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Frequently Asked Questions

Student Walking on the Quad


How will COVID-19 (Coronavirus) impact Summer Session?

UChicago’s Summer Session will continue online. We will continue to provide updates and information regarding the ongoing situation on this website, and any changes will also be communicated directly with applicants or admitted students. For up-to-date University policies, please visit the University’s Coronavirus Updates website at

Will I have the opportunity to learn more about remote learning via a virtual Information Session?

Yes! We invite prospective UChicago Summer Session pre-college students and parents to attend a virtual Information Session about our Summer 2021 programs, which will be delivered via the remote teaching model in response to the continued COVID-19 outbreak. Presenters at the Information Sessions will provide an overview of online curriculum and instructional models, online community building, and technology issues.

Register here: Friday, March 5, 2021 - 7:00pm Central US time

All Information Sessions will cover the same information.


Should I apply for more than one course? What happens if the course(s) I want to take are full?

Yes, you are invited to apply to multiple courses on your application. If your first choice is full or will not be available online, we will review your application and consider you for placement in other courses you listed. Complete your application as soon as possible for the best chance to take your preferred class!

I attended the program last summer; how do I reapply?

Students who have attended a previous Summer Session should complete a new application by providing their personal information in the online application along with the application fee and updated school transcripts, though other materials do not need to be resubmitted. Returning applicants should submit an essay indicating their interest in the courses they are applying to, but do not need to respond to a second essay, solicit new recommendations, or submit another graded writing sample. Simply enter "Summer 2020" in the essay fields. For the recommendation, students have the option of selecting "Import Previous Recommendation", which students can do if they do not wish to have new recommendation letters submitted for the current application. 


Can you waive the application fee?

All students are required to submit the application fee, including students who are applying for financial aid.

There is no application fee for students applying to the UChicago Scholarship Programs. Application fees are also waived for students applying through specific Community Based Organizations with whom we have a partnership, including Ivy League Connection, KAUST, Mawhiba Foundation, Minds Matter, OSSE, Questbridge, Squash + Education, Success Academy, Summer of a Lifetime, and Summer Sisters. Students applying through these programs should contact the organization for details.

No other programs or students are currently eligible for a fee waiver.

Are scholarships or financial aid available?

UChicago Summer Session awards need-based financial aid based upon an applicant’s demonstrated financial need. Students applying for such aid must complete a financial aid application as part of their admissions application so that the award determination can be included in the offer of admission. 

The exception is our UChicago Scholarship Programs. Scholarship programs typically cover the total cost of attendance; however, however, students must complete additional essays and affirm that they meet the eligibility requirements for each program. Applicants should read each program's details carefully as each scholarship program is run during a particular term and may have specific courses that are eligible for the scholarship.

My parent has not received the parent confirmation or parental permission and release emails. What should I do?

Contact us at and we will resend the emails. Some emails have strong blocking systems, so please make sure that you check your spam filters.

My recommender did not receive the link to the recommendation. What should we do?

Contact us at Include your name, the recommender's name, and the recommender’s email, and we will resend the request.

Should I wait until my recommendation is on file before submitting my application?

No, the letters can be added to your application once they are submitted. You do not need to wait to submit your application, but we will not be able to review your application until we receive the letter of recommendation.

I have attended more than one school since 9th grade. Should I only send my most current school's transcripts?

Transcripts should include the student's entire academic record since the 9th grade, as applicable. Students who have attended more than one school since the beginning of the 9th grade should submit one official transcript for each school they attended. Students who are currently in 9th grade should also submit their grades from the 8th grade.

How do I upload documents after I have submitted my application?

You can upload test scores and any updated documents to your UChicago Account at any time by clicking “Upload Materials.”

Are undocumented students eligible for admission to the Summer Session?

President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier issued a statement on January 29, 2017 confirming the University’s commitment to our members of the community with undocumented immigration status or who qualify for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

You may read the entire message online and please don’t hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.


What will my online course be like? What sorts of things will we do in class?

Online courses have a mixture of synchronous (meaning everyone does the same activity at the same time) and asynchronous (meaning students do activities on their own schedule, by a certain due date) activities. Synchronous activities will feel much like the traditional classroom activities you are used to -- lectures (although some of these may be pre-recorded, so you can watch them whenever you like), discussions, hands-on projects -- with the only difference being that you will engage with your instructor and fellow students online, via Zoom. Asynchronous activities will involve the sorts of things you might have done as homework, such as problem sets, taking notes on readings, and writing papers, but will also include activities that take advantage of online course delivery such as contributing your thoughts to discussion boards or class blogs, making videos or curating virtual exhibits, and performing simulated experiments on virtual subjects or materials. Whatever it is you are doing from day to day, your instructor and TA will work to ensure that students remain engaged with the subject matter and with each other throughout the course.

