Approved by: President
History: Issued             -- August 2006
Revised            -- September 4, 2013
Last Reviewed --
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 students 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 admissions 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 University Admissions. Please address all inquiries, requests for application forms and subsequent correspondence to the Office of University Admissions, 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. Regular Freshman Admission


Students applying to The Catholic University of America for fall admission should submit a completed Application for Admission prior to the February 15 Priority Application deadline. Applications received after February 15 will be accepted on a rolling basis. If admitted as a Regular Decision candidate to CUA, applicants must submit a nonrefundable enrollment deposit by May 1.


A. Early Action


Academically outstanding candidates who view The Catholic University of America as a top choice for their undergraduate education and who wish to learn of their admission early in their senior year may consider applying Early Action. The application deadline for Early Action is November 15. Candidates will learn of the decision prior to December 25. Candidates not accepted under the Early Action program can be deferred to the regular review. The Catholic University of America supports the belief that students should be free to choose among colleges until the enrollment deposit deadline. Early Action Admission is nonbinding and the enrollment deposit deadline is May 1.


B. Required Credentials for Freshman Candidates


An application is complete when the Office of University Admissions has received the following:

  1. The completed application form and nonrefundable application fee;
  2. A completed Secondary School Report attached to an official transcript of secondary school work;
  3. An official ACT or SAT I score report;
  4. A letter of recommendation;
  5. An essay.


C. Secondary School Record


The University expects that candidates will have undertaken the most challenging curriculum available in the secondary school program. Special note is taken of enrollment in Advanced Placement and/or Honors classes.

It is recommended that secondary school preparation consist of 17 academic units, including four years of study in both English and social studies, three years of mathematics, three years of science (including at least one year of laboratory science), at least two years of study in a foreign language, and one year of study in the fine arts or humanities.

Engineering candidates should have four years of mathematics and four years of science, including both chemistry and physics.

Nursing candidates should have a year in both chemistry and biology.

Home-schooled students should submit a complete record of all courses earned and, if possible, a transcript from an accredited home study school or agency.


D. Standardized Tests


All candidates must submit results from a standardized test either the SAT I test or the ACT. The highest scores presented will be considered from any administration or combination of administrations. Students submitting scores from the ACT in lieu of the SAT I test should submit the optional writing section of the ACT as well.

CUA uses SAT II test results for placement purposes only.

Applicants enrolling in the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Philosophy can submit SAT II test results in a foreign language. Students who have taken SAT II tests in other subject areas also are encouraged to submit scores. For more information, visit


E. Advanced Placement and Credit


Advanced placement and credit may be offered to exceptionally qualified students. Advanced placement is based on national Advanced Placement examinations, collegiate-level courses taken in secondary school or college, and/or examinations administered by the University. Consult individual schools of the University for information about accepted areas of advanced placement, criteria, and restrictions. Additional information may be found at


F. Auditions for Applicants to the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art


An audition of at least 10 minutes, either scheduled in person or submitted digitally or by tape, is required.

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


G. University Honors Program


A separate application is not required for the 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 and in the Announcements.


III. Transfer Admission


A. Application Method


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

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. of the last 36 to 40 semester hours of credit earned for the degree, 30 semester 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 University Admissions has received the following:

  1. The completed application form and nonrefundable application fee;
  2. Statement of intent;
  3. A complete, official secondary (high) school transcript;
  4. One official transcript from each postsecondary institution attended;
  5. A letter of recommendation;
  6. SAT or ACT score report (may be waived if applicant has completed 24 or more college credits).


IV. International Student Admission


Please consult the Web sites and for additional information.


A. Application Method


Applications should be submitted to the Office of University Admissions no later than February 15 for fall semester (classes beginning in August) and October 15 for the spring semester (classes beginning in January). Because of the delays that often occur in obtaining and evaluating credentials, prospective international students should submit complete applications for admissions well in advance of the deadlines.


B. Required Credentials for International Candidates


International Applications are considered complete when the Office of University Admissions has received the following:

  1. The completed International Undergraduate Application and nonrefundable application fee;
  2. 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;
  3. An essay as specified in the Undergraduate Application for Admission;
  4. Supporting documentation that verifies the availability of sufficient funds;
  5. 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)







(20 in each category)



The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived 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


A student who does not wish to pursue a degree program at The Catholic University of America but who wishes to follow courses independently or in a program required for a certificate, either for credit or as an auditor, may apply for admission as a nondegree student. The application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee and official transcripts of all previous high school and postsecondary work. In lieu of a transcript, a properly qualified student who is working toward a degree at another institution may submit written authorization for temporary enrollment at this University from the cognizant dean of that institution.

Admission as a nondegree student is limited to 9 credit hours unless renewed by the dean of the school for registration in subsequent consecutive semesters or summer sessions. No fee is charged for requesting such renewal. A nondegree student who does not enroll in consecutive terms or who enrolls in a different school must submit a new application for admission, which must be accompanied by the application fee.

A nondegree 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 University Admissions 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


A student must reapply for admission if he/she has been dismissed, withdrew from the University or failed to maintain continuous enrollment. An application for readmission is subject to the same scrutiny as is an application for original 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 Admissions 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 Admissions 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. International students and transfer students may not defer their admission.