This website will be updated through the summer with updates and information to prep you for your arrival.
”… Achieving international impact through world-class research and education in fundamental computer science and information technology…”
The key phrase in TTIC’s mission statement is “international impact,” as both the educational and research missions focus on this aspect.
Welcome to TTIC!
You are joining a community of faculty and students who are passionate about their research: investigating fundamental questions and challenges, developing novel algorithms, artifacts, and systems, and making a positive difference in the world.
In the course of your PhD you will learn classic and cutting-edge concepts and techniques. You will become a world expert in the topics that are the focus of your work. You will find yourself thinking about research and coming up with ideas in the oddest times: while walking in the park, taking a shower, or eating breakfast. You will develop new ideas, publish papers, and change how people think about the questions you investigate. You will also have papers that get rejected, ideas that don’t pan out, and times that you question your abilities. That is all part of the PhD experience. We are confident that you have what it takes to do an excellent PhD and we aim to help you to achieve your potential.
Due to the coronavirus situation, this year will be an unusual one - no doubt about it. Many activities including research meetings and courses may be done online. Some may be done outdoors. It will certainly feel different in many ways. However, the core of our program and our institute remain the same, and I am confident in the creative abilities of our students, faculty, and staff to navigate whatever challenges the future brings.
When you are here, feel free to contact me (in person or virtually) if you ever have any concerns, or just to let me know about what new projects you are working on. I always enjoy finding out about the many exciting things our students are up to.
Again, welcome to TTIC - we are delighted to have you with us and we are confident you will make us proud.
TTIC Chief Academic Officer
TTIC is operating remotely in Spring and Summer quarters. Courses, research, group collaborations, and even social tea time meet-ups continue over this period, just online. We have had to operate remotely longer than originally thought, but TTIC takes federal and state public health regulations and guidance seriously, and institute community health is our top priority.
The TTIC COVID-19 response group meets weekly, and makes plans for returning to in-person TTIC academic activity. As the public health situation changes over time, so do the plans to return to TTIC. TTIC will continue to inform its constituents on a regular basis as planning continues.
While TTIC is operating remotely, TTIC’s facilities are undergoing renovations (due to be completed in September). Floors 4 and 5 are being fully renovated, and TTIC is acquiring new space on the 3rd floor of it’s building. We will have fresh updated space once we can return to the facility.
As TTIC shares a campus with the University of Chicago, we will have many of the same health and safety protocols once we return to campus.
Orientation begins on Monday, September 21, 2020 (Fall Quarter beginning Tuesday, September 29)
New Student Orientation will be an online experience.
Schedule will continue to be updated over the summer.
Things that will be covered in the orientation will be:
In Orientation week, new students will be able to hear from Professor Blum, Chief Academic Officer, and Professor Tulsiani, Director of Graduate Studies, to discuss the PhD curriculum and be advised on courses for your first academic quarter at TTIC.
Actual course registration will begin Tuesday of Orientation week. In Orientation, the Registrar will go over how to register, what constitutes “full-time status,” and how to get credit for any University of Chicago courses you may take.
Students that must maintain an in-person aspect to be compliant with F-1 visa requirements can satisfy this with course TTIC 31020.
TTIC Student Handbook (2020-21 will be available this summer)
TTIC Academic Program Guide (2020-21 will be available this summer)
This guide provides information on the different stages of the PhD program, program requirements, grade requirements, privileges, and academic timelines.
2020 Autumn Quarter
2021 Winter Quarter
2021 Spring Quarter
Academic calendar may be subject to change, pending changes to public health guidance.
2020-21 Welcome Guide (Please right-click and open in new tab)
The Welcome Guide includes information about living in Hyde Park, campus and city transportation, housing accommodations, health coverage, student financial support packages, etc. Students received the Welcome Guides shortly after being accepted to TTIC.
Tuition at TTIC is $30,000 per year.
TTIC is committed to supporting its students fully for five years of doctoral education contingent on satisfactory progress. Continued support for the entire duration of a student’s enrollment in TTIC cannot be guaranteed, although every effort will be made by TTIC to maintain support for worthy students, independent of temporary funding conditions of the particular sponsoring faculty. Each student receives a financial support package that was specified in the admission letter. Most applicants will receive a full-tuition waiver scholarship for their curriculum at $30,000/year. The annual living support stipend offered is $3,120/month while a student is in-residence and is typically earned by working as a Research Assistant for a faculty member.
