted international students will provide a copy of their passport and will be asked to demonstrate adequate financial resources for the full term of study in the United States. The Office of International Affairs will work with you to submit these documents in a timely manner.

Are international students eligible for Divinity School scholarship aid?

Yes. Scholarship eligibility is not based on citizenship status. 

Are international students eligible for loan and work study aid through the University of Chicago?

International students may not apply for federal aid through the US Department of Education. International students are encouraged to search for fellowships through the UChicagoGRAD’s Fellowship Database. The Office of International Affairs has a dedicated page for International Student Funding Options.

What resources are available for international students at the University? 

The Office of International Affairs is a great resource. They maintain a database of contact information for current students and alumni clubs from many countries. You can find that information here, toward the bottom of the page.

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