About GSAL – Chicago’s Pre-Grad School Master’s Preparation Program

The University of Chicago campus

Exploring different prestigious graduate programs of study can be an arduous process, as students must be able to present:
  • strong academic transcripts 
  • competitive test scores 
  • commendable letters of recommendation from faculty members 
…and the ability to find a fitting coherence between:
  • individual research interest 
  • a particular faculty member’s research priorities 
  • and departmental and institutional research focus and perspective in the statement of purpose
Indeed, applying to a graduate program is a commitment, and perhaps one you aren’t even fully sure is the best path for you. 
These are the reasons we are so proud of The University of Chicago Graham School’s GSAL program.
To determine whether graduate school is right for you, whether a particular field of study is the right field for you, and, if so, whether that particular program or school is a good fit for your academic success, the GSAL pre-grad school program helps students carefully utilize their time at the Graham School, taking courses and working closely with academic advisors, to examine all aspects of graduate school. 
This results in unique viewpoints and a better idea of what situation will work best for each student’s goals today and in the future.

A Pre-Grad School Bridge Program for Non-Matriculated Students

Students accepted to the Graduate Student-at-Large (GSAL), a phd and master’s degree prep school program, have already completed their bachelor’s degrees, and international applicants must meet English language requirements. 
GSAL students are admitted as non-matriculated students and enroll in regular graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Chicago. They may take courses at the: 
College in the Graduate Divisions of the Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities 
Graduate Schools in Divinity, Public Policy, Social Work, Business, and Law 


Is the GSAL Master’s Degree Prep Program Right for Me?

The GSAL program isn’t one-size fits all – it is intended for students coming from all different academic backgrounds and seeking various academic goals.
Some stay for only a single quarter; others stay for an entire academic year or longer. Some come to the University of Chicago in order to build on their undergraduate studies, while other students use the program to explore different disciplines beyond their college majors. The GSAL pre-grad school program serves as a bridge to take students from their undergraduate studies to graduate and professional degree programs of all types.
Students in the GSAL program continue on to PhD and master’s degree programs, MBA programs, law and medical schools, and professional master’s programs in public policy, computer science, and statistics, among others. Some GSAL students matriculate to graduate degree programs at the University of Chicago, while other students find that their success in the program leads to graduate admission offers elsewhere.

Who are GSAL Students?

GSAL students make up a diverse group, attracted to the program to study a broad range of disciplines in the social sciences, physical and biological sciences, and humanities at the University of Chicago. 
Some of our students come from public universities, liberal arts colleges, other research universities and, increasingly, international universities. Some are alumni from the College at the University of Chicago, returning after graduation to continue their coursework; while, for many others, admission to the GSAL program serves as their first entry to the University of Chicago community.
What they have in common: a passion to explore their academic interests at a high level beyond their undergraduate degrees. 

What are the some other benefits of the GSAL pre-graduate program?

The GSAL master’s prep program also inspires students to:
  • engage with University of Chicago faculty and graduate students.
  • explore multiple disciplines through regular advising appointments with GSAL advisors.
  • receive important program and resource information though a weekly email.
  • organize career exploration and social mixer events.
  • take advantage of extensive graduate resources at UChicagoGRAD.
  • and receive intensive individual guidance on curriculum choices, faculty, and their ongoing graduate plans.
Ready to take the next step in your graduate degree? Please click the following to learn more about GSAL or to apply today.