TTIC also covers the cost of student health insurance for the first five years of the program with an Institute sponsored health insurance plan, and a Student Services fee that allows for all the student privilege services on campus (including health and athletic center access, campus mass transit, library access, and networking services, etc.)
In addition to scholarships and stipends, all students receive a start-up equipment budget of $3,000 to acquire a computer or other necessary gear through the Institute Director of IT. Additional research funding (for publications and conference attendance) may be provided throughout the student’s academic residency as various milestones are met.
TTIC maintains additional benefits for students whom English is not their first language, as they pursue further English language study, and for Women in STEM support.
Full details of how student funding is handled in cases of external funding, scholarships and fellowships should refer to the institute Student Funding Policy.
All students are responsible for paying taxes on their income as well as filing tax forms with the United States federal government. All new students will need to schedule an individual orientation with the Human Resources and International Office Director to complete necessary paperwork related to tax withholding. Please contact TTIC’s office of Human Resources with any additional questions.
All international students are responsible for paying taxes on their income as well as filing tax forms with the United States federal government. The amount withheld, as well as what forms to file are contingent on your residency status for tax purposes. All new students will need to schedule an individual orientation with the Human Resources and International Office Director to complete necessary paperwork related to tax withholding, and to determine your tax status as well as your eligibility for any tax treaty benefits. TTIC’s Office of Human Resources and International Affairs can assist you with questions about your individual tax status.
The Institute requires all students to carry medical insurance. Students will be automatically enrolled in the University of Chicago’s Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP). TTIC will pay the cost of the U-SHIP insurance for all students. If students have personal health insurance they may opt-out of U-SHIP after completing a waiver through the my.UChicago portal. TTIC does not reimburse students who carry personal health insurance instead of U-SHIP.
If a student wishes to enroll his or her spouse or dependant(s) in U-SHIP, the student will be responsible for paying the spouse’s portion of the insurance premiums, as well as a Dependent Services Fee assessed by the University of Chicago Registrar.
Details regarding U-SHIP may be found on the University of Chicago’s Student Healthcare webpage: https://wellness.uchicago.edu/page/student-insurance
The State of Illinois requires all students to provide proof of immunity from German measles, measles (two shots required), mumps, meningococcal (for those under 22 years of age), and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (three shots required for foreign students).
Students will have to enter their own immunization records into the UChicago immunization portal, as well as send a copy to TTIC. Please plan to submit immunization records to TTIC three weeks before the autumn quarter begins. (Should be received by TTIC by September 10.) A student’s registration will be restricted if they have not submitted adequate records that meet the state law requirement. Some shots are required over a period of time, so please plan ahead.
You may use the Immunization Form here: http://healthcare.uchicago.edu/page/vaccinations-required-enrollment Records must be submitted in English.
The UChicago immunization portal: https://uchicago.medicatconnect.com/ Submit data here by September 18 to avoid any registration delays during orientation. It may take up to 5 days to process records: so the earlier- the better. More help here.
Each entering TTIC student will receive the following for academic use:
For specific inquiries about technology available to you at TTIC, please consult Adam Bohlander, TTIC Director of IT, email@example.com, by July 31.
As TTIC is located in a major metropolitan area, the issue of safety is taken seriously. TTIC recommends looking into the following, to ensure safety when you are living life in Hyde Park and the City of Chicago:
Within the Institute, TTIC follows the same security plan as the University of Chicago (as we share a campus). TTIC students should make themselves familiar with University of Chicago emergency procedures. At Orientation, TTIC will introduce safety systems such as c-alert, so students can be notified of any emergency, and the convenient UChicago Safety App.
During your academic career at TTIC, you will have 24 hour access to TTIC facilities. You will receive a key and/or key card which you will be responsible for, and it will open door(s) and activate elevators that are locked after normal working hours and weekends.
(On some national holidays however, the building(s) may be locked to any access, even with a key/keycard. You will be notified in advance of these holidays.)
firstname.lastname@example.org | (773) 834-2216
email@example.com | (773) 702-5033
firstname.lastname@example.org | (773) 702-2396
email@example.com | (773) 834-1740
firstname.lastname@example.org | (773) 834-1795
6045 S. Kenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
If you are coming to TTIC from outside the U.S. please review the current list of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, and plan your trip accordingly. The U.S. has restrictions on entry for non-citizens who have been present in select countries within the last 14 days. You may wish to plan your trip to avoid those countries.
