Admission Standards & English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you must submit an acceptable score on either the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), DET (Duolingo English Test) or CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced) or qualify for an exemption.

  • Testing Requirements

    To be competitive for admission students should submit one of the following scores:

    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): A TOEFL score of 80 or higher with no subscore below 18. The DU TOEFL code is 4842.
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher with no band score below 5.5.
    • Duolingo English Test: A DET score of 115 or higher, with no subscores below 105 for Literacy, Comprehension, and Conversation or below 95 for Production.
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English): A grade of C or higher on the CAE.


    Please note: all score and subscore requirements must be met in a single test. We do not super score or accept test superscores (such as TOEFL MyBest Score). Test scores are valid for two years from the testing date.

  • Exemptions

    Please note that exemptions are not guaranteed, so we recommend that you take the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or Cambridge exams as part of the application process if your native language is not English. We consider many factors when making decisions on English proficiency, but we regularly grant exemptions from the English testing requirements if you meet one of the following:

    • You complete the final three years and graduate from a high school/secondary school where the language of instruction is English
    • You submit an SAT EBRW score of 600 or higher
    • You submit an ACT English score of 25 or higher
    • You are a transfer student applying from another university where English is the universal language of instruction and:
      • have completed at least 30 transferable semester credits prior to your application OR
      • have completed both English Composition I and English Composition II


    For questions or to request consideration for an exemption, please email us at

  • Optional Interview

    An interview is not required to apply to DU, but we encourage you to complete an interview to help our staff get to know you as well as help us evaluate your English proficiency. Our staff will evaluate each interview individually. Click here to schedule an information interview with your admission counselor.

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
    • 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 2022: 3.83
    • Middle 50%: From 3.72 to 4.0 (Weighted) and 3.55 to 3.93 (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 are required to submit official ACT or SAT scores with your application.

    Some statistics for reference:

    • Average combined SAT score for students accepted for Fall 2022: 1327. Middle 50%: 1250-1410.
    • Average ACT score for students accepted for Fall 2022: 30. Middle 50%: 28-33.
    • For Fall 2022, approximately 56% 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 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: DU is proud to offer generous merit scholarships, however none of them will cover the full cost of a DU education (with rare exceptions).  We are also “need-aware” and consider the ability of a family to afford DU when finalizing admission decisions.