Academic Year Bridge

Program Overview

As a participant in the Academic Year Bridge program, you will enroll in one course each quarter at the University of Chicago. Which course you take will be determined in close consultation with the College Bridge Advising Team. Tuition, fees and textbooks are paid for by the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, and the program is managed by experienced academic advisors from the Graham School.

Academic Courses

To enroll during the academic year, you must have already completed your high school graduation requirements in the subject of interest. In other words, the courses taken at UChicago cannot be counted toward your requirements for high school graduation. In addition, you must have completed the most advanced course in that subject area (typically, an AP course) at your high school with a minimum grade of B. The following subjects may be available: Biological Sciences (requires AP Bio), Humanities (requires AP English), Foreign Languages (placement test may be required, beginning language can be taken if the language is not offered at your high school), Civilization Studies (requires AP History), Honors Calculus (requires AP Calc BC and an on-campus placement exam), Intro to Economics (requires AP Econ) and courses in the Social Sciences (requirements dependent upon course – some can only be taken in the second year of participation in Bridge). In some cases, other subject areas are available, however major's level courses in chemistry, physics and math (other than the above) do not allow high school student enrollment. Please contact Esther Riske (773-702-1682) to inquire about other areas of interest.

Eligibility/Selection Process

Rising Juniors and Seniors in CPS high schools are eligible to apply for Academic Year Bridge. Students are chosen based on a combination of factors, including unweighted GPA (minimum 3.6 unweighted), coursework preparation at high school and writing abilities. You must also have a 95% attendance rate in high school. An interview is required for final selection.

Coordination With CPS

In order to participate in College Bridge you must obtain permission from your high school counselor or principal. Generally, for each course taken at the University of Chicago, you will be excused from two courses at your high school. After you have obtained permission, the College Bridge Advising Team will work with your high school counselor to confirm that your participation is possible and doesn’t interfere with your high school academic or co-curricular requirements.

Requirements Once Admitted


A grade of B- or higher must be achieved in order to move on to the next quarter. Grades are listed on high school transcripts and weighted as an AP class.

Academic Calendar

The University of Chicago is on the quarter system. Each quarter (Autumn/Winter/Spring) is 10 weeks long, followed by a finals week. These quarters do not coincide neatly with the CPS calendar. You will be expected to attend classes at the University of Chicago even when there is no school at your high school.

You will not be required to take a course during Spring Quarter as there is often a great deal of work during that time period in high school (AP tests, ACT, etc.). You must consult with your high school counselor if for any reason you are no longer taking courses at the University of Chicago. They will most likely re-enroll you in two high school classes at that time.

Advising and Mentorship Meetings

During the academic year, you are required to meet every other week each quarter with a member of the College Bridge Advising Team. These advising sessions will be scheduled after your UChicago course is chosen. Your College Bridge Advisor will arrange standing advising meetings with you and help you succeed at coursework at the university.