College Programming and Orientation

Pre-Orientation Programs & Summer Experiences

All incoming first year and transfer students are invited to apply for 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 allow you to meet other members of your class, help you become more familiar with student and community life, and begin exploring areas of interest 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. 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

2024 program information will be available soon!

  • Spots are limited and all programs require a completed application. 
  • Students may apply for and participate in both a Summer Experience and a Pre-Orientation Program, but only one in each category. 
  • Students may apply to as many programs as you would like and see which ones you get accepted to before making a final decision. 
  • Information regarding applications and program details will be provided in the spring. 

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.

Summer Experiences

Career Exploration Week programs are an opportunity for incoming students to do a deep dive into their career 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! 

2023 Programs and Locations:

  • Business & Finance - New York, NY
  • Legal Professions - New York, NY
  • Business & Finance (TEBL) - New York, NY
  • Behavioral Economics & Human Data Explorer - New York, NY
  • Journalism, Media, & Publishing - Washington, D.C.
  • Policy & Social Impact - Washington, D.C.
  • Healthcare - Philadelphia, PA
  • Computer Science & Data Science - San Francisco, CA
  • Computer Science & Data Science (Odyssey) - San Francisco, CA
  • Career Exploration - San Francisco, CA
  • Business (Transfer Students) - San Francisco, CA
  • Cinematic Arts, Media & Entertainment - Los Angeles, CA
  • Engineering - Los Angeles, CA
  • Climate & Energy - Denver, CO
  • Quantum - Chicago, IL
  • Biological Sciences - Seattle, WA

For questions, please contact Sophie Wingland at swingland@uchicago.edu 

Pre-Orientation Programs

The programs below take place the week before Orientation Week.

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! Please email inclusion@uchicago.edu or text 773.702.5710 with any questions.

  • Learn more about the program and apply on the CI+I website.

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) 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 find unique opportunities to engage with civic leaders and UChicago faculty, visit important city landmarks and cultural institutions, and partake in the diversity of the city of Chicago. Along the way, students get to know other students in the College, while having fun exploring this world-class city. CUE is sponsored by College Programming and Orientation (CPO) and the Office of the Dean of 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.

International Pre-Orientation (IPO) provides international students with a space to adjust to their new college environment while learning more about the resources, services, and expectations of the University. In addition to presentations and group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to tour campus, set up a bank account, procure a mobile phone, and 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. IPO is sponsored by College Programming and Orientation.

This outdoor adventure program will allow participants to experience the great outdoors and create lasting bonds in the process. The Phoenix Outdoor Program (POP) offers unique experiences for students regardless of their level of camping or hiking experience. All participants will be placed in a small group with two experienced upperclass student leaders. Along the way, you'll make some new friends, hone your wilderness skills, and learn useful information to aid in your transition into UChicago.