Admission of Undergraduate Students

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 under the limited conditions outlined in Chapter 8, Academic and Administrative Policies and Regulations.

Entering first-year and transfer students are admitted for fall and winter terms. Students are admitted for spring term only by special exception with the approval of the dean of admission.

Entering first-year students are admitted to the University and to a specific school and in some cases major based on the preference indicated on their admission application. Students wishing to change schools may apply for a transfer only at the end of their first year of attendance.

Admission of Entering First-Year Students

Admission of applicants to Santa Clara University as entering first-year students is based on their academic record in high school including course rigor, results on standardized tests, and other criteria outlined below. While Santa Clara University does not have a specific high school grade point average or standardized test score requirement, potential for successful academic performance in the rigorous undergraduate program at Santa Clara is highly correlated with academic performance in high school in challenging courses and the results on standardized tests. Santa Clara also bases admission on demonstrated potential for contribution to the campus community consistent with the mission and Jesuit tradition of the University, but only after assessment of academic performance and potential.

Applications for admission as an entering first-year students are evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Overall quality of high school courses and appropriately challenging coursework

  • Academic performance in high school, including the cumulative grade point average from the first year of high school through the junior year of high school (grades from the first term of the senior year may also be included)

  • Results of standardized tests (SAT or ACT)

  • One teacher evaluation from an 11th or 12th grade core academic class

  • Involvement in school and community activities

The basic subject recommendations for admission as an entering first-year students include:

  • 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

  • College Preparatory Electives: 1 year

Admission to first-year student standing at Santa Clara depends on a continued high level of performance during the remainder of the applicant’s senior year in the curriculum provided on the application and upon receipt of a high school diploma. If a significant change occurs in the applicant’s academic performance during the senior year, his or her admission status may be reevaluated by the University.

Early Decision I Program

Applicants to the Early Decision I Program must submit complete applications by November 1 of their senior year. Early Decision applicants are notified of the final admission decision by the end of December. Santa Clara’s Early Decision I Program is a binding program that requires commitment and confirmation of intent to enroll by those admitted under this program. Financial aid awards will be sent to admitted students who meet deadlines for filing required forms. Deposits must be received by January 7. After admission, all applications for admission to other colleges or universities must be withdrawn. Some Early Decision I applicants who are competitive but not clearly admissible will be deferred and evaluated with other applicants under the Regular Decision Program. Students denied under the Early Decision I Program may not reapply under the Regular Decision Program for the same academic year. Applicants with alumni ties will receive the most consideration for their affiliation with the University during the Early Decision I process.

Early Action Program

Applicants to the Early Action Program must submit their applications by November 1 of their senior year. Early Action applicants are notified of the admissions decision by the end of December. Santa Clara’s Early Action Program is nonbinding; consequently, students admitted under the Early Action Program are not required to withdraw other college applications and have until May 1 to confirm enrollment at Santa Clara. Some Early Action applicants who are competitive but not clearly admissible will be deferred and evaluated with other applicants under the Regular Decision Program. Students denied under the Early Action Program may not reapply under the Regular Decision Program for the same academic year.

Early Decision II Program

Applicants to the Early Decision II Program must submit complete applications by January 7 of their senior year. Early Decision II applicants are notified of the final admission decision by mid-February. Santa Clara’s Early Decision II Program is a binding program that requires commitment and confirmation of intent to enroll by those admitted under this program. Financial aid awards will be sent to admitted students who meet deadlines for filing required forms. Deposits must be received by March 1. After admission, all applications for admission to other colleges or universities must be withdrawn. Applicants with alumni ties will receive the most consideration for their affiliation with the University during the Early Decision II process.

Regular Decision Program

Applicants to the Regular Decision Program must submit their applications by January 7 of their senior year. Regular Decision applicants are notified of the admission decision by the first week of April and have until May 1 to confirm enrollment at Santa Clara.

Application Procedure

Prospective first-year students must submit the following application materials to be considered for admission to Santa Clara:

  • The Common Application

  • The Santa Clara supplement to the Common Application

  • Application fee

  • One teacher evaluation

  • The Secondary School Report

  • Official high school transcript

  • Official or Self-Reported SAT or ACT scores

  • Mid-year Report (Regular Decision applicants)

Admission of Transfer Students

Santa Clara University admits transfer students for fall and winter quarter enrollment, principally at the sophomore and junior levels, based on potential for academic success and contribution to the campus community consistent with the mission and Jesuit tradition of the University. Admission of applicants to Santa Clara University as entering transfer students is based on their academic record at other colleges or universities in conjunction with evaluation of an official high school transcript and other criteria outlined below. While Santa Clara University does not have a specific grade point requirement, potential for successful academic performance in the rigorous undergraduate program at Santa Clara is highly correlated with prior academic performance in challenging courses. Santa Clara also bases admission on demonstrated potential for contribution to the campus community consistent with the mission and Jesuit tradition of the University. Transfer applicants for fall term are notified of the admissions decision on a rolling basis until enrollment capacity has been reached.

