CELLS and Prototype for Success each accept 35 to 40 first-year students per academic year for their cohorts. Accepted students must be entering their first year in a UChicago undergraduate program to qualify.
Transfer students are welcome to apply. If they are entering their first year at UChicago, they will be considered equally among the other candidates.
Applications for CELLS and Prototype for Success open at the beginning of the summer each year. The priority consideration deadline is in mid-July, after which point applications are assessed on a rolling basis. Once the cohorts are filled, applications will close.
If you missed the deadline but still want to participate in an early engagement career program, the Trott Emerging Business Leaders program generally keeps their applications open longer as their program works with bigger cohorts. You can learn more about Trott here.
We consider our applicants holistically, so the question prompts carry a lot of weight for your application. We really want to get to know you and your goals, not who you think we want you to be.
Our goal in the application process is to identify those who would benefit the most from the contents of the program, and who have the drive to make the most out of what the program offers—not necessarily those who have the most experience prior to UChicago. As such, any application questions about your past experiences, skills and knowledge are to help us meet you where you are if you are selected.
Submitting Multiple Applications
You may apply for multiple early engagement career programs. However, given UChicago’s academic rigor, accepted applicants can only participate in one of the programs. If you’re interested in multiple programs but have an order of preference, be sure to mention that and why in your applications.
There is no minimum or maximum word or character limit for these questions. If you feel like you’ve answered the questions fully and (most importantly) authentically, then the lengths of your answers don’t matter. One answer could be a sentence, and the next could be an essay; whatever feels right for you.
As the programming focuses more on your professional development within the scope of STEM, there will not be any unnecessary overlap between what you learn in your academic courses and our programming. This means that there are no specific academic requirements or prerequisites to get the most out of CELLS or Prototype for Success.
PROGRAM WORKLOAD AND TIME CONSTRAINTS
Both CELLS and Prototype for Success occur throughout your first and second years at UChicago. We understand how rigorous UChicago programs are, so our goal is to add value, not stress. As such, you can expect to spend around 5-10 hours per quarter on any full-cohort programming, plus time for individualized career mentorship.
For the full-cohort programming, none of our classroom sessions will require homework, but our project work may benefit (also not required) from you and your team meeting outside of our scheduled working sessions. The only “homework” you will have to do is in relation to the individualized career mentorship, which sometimes includes exercises to help you and your career advisor figure out what opportunities you’d like to explore during your summers, as well as the applications themselves.
We don’t hold any programming during the summers, but we ideally want our program students to participate in either internships or research opportunities during that time. A big part of early engagement career programs is that they assist you in identifying and applying to summer opportunities for your first and second summers as part of your career exploration and professional development. We highly encourage you to set up time with your career advisor over the summer to discuss your career ambitions.
For more information about CELLS or Prototype for Success, please contact Jo Atkinson at email@example.com.