Application Checklist for First-Year Applicants

Stay on Track to Start Your DU Journey

To support a seamless, stress-free college application process, we’ve created a checklist that walks you through each step and connects you to essential resources. The University of Denver is here to help you manage all of the requirements, steps, and deadlines.

Have questions along the way? We encourage you to contact DU’s Undergraduate Admission by email at, by phone at 303-871-2036, or find your admission counselor. Our staff and counselors stand ready to answer all of your application questions and help you prepare for your time at the University of Denver.

Application Checklist

Submit Your Application

Review Admission Standards

Review Admission Standards

Before beginning your application, you should first review DU’s admission standards for first-year applicants

We uphold high academic achievement standards to ensure you can meet DU’s academic expectations and excel in our rigorous degree programs. However, at DU, we also take a holistic approach to admission. While academic performance is the primary focus of our applicant review, we assess you as a whole person, not merely for your grades and test scores. We want to see how you engage with your peers and community through service projects, extracurriculars, student government, and other activities. 

We additionally consider your involvement with the University of Denver, such as meeting with admission counselors or attending in-person or virtual visits. This demonstrates your willingness to invest in the DU community and your academic success. 

As a test-optional school, we do not require you to SAT or ACT scores. If you opt to submit your score, they will be considered alongside your other materials during the review process.

Choose Your Application Deadline

Choose Your Application Deadline

For first-year applicants, DU offers the following application deadlines:

  • Nov. 1 for Early Decision I and Early Action
  • Jan. 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision

What Is Early Decision?

Early Decision is a binding agreement between you and the University of Denver that you will attend DU if accepted. You may only apply for Early Decision to one school. If accepted to DU via Early Decision, you must withdraw your applications from other institutions.

However, Early Action and Regular Decision are nonbinding applications, and you can apply to as many schools as you like for these deadlines.

Why Apply for Early Decision?

Applying for Early Decision has numerous benefits, including:

  • Students admitted during Early Decision rounds of admission receive an additional $5,000 merit aid award.
  • Top academic performers will have their full demonstrated financial needs met.
  • Early-decision applicants enjoy stronger consideration for admission and benefit from earlier admission and financial aid notifications.

Please Note: Athletes receiving athletic aid and music majors are welcome to apply for Early Decision but are not eligible for the financial incentives. Additionally, international students are eligible for additional merit aid but not for need-based aid.

Fill Out Your Application

Fill Out Your Application

To simplify the process, DU accepts the Common Application, a standardized online application form used by hundreds of colleges and universities. 

 The application includes an essay requirement, so please allow yourself enough time and preparation to write your essay. Students are free to choose from any of the current year's Common Application prompts for their one required essay.

 Want to learn more about applying via the Common Application? Read The Princeton Review’s Guide to the Common Application.

Pay the Application Fee

Pay the Application Fee

DU requires a $65 nonrefundable application fee. To submit your payment, please log into your Common Application account and pay at the time of application submission to the University of Denver.

If you're facing financial hardship, you can indicate on the application that you qualify for a fee waiver in the ‘Profile’ area of the Common Application.

DU proudly participates in the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s CO Free App Days. Please check our website and your inbox this fall for this year's application fee waiver code.

Submit Your Supporting Materials

Send Your Transcripts

Send Your Transcripts

As a part of the application process, you must send your official high school transcripts or verification of a GED.

  1. Your high school counselor can send your transcript electronically through Parchment, PowerSchool Naviance, or the Common Application.
  2. Alternatively, your counselor can mail your transcript to this address:
    Undergraduate Admission
    University of Denver
    University Hall
    2197 S. University Blvd.
    Denver, CO 80208-9401

Send Your Letters of Recommendation

Send Your Letters of Recommendations

Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions process because they allow those who know you best to speak about your accomplishments, strengths, and overall potential.

DU requires a letter of recommendation from your school counselor. They need to submit either the Common Application Secondary School Report, the Common Application Counselor Recommendation form, or a personal letter. You're welcome to submit additional letters from teachers, coaches, or mentors; however, these letters are optional.

Test Scores (Optional)

Test Scores (Optional)

DU believes in excellence. We weigh your academic performance as the most important factor in our admission process. However, because DU is a test-optional university, submitting test scores is your choice.

If you choose to submit your SAT and/or ACT scores, we review them along with your other application materials for admission and merit scholarships.

Please Note: To be considered, test scores must be received directly from the testing agency. We cannot consider self-reported test scores entered on the Common Application. It can take a couple of weeks for the testing agency to process your order. Please request your scores with ample time to ensure delivery by the materials deadline.

If you choose to submit your test scores, you must do so via College Board or ACT using the following codes:

  • SAT Code: 4842
  • ACT Code: 0534

We do not consider subject tests or writing sections.

Super Score: If you’ve taken either test more than once, we combine the best sub-scores to create your best possible composite result. If the testing agency generates a composite of your best sub-scores, we also accept that super score from the agency.

If you receive an application fee waiver, you can upload ACT and/or SAT scores to your application status page. To do so, please:

Once we verify the score report, we complete the test score requirement for your application. This process may take 24-48 hours to complete.

Additional Steps

Apply for Need-Based Financial Aid

Apply for Need-Based Aid

After submitting your application, we recommend starting the financial aid application process. To do so, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Complete the CSS Profile. Our school code is 4842.
  2. Request a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Both the student and at least one parent should have an FSA ID.
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our school code is 001371.

Learn more about DU’s priority deadlines and the process to apply for need-based aid on the Financial Aid website.

Check Your Application Status

Check Your Application Status

As you wait for your admission decision, you can use our online tool to check the status of your application.

Pay Your Deposit

Pay Your Deposit

If you've been accepted to DU and you want to join our vibrant community, save your spot by submitting your deposit online.

Extra Application Steps