PhD applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university (or expect to receive one by the time they enter the program).

Non-US residents should consult the International Applicants page to learn more about eligibility requirements. Chicago Booth prides itself on a fair and impartial selection process. To find out more, read the Nondiscrimination Statement.

Admissions Timeline

The PhD Program matriculates new students once a year, in the Autumn Quarter. The application deadline is December 15, and applicants are notified of their admissions decision by email. Generally speaking, all applicants should have their decisions by early March. Reviews in each area will begin at different times, after the December 15 deadline, which will impact the timing of the release of admissions decisions for each area. Once the deadline passes, the PhD Office will begin processing applications by dissertation area, completing all applications to a single area first, and sending those applications to that committee for review. Once the first review begins, we will move on to processing applications to another dissertation area until all of those applications have been processed and sent for review, then move to the next area and so on, until all seven dissertation areas have been processed and sent for review. We will not announce admissions decisions for all seven areas at one time, so this means that invitations for interviews (if the area will be interviewing) and admissions decisions may come out for one dissertation area before other areas have finished, or possibly even begun, their reviews. In some cases, areas that go under review first or second could have admissions decisions by late January/early February (though possibly later), whereas areas that go for review later in the process (mid-late January) may not have admissions decisions available until late February/early March, though we hope to have all initial decisions out by early March.

The application for Fall 2023 is now closed. The application for Fall 2024 will be available next year.

Application Checklist

To apply, please submit the following.

  • Application for admission. Our application typically opens in September and is available through December 15.
  • Nonrefundable application fee ($80)
    Applicants on the below list should contact the doctoral office for additional information before submitting their application:
    • Current University of Chicago students
    • University of Chicago alumni
    • Current non-degree visiting students at the University of Chicago
    • US military veterans and personnel
    • PhD Project Annual Conference attendees
    • IDDEAS participants (any IDDEAS program)
    • Members of the Sadie Collective
    • Applicants eligible for Big Ten Alliance FreeApp
    • McNair Scholars
    • Applicants who received a GRE Fee Reduction Voucher
    • Leadership Alliance participants
    • AEA Summer Program participants
    • Posse Foundation Scholars

    If you are not eligible for an application fee waiver on the basis of the list above but are experiencing hardship connected to a natural disaster or other widespread disruption of services, you may submit a formal hardship request. Please visit the information below this checklist for additional details and to access the Hardship Request form. 

  • Official GMAT or GRE scores
    Chicago Booth is not requiring the GRE/GMAT for admission to the PhD Program in Fall 2023. Applicants without a GRE/GMAT will be given full consideration. Applicants who do not submit a GRE/GMAT score for the Fall 2023 application do not need to seek a waiver or submit a request, as submission of these scores is strictly optional. If you are planning to apply to the Joint Program in Financial Economics, the GRE is still required.  

    If you do decide to submit your test scores, most dissertation areas accept either the GMAT or the GRE, with the following exceptions:
    • Economics: GRE only (GMAT not accepted) for those submitting optional scores 
    • Finance: for those submitting optional scores, GRE is strongly preferred; GMAT is acceptable
    • Joint Program in Financial Economics: GRE is required
    • Joint Program in Psychology and Business: for those submitting optional scores, GRE is preferred; GMAT is acceptable

    For Joint Program in Financial Economics applicants, applicants who decide to submit optional GRE/GMAT scores, and international applicants who are required to submit either a valid TOEFL or IELTS, scores should be sent directly to the Chicago Booth PhD Program by listing the institution code when taking the exam:

    • GMAT: H9X-9F-05
    • GRE: 1501
    • TOEFL (if applicable): 1819
    • IELTS (if applicable): send TRF number to phd@chicagobooth.edu

    It is the responsibility of Joint Program in Financial Economics applicants and those submitting optional scores to ensure that test scores are submitted to Chicago Booth's doctoral program before December 15. To meet the application deadline, we recommend that you take the required test by early October.

    GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years. Prior coursework or degrees at the graduate level (e.g., MBA or master’s degrees) do not exempt Joint Program in Financial Economics applicants from submitting the GRE as part of their application.

  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores (international applicants only)
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended after high school
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Essays (topics available in the application)
  • Optional writing sample

If your application is not submitted by the application deadline, it will not be considered for admission.

Applicants for whom a recent natural disaster or other major, widespread disruption has affected their ability to complete an application may submit a Hardship Request form as described below. If the impact of the incident or disruption makes it impossible for you to submit one or more required components of the Chicago Booth PhD application – such as TOEFL/IELTS – by the deadline, or for a recommender to submit their recommendation on time, please complete your application to the best of your ability by the application deadline and then submit a formal hardship request. This form may also be used to request an application fee waiver. Application fees will only be waived for those for whom a recent natural disaster or other, major widespread disruption has affected their ability to pay the application fee. The Hardship Request form for Fall 2023 is now closed; the Fall 2024 form will be available when the application opens next year. 

The submission of the Hardship Request form and approval of the request does not imply that the requirements (e.g. TOEFL/IELTS scores) have been waived for admissions decisions purposes.  By granting a temporary waiver of some of the application requirements, we are allowing applicants to move forward in the admissions review process; however, missing materials may impact the evaluation. In the case of application materials that are temporarily waived, you should continue to make every effort to supply the missing material(s) as soon as possible to ensure that your application is complete. In the case of the application fee, no payment will be required if the waiver request is approved.

If you have further questions about Hardship Requests, please email us at phd@chicagobooth.edu.

 

Admission to Joint PhD Programs

US Military Personnel

Admitted students who are called to active duty prior to matriculation will be granted a deferral of admission and Chicago Booth financial aid to the following year. Deferrals will be reviewed/extended on an annual basis.

The PhD Program at Chicago Booth accepts up to three courses in transfer credit from other approved institutions. These credits can only be used toward the coordinated sequence requirement. The PhD Program does not grant credit for experiential learning or online courses.

For details on readmission, taking a leave of absence, resuming studies, academic grievance policies, and add/drop requirements, please see the PhD Program Guidebook.

Contact Us

If you still have questions after reviewing our FAQ, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Phone: 773.702.7298
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