Master of Liberal Arts

How to Apply

Application deadlines
Round Deadline
Autumn 2023 Sep. 07, 2023

Because of visa regulations and the fact the MLA program will be a majority remote-learning program, the MLA does not sponsor student visas for international students. International students remain welcome to apply, but if admitted, they would be pursuing the MLA in a remote-format from their home countries.

Step 1: Apply Online

Application Requirements

Writing Sample

A cohesive writing sample of at least 5 double-spaced pages is required. You are free to submit an academic paper you previously wrote for school, or a more professionally-oriented sample (like a long report written for work) is acceptable. If you are unsure if a sample would be appropriate to use, please check with the MLA admissions team. If you need to write a brand new sample, you are free to write a review of a book, movie or play or write an opinion piece. 


One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. Please do not mail transcripts as part of your admission application; we accept unofficial uploads only for application evaluation. If you are offered admission, one official transcript for each university attended will be required prior to the first day of the term. An unofficial transcript for undergraduate coursework is still required for application evaluation even if you hold an advanced degree(s).

English Proficiency

Applicants to the Master of Liberal Arts program who do not meet the English Language Proficiency criteria must submit proof of English language proficiency. The required proficiency standards include a score of 104 on the TOEFL (with 4 sub scores of 26 each), or 7 overall on the IELTS (with sub scores of 7 each*). If you are taking the TOEFL, request the scores to be sent to the University of Chicago. Our TOEFL and College Board code is 1832. University of Chicago downloads IELTS scores that have been transmitted to our e-download account. Please contact your test center and request that your scores be sent to the following IELTS e-download account:

University of Chicago – Graduate Enrollment 
970 East 58th Street, Third Floor
Chicago, IL 60637

The University does not accept paper IELTS test report forms.

* Students are required to take the Academic Reading/Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing test.

Letters of Recommendation

We require 2 letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess your academic or professional qualifications.

Candidate Statement

Applicants are required to demonstrate the motivation, academic potential, and ability to undertake work at the University of Chicago by writing a candidate statement (typed, double-spaced, not to exceed 4 pages) describing his or her interest.

International Transcripts

Applicants with international transcripts must provide an English translation with their applications. An official course-by-course evaluation of transcripts may be requested through an accredited NACES member. A course-by-course evaluation will translate courses, degree(s), and grades to U.S. equivalents. Please visit the NACES website for more details.

Additional Requirements

  • Resume or CV
  • $75 Application Fee (non-refundable)


All applicants will be required to complete an interview as part of the application process. You will be contacted to schedule the interview once your online application is complete and all required materials have been submitted. The interview is not a test of liberal arts knowledge; rather, we will use this time to discuss your background, your academic and professional goals, and your interest in the Master of Liberal Arts program. The interview typically takes 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT) are not required for the MLA program.

Step 2: Interview

An interview with the program director may be conducted at the request of the applicant or the admissions committee.

Step 3: Submit Transcripts

Submit your official transcripts if accepted to the program.