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Freshman Instructions

Drexel takes into consideration a number of criteria when determining admission, including your high school performance, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and essay. Drexel University requires that all freshman applicants graduate from high school within two years of the date in which they plan to enroll.

Prerequisites and Deadlines

Before beginning your application to Drexel, please review our Admission Prerequisites and Application Deadlines.

Required Materials

Undergraduate Admission Application

Complete an application for Undergraduate Admission. We only accept the Common Application.

To expedite the application process, please write your full name (no nicknames, please) on all items submitted. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are required to provide their Social Security number to be considered for financial aid. If you need to change your major or co-op selection after submitting your application, please email or call 215.895.2400.

Application Fee, $50

There is a nonrefundable application fee of $50.00 U.S., which Drexel applicants will pay online when submitting the Common Application.

You may qualify for Drexel's institutional application fee waiver if you are a U.S. veteran or dependent of a U.S. veteran, a child of a Drexel employee, or a Philadelphia resident. Please indicate your status on the Common Application.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you still may be eligible for the Common Application Fee Waiver. Students who feel that the application fee would be a financial hardship can request a fee waiver on the Common Application.


All applicants must submit a 250- to 650-word essay via the Common Application. We do not accept essays submitted on paper.


Official transcripts must be sent directly from your high school to Drexel.

You are required to submit transcripts from each high school attended. Transcripts must include all coursework from grades 9, 10, and 11. Twelfth (12th) grade coursework in progress should also be included.

All international applicants are required to submit an official academic record (with notarized English translation) from every secondary or postsecondary school attended. Transcripts must reflect 9th, 10th, and 11th grade coursework and grades earned. Please refer to our Transcript Requirements for International Freshman Applicants as a guideline, or email if your country is not listed.

Important notes for international applicants:

  • A transcript is official only when it is sent directly from an institution to the Admissions Office, or when it is officially signed, stamped in color, and sealed.
  • Please use your full name on all documents (should match the name listed on your passport).

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one must be completed by a high school counselor. You should request recommendations through the Common Application.

BA/BS/MD Accelerated Degree applicants: Your letters of recommendation must be completed by a high school counselor and a science teacher.

Standardized Test Scores

Drexel requires all freshman applicants to submit standardized test scores, but we offer some flexibility in which test(s) will fulfill our standardized test score requirement.

Note: Accelerated degree applicants are required to submit SAT or ACT scores. Applicants to these programs are welcome to submit additional test results for further consideration.

Refer to our Standardized Testing Policy for specific requirements.

Additionally, non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE (Pearsons) and request that results be forwarded to the Admissions Office.

Financial Aid Information

Refer to our Application Deadlines to view deadlines for financial aid documents.

U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are interested in Drexel's institutional need-based financial aid are required to submit both the CSS Profile, including noncustodial parent information, if applicable, and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the appropriate deadline. Applicants who do not submit the CSS Profile by the deadline will not be eligible for institutional need-based financial aid.

You can submit the CSS Profile on the College Board website; be sure to list Drexel so that we can receive this information. You can submit the FAFSA online at using Drexel's FAFSA school code: 003256. You should not wait to be accepted to submit the CSS Profile and FAFSA. The CSS Profile and FAFSA can be started as early as October.

International applicants who are interested in Drexel's institutional need-based financial aid are required to submit the CSS Profile, including noncustodial parent information, if applicable, by the appropriate deadline. Applicants who do not submit this information by the deadline will not be eligible for institutional need-based financial aid. You can submit the CSS Profile on the College Board website; be sure to list Drexel so that we can receive this information.

Learn more about How to Apply for Aid.

Proof of Financial Responsibility (International Applicants Only)

It is Drexel's expectation that every family fulfill and understand the financial responsibility for educational costs at Drexel. Since you and your family or sponsors must assume responsibility for your student expenses, Drexel requires proof of financial responsibility showing sufficient financial support for education in the United States in order to obtain a student visa for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Review the information for New International Students on the International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) website to learn about the I-20/DS-2019 application process.


