Summer Language Institute

The Summer Language Institute (SLI) has the course for you, whether you need to acquire proficiency skills to prepare to:

  • Study abroad
  • Gain reading skills in a  language for scholarly research
  • Learn to read texts in their original language

SLI welcomes visiting undergraduate and graduate students, scholars and professionals and academically advanced high school students, as well as current UChicago undergraduate and graduate students.

SLI offers three categories of language courses:

  • Beginning and intermediate intensive modern language courses are designed for students wishing to develop proficiency across all four language skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing—at a speed that is the equivalent of a year or more of instruction during the regular academic year.
  • Beginning and intermediate ancient language courses guide students in building and honing their reading abilities and their familiarity with ancient texts and culture.
  • Reading for Research courses focus on the skills graduate students need to access scholarly texts in other languages.


The courses below were offered in Summer 2019. Courses for Summer 2020 will be posted by January 2020. Visit the UChicago Course Catalog to see details on any course.

Intensive Modern Introductory Intensive Modern Intermediate Intensive Ancient Languages
Arabic Level 1 Arabic Level 2 Introductory and Intermediate Ancient Greek
Chinese (Mandarin) Turkish Introductory and Intermediate Latin
Reading for Research Courses  
Reading French  
Reading German  
Reading Hebrew  

Application and Registration

The application and enrollment processes for the SLI vary depending on student status.

  • Current College students enroll in SLI courses through MyUChicago, as they would any other Summer Session course. Open enrollment for Summer 2020 will begin in February 2020 and will end June 1, 2020. To enroll after that date, contact
  • Current MA or PhD students are enrolled through their home departments or divisions. 
  • Visiting students (high school, undergrad, grad, or other) must submit an application. The application will be available January 2020.
  • For visiting students, applications will be accepted through May 15, 2020. International applicants who will require visa sponsorship must submit their applications by April 3, 2020.
  • Admissions decisions for financial aid applicants will be released along with aid offers following the priority and regular deadlines for financial aid.

Required Application Materials

  • Personal Profile
  • A transcript from your current institution or most recently attended institution
  • An application fee 
  • Some courses require applicants to complete an online placement test or to submit additional supplemental materials prior to admission

Current High School student applicants will also need to assemble and provide the following materials:

  • Supplement and writing sample
  • A current transcript
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Parental permission to submit an application

Doctoral students at Big Ten Academic Alliance Member Universities are eligible to apply for admission to SLI courses through the Traveling Scholars exchange program. Doctoral students at the University of Illinois at Chicago may apply through the Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program. Traveling Scholars and CMEP participants will be billed regular tuition at their home institutions while they study at UChicago.

  • Exchange applications will only be considered for courses which are not available at the student's home institution during the summer.
  • Traveling Scholars applicants should be sure to read the eligibility requirements and application information on the BTAA website.
  • UIC students should consult the CMEP guidelines for information about the application procedures.
  • Applicants should also contact the Academic Exchange Coordinator at the home institution for application materials and to begin the application process. Students from BTAA member universities can find the appropriate campus contact person at this page.
  • In place of the instructor on the Traveling Scholars or CMEP application, please put the name and contact info for the UChicago Traveling Scholars and CMEP Coordinator, Sandra Jackson ( She will ensure that your application is routed to the correct individuals for approval.
  • The Summer Language Institute will begin reviewing all complete Traveling Scholars and CMEP applications on April 15, 2020 and will approve applications at that time if space is available in the requested course.
  • You do NOT need to apply through the Summer Language Institute application system. Please submit your Traveling Scholars or CMEP application to your home institution only.


Frequently Asked Questions

The Summer Language Institute reviews applicants' academic records to ensure that they are prepared for the demands of intensive summer courses. In some cases, we may request that applicants complete a placement test or submit supplemental documentation to demonstrate their preparation for a specific class. Applications which include a financial aid application will not receive an admissions decision until after the review of all financial aid applications. 

Course costs vary for the individual language pages, and further details will be available once the courses are posted.

