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First-Year Students

We'll be honest: admission to Santa Clara is competitive. So we look carefully at all applications to determine if you're the right fit for SCU (and vice versa).

Santa Clara University is a selective admission university that admits new students based on past performance, potential for future academic success, and contribution to the campus community consistent with the mission and Jesuit tradition of the University. Applicants are admitted as full-time, degree-seeking students. Santa Clara does not have a part-time undergraduate program option and does not enroll non-degree students except international non-degree students participating in an approved international partnership. When we review your application we will consider several elements, from your academic performance and grades, recommendations, activities outside the classroom, life experiences, and if reported, test scores. Our goal is to gain a sense of who you are as a person and as a scholar.

Before Applying

You should meet our minimum high school course requirements:

  • History and Social Science: 3 years
  • English: 4 years
  • Mathematics: 3 years required; 4 years recommended
  • Laboratory Science: 2 years required; 3 years recommended
  • Language Other Than English: 2 years required; 3 years recommended; 4 years preferred
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year recommended

Selecting a School

When applying, start by selecting one of our academic schools/colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Leavey School of Business, or the School of Engineering. Once you've chosen a school, you can declare a major or remain undeclared. 

While the selectivity between our schools and programs does not vary greatly, academic readiness for the program of interest will be gauged based on your expressed interest. For natural science, business, and engineering applicants, readiness at the level of calculus is expected.

Early Decision I or II, Early Action, or Regular Decision?

Next, you'll choose an application track: Early Decision I or II (binding), Early Action (non-binding), or Regular Decision. Please review our key deadlines and submit everything on time.

The Application

SCU uses the Common Application® for all first-year applicants. In addition to the Application itself, we require the following materials:

  • Official high school transcript (Grade nine through the most recently completed term)
    • College transcripts (if applicable)
  • One Academic Teacher Evaluation
  • Secondary School Report
  • Mid-Year Report due by the end of January (Only Regular Decision applicants or candidates deferred from Early Action)
  • $70 non-refundable application fee or the following valid fee waivers: Common App fee waiver, NACAC fee waiver, or College Board fee waiver.

Santa Clara University has adopted a “test optional” policy for first-year applicants. Scores on the SAT or ACT are not required for students applying to Santa Clara University nor will they be disadvantaged for doing so in the admission process. For those who wish to submit scores for consideration, self-reported test scores can be submitted through the student's SCU application status portal. Click here to see more information regarding the policy.

We prefer that all documentation be sent online via the Common Application® portal. If for some reason you must mail supplemental information, see our contact page for the mailing address.

Checking Your Application Status

We will confirm receipt of your application by sending a notification to the email address in your application. All applicants will also be provided a unique ID and password to check their application status on our application status portal. Please check your email spam filters and settings to ensure your email box will allow email from