This website will be updated through the summer with updates and information to prep you for your arrival.

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Welcome from the Chief Academic Officer

COVID-19 Pandemic and TTIC Programs

Orientation Information

Academics + Registration

Academic Calendar 2020-21

Welcome Guide

Financial Support, Tuition & Stipend

Tax Withholding

Health Matters

Technology Available To You

Safety + Security + Building Access

Contact Info

International Students


”… 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 from the Chief Academic Officer

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.

Avrim Blum

TTIC Chief Academic Officer

COVID-19 Pandemic and TTIC Program

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.

Plans for Autumn Quarter 2020 operations and academics at TTIC

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 Information

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:

Academics + Registration

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.

TTIC Courses

Students that must maintain an in-person aspect to be compliant with F-1 visa requirements can satisfy this with course TTIC 31020.

TTIC Faculty

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.

Academic Calendar 2020-21

2020 Autumn Quarter

2021 Winter Quarter

2021 Spring Quarter

Academic calendar may be subject to change, pending changes to public health guidance.

Welcome Guide

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.

Financial Support, Tuition & Stipend

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.

Tax Withholding

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents:

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.

International Students / Non-Immigrants:

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.

Health Matters

Health Insurance

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:

Immunization Requirements

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: Records must be submitted in English.

The UChicago immunization portal: 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.

Technology Available To You

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,, by July 31.

Safety + Security + Building Access

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.)

Contact Info

Administrative Director of Graduate Studies, Publications

Chrissy Coleman | (773) 834-2216

Human Resources, Immigration Services, Title IX Coordinator

Amy Minick | (773) 702-5033

Student Services

Erica Cocom | (773) 702-2396

Director of Information Technology

Adam Bohlander

Chief Academic Officer

Avrim Blum | (773) 834-1740

Director of Graduate Studies

Madhur Tulsiani | (773) 834-1795

Mailing Address

6045 S. Kenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

International Students

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

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.

International Student FAQ’s

Who is the international student contact at TTIC?

Your international student contact at TTIC is Amy Minick, 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,, to discuss your visa status.

How do I obtain an F-1 or J-1 Visa?

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,, 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 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 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 for more information, or visit the Study in the States website.

Travel & Entry Tips

University of Chicago Resources and Events for International Students (available to TTIC students)