Tuition costs and fees listed apply to visiting students and current College (undergraduate) students. Current UChicago graduate students are generally subject to the tuition rates and policies set by their home units. Current UChicago students should contact Summer Session for details on enrollment in Summer Language Institute courses.

Additional costs may include student life fee and housing and dining package.

Current undergraduate students in the College may apply for the Summer Scholarship (application due April 15, 2020), and also be eligible to apply for Pell Grants or Stafford loans for assistance with the balance of the SLI tuition charges.

Current University of Chicago MA students in the MAPH, MAPSS, CIR, CMES, CLAS, and Divinity MA* programs, as well as students entering those MA programs in Autumn 2020, are eligible to apply for scholarships to help defray the cost of tuition for summer language study at the University of Chicago. These courses will be taken in additional to the students’ regular programs of study and will not count towards degree requirements. As such, they are not eligible for federal student aid.

The Summer Language Institute has a limited amount of financial aid to help defray the cost of attendance for some visiting students who demonstrate financial need. To be considered for these need-based financial aid awards, all application materials and financial aid form must be completed in your application status page. We will review all aid applications received by the priority aid deadline of March 20, 2020. Please note that we anticipate only being able to make aid offers to a portion of financial aid applicants.

Graduate students applying for certain programs may also be eligible to apply for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship.

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program is administered by the federal government for American graduate students who are concentrating in a modern foreign language and a program that includes international or area studies. University of Chicago students apply for these fellowships through UChicagoGrad and their area Dean of Students offices. Priority for FLAS fellowships is given to UChicago students, but applications from visiting graduate students are considered carefully. The deadline to apply for a 2020 FLAS award from the University of Chicago will be in early February 2020. Details on the application process can be found on the UChicagoGrad website.


If you are a regularly registered student who will continue to be full-time in Autumn 2020, you will not need to submit an application.

Yes, CPS students may participate in SLI courses through the Summer College Bridge program. Please see the link for information.

Enrollment in our courses is capped to ensure high quality instruction and individual attention and many courses do fill. Please apply early to secure a spot.

Auditing and "sitting in" are not permitted in any SLI courses. All participants must be officially registered.

Children of faculty and staff members who are not currently College students enroll through the Summer Language Institute application system as visiting students.

Yes. International students are welcome to apply, and the UChicago Office of International Affairs can assist in processing visa paperwork for F-1 student status. In order to meet visa requirements, students must be enrolled full time. All of our intensive 300-unit classes qualify for full-time status. Reading & Research courses, unfortunately, do not qualify. International students who also need to apply for a US visa should submit their application materials no later than April 3, 2020.

International students who are currently studying at a US institution and who will return to their home schools in the fall do not require any special visa processing.

Our course offerings for Summer 2020 will be announced in late Fall 2019, but if you are interested in a language we do not currently offer, please let us know! We may expand language options in the future.

At this time, we are not able to offer ESL courses during the summer. There are several other ESL options in the Chicago area, including the University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, and Purdue University-Calumet.

Since in-class speaking and listening practice is an essential component of language learning, we expect that all students attend class regularly. Our summer courses move very quickly, and you will fall behind if you are not in class. If it is absolutely necessary for you to miss class, you should inform your instructor(s) as far in advance as possible to make arrangements for completing homework.

Chicago is an extraordinarily vibrant city in the summer. There are numerous events on campus, including lunchtime grilling, evening film screenings, and social gatherings. Many locals of the Hyde Park neighborhood take advantage of the warm weather to spend time at the nearby lakefront parks for barbecues, swimming, running, or biking. And in the wider city area, there is no end to the outdoor events to explore: concerts, festivals, performances, and more. Many of them are free! 

All job openings at the SLI will be posted through the UChicago Academic Career Opportunities website. Any open positions for Summer 2020 will be posted there. We regret that we are not able to respond to unsolicited resume submissions, but are happy to respond to general questions from potential instructor or teaching assistant applicants.