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At Santa Clara we select our admitted class from among many qualified candidates. While we pay close attention to the rigor of the classes you've taken, the grades you've earned, and the work you've accomplished, we review applications in a holistic way. No single grade, factor, or score will automatically gain or deny you admission to SCU.
Applicants are admitted as full-time, degree-seeking students. Santa Clara does not have a part-time undergraduate program option.
Santa Clara University exclusively uses the online Common Application with a required supplement form. All materials must be submitted before the deadlines.
For a list of important admission and financial aid deadlines, visit our Key Deadlines page.
Choosing a School and Major
Santa Clara University has three schools and strives to maintain small classes and close faculty relations by keeping the student-faculty ratios in the same proportion. The distribution among the schools is College of Arts and Sciences (60%), the Leavey School of Business (25%), and the School of Engineering (15%). During the application process, applicants will be asked to select their school and major of interest. It does not hinder a student's application to be undeclared, as far as specific major with a school. Once admitted to a specific school, you can not change to another school during the admission year. Students can apply for an internal-school transfer at the end of their first year. Students who wish to pursue two majors in more than one school at Santa Clara should default to one of the professional schools (business or engineering) on the application.
Applicants are evaluated for the school and program to which they have applied at Santa Clara University. While the selectivity between our schools and programs does not vary greatly, academic readiness for the program of interest will be gauged. For business and engineering applicants, readiness at the level of Calculus is expected.
Choosing an Admission Program
Freshman candidates may choose to apply to one of the following admission programs at SCU during their senior year in high school: Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD).
Early Decision (ED) Deadline: November 1
Early Decision is a binding admission program. By applying ED, students are making a commitment to enroll if admitted to SCU. No other ED applications are to be submitted to other institutions. ED applicants may apply to other Early Action programs, but agree to promptly withdraw their application from all other institutions if admitted to SCU. The only exception to this rule is for ED applicants who have also applied for financial aid and are still awaiting award notification. Students can decline admission only if finances do not allow them to enroll. Possible admission decisions include: admit, deferred to Regular Decision, or denied. Decisions for student applying ED are mailed in late December. The enrollment deposit deadline for admitted ED applicants is Jan 7. Denied applicants are not reconsidered during Regular Decision.
Early Action (EA) Deadline: November 1
Early Action is a non-binding admission program that allows the applicant to get an admission decision sooner. Admission decisions include: admit, deferred to Regular decision, or denied. Early Action applicants are not limited to just applying to Santa Clara, but must ensure adherence to the program rules of other colleges. Decisions are mailed to students in late December. If admitted in Early Action, an applicant will have until May 1st to accept or decline enrollment. Denied applicants are not reconsidered during Regular Decision.
Regular Decision (RD) Deadline: January 7
Regular Decision is non-binding admission program. It is the standard method of applying to a university and allows us to consider your full first semester or second trimester senior-year grades in our evaluation. Regular Decision applicants are notified of their admission status via mail by April 1.
Deciding to apply ED, EA, or RD is ultimately your personal choice. Before deciding you should consult your parents and high school counselor.
AP/IB Credit Evaluation
Santa Clara University accepts Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate examinations as credit from incoming students. Typically, a score of 4 or 5 on an AP exam or a score of 6 or 7 on an IB exam will earn a student credit and/or exemption.
Students must designate Santa Clara University as a recipient of official AP/IB scores. Final decisions on academic credit for some tests are made individually by the appropriate academic departments.