Applicants to the following programs should submit portfolio materials through SlideRoom. All work submitted becomes part of the application and will not be returned.

Required Portfolios

  • Animation & Visual Effects
  • Architecture
  • Fashion Design
  • Game Design & Production
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Design
  • Photography
  • Screenwriting & Playwriting

Optional Portfolios

  • Art History
  • Design & Merchandising
  • Entertainment & Arts Management
  • Film & Video
  • Interactive Digital Media
  • Music Industry
  • Product Design
  • TV Production & Media Management

Portfolio Guidelines

Applicants are encouraged to follow the portfolio guidelines carefully and submit materials that strengthen their application. Portfolios may include traditional media, alternative creative practices, or any combination of the two.

The Admission Committee is examining your work for originality, creative problem solving, and systematic thinking. Applicants should submit 8 to 12 pieces of your strongest and most recent work in a breadth of media that demonstrate a balance of technique and concept. Thematic work or a series of pieces is received favorably. Time-based portfolios should be limited to a 5-minute maximum. Writers, please submit a minimum of 8 to 12 pages of written work of either a single piece or numerous smaller pieces.

The portfolio may include any combination of drawings, paintings, printmaking, photography, graphic design, architectural design, interior design, ceramics, sculpture, fiber art, fashion design, jewelry and metals, furniture, designed objects, animation, computer-generated images, film, video, performance art, audio recordings, websites, video games, sketchbooks, scripts, storyboards, or screenplays.

In addition to or instead of submitting a traditional portfolio, you may submit alternative creative practices where appropriate to your major of choice. For example, a research-based paper or project, video blogging, online curation, a proposal for a video game, examining and redesigning an existing product or interior, a narrative outline for a short script or interactive design, or an observational essay of curatorial practice in a museum gallery or public space may inform certain majors.

The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only.

Writing Supplement

Applicants to the following programs must submit a writing supplement via the Common Application.

Custom-designed: Please write a 500- to 800-word vision statement/essay describing in detail what you want to study, what you hope to accomplish during your time in the program, and why your educational goals cannot be met by pursuing a traditional Drexel major, a double major, or a major combined with minors. Your vision statement/essay should also include how you expect this program to prepare you for life after college, detailing what career or pursuits the custom-designed major will facilitate and how you plan to impact the world. Finally, the vision statement/essay should contain a plausible plan of study for achieving your goals by drawing upon two or more existing Drexel programs. A sample vision statement can be found on the Custom-Designed Major Prospective Students page. Information about existing programs and courses at Drexel can be found in the University Catalog.

Westphal College - All Majors (listed below): Please write a short essay describing why you are interested in pursuing your major of choice at Drexel University's Westphal College. What have you done that prepares you to study in your major of choice? (Maximum 500 words)

  • Animation & Visual Effects
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Dance
  • Fashion Design
  • Game Design & Production
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Design
  • Photography
  • Screenwriting & Playwriting
  • Design & Merchandising
  • Entertainment & Arts Management
  • Film & Video
  • Interactive Digital Media
  • Music Industry
  • Product Design
  • TV Production & Media Management
  • Undeclared – Design
  • Undeclared – Media

If you have questions about the guidelines, please contact Westphal College by email at or by phone at 215.895.1834.

Audition (Dance Applicants Only)

Dance majors are required to audition. Auditions can be done live or by video. Visit Westphal College's Dance Auditions page for guidelines and dates.

Interview (Custom-Designed Majors Only)

You may be invited to participate in an interview with custom-designed major staff via telephone or in person. The interview will be an opportunity for you to discuss the appropriateness of the custom-designed major, given your interests, as well as to answer any questions you may have.

ZeeMee Page (International and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Applicants Only)

We accept a ZeeMee page as an optional component of your application. ZeeMee is a free service that allows applicants to create a profile using images, videos, and documents to complement the application. Create your ZeeMee page on the ZeeMee website and then provide us the link to your ZeeMee page on the Common Application.

