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Admission Standards for First-Year Students

We look at more than just your grades.


First-year students: please note we are no longer accepting late applications or deposits for fall 2017. Our incoming class is now full and we look forward to welcoming them in September. Transfer students: please visit our transfer admission page for more information.

We want to ensure that the students we admit are able to flourish at DU. That's why we look for students who not only challenge themselves academically, but also contribute to their schools and local communities.

While academic success plays a large role in our admission decisions, we take a holistic approach in reviewing your essay, letters of recommendation and demonstration of your personal qualities.

At the University of Denver, the vast majority of our applicants are considered for admission regardless of their financial circumstances. Each year the University awards over 130 million dollars to our undergraduate students; however, we lack the resources to meet the full need of all students. In a small percentage of our admission decisions, there are circumstances when a family's ability to afford a DU education is taken into consideration. Our need-aware admission policy allows the University to manage our limited resources in a fair, responsible, and consistent manner.

Factors in Our Admission Decisions

Academic Achievement

DU looks for students who have challenged themselves academically and who have demonstrated success in English, math, social studies, science and languages. Our minimum academic requirements are the same as what is required at the applicant's high school for graduation, but we encourage students to set their goals higher than the minimum. The curriculum and grades earned in classes at the secondary level are regarded as the most significant criteria in a student's application. They have proven to be the soundest indicator of academic ability, potential and motivation.

Although no specific requirements concerning secondary school subjects are mandatory at DU, our Admission Committee recommends the following academic selection: 4 years of English; 3-4 years of mathematics; 3-4 years of natural sciences with at least 2 laboratory sciences; 3-4 years of social sciences and 3-4 years of foreign language. Course work should show purpose and continuity and furnish a background for the curriculum offered by the University.

Grade Point Average

The average high school GPA for fall 2017 accepted students was 3.70. The middle 50 percent ranged from 3.48 to 4.0. We accept a weighted GPA when available from an applicant's high school.

Standardized Test Scores

Although academic performance in high school is the most important factor in our admission process, we also consider scores earned on the SAT or ACT exams. Applicants are required to submit the official results of the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. The writing components for both the SAT and ACT will be accepted for review, but will not be used for admission decisions; we do not require any SAT Subject Tests. For students who submit results from multiple test dates, we will mix and match the individual section scores to create a composite "superscore." When assessing your test scores, we will use the highest composite "superscore" earned on either exam (ACT or SAT).

The average SAT combined score for fall 2017 accepted students was 1265. The middle 50 percent ranged from 1180 to 1340.

The average ACT score for fall 2017 accepted students was 28. The middle 50 percent ranged from 25 to 31.

Send the official results of your SAT and/or ACT directly from the College Board or ACT. The DU code for the SAT is 4842; the ACT code is 0534.

Whole-Person Assessment

DU students assume responsibilities outside the classroom; they're leaders, volunteers, artists, musicians, athletes, actors and people who lend a helping hand to benefit others. That's why our Admission Committee looks for well-rounded students who have contributed to their high school and local communities and who will contribute to the DU community. Essays and letters of recommendation contribute greatly to our overall assessment of an applicant's personal characteristics and their potential to contribute to our campus. In addition, we have partnered with ZeeMee, a free service designed to help students bring their application to life. Simply copy and paste your ZeeMee link into your University of Denver application. Sign up at Please note that this is a completely optional part of your application and will be used only to further support our holistic review process.