Approved by: President
History: Issued             -- August 2006
Revised            -- Jan. 31, 2021
Last Reviewed -- Jan. 31, 2021
Related Policies: Non-Discrimination/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy
Additional References: Disability Services
Responsible Official: Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Management tel. (202) 319-6535

I. Introduction


The Catholic University of America admits qualified candidates regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, status as a veteran, or any other basis protected by applicable Federal and District of Columbia laws, and does not discriminate against students or applicants for admission on any such basis in the administration of its educational or admission policies or in any aspect of its operations.  The University is the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the University's policies and practices, which govern the University community, are grounded in the teachings of the Catholic faith.

Admission for undergraduate students to all schools of the University is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Please address all inquiries, requests for application information, and subsequent correspondence to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064. (Visit, tel. (202) 319-5305 or toll-free in the U.S. at tel. 1-800-673-2772, fax (202) 319-6533 or e-mail


II. First-Year Admission


A.  Required Credentials for Freshman Candidates

An application is complete when the Office of Undergraduate Admission has received the following:

  1. The completed Common Application with all required essays;
  2. A completed Secondary School Report and recommendation from the student’s college or guidance counselor;
  3. An official high school transcript;
  4. A teacher recommendation

B.  Secondary School Record

Successful applicants to Catholic University pursue a combination of college preparatory, Honors, and AP/IB courses that fit their interests and strengths. All students are reviewed within the context of their high school, with course offerings and schedules, and class rank taken into account when appropriate.

It is recommended that secondary school preparation consist of 17 academic units, including four years of study in English, History/social studies, and mathematics, three years of science (including at least two years of laboratory science), and at least two years of study in a foreign language.

In addition, the School of Engineering, the Conway School of Nursing, and the physical science departments recommend prospective students take additional science and math courses. This includes a mathematics curriculum through pre-calculus, and a minimum of three laboratory sciences.

A detailed description of curriculum taken each academic year, which should include course titles and descriptions, skill levels completed, and grades received. If the curriculum has been supplemented by coursework either at the secondary or postsecondary level, official transcripts from the school(s) or college(s) are required to be submitted. Students who are part of an official home-schooling program, should have transcripts submitted directly.

C.  Standardized Tests

Beginning in the 2020-2021 application year (spring 2021 and fall 2021 enrollment terms), the Committee on Admission at Catholic University will not consider standardized tests as part of the review for admission, the University Honors Program, and for all merit scholarships.

The policy includes the evaluation of candidates for the University Honors Program and for all merit-based scholarships. Merit scholarships are awarded based on each student’s academic performance over the course of the high school career and not on test-taking ability.

This policy applies to all undergraduate applicants, including home-schooled and international candidates.

D.  Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Dual-Enrollment Credit

AP Credits are awarded based on the qualifying score achieved by a student on the AP Exam; typically a score of 4 or 5 is required to receive credit. The required exam score and corresponding credit hours awarded can be found on this chart. For more information on Advanced Placement requirements, please visit the Undergraduate Studies website

IB Credits are likewise awarded based on the qualifying scores earned by students on the IB examinations; corresponding exams and scores can be found here. Credits are only awarded for students who complete the full IB Diploma program and take the Higher Level (HL) exam. For more information on International Baccalaureate requirements, please visit the Undergraduate Studies website.

Dual-Enrollment Courses and college classes taken while in high school are subject to specific requirements. In order to qualify for credit, the courses must be taken at a regionally accredited institution — classes taught at a high school by a college instructor do not qualify. In addition, these classes must be substantially similar to their corresponding course here at Catholic University, and applicants must complete a transfer credit evaluation form prior to enrolling in order to receive credit. For more about Dual-Enrollment requirements, please visit the Undergraduate Studies website

E.  Auditions for Applicants to the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music

Acceptance into the Departments of Music is a two-fold process. You must apply for acceptance into the University, as well as audition for your program of interest. Auditions can be done before, after, or concurrently with the application to the University. An application does not necessarily need to be submitted before auditioning, except in the case of Early Admission, but it is highly encouraged.

Admission to performance and education music academic areas requires both admission to the University and passing the audition. All applicants who audition (either in person or online) are considered for a music scholarship.

Applicants for the undergraduate degree program in composition must audition and submit original compositions for review by the music faculty. Those considered for the University Honors Program in music history and literature are not required to audition unless they desire advanced standing in piano study.