How long will I be “in class” each day? How much homework will I have?

Because Summer Session courses are equivalent to courses that last ten weeks during the rest of the academic year, the courses are intensive and rigorous. Students in the precollege programs should expect to have a full day (5-6 hours) of course-related activity, Monday through Friday, with a mix of instructor or TA-led sessions and independent or peer group work. For every course, you will have daily homework assignments, such as reading or problem sets, as well as more long-term assignments such as research projects, papers to write, or exams to study for.

Some courses have been labeled as "reading intensive," "writing intensive," "discussion intensive," "math intensive," and "coding intensive" to help you understand the nature of the work or how the work will be focused in class. You will see these tags in the listing for the course, if applicable.

How can I best prepare for success in my online course?

You’ll find the same traits that help you succeed in traditional, face-to-face classes will stand you in good stead online: be organized, disciplined, and always up for a challenge. Summer Session staff will make available a number of detailed resources to help guide students to success as you make the transition to learning remotely at UChicago this summer. Starting in early June, you will have access to training in the use of Zoom and Canvas; once classes start, you can attend virtual workshops on topics such as how to use library resources online, optimal study skills for college, and tackling undergraduate-level reading and writing assignments. Community Mentors and Teaching Assistants will provide additional support and reach out to students who may need additional assistance with managing their time, meeting academic expectations, or mastering course content.  

The University has also launched the Learning Remotely site, which we highly suggest that you take some time to review before classes begin. In particular, the Getting Started page is very useful and contains information like what internet connection speed you’ll need to be able to participate in online classes and how to improve your internet connection. Spending time on this website before your class begins will help you start on the right foot in your class.

How will participation be graded? Will attendance be required?

Participation will be a part of your grade in every remotely taught course, and will be determined by factors such as your contributions to online discussion boards, projects, and other activities, as well as your dedication to engaging the course material and completing your assignments. Instructors and TAs understand that students might encounter connectivity issues or other problems that prevent them from participating in a particular synchronous class session on Zoom, and would not count something beyond your control against you.

Every Summer Session course is equivalent to 10 weeks of undergraduate coursework. Because Summer courses are condensed, 1-2 days of class is equivalent to an entire week of instruction during the regular academic year, so timely completion of work is critical. Summer Session courses and grades are recorded on a UChicago transcript; college applications, including the Common App, will require you to submit this transcript when you apply to colleges.

How will we turn in assignments? How will quizzes, tests, and exams be given?

You can upload all sorts of files -- documents, videos, presentations, and more -- to Canvas to submit them, and you’ll be able to get your grades and other feedback on your work the same way. Quizzes, tests, and exams will be administered online via Canvas. Students can even upload handwritten work, such as the scratch paper where they work out math problems, to Canvas at the conclusion of a test. Your instructor and TA will guide you on how to do this, and it will be covered in the Canvas training as well.

Do I need to order textbooks for my class?

You will be notified by the Summer Session Office or your instructor if you have books you need to purchase, but in most cases, because courses are being remotely taught and you will not have easy access to the campus bookstore, instructors will do what they can to make all course readings available electronically, either through Canvas or the online reserve system at the University library. 

Can I change courses (add/drop) during the summer?

Because Summer Session courses are brief and very intensive, we strongly encourage students to consider their choices very carefully before they apply. Course changes in undergraduate course offerings must be made before the second class meeting of a three-week course, and before the third class meeting for longer courses. Course changes in the Pre-College programs must be made before the end of the second day of classes. High school students in all programs will only be allowed to add/drop under very special circumstances once courses have begun. All changes must be approved by the Summer Session program staff at

What if the course I want to take is canceled?

Very occasionally, because of a significant conflict or because an insufficient number of students have enrolled in a class, a course is cancelled. Students who are registered in a cancelled class will be contacted by Summer Session and offered the opportunity to enroll in an alternative course or program. If a student does not wish to take another course in its place, the student's deposit will be returned. A course cancellation will be announced at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Are there classes on July 4 (Independence Day)?

