Student Life

Pre-Orientation Programs & Summer Experiences

We invite you 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.

Participation fees vary by program, so be sure to review each program's website to determine the cost and exactly what is included with the program fee. Additionally, many of the on-campus and career exploration programs offer financial assistance, but availability and eligibility does vary by program. Please check with the program directly to determine whether aid may be available.

Below are descriptions of each Summer Experience and Pre-Orientation program. Please visit each 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

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.

Career Exploration Week Programs

We are excited to announce that we will be expanding from a one-week program to a summer-long virtual experience from July through September. Incoming students will be able to engage in job shadowing experiences, industry immersion virtual events, conversations with alumni and current students, and personalized resume reviews. These experiences will give students an opportunity to deep-dive into fields of interest, make connections with alumni and industry leaders, and build new experiences, all before Fall Quarter!

Please visit this website for additional details and updates. If you have any questions, please contact Nelida Garcia at

Pre-Orientation Programs

Each of the programs below take place during the week immediately prior to Orientation, concluding on the Friday before move-in day. All participants will have the chance to interact with fellow members of their class, as well as upperclassmen leaders, while exploring exciting destinations and learning more about the UChicago community. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this Pre-Orientation Program for 2020.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Chicago Bound is going virtual this year! Chicago Bound is a 7-day student-led, staff-supported, pre-orientation program sponsored by the University Community Service Center (UCSC) and the Institute of Politics (IOP) for incoming first-year students to promote community awareness and civic engagement. This program brings students into a deep, community-based understanding of the headlines, challenges and opportunities that characterize Chicago. Students spend a week learning about and (virtually) exploring many of the 77 neighborhoods in Chicago, learning about urban issues, social justice theory and Chicago’s history of social change, 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 appreciation, 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 happen, and how they can work to change our world for the better. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this Pre-Orientation Program for 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this Pre-Orientation Program for 2020.

In light of ongoing recommendations related to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person Pre-Orientation program. An alternate leadership development opportunity for the Class of 2024 will be available.

Programs for International Students

UChicago is dedicated to helping all students maximize their potential and achieve their goals. To that end, the College has developed summer programs specifically for international students beginning study at UChicago. A central feature of both programs is an emphasis on easing the transition of students into the American collegiate classroom and introducing students to the resources, people, and programs designed to support your academic and social success at this university.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this Pre-Orientation Program for 2020.

Incoming students who graduated from high schools outside of the United States are invited to apply to be a part of a new course offering prior to the beginning of the fall quarter. Methods of Argument and Discourse (“Methods”) is an intensive workshop in the techniques of thinking and reading, speaking and writing, that are at the heart of the University’s mission. The workshop will immerse students in the experiences and practices that characterize intellectual work throughout Chicago’s curriculum. The workshop will speed students’ transition from high school to college, and will deepen their command of the methods that are essential for successful study on this campus. Students who complete the course will receive one credit toward graduation requirements. Applications open May 1.