Faculty recommendations for admission are based upon the audition. Specific requirements may be obtained at

F.  University Honors Program

A separate application is not required for The University Honors Program. Selection for participation is made based on the materials submitted in support of the application for admission. The University Honors Program offers students of high caliber a special curriculum that is oriented towards the liberal arts and designed to complement individual majors with an integrated world view. Full details of the program can be found at

G.  Admission Programs

Early Decision I and II

Prospective students who view The Catholic University of America as a top choice for their undergraduate education and are comfortable with a binding admission decision may consider applying Early Decision I or II. The application deadline for Early Decision I is November 11 and Early Decision II is January 15. Early Decision I candidates will learn of the admission decision prior to January 1. Early Decision II candidates will receive their admission decision by March 1. Applicants not admitted under the Early Decision I or II programs are denied and that is a final decision; they will not be deferred to the Regular Decision Pool.  Students admitted through our Early Decision I and II programs are expected to attend Catholic University and must submit their non-refundable enrollment deposits by January 15 for Early Decision I and March 15 for Early Decision II.

Early Action

Prospective students who are confident in their academic profiles in early fall of their senior year, and would like to learn of their admission decision earlier in the admission process while still retaining the time to make an enrollment decision by May 1, have the option of applying Early Action. Students should submit their completed Common Application by November 1 and will be notified of a decision before January 1. Early Action students may be admitted, denied, or deferred. Applicants who are deferred will be reviewed with updated mid-year grades along with Regular Decision applicants and will hear a final decision prior to April 1.

Regular Decision

Students applying to The Catholic University of America for fall admission should submit a completed Common Application for Admission by the January 15 deadline. Applicants will receive their decision prior to April 1 and will have until May 1 to decide if they would like to enroll. Students may be denied or placed on the waiting list after Regular Decision. Students placed on the waiting list may not hear about potential admission until after May 1, should any space in the incoming freshman class be available.

III. Transfer Admission

A.  Required Credentials for Transfer Candidates

Transfer students may apply for admission for either the fall or spring semesters. The application deadline is July 15 for fall candidates and November 15 for spring candidates.

Students can apply as a candidate for transfer admission if they hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at an accredited college or university. Students can transfer a maximum of 60 earned credit hours to Catholic University.

Final terms of admission are conditioned by the following:

  1. credits must represent work which is applicable to a current curriculum in the University;
  2. credits must represent work which is substantially equivalent in quality and quantity to the work pursued here for which it is to be substituted;
  3. only courses passed with a grade of at least C (when D is passing) will be considered;
  4. no more than the equivalent of one semester's credit at this University will be given for a semester of work done elsewhere;
  5. at a minimum, the last 30 hours (60 hours for the School of Arts and Sciences) must be earned at The Catholic University of America.

For those entering at the sophomore or junior class level, distribution requirements may be modified. Consult the dean of the appropriate school.

Credits taken outside The Catholic University of America are not considered when calculating the student's grade point average at the University.

On the recommendation of the cognizant dean, credit for educational experiences in programs of the armed services will be accepted for transfer after completion of at least one semester of full-time study in a degree program at this University and for such courses as are substitutes for courses required in the degree program.

B.  Required Credentials for Transfer Candidates

Transfer applications are considered complete when the Office of Undergraduate Admission has received the following:

  1. The completed Common Application with all required essays;
  2. A completed Secondary School Report and recommendation from the student’s college or guidance counselor;
  3. An official high school transcript;
  4. A teacher recommendation;
  5. One official transcript from each postsecondary institution attended;
  6. A Certification of Good standing, satisfied by submitting The Common Application’s College Official’s Report or a letter of good standing from your Dean of Students, Academic Advisor, or Registrar.
  7. Portfolio (Architecture students only);
  8. Audition (Music students only).

IV.  International Student Admission

Please consult the Website:  for additional information.

A.  Required Credentials for International Candidates

Students applying to The Catholic University of America for fall admission should submit a completed Application for Admission by November 1 for Early Action and Early Decision I, and January 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision. Students admitted through our Early Decision I deadline will have until January 15 to submit a non-refundable enrollment deposit. Admitted Early Decision II students will have until March 15. Admitted Early Action and Regular Decision students will have until May 1.

B.  Required Credentials for International Candidates

An international application is complete when the Office of Undergraduate Admission has received the following:

  1. The completed Common Application with all required essays;
  2. A completed Secondary School Report and recommendation from the student’s college or guidance counselor;
  3. An official high school transcript;
  4. Official college transcripts (transfer students);
  5. A teacher recommendation;
  6. A certified, translated copy of transcripts of all previous education equivalent to secondary and postsecondary education in the United States.  All transcripts issued from outside the United States must be certified by a recognized evaluator of international educational records (such as WES or AACRAO), even if in the English language. Education completed at institutions outside of the United States, as shown by official documents, may be accepted as equivalent to educational experience in the United States;
  7. Supporting documentation that verifies the availability of sufficient funds (at time of I-20 application);
  8. Official documentation of English language proficiency (see requirements below).

