What is the Core like at the University of Chicago?


I’m thinking of applying to the University of Chicago, but I heard that ‘the Core’ is super intensive. How long will it take for me to finish the Core?


Great question! I was also worried about this when I was in the process of applying to UChicago. How long it takes depends on two things: (1) how many college credits you receive from high school / summer classes, (2) how you choose to spread out your Gen Ed (Core) requirements. I would say that in general it takes students until the end of second-year (junior year) to finish the Core.

Firstly, you should know that you can pass out of certain classes required for the core if you score highly in your APs (or, if you are an international student, your IB classes or your A Levels). It’s quite common for students to opt of the foreign language requirement. In addition, many students are able to get around the Bio and Physical Sciences requirements.

Note that the University is quite flexible about how you go about completing the Core. Your advisor will most likely recommend for you to finish your Humanities and Social Sciences requirements before the end of second year. Likewise, they will also most likely recommend for you to finish your Natural and Mathematical Sciences requirements before the second year. Now with that being said, I have friends who are in their fourth year and are only know completing their Humanities classes. At the end of the day, it’s really up to you.

My last piece of advice would be for you to go into the Core with open mind. Most students end up really loving the Core. I can honestly tell you that I loved every single course I took that was required for the Core.