Since July 4th falls on a Sunday in 2021, the Independence Day holiday will be observed on Monday, July 5th. Classes will not meet on Monday, July 5th, and University administrative offices will also be closed. Students should expect to participate in class on the days surrounding the holiday unless an instructor says otherwise.

Are Summer Session courses for credit?

All courses open to high school students are graded (A-F), carry at least 100 units of credit, and have undergraduate-level course numbers. It’s important to note that, as opposed to many universities that structure their calendars by semesters, the University of Chicago operates on a quarter system. Each University of Chicago 100-unit course is the equivalent of 3.3 semester credit hours.

  • Immersion, Summer College: 100 UChicago units = 5 quarter hours = 3.3 semester hours
  • Summer Language Institute: 300 UChicago units = 15 quarter hours = 10 semester hours

Will there be any indication on my transcripts or other official documentation that these courses were virtual rather than in person?

Your courses for the Summer Session carry the exact same amount of academic credit as courses you would take on campus, and will carry the same course numbers. 

How do I transfer credit from Summer Session courses to another university?

Students interested in transferring UChicago credit earned during Summer Session should contact the university where you would want the credit to be applied about their requirements for doing so. Transfer of credit is at the discretion of the recipient university. You will be able to request your transcript via your MyUChicago account after the summer quarter ends in late August.


If I take a UChicago Summer Session course for credit and eventually attend UChicago as an undergraduate, do those credits count towards my graduation requirements?

Unfortunately, these courses do not count toward graduation requirements.

I require accommodations (such as extra time on exams, note taking, etc.). How do I request these for my Summer Session course?

As soon as you have accepted your admission to Summer Session, send an email to Disability Services at They will work with you to determine what accommodations you are eligible for, and coordinate the support you need. The kind of accommodations you need for on-site courses and online courses might differ, and the kind of accommodations that universities and K-12 schools can differ as well, so you will want to request a review by Disability Services as far in advance of the start of your course as possible.

How will office hours work?

Some instructors and TAs will use a standing Zoom link for weekly office hours and will enable the “waiting room” function. This will allow students to “pop in” to the Zoom meeting at any point during the scheduled office hours.  If another student is already meeting with the instructor, they will be placed in the “waiting room” and will be connected with the instructor after the other student logs out.
Students can also email instructors to set up an appointment for a virtual meeting.  However, instructors have the option to proceed differently if they prefer an alternative approach for conducting their course’s office hours and meeting with students. Regardless, instructors will post information about how to access office hours and meet with them in their syllabus and/or on their course site.

How can students give instructors input and feedback to help make online courses maximally effective?

We love this question! Making Summer Session successful will truly be a collaborative effort between students, instructors, and staff. Instructors are directed to elicit feedback from students within the first few days of a course and again at the midpoint, so that they can make adjustments as needed as soon as possible. However, there is no need to wait to be surveyed! Throughout their Summer Session course, we encourage students to send instructors constructive feedback about things that are and are not working well. As always, if a student doesn’t feel comfortable communicating directly with the instructor, they can reach out to the Summer Session Office at

What training have instructors had that will help them successfully conduct their courses online?

Offices across the University have been working hard to make sure that instructors have training and support related to both the technological and pedagogical elements of translating an in-person course to an online environment. That work includes:

  • The University launched a Teaching Remotely website with resources for instructors and TAs that is updated almost daily with a variety of useful resources.

  • Academic Technology Services, the Center for Teaching, and individual academic divisions and departments have created online trainings for instructional staff on the use of Zoom, Canvas, Panopto; transitioning an in-person class to a remote instruction model; subject-area specific trainings on how to reach particular curricular goals effectively, such as teaching writing, running a virtual biology lab, leading online discussions, building online community, and many others. Summer Session staff have attended and contributed to many of these sessions, and will have additional workshops with instructors and TAs for precollege courses to address their particular pedagogical needs. 

This is not a comprehensive list, but we hope it gives you an idea of the seriousness with which we are approaching our obligation to provide students with an effective learning experience during Summer Session.

Remote Learning

What platform(s) will be used to deliver Summer Session remote courses in Summer 2021?

UChicago Summer Session courses will be supported by a suite of platforms.

  • Canvas is the official LMS (learning management system) already in use for instructors across campus to manage individual courses. Canvas provides access to the course syllabus, links to online resources, assignments, discussion boards, and other essential teaching tools.