C.  English Language Proficiency

All students from countries and areas where English is not the common, spoken language (even if the student is already a resident of the United States) must have a practical understanding of spoken and written English to benefit from instruction, study and examinations in that language. Course work at The Catholic University of America requires university-level English language proficiency and skills. The Catholic University of America, therefore, requires all applicants whose native language is not English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or an International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS before they can be considered for final admissions. Minimally accepted undergraduate scores are set forth below. Students should have test results sent directly to The Catholic University of America.

University English Language Proficiency Minimums
Source of Evaluation Acceptable standard
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)  Paper - 150
Computer - 213
Internet - 80 (minimum 20 in each category
IELTS 6.5 Individual IELTS test module scores are also reviewed in addition to the overall IELTS score.

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived by the Committee on Admission on a case-by-case basis should the applicant have appropriate documentation of successful completion of one of the following:

  1. The University’s Intensive English Program;
  2. Level 112 in the intensive English program offered by an ELS Language Center;
  3. An Intensive English program at an accredited institution of higher education or accredited English language training program;
  4. A college-level English Composition class determined to be the equivalent of or more advanced than the University’s English Composition 101 course, with a grade of B or above;
  5.  A graduate degree, a Bachelor's Degree (B.A. or B.S.), or an Associate’s Degree (A. A.) from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education or a high school diploma. (Graduates from a U. S. high school are required however to submit SAT/ACT scores.)

V.  Students with Disabilities

Disability services, designed to support and encourage the integration of students with disabilities into the mainstream of the University community are provided through the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS). To be eligible for services at the University, students must register with DSS and submit documentation of disability. Recently admitted students are encouraged to contact DSS beginning June 1 to begin the registration process. For more information on services or documentation requirements and registration procedures, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services at tel. (202) 319-5211, TTY (202) 299-2899, e-mail or visit the DSS website at

VI.  Admission of Non-Degree Students

Students who do not wish to pursue a full degree but instead want to take one or more courses independently, or apply to a program required for a certificate (either for credit or as an auditor), can apply for admission as a non-degree student.

If you have not received a bachelor’s degree or higher, apply as an Undergraduate Non-Degree Seeking Student. Undergraduate non-degree seeking students may take up to nine credits, either concurrently or over time. If full acceptance to a bachelor’s degree program is later granted, these credits may be counted toward degree requirements.

If you have received a bachelor's degree or higher you will need to apply as a Graduate Non-Degree Seeking student.

All non-degree admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, and students are reviewed for admission by the faculty of the school to which they are applying. Applicants are then informed of their decision via regular mail sent from the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

A non-degree student who wishes to be considered for admission to a degree program must submit the application and supporting documents ordinarily required for admission to the Office of Undergraduate Admission and should consult with the appropriate dean or chair of department before enrolling, since the mere accumulation of courses will not satisfy requirements for degrees.

VII.  Readmission

Former Catholic University students who were dismissed, have withdrawn, or are presumed to have withdrawn because of failure to maintain continuous enrollment, can apply for readmission to the University. As students begin the application process, they are encouraged to contact the dean's office of the school to which they are reapplying.

An application for readmission is subject to the same scrutiny as is an application for first-year undergraduate admission, and the student may be required to adhere to degree requirements adopted since original matriculation or to special requirements imposed as a condition of readmission, such as repeating certain examinations or work in a course.

An applicant for readmission is required to file the appropriate application ( Readmission to the University does not guarantee eligibility for financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress must be demonstrated.

The University complies with requirements regarding readmission of veterans as set forth in Executive Order 13607, Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members.

VIII.  Deferring Admission

Prior to the first day of classes, admitted freshmen students may request in writing that their admission be deferred to a future semester. Admitted students can defer for only one year — i.e. applicants for the fall term may defer to the following spring, summer, or fall terms, but no further. Deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis to students who encounter unforeseen opportunities or circumstances. The request should provide documentation for service work, military service or a medical condition. Students who are granted deferment may not enroll as a student on a full-time basis at a different institution during that year and may only take a maximum of 6 credits throughout the deferral period. Official copies of transcripts indicating academic coursework taken while deferring must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admission at least 15 days prior to beginning of the new start term. In the event there are changes that are negative and significant to a student's deferred application, the Office of Undergraduate Admission reserves the right to revoke a deferred candidate's offer of admission. Students who enroll after deferring will be evaluated for credit, student status, and financial aid.