University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Admissions

Give your child an education built on more than a century of experience

In 1896, just two years after the University of Chicago was founded, Professor John Dewey—now known the world over as one of the great minds in education— established the Laboratory Schools as a place to explore and implement his theories on childhood education. Within a few years of starting the school, Dewey outlined the beliefs that continue to guide the schools:

  • Students benefit from an environment where teachers and students learn from each other.
  • Students learn best through experimentation, reflecting on the conditions and consequences of action.
  • By contributing to others, students develop their individuality and unique capacities to add to the common good.
  • At its best, a school exemplifies a purer form of our society’s democratic principles so that students grow into adults who improve their world. 

Just as they did when Lab started with only 16 students, these values still resonate and shape what we do for the more than 2,100 students, age 3 to 18, who come here to learn and be inspired every day. 

The greatest testament to the power of a Laboratory Schools education has always been our graduates. They remind us regularly that the precollegiate life they experienced at the Laboratory Schools contributed to their achievements as adults. Lab alumni have a knack for making a difference in the world as professionals, academicians, artists, educators, researchers, public servants, and more.


The Laboratory Schools are home to the youngest members of the University of Chicago's academic community 

Because the Laboratory Schools are part of the world-renowned University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life—of thought and exploration—infuses everything we do across all aspects of our curriculum. Families who choose to send their children to Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and education. All are attracted to this environment that creates and nurtures the hallmark habits of expansive thinking and complex problem-solving. Learn more about Lab’s academic program and experience Lab for yourself.

Meet Lab's admissions team

Irene M. Reed, ’92
Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid (Nursery 3 through Grade 12)

Lynn Sasamoto, ’79
Associate Director of Admissions, Nursery, Kindergarten, and Primary School

Manali Barua
Assistant Director of Admissions, Grades 3 through 8

Kerry Tulson
Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, High School

Arcelia Guerrero Wolfe
Admissions Associate

Addie Clomax
Admissions Assistant

Important Dates

September 15
Applications open
October 23
High School open house
November 1
Financial aid application becomes available
November 14

All families must have initial application materials in by this time 

  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Birth certificate/passport copy 
  • Prior year progress reports (if applicable)  
  • Prior year standardized tests (if applicable)
  • Playgroups and student assessments for grades N3–4 will be scheduled upon submission of initial application materials 
November 15
Applications close
December 15
Parents must complete all virtual information sessions
January 9
  • Student video recording/response (grades 3-5) 
  • ISEE or SSAT scores due (grades 5-12)
  • recommendation forms due back to Lab (all grades)

January 31
Applications fully complete

  • Parent meetings (N3, 6, 9) 
  • Student interviews (6-12) 
  • Financial aid applications due (FACTS application and 2020 taxes only) 
March 4
Admissions notification 
March 14
Admissions response due for accepted students
Ready to Apply?

Start here

Facts at a Glance

Facts at a Glance