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 2023: 3.83 (weighted)
    • Middle 50%: From 3.73 to 4.0 (weighted) and 3.56 to 3.94 (unweighted).
    • We’ll accept a weighted GPA if your school offers that option.
  • Standardized test scores

    Academic performance in high school is the most important factor in our admission process. However, we are a test-optional university, and submitting test scores is your choice. If you choose to submit your SAT and/or ACT scores, they will be considered along with your other application materials for both admission and merit scholarships. 

    • DU will accept either the SAT or the ACT. 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.”
    • If you are a student attending a non-graded high school that does not provide a letter or numerical grade, you can be considered for admission without submitting an official SAT or ACT. However, in order to be considered for merit scholarships, you will need to submit an official SAT or ACT score.

    Some statistics for reference:

    • Average combined SAT score for students accepted for Fall 2023: 1334. Middle 50%: 1260-1430.
    • Average ACT score for students accepted for Fall 2023: 30.5. Middle 50%: 29-33.
    • For Fall 2023, approximately 61% of admitted students applied test-optional. 

    If you have questions about the University of Denver's test-optional path, please explore the FAQs and exceptions on the test-optional webpage or contact your admission counselor. 

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

    Overall, our committee takes a holistic approach in considering a number of factors when shaping our class each year. While academic success is the main factor in our admission decisions, we also carefully consider institutional goals and priorities. For example, to remain within our financial aid budget, and to ensure students have the financial support necessary to enroll and graduate, we are “need-aware” with some decisions (we consider a family’s ability to pay, and our ability to properly fund a student).

    Additionally, we sometimes consider a student’s level of interest in DU, and their overall likelihood to enroll, helping our team more accurately shape and plan for a complete incoming class. Interest can be demonstrated in a number of ways, including a virtual or in-person campus visit, connecting with us at a college fair, attending a high school visit, meeting with your admission counselor, or interacting with us digitally on our website or emails.

    At the University of Denver, you'll be part of a culture that enriches every member of the DU community and advances the greater good. If you know this is where you want to build the tools and skills you’ll use to pursue a career and a life of purpose, consider applying Early Decision and securing your spot at DU. Early Decision applicants enjoy stronger consideration for admission, and benefit from earlier admission and financial aid notifications. Students admitted during Early Decision rounds of admission receive an additional $5,000 merit aid award, and top academic performers will have their full demonstrated financial need met.