Who is the international student contact at TTIC?
Your international student contact at TTIC is Amy Minick, email@example.com. Amy is the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Responsible Officer (RO) for SEVIS processing at TTIC.
Will I be applying for an F-1 or J-1 Visa?
Most students at TTIC apply for F-1 status; however, you may also apply for a J-1 visa. Please contact Amy Minick, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss your visa status.
How do I obtain an F-1 or J-1 Visa?
TTIC has requested information from you that is necessary to process a document called the I-20 (for F-1 status) or the DS-2019 (for J-1 status). Once processed, the original I-20 or DS-2019, signed by TTIC’s Primary Designated School Official (PDSO)/ Responsible Officer (RO), will be be emailed to you. You must print the document, sign it and bring a physical copy of the I-20 or DS-2019 to your appointment at the consulate.
You will then make an appointment at the US consulate in your home country.COVID-19 INFORMATION:: Many U.S. embassies and consulates are closed for regular visa processing due to COVID-19. Contact your local embassy/consulate to determine if they open for visa processing. A list of embassies is located at http://usembassy.gov:.
You must take the physical I-20 or DS-2019 document and proof that you can financially afford to live in the US, to this appointment.
You must also pay the current SEVIS I-901 fee prior to the appointment (see http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/).
You will be given more information about the consulate visit when you make the appointment.
Also refer to http://usembassy.gov for website listings of US consulate offices, as some provide more information on what to expect at the consulate visit.
Once approval is obtained from the US consulate and your travel visa is issued, you can then travel to the US. You will not be allowed entry to the US more than 30 days prior to the start of the academic program.
I already have an F-1 or J-1 visa sponsored by my current school. Now what?
There are transfer procedures in SEVIS that will transfer sponsorship of your visa from your current school to TTIC. Contact Amy Minick, email@example.com, to inform her of your situation.
What fees will I be expected to pay to obtain the F-1 visa?
There is a SEVIS I-901 fee students must pay prior to the U.S. consulate appointment. Refer to http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/ for details.
I’m really excited to come to the US. How soon can I arrive?
You can arrive at the U.S. port of entry no more than 30 days prior to the start of official enrollment in TTIC’s academic program. TTIC’s autumn quarter begins on September 25. Do not plan to arrive in the US before August 25, to comply with the 30-day regulation. Arriving earlier than that date may result in you having to return to your home country at your expense. However, due to COVID-19, you may want to arrive 7-14 days prior to Orientation Week in order to settle in and give yourself time to monitor your health before Orientation sessions begin.
What exactly takes place at the US Port of Entry (POE)?
Please refer to http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/getting-to-the-united-states for a description.
What do I need to do with all these documents when I finally arrive at TTIC?
During Orientation Week, you will set an appointment with TTIC’s Primary Designated School Official (PDSO), Amy Minick, in order to complete paperwork and register in SEVIS. You will need to bring your I-20 or DS-2019, and your passport with you to the appointment.
Students also need to complete the TTIC International Student Check-In Form online once they have physically checked-in at TTIC, in person.
What other resources can I refer to regarding the F-1 or J-1 visa and the visa process?
Refer to https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/college-and-university-student/ for more information, or visit the Study in the States website.
Don’t bring restricted items to the U.S. (CBPlist)
Be calm and answer any questions succinctly about your academic program and your activities in the U.S.
Jokes about terrorism, breaking laws, drugs, etc. are never a wise choice.
Be prepared in case of Secondary Inspection
See the ACLU’s Know Your Rights resources for Rights at Airports & Other Ports
Prepare your electronic devices
Customs & Border Protection may request to inspect your electronic devices. Tips on how to prepare your device before you travel.
Are you presenting your best self in social media and messaging apps?
How would you feel if U.S. immigration looked at all of your photos and messages?
Is there any possibility it might appear that you are engaged in activities that violate U.S. laws or your visa status or that show academic dishonesty?
International House: Sponsors special events and social gatherings, and the English Language Institute.
ESL Classes: Classes provided by the English Language Institute. TTIC will reimburse students for 75% of the cost of tuition and materials fees, for up to one course per quarter (for international students whom English is not their first language). Eligible classes can be found at https://esl.uchicago.edu/.