Admission Standards

You're more than your grades

We look for students who demonstrate a passion for diverse learning. We consider your grades and coursework, but we’re also interested in the less quantifiable parts of your application. Have you taken on new challenges outside the classroom? Have you contributed to your school and your community? If so, we're excited to read your application.

Admission Standards

  • Academic achievement

    We like to see you’ve challenged yourself and achieved success in subjects like English, math, social studies, science and foreign languages. The best applicants can show they’ve surpassed the bare minimum and taken advantage of their academic opportunities. That’s what you’ll be expected to do here at DU, and we want to see that you have the drive and ability to succeed at the highest levels.
    We don’t have specific subject requirements, but we recommend using the following guidelines:

    • 4 years of English
    • 3-4 years of mathematics (Calculus is recommended for students interested in Engineering, Computer Science, or Business)
    • 3-4 years of science with at least 2 in a lab setting
    • 3-4 years of social studies
    • 3-4 years of foreign language education
  • Grade Point Average

    We don't have a minimum GPA, but here are some stats to give you an idea of what we’re looking for:

    • Average GPA for students accepted for Fall 2021: 3.78
    • Middle 50%: From 3.62 to 4.0.
    • We’ll accept a weighted GPA if your school offers that option.
  • Standardized test scores

    Although academic performance in high school is the most important factor in our admission process, we also factor in your SAT or ACT scores for both admission and merit aid purposes. Here’s what we’ll need to see:

    • Either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. We accept either test and don’t have a preference. SAT Code: 4842 and ACT Code: 0534.
    • We do not consider subject test or writing sections.
    • If you’ve taken either test more than once, we’ll combine the best scores from the individual sections of each test to create an ideal “super score.”

    We understand the unique challenges this year in terms of scheduling and taking the ACT and/or SAT. If for any reason you have chosen not to take one of these tests this year, have been unable to test due to cancellations, or believe your scores don’t accurately reflect your academic abilities, you may opt for the test-optional path. Please know your application will not be penalized in any way. If you have a test score to submit and you believe your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, please send them our way – we will consider them along with all other materials in your application file. 

    Some statistics for reference:

    • Average combined SAT score for students accepted for Fall 2021: 1316. Middle 50%: 1230-1410.
    • Average ACT score for students accepted for Fall 2021: 30. Middle 50%: 28-32.
  • Whole person assessment

    We also want to know who you are outside the classroom. Our students are diversely talented and find ways to contribute outside of academia, whether it’s through sports, the arts, community service, employment or student government. We want to know you’ll do more than just attend your classes. We want you getting involved across campus and in the community.

    We place great value on your essays and letters of recommendation, as well as your record of extracurricular activities. This helps us learn how you can make a difference during your time at DU.

    As an option, we welcome you to submit a ZeeMee profile (a free service designed to help students bring their application to life by highlighting your personal story via photos, videos and text). Simply copy and paste your ZeeMee link into your University of Denver application.

    Please note: Even with our generous financial aid program, we aren’t always able to provide sufficient funding for students in the bottom quarter of our applicant pool. We are “need-aware” and consider the ability of a family to afford DU when finalizing admission decisions for students with less competitive academic records.