College Programming and Orientation

Pre-Orientation Programs & Summer Experiences

All incoming first year and transfer students are invited to participate in one of our Summer Experience or Pre-Orientation programs, a series of optional opportunities that will help you make the most of your time at UChicago. Each summer program provides a unique experience that will introduce you to other members of your class, help you become more familiar with student life, and begin your intellectual development before the academic year begins.

Below are descriptions of each Summer Experience and Pre-Orientation program. Please visit the individual program’s website for information on applications and the timeline for responses. Students may apply for and participate in multiple programs, as long as the timing does not overlap. Additionally, you may apply to as many programs as you would like and see which ones you get accepted to before making a final decision.

If you have general questions about any of our summer experience or pre-orientation programs, please feel free to contact the College Programming Office at college-programming@uchicago.edu.

If you have questions about your application to a particular program. Please contact that program directly. You will find contact information on the website for each individual program.

Summer Experiences

The programs below take place prior to September.

    Career Exploration Week programs are an opportunity for incoming students to do a deep dive into their field of interest before arriving on campus. These programs connect students with UChicago alumni, employer partners, and Career Advancement staff in a particular city, and help build community among incoming students through fun group activities – all while safely exploring a new, exciting city!

    We’re excited to announce that Career Exploration Week programs will be offered in-person and take place from August 29 to September 1! We have four exciting programs for you to choose from:

    • Computer Science & Data Science Explorer Program in San Francisco
    • STEM Explorer Program in New York
    • Exploring the Legal Profession Program in New York
    • Business & Finance Exploration Program in Los Angeles

    Please visit Career Advancement’s website to learn more and to apply. Applications open in Spring 2022. Please contact Erwin Paderanga at erwinp@uchicago.edu with any questions.

    Engage with employers and alumni through Career Advancement’s Industry Immersion series! These are a series of multi-day, virtual events offered throughout the summer that will give you the opportunity to do a deep-dive into your field of interest. Each Industry Immersion will include engagement with employers, conversations with alumni, and a keynote interview with an industry expert.

    Questions? Please contact Erwin Paderanga at erwinp@uchicago.edu.

    We encourage incoming students of color and LGBTQ+ students to join our affinity-based cohort programs – sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) and LGBTQ Student Life – which are designed to help foster a strong sense of community and belonging. These are exciting opportunities to start building peer networks, engage in conversation with student leaders and key administrators, learn about all that our offices have to offer…and have some fun!

    The interactive sessions will start in August and take place virtually (though we can’t wait to welcome you to our student center at 57th/Woodlawn once you’re on campus). If you’re wondering whether you can apply for one or both of these programs -and- another program, the answer is yes!

Pre-Orientation Programs

The programs below take place during September, before Orientation week.

    This program brings students into a deep, community-based understanding of the challenges and opportunities that characterize Chicago. Students spend a week learning about and exploring many of the 77 neighborhoods in Chicago, learning about urban issues, social justice theory and Chicago’s history of social change, and meeting with community residents and leaders. Through Chicago Bound, students become more informed about Chicago and methods of effecting social change, including direct service, research and evaluation, advocacy and activism, community organizing, public policy, urban planning, cultural humility, political office, social entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

    Following Chicago Bound participation, students can expect to begin their studies at UChicago with a significantly deeper understanding of Chicago, how it came to be what it is, how social injustices happens, and how they can work to change our world for the better. 

    Chicago Urban Explorers (CUE) is a 4-day virtual program sponsored by College Programming and Orientation (CPO) for incoming first-year and transfer students. This program seeks to introduce students to the culture and history of the city of Chicago while also providing a venue for students to build strong personal networks with other members of their incoming class. Through CUE, students will have unique opportunities to engage in small group discussions, attend presentations with civic leaders and UChicago faculty, and get to know other students in the College.

    Your potential as a leader isn’t dependent on the positions you hold, the skills you’ve developed, or the goals you’ve set: all that matters is who YOU are! As a participant in UChicago Lead’s “Discover Leadership” program, students will be introduced to a variety of perspectives and experiences of “leadership.” Students will reflect together in small groups as they use everything they have learned from program sessions to craft your unique Leadership Story. Interview and discussion sessions will all be held virtually in the weeks leading up to Orientation. These virtual sessions will be hosted by UChicago Leads staff and current UChicago student leaders.

    International Pre-Orientation (IPO) is a 4-day virtual program sponsored by College Programming and Orientation. IPO provides international students with a space to learn more about the resources, services, and expectations of the University. In addition to presentations and group discussions, participants will get to know other international first-year and upper-class students in the College. For international students with little or no experience in an American classroom, this program proves extremely worthwhile.

    This outdoor adventure program will allow participants to experience the great outdoors and create lasting bonds in the process. With two trip options, one involving backpacking and one at an established campground, the Phoenix Outdoor Program (POP) offers unique experiences for students regardless of your level of camping or hiking experience. Along the way, you will be able make some new friends, hone your wilderness skills, and learn useful information to aid in your transition into UChicago.