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Residential Programs FAQ

COVID-19 Policies

Will I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

The University of Chicago requires all students in residence or participating in activities or classes on campus to be fully vaccinated, including a booster shot. All COVID vaccines approved by the FDA or WHO will be considered suitable to fulfill the University’s requirement. Proof of vaccination through medical records (or vaccine certification card) is required before arriving on campus. The COVID-19 vaccination requirement applies to all students participating in in-person classes, research, or other activities in the U.S., with limited exemptions for religious or medical reasons as required by law.

If you do not provide proof of vaccination, and do not qualify for an exemption, you will be withdrawn from the course.

Does the University of Chicago require students to wear masks?

Current College students are required to wear face masks when they are in class, lab, or indoor program activities. They are not required to wear masks in their own rooms, but common areas of residence and dining halls also require masking, unless a student is actively eating or drinking.

Are all university staff and faculty vaccinated?

The University expects all staff and faculty to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have applied for and have been granted a medical or religious exemption.

Where can I find can up to date information on UChicago's campus COVID-19 policies?

You can find up to date information at!

Will UChicago COVID-19 policies change before Summer 2022?

We will update all participants of the most up-to-date policies before their program begins.

Housing & Student Life

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

The residential staff plans and leads daily activities for students to get to know each other, the campus, the neighborhood, and the city of Chicago. Students can pick and choose from a variety of programs to suit a wide range of interests, including low and no-cost programs. Previous events include trips to Major League Baseball games, the Taste of Chicago festival, evening soccer, museum outings, beach trips, Movies on the Midway, and much more. All events are planned and led by residential staff members.

What facilities are available during the summer?

All students enrolled in Multi-week Summer Programs for Pre-College students may access University amenities while they are attending courses. The Student Services Fee provides access to resources like Student Health & Counseling Services, athletics facilities, and libraries.

Students participating in our one-week enrichment programs are subject to more limited access of facilities.

When is orientation and when can I move in?

Orientation dates are listed below. All high school Summer Session students, residential or commuter, must attend Orientation. Residential students must attend the entirety of both days of orientation. Commuter students are required to attend the first day of orientation only.

Orientation dates

  • Session I: Saturday-Sunday, June 11 - 12, 2022
  • Session II: Sunday-Monday, July 3 - 4, 2022

Can parents and families attend orientation?

Unfortunately, no. Only students can attend orientation; family members who travel with their student should plan to depart from campus once their student has moved in to the residence hall. Parents and families will be invited to attend a virtual information session before students arrive on campus.

Students will attend required Orientation sessions after drop-off, and will not be available to be exempted from curfew or dine off-campus with families during Orientation.

When do I need to move out?

Students must check out of the residence hall by 9:00 a.m. by the DAY AFTER their course ends, unless otherwise instructed. Students may check out in the evening on the day their course ends, but must have a Curfew Release Form on file 24 hours in advance and be sure not to miss any required course activities or exams on the last day. See the Residential Policies section for more information.



Can I live off-campus?

The Pre-College program is residential-focused, but we make exceptions for students who live in Chicago on a case-by-case basis. Living in one of our College Houses in the residence halls provides students with the full undergraduate experience, including personal and academic support from the Residential Assistants (RAs) and other students. Being able to connect, live, and learn with students from all over the world is what makes a summer program a fully educational experience. Nearly 90% of Summer Session students live on-campus during the summer, and it is worth noting that most students who decided to commute, later reported that they wished they had lived in-residence for the program. If you would like to commute, please send an email to  

What is the residential staff like?

Our residential team is composed of current undergraduates and recent alumni of the University of Chicago. Our RAs are here to make students feel comfortable in the residence halls, and to assist them with academic, residential, and co-curricular matters. Several RAs reside in each House on the same floor as the students. Our Residential Director and Assistant Residential Directors are available to students and their families 24 hours a day.

Can I live in the residence hall and take remote courses?

No, students must be taking in-person courses to live in the residence hall. Students in Summer Online or Summer College cannot live in the residence hall.

What should I pack?

Chicago weather in the summer can fluctuate, so make sure to prepare for the possibility of high heat (as high as 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity.

The residence hall will have a weekly linen service available which provides a summer-weight blanket, sheets, pillows, and towels, but, if you are particular about your linens, we recommend that you bring your own. Woodlawn Commons is an air-conditioned building, and some students have found it a bit chilly. For example, if you think you would like more than one pillow, a heavier weight blanket, or a larger towel, please bring these items with you or plan to purchase them after you arrive. All beds are extra-long single beds (36” x 80”). Please also note that laundry facilities are available, but you will need to provide your own iron and clothes hangers.

We recommend that you pack the following items for your stay in Woodlawn Commons:

  • Light clothing
  • Extra blanket or comforter*
  • Warm layer in case of cooler weather
  • Sheets*
  • Umbrella or rain jacket
  • Towels*
  • Walking shoes
  • Laptop**
  • Swimsuit
  • Cell phone**
  • Sunscreen
  • Notebooks
  • Toiletries
  • Folders
  • Clothes hangers
  • Pens and pencils
  • Photo ID
  • Personal spending money
  • Camera
  • Iron (if desired)

*The residence hall’s linen service provides a summer-weight blanket, sheets, pillows, and towels, but, if you are particular about your linens, you should bring your own. All beds are extra-long single beds (36” x 80”).