  • Zoom (Enterprise) is the official video conferencing platform, which allows for real-time interactions among instructors, teaching assistants, and students. All instructor-led class sessions on Zoom will be recorded, so that a student who misses the session may view it later on their own schedule. Students may also use Zoom to engage with each other on assignments and group projects.

  • Other online tools such as Microsoft Teams and Google’s G-Suite may be used by instructors depending on the course’s specific curricular needs, but all will be required to fulfill the privacy requirements articulated at

Some large school districts have banned the use of Zoom due to security concerns. How will you protect the security of the student experience?

The Zoom video conferencing system has a number of security and privacy features built in that will be utilized in Summer Session courses. The Academic Technology Services team at the University of Chicago has changed certain defaults on official university accounts, and instituted robust training and support systems to make sure that all instructors are well versed in best practices and that courses run with the recommended security settings in place. Before courses begin, Summer Session will also provide students with trainings related to effective online learning practices, so that they can properly use these important systems.

I’ve heard that anyone can access the class recordings if they know where to look. Is that a danger in Summer Session courses?

We have adjusted security settings in our Zoom Enterprise account – specifically the domain authentication setting – so that you must have a UChicago Zoom account to view any recording. Links to recordings cannot be shared with those outside of the University community by anyone other than the instructor of record, and no one other than the instructor may download the recordings.

What is Zoombombing, and how will you prevent it?

As schools, colleges, and universities have transitioned to remote instruction, unauthorized users have joined classes and posted offensive or violent materials and imagery, a practice known as Zoombombing. For Summer Session courses, we are utilizing several layers of security protections to minimize the chances of this occurring.

  • All enrolled students will be provisioned with an official UChicago email address and Zoom account. Only students with official UChicago accounts will be able to access their Summer Session courses.

  • Instructors will be directed to set up their classes with a “Waiting Room” activated. This means that no one can enter the class meeting until the instructor or Teaching Assistant allows them entry. Most Summer Session classes will enroll no more than 30 students, so that the instructor will be able to individually approve each student’s entry into the class quickly.

  • Once all students are present, the instructor can also “lock” the meeting, so that no one else may enter.

I will be living outside the US while taking my course. Will I be able to access all required systems from where I am?

All platforms that support Summer Session remote teaching are web- or cloud-based, and so can be accessed by anyone with a reliable internet connection. We recommend that students use the computer audio, rather than a separate call-in phone number, when joining real-time meetings. Separate call-in local numbers will be made available to individual students as needed on request.

What is Summer Session doing to accommodate students who are in different time zones or who have other possible barriers to synchronous online classes like internet connectivity issues?

Courses will combine synchronous and asynchronous instruction in order to maximize flexibility and accessibility of course content for students. Some real-time sessions will be recorded so that if a student misses the session for any reason, they may watch the recording and catch up right away. Other class meetings such as discussion sections with TAs or office hours with instructors will be scheduled at times that work for students. Group projects may be assigned to students living in the same or close time zones, to help coordinate work with local schedules.

As a parent, may I listen in on or record my child’s class?

Only enrolled students are allowed to participate in class sessions. Parents are not allowed to listen in on or attend Summer Session classes, as this could disrupt the running of a class for the instructor or participants, and would violate the privacy of the students attending the course. 

To protect student privacy as well as the intellectual property rules governing course curricula, neither students nor parents are allowed to record class sessions. Students may view recordings of their classes within the course’s Canvas site as intended by the instructor, but may not download or share any recordings. 

Parents who have questions or concerns about their child’s academic experience should contact

Cost & Aid

What will be my total bill?

More information about your bill can be found on the Costs page. Costs can vary greatly by program and number of courses taken.

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Based on a student's financial need, we award need-based financial aid. Students who wish to apply for need-based aid should complete the financial aid application as part of their admissions application, so that the award determination can be included in the offer of admission.

In addition to financial aid awards, UChicago also hosts scholarship programs for rural students, students engaged in Hispanic or Latino communities, students who identify as Black or African American, students whose parents are police officers or firefighters, and students who are currently enrolled in any of the United World Colleges to provide enhanced financial, academic, and social support in our Summer Session programs. To learn more about each of these programs, please visit the Scholarship Programs pages.


When and how do I pay my bill?


