2021 CSI Application

Deadline: February 15, 2021


  • Must be a full-time, rising 3rd or 4th-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago in good standing; 
  • Must demonstrate the ability to engage fully with the research and learning objectives of the College Summer Institute; 
  • Must demonstrate the willingness and ability to make the College Summer Institute their top priority over the summer; 
  • Ability to articulate the value of undertaking research and scholarly work with a small community of faculty and peers; 
  • Can provide evidence of previous preparation for a rigorous research experience (strong writing skills, previous experience with methodological tools a plus); 
  • No minimum GPA but evidence of academic success is imperative; 
  • Ideally suited to students in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences (eg History, Anthropology, Political Science), but is open to all students interested in pursuing original humanistic inquiry. 


  • Students will not be considered eligible if they have secured or intend to secure full-time internships, jobs, other summer research experiences, study abroad or will take full-time summer courses;
  • Recent graduates;
  • Students from other colleges or universities.

Application process: A complete College Summer Institute application includes basic candidate data, two faculty reference forms, a 750-word statement of purpose, an updated curriculum vitae, and a current, unofficial transcript (please do not submit screen shots). A complete application, including your faculty references, must be submitted by February 15, 2021.

Application includes:

  • Basic information about you (major, contact information, year of study, etc.). 
  • Names and contact information for your two faculty references. Once you enter their information, an automated email will be sent to them providing details on how to complete an online reference form on your behalf. Please confirm with your faculty references in advance of submitting your application. 
    • Further guidance regarding faculty references:
      • Faculty references can be from UChicago faculty (including lecturers, faculty fellows, assistant, associate, or tenured) or from faculty at other universities but should not be academic or career advisors, post-docs, or graduate students. You should provide your reference writers with details about the CSI, your motivation for applying and an updated curriculum vitae (CV) or academically focused resume. Your references are due on the same deadline as your own application. Late references will not be accepted.
  • Based on your close reading of the College Summer Institute description, please upload a statement of interest that addresses the following questions (750 words maximum):   

1) What is most interesting to you about the topic of this years' College Summer Institute? 

2) What in your background - course-work, previous research, co-/extra-curricular efforts, or other experiences - might prepare you for or contribute to your research efforts as a College Summer Institute scholar? Please be as specific as possible and note that we do not expect candidates to have previous research experience.

3) Why are you interested in pursuing undergraduate research in the context of the College Summer Institute? How will your summer research experience contribute to your broader undergraduate education, scholarly and academic success, and potential post-UChicago experiences (e.g., BA thesis efforts, developing research methodologies, learning new approaches to research questions, and as preparation for professional experiences and further academic and creative pursuits)?

PLEASE NOTE: At this stage, we are not looking for a detailed proposal for a research project, but rather clear, well written answers to the above prompts.

  • Upload your current curriculum vitae (up to 2-pages); please include everything of relevance since beginning your undergraduate career (please do not include high-school credentials (eg GPA, SAT scores, etc) or high-school activities. 
  • Submit an unofficial copy of your current transcript (please submit a digital file/pdf, not a screen shot). 
  • Applications must be written in error-free, succinct, and well-crafted language in order to receive full consideration.

Deadline: all materials, including your faculty references, must be submitted by 11:59 pm CST on Monday, February 15, 2021. Materials received after this date will not be considered.