Shimer accepts applications year-round and admits students on a rolling basis for both the fall and spring semesters. Non-degree seeking and, in special circumstances, degree-seeking students may also be admitted for the summer term. The Office of Admission makes every effort to inform applicants of admission decisions within about a week of completion of all application requirements.
Although applicants are encouraged to take either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT), most students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores.
There is no minimum grade-point average or minimum test score required for admission to Shimer College. We consider every applicant holistically to assess whether or not they are likely to succeed in Shimer’s unique academic environment. In evaluating applicants for admission, writing samples, discussion skills and passion for learning are the primary criteria used by the Admission Committee to make its decisions.
Which type of student are you?
Depending on your previous academic experience, the requirements for application will vary.
Just click on the link to see the application requirements for the type of student that best describes you.
- First-Year Students are applicants who have never been enrolled intend to enroll in college for the first time after graduating high school.
- Transfer Students are welcome at Shimer College. Usually, no more than 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) will be transferred toward a degree at Shimer. Classes that are most likely to count toward a Bachelor’s degree will come from areas of study in the Liberal Arts – The Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.
- Veterans will find a learning environment at Shimer in which every student is held responsible for contributing to the team effort that goes into making Shimer classes such unique learning environments. Although many student veterans are also transfer students, we realize that there are frequently more complex service related issues to resolve than with other transfer students. Our staff is here to help you navigate those issues. Shimer is proud to have been named a Military Friendly® School once again for 2015.
- Early Entrants are required to submit either the ACT or the SAT for admission. Shimer’s ACT code is 1142 and its SAT code is 1717. They must be in the top quartile of either their high school class rank, GPA, or test scores. In addition, they should submit an extra letter of recommendation, for two total required. At least one letter of recommendation should be from a teacher who can assess the applicants academic progress and level of readiness for college-level work.
- Special Students are part-time non degree seeking students. Whether you are a person over 60 years old looking audit a Shimer course, or a student at another college who would like to take a Great Books course or two, then you may be a special Shimer student.
- International Students are students who currently reside outside the United States and have been primarily educated outside of the United States. International students may be First-Time Freshmen, Transfer students, or Early Entrants. In addition to the application requirements for whatever type of student you may be, international students must also submit certified translations of any non-English documents, Official Scores on your Senior Secondary Certificate, a Financial Affidavit of Support, and a TOEFL report with a score of 100 on the internet-based exam (or 250 computer-based or 600 on the paper exam). The last requirement may be waived if English is your language of instruction or you submit scores for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
- Students Enrolled at IIT may enroll in Shimer classes at no additional cost in tuition or fees. IIT students do not need to apply to Shimer to take classes, but they must submit a petition to the Office of Educational Services at IIT. Please see the Registrar’s page for more details.
- Students Enrolled in City Colleges of Chicago or Oakton Community College who qualify for dual enrollment may take up to two Shimer classes for the same cost as an equal number of credits at their community college. Learn more here.
Shimer is committed to equal educational opportunity and will consider the application of any individual who has the potential to perform well in a college environment. It is Shimer’s policy to actively seek a diverse student body unified by its commitment to a common educational endeavor.