  • Within one week of admittance, we require a deposit of $1,000 on the student’s UChicago Account. This payment holds a student’s place in the program and can be paid using a credit card.
  • The full balance will be due within four weeks of being admitted to Summer Session.
  • The enrollment deposit is waived for students admitted to any UChicago Scholarship Program.

Pre-College Summer Language Institute and Summer College 

  • The Bursar's Office will issue bills to the student’s my.uchicago account at the end of June and payment will be due in mid-July, after Summer Session classes begin. 
  • The Bursar's Office is unable to accept credit card payments. Bank account and wire transfer options are available. Please see more information about payment options here.
  • Currently, the Bursar's Office is not able offer payment plans to Summer Session students.

How do I withdraw from the program?

All students who have accepted their offer of admission will be registered for their course(s). If you decide to withdraw after you have sent in your confirmation form and deposit, please email us at Students are still responsible for the program fee if they have not officially withdrawn. 

Are my deposits refundable?

Enrollment deposits will be refunded only if a course or program is canceled, and the student does not select another course or program to attend in its place. We are unable to refund the application fee and the $1,000 enrollment fee if a student withdraws from a program.

Is my program fee refundable?

Depending on the program and proximity to the start date, students may be eligible for partial refunds of tuition. More information on tuition refunds is available at the Costs page. Please note that the refund does not include the $1,000 deposit.

Are Summer Session scholarships taxable?

Summer Session scholarships may be taxable. Consult with a tax professional for more information on your specific situation. 

Student Life

Will there be a program Orientation? 

Parents and students will be able to participate in virtual orientation sessions, to learn more about the support that Summer Session staff provides.  Look for more information by email before the start of your class(es).

In addition to the faculty members and teaching assistants who will support students academically, what other resources can Summer Session students access? 

In addition to in-class support staff and resources, Summer Session students can utilize our student staff members, the Community Mentors, who provide additional support and mentoring outside the virtual classroom.

What is the role of the Community Mentors? 

Community Mentors are current or recently-graduated UChicago students who provide an additional level of support and guidance to Summer Session students.  Community Mentors share resources to help students navigate their classes, connect with other Summer Session students, and learn more about the UChicago campus, culture and experience. 

What kind of activities will Community Mentors lead? 

Community Mentors will provide many different virtual community-building activities for Summer Session students.  As current or recent UChicago students, they will share their personal insights and experiences with the Summer Session community, providing multiple examples of a “Day in the Life” at UChicago.  Virtual programs and events will include academic resources (study skills, time management, connecting with faculty), campus resources (virtual tours, choosing a future major) and social events including video community meetings, contests, games and other fun activities.

What are the Community Mentors like? 

Community Mentors are current students with a variety of backgrounds, interests and areas of study.  Each Community Mentor is ready to share resources with students to ensure that UChicago Summer Session provides the best academic and social experience possible.  While students may be assigned to a specific Community Mentor, they may be connected with additional staff members to tailor the support to the student’s specific needs.  

Where are the Community Mentors based? 

While some of the Community Mentors live in Chicago year-round, we have staff members living all around the world in summer 2021.  Because the Community Mentors live in various time zones, we will be able to support students regardless of when their class day begins and ends. 

What will I do outside of my online class, including nights and weekends?

The Community Mentor staff plans and leads daily activities for students to get to know each other, the campus and the city of Chicago. Students can pick and choose from a variety of pre-scheduled virtual events to suit a wide range of interests.  Events may include virtual campus and city tours, museum outings, trivia and other contests, and much more. All events are planned and led by the Community Mentor staff, and may be tailored to the needs or requests of Summer Session students.

What is the schedule and availability of Community Mentors for students?  

Community Mentors provide support to Summer Session students outside of class hours, usually in the afternoons and early evenings. Activities will usually be pre-scheduled, and meetings with individual students will be scheduled based on the Mentor and student’s availability. To role model healthy sleep and self-care, Community Mentors will refrain from late-night virtual activities, and will not be available 24/7 for student contact.

What online safety resources are available? 

As cited in the Policy Handbook in “Community Standards”, UChicago Summer Session works to ensure that all students are supported throughout their academic experience.  If an incident occurs where a Summer Session student experiences targeting or harassment, Community Mentors will document the incident for the Summer Session professional staff and the Dean of Students office, and can intervene between students in multiple ways.  If the behavior continues or the situation is not immediately revolved, the incident will be referred for a disciplinary response. The Community Mentor staff will follow up on any report of concerning or inappropriate online interactions.