College Programming and Orientation

Pre-Orientation Programs

All incoming first year and transfer students are invited to apply for one of the Summer Experiences or Pre-Orientation Programs, a series of optional opportunities that will help you make the most of your time at UChicago. Each 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 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

Applications for Fall 2024 are now open! Click here to apply now!

  • Applications are due June 10th at 10 AM CDT.
  • Spots are limited and all programs require a completed application.
  • Students may apply for and participate in both a Career Exploration Week program and a Pre-Orientation Program, but only one in each category. 
  • Students may apply to as many Pre-Orientation Programs as you would like, but if accepted, will only be offered a spot in one program. 
  • Students participating in a Pre-Orientation Program will be provided housing on campus for the duration of the program. 

Please click on each individual program website, linked below, to learn more about the program and associated costs.

If you have general questions about any of the pre-orientation programs, please feel free to contact the College Programming Office at

Summer Experiences

The programs below take place early September. 

Career Exploration Week is an opportunity for incoming students to explore potential career paths before classes begin. During the first week of September, students will travel to cities throughout the U.S. to visit employers, network with UChicago alumni, and meet their new classmates. 

  • New York, NY - Finance
  • New York, NY - Trott Emerging Business Leaders
  • New York, NY - Business*
  • New York, NY - Computer Science & Data Science
  • New York, NY - Legal Professions
  • San Francisco, CA - Business
  • San Francisco, CA - Computer Science & Data Science*
  • Los Angeles, CA - Cinematic Arts, Media & Journalism
  • Washington, DC - Policy & Government
  • Chicago, IL - Quantum & Biotech
  • Boston, MA - Engineering
  • Boston, MA - Healthcare

*These programs will include skill trainings to get students recruiting-ready in the following industries:

  • Computer Science & Data Science in San Francisco: day-long workshop on R and Python to introduce students to high-demand technical skills.
  • Business in New York: skill day dedicated to foundational concepts in investment banking and finance, such as valuation and Excel.


For questions, please contact Sophie Wingland at 

The Chicago Academic Achievement Program (CAAP) is a year-long program that provides early exposure to scholarly and social life at the University of Chicago to a group of academically talented incoming first-year students, many of whom are the first in their family to go to college or are from lower-income backgrounds. CAAP Academy gives students a “head start” by becoming acquainted with the expectations of classes.

This unique virtual cohort program is designed to bring students into a deep, community-based understanding of the challenges and opportunities that characterize Chicago. Led by current UChicago students and staff from the University Community Service Center and the Institute of Politics, participants will learn about the vibrant history, diverse cultures, and social challenges that Chicago is known for through virtual engagement with community partners, community-based organizations, leaders, and residents, as well as through documentaries, activities, and other forms of learning and engaging.

No prior civic engagement, volunteering, or social justice experience is needed. 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 Bound will take place virtually August 26th - 30th

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 Center for Identity + Inclusion’s pre-orientation program! This exciting opportunity is designed to help foster a strong sense of community and belonging. By building peer networks, engaging in conversations about identity, and examining culture throughout different Chicago neighborhoods, participants will be better prepared and more confident as they navigate their transition to campus in the fall. This program is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and LGBTQ Student Life. 

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 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 and get to know other international first-year and upper-class students in the College, while learning more about the resources, services, and expectations of the University. Additionally, participants will be introduced to the culture of the city of Chicago by visiting important city landmarks and cultural institutions. For participants who need it, there will also be opportunities to set up a domestic bank account and activate a local phone plan. 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 outdoor exploration experience. All participants will be placed in a small group with experienced upper class 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.