Applicants for admission to Santa Clara University as entering transfer students must have completed at least 8 semester or 12 quarter transferable units at an accredited college or university. Applicants with fewer than 8 semester or 12 quarter transferable units at the time of application should follow the application procedure for entering first-year students. Note that if a transfer applicant has not already completed 30 semester or 45 quarter transferable units when the application is submitted, he or she will be required to submit an official SAT or ACT score report.

The entire academic history of the applicant is considered in the admission review. Course selection and consistency of performance by the applicant are also considered. Applicants on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension at another institution are not considered for admission.

Applicants for admission to Santa Clara University as entering transfer students enhance their chances for admission by completing as many courses that fulfill the Santa Clara Core Curriculum requirements as possible before transferring. Preference will be given to students who have completed the following courses:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • English Composition (2 semesters or 2 quarters)

  • College-level Mathematics:

    • 2 semesters or 2 quarters for bachelor of science

    • 1 semester or 1 quarter for bachelor of arts

  • Natural Science with a Lab (1 semester or 1 quarter)

Leavey School of Business

  • English Composition (2 semesters or 2 quarters)

  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry (2 semesters or 2 quarters)

  • Accounting (2 semesters or 3 quarters)

  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (1 semester or 1 quarter each)

School of Engineering

  • English Composition (2 semesters or 2 quarters)

  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry (2 semesters or 3 quarters)

  • Chemistry (1 semester or 1 quarter)

  • Physics (2 semesters or 3 quarters)

Transfer Credit

Entering transfer students generally receive credit after admission for courses from other colleges and universities that are similar to courses offered at Santa Clara University.

  • Courses from accredited institutions are generally transferable if they are similar in nature to courses listed in the Santa Clara University Undergraduate Bulletin.

  • Courses from California community colleges are also generally transferable under the same conditions and if designated as transferable to the University of California.

  • Courses from colleges not accredited, trade schools, extension programs, or correspondence programs do not transfer.

Transfer credit is awarded only for courses in which the student earned a grade of “C” or better. Courses taken on a pass/no pass or credit/no credit basis are not eligible for transfer. Students may transfer a maximum of 58.33 semester or 87.5 quarter units to the College of Arts and Sciences or the Leavey School of Business. The School of Engineering will grant credit for up to one-half of the degree requirements toward the major.

Application Procedure

Prospective transfer students must submit the following application materials to be considered for admission to Santa Clara:

  • The Common Application for Transfer Admission

  • The Santa Clara supplement to the Common Application

  • Application fee

  • One Instructor Evaluation

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

  • Official high school transcript

  • Mid-term report (upon request)

Admission of International Students

Santa Clara University admits international students using the same general criteria for entering first-year and transfer students described in the two preceding sections. There are additional admission requirements for international students that are outlined below. In order to be eligible for enrollment, an international applicant must be accepted as a full-time, degree-seeking student.

Transcripts

All foreign university-level transcripts must be evaluated through World Education Services (WES). WES is a certified professional credential evaluation service that provides a course by course evaluation and grade point average for course work completed outside of the United States. Secondary school transcripts must be submitted as official documents and a certified English translation of all secondary school documents must be provided at the time of application.

English Proficiency Examinations

International applicants must submit the results of at least one of the following tests when English is not their first language: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) exam, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, Pearson exam, or Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 90 (Internet based) or 575 (paper based). The minimum iTEP score is 4.5. The minimum accepted IELTS score is 6.5. The minimum accepted Pearson score is 61. The minimum MELAB is 82. College-level English courses cannot be used to satisfy the English Proficiency requirement.

Exceptions are granted for the following: Applicants whose native language is English, or attended their entire secondary school career at a school where English was the language of instruction, or achieved a 630 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT or 27 on both the ACT Reading and English sections.

Financial Certification and Sponsorship

For the purpose of admission, all international students are required to submit the Santa Clara University Financial Resource Statement and supporting documents. Santa Clara University is need-aware for international students as no need-based financial aid will be offered. International first-year students are eligible for merit scholarship consideration.

Santa Clara University is certified to issue the Form I-20 required to apply for an F-1 student visa to study in the United States. To secure a Form I-20, an international student must be admitted and deposited to the University and show adequate proof of ability to meet all academic and personal expenses while in the United States.

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