**Computing facilities (including pay-per-use printers) are available on campus, but you may bring your own if you wish. WiFi is available in all campus buildings. Phones are not provided.

What is the curfew policy for students living on-campus?

High school students living in the residence hall must sign in for curfew every night. Following the City of Chicago curfew ordinance, summer residents must be inside the residence hall from 10:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. Disregard for curfew can be grounds for dismissal from the program. Students who miss curfew sign-in will be subject to disciplinary action, and their parents will be contacted. Please see the Academic, Social, and Residential Policies for more information about the curfew policy.

Parents may give permission for their child to miss curfew if the student is accompanied by an adult (excluding Summer Session participants above the age of 18). Parents should complete an accurate Curfew Release Form at least 24 hours prior to the requested release time.

How do I get my mail? Can I ship items to myself?

When you check in to the residence hall, you will receive a room number. This will be part of your mailing address:
(Student Name)
Attn: Summer Conferences - Summer Session
Woodlawn Residential Commons Room XX
1156 East 61st St.
Chicago, IL 60637

Mail is delivered once a day, Monday through Friday. Mail can be picked up at the front desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The front desk will sign for all priority packages.
Packages that arrive prior to your arrival date or after your departure date will be returned to the sender.

Can I have a friend or relative stay overnight in my residence hall room?

While guests are welcome to visit, they cannot stay overnight in student rooms. All guests must check-in at the front desk, and must check out by 10:00 p.m. High School Program residents may not have non-program guests in their rooms past curfew, including relatives.

What if I need medical care?

Students have access to medical facilities, including the Student Health Services and an on-call physician for after business hours care. If a student requires immediate medical attention, the University of Chicago’s Medical Center is on campus. Residential staff members will be available 24/7 to help in the case of any emergency and will contact the parent or guardian. All parents of minors are required to submit a release form authorizing necessary medical treatment in the case that the parent/guardian cannot be reached. This release is provided to parents after their student has been accepted to the program.

What safety resources are available?

To ensure the safety and convenience of our students, faculty, staff, and community, UChicago's Department of Safety & Security provides residence security, transportation, and 24/7 support. Residence halls are always fully staffed with security personnel, and all entrances and exits are fully secured. Summer Session residential students verify their identity with their University ID at the front desk upon entry to the residence hall. For transportation, UGo Daytime and NightRide shuttles pick-up and drop-off within one or two blocks of residential and academic buildings around all of campus. Summer Session students may contact the UChicago Police Department at any time, day or night, by dialing 773.702.8181 or 123 from a campus phone.

I’m flying from O’Hare/Midway, how do I get to campus?

There are two major commercial airports in the Chicago area: O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. O'Hare International Airport is about 30 miles northwest of campus, and Midway International Airport is approximately eight miles west of the UChicago campus. Students flying into O’Hare airport have the option for shuttle service to campus with other UChicago Summer Session students. A staff member will greet them at the airport and lead them to our shuttle service. An additional fee is associated with this service. Students are also welcome to use another mode of transportation to get to campus, including public transit, shuttle, car, taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

What if there is an emergency on campus?

Campus safety for all is a top priority at the University of Chicago. Support is available 24/7, including health care, mental wellness, and a dean-on-call. For non-threatening situations on campus or in the residence halls, students will be able to utilize either their Resident Assistant, Summer Program staff, or the Campus Residential Hall front desk. If a serious situation arises, students should contact the dean-on-call or the University Police 24/7.

Preparing to Arrive on Campus

I am a student under the age of 18 flying for my Summer Session program. Do I have to make special arrangements for my flight?

Summer Session students and families should be sure to double check airline policies regarding unaccompanied minors prior to booking tickets. Different airlines have different policies regarding the minimum age to fly unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. These ages are not consistent across all airlines. Please take extra precautions to verify an airline's age policy before purchasing tickets.

Can I check in a day early or stay an extra day at my residence hall?

No. We have several different programs running during the summer. There is no additional capacity prior to the start of a course or afterwards. If you need additional accommodations, you will need to make your own arrangements. Pre-College Summer Session students may move in on the first day of their Orientation and may stay in housing for the duration of their session. All Summer Session students will move in for their program on the same day and move out on the same day.

I’m under 18 and would like to arrive early or stay an extra day or two for Summer Session. May I stay at nearby hotels prior to check in?

Summer Session students and families should note that the minimum age necessary rent a hotel room or Airbnb is 18 years of age. Students under 18 cannot rent and stay in a hotel room on their own, and so should not arrive in Chicago before or stay past the check-in and check-out dates stated in their admissions materials unless they will have a parent or guardian with them.

We have several different programs running during the summer. There is no additional capacity prior to the start of a course or afterwards. Students cannot check in to the residence hall before the official check-in date and cannot stay in the residence hall after the official check-out date given in their admissions materials. Unfortunately, there can be no exceptions. This rule applies to all students, regardless of age. Summer Session students and families should make travel plans accordingly.