College of Medicine Supplemental Application (BA/BS/MD Applicants Only)

BA/BS/MD accelerated degree applicants must complete the College of Medicine Supplemental Application by November 1. Refer to the BA/BS/MD Accelerated Degree Application Process for additional information and to access the application.

Homeschooled Students

Homeschool applicants must provide the equivalent of a high school transcript with course or subject titles, duration of study for each title, content of study for each title, and an assessment of performance or grade. Preferably, the courses completed at home are part of a curriculum developed and evaluated by a nationally recognized diploma-granting organization or agency or sponsoring public high school.

If an official transcript from a state homeschool association or sponsoring public high school is not available, homeschool applicants must obtain and submit a GED or a college transcript showing the completion of 24 or more college credits at the time of enrollment as confirmation of completing a generally acceptable secondary school curriculum. Individual homeschool transcripts with date of completion do not suffice as official proof of graduation.

Mailing Addresses

By Postal Mail By Express Courier
(DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.)
Drexel University
Application Processing
PO Box 34789
Philadelphia, PA 19101
Drexel University
Application Processing
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2876

Admission Decisions

Students applying for freshman admission are offered the choice of applying Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision. Early Decision and Early Action applicants complete their applications earlier in order to receive an admission decision sooner. Applicants who choose to apply for Early Decision or Early Action will receive one of three possible decisions: an offer of admission, deferral to Regular Decision (for their first-choice major), or denied admission. An Early Decision is a binding decision, so if offered admission, students accepted for Early Decision must attend Drexel University and withdraw any applications submitted to other schools. An Early Action decision is non-binding, so accepted students have until May 1 to explore their options. Students applying Regular Decision have a later deadline and will receive their decisions by April 1. This decision is also non-binding. Learn more about Early Decision and Early Action admission options.

Check Your Application Status Online

During the admission process, you'll have the opportunity to check your admission status online. Once your application materials have been processed, you'll receive an email that gives you access to the Discover Drexel Portal.

If you are offered admission to Drexel, be sure to review our information for Accepted Students.

Notices and Disclosures

Please refer to Drexel's Consumer Information and Student Right to Know page for policies that pertain to all prospective and enrolled students.

Public Law 93-380: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Drexel University abides by the provisions of Public Law 93-380, which grants the student the right to examine admission files that are part of the student's permanent "Educational Record." Please note that "Applicants for Admission" are not granted rights under this legislation. Once an "Applicant for Admission" becomes a "Student" by enrolling and attending Drexel, any admission file that becomes a part of the student's permanent "Educational Record" becomes available to the student for review. Applicants should understand that only the transcripts, CEEB, SAT, Achievement Test Score Reports, and those portions of the application generated by the student will become part of the student's permanent "Educational Record" upon enrollment.

No other information or material gathered or submitted in the admission process will be retained as part of the student's permanent "Educational Record." Statements or evaluations provided by any individual do not become part of the student's permanent "Educational Record" and will not be available for the student's review.

Access Privileges and Property Rights

All documents that you submit, or are submitted on your behalf, in support of this application for admission to Drexel University become the property of the University and will under no circumstances be released to you or any other party. In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, all admission decisions are given to the applicant only. No decisions on applications are revealed over the telephone.

Notice of Availability of Annual Security Report

Drexel University, in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), publishes an annual report for current and prospective students and employees. This report contains important safety information and crime statistics for the previous three years. These statistics pertain to reported crimes that have occurred on campus in certain non-campus buildings, or properties that are owned or controlled by Drexel University, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus.

Download a copy of the most recent Annual Security Report [PDF]. Printed copies of this report are also available by calling the Public Safety Administrative Office at 215.895.1550.

For more information about the services provided by the Drexel University Department of Public Safety, please visit the Department of Public Safety website.


Drexel University is accredited through a voluntary, peer-review process coordinated by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Required Information for Students and the Public

You can view further information and disclosures about Drexel University at the Required Information for Students and the Public Provost webpage.