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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 enroll@drexel.edu or call 215.895.2400.

Application Fee, $50

Drexel applicants must pay a nonrefundable application fee of $50.00 U.S. dollars, which should be paid online when you submit the Common Application.

Students who feel that the application fee would be a financial hardship can request a fee waiver on the Common Application.

Essay

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

Transcripts

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 enroll@drexel.edu 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).

All nursing BSN co-op applicants who have coursework from an institution outside of the United States — except Study Abroad — must have their transcripts evaluated by one of the following agencies:
World Education Services (WES)
International Consultants of Delaware
Educational Credential Evaluators

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

You must take either the SAT or ACT and request that the results be forwarded to the Admissions Office. All students should use the following codes to send score reports to Drexel: SAT 2194 or ACT 3556.

Drexel encourages you to submit scores each time you take the SAT or ACT test. The University will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates submitted. Final admission decisions are made using only the highest scores. Each time you submit scores, the University updates your application file with any new high scores. If you submit ACT scores and the composite score is higher than the SAT section scores, the ACT scores will be considered for admission.

TOEFL or IELTS scores may be considered for admission for domestic freshmen whose first language is not English or for whom English is not spoken at home. Additionally, permanent residents whose first language is not English may be requested to submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores should be submitted to the Admissions Office. Drexel's TOEFL code is 2194.

International applicants must take either the SAT or ACT and request that results be forwarded to the Admissions Office. All students should use the following codes to send score reports to Drexel: SAT 2194 or ACT 3556.

Additionally, international applicants whose first (or native) language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS and request that results be forwarded to the Admissions Office. Drexel's TOEFL school code is 2194. Exemptions may occur for the following reasons:

  • Your first (or native) language is English.
  • You have studied at a high school for a minimum of three years where English is the primary language of instruction. We strongly recommend that students who chose this exemption still submit both the SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS exams to demonstrate English language proficiency.
  • You have received a minimum score of 600 on the SAT Critical Reasoning section or a minimum score of 27 on the ACT English section.

Drexel encourages you to submit scores each time you take the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, or IELTS test. The University will consider your highest section scores across all test dates submitted. Final admission decisions are made using only the highest scores. Each time you submit scores, the University updates your record with any new high scores. If you submit ACT scores and the composite score is higher than the SAT section scores, the ACT scores will be considered for admission.

Nursing BSN co-op applicants who were born outside of the United States — regardless of citizenship, native language, or location of degree-granting institutions — are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination. Results must be forwarded to the Admissions Office. Drexel encourages you to submit scores each time you take this exam. All students should use the following code to send score reports to Drexel: TOEFL 2194.

Passing test scores for nursing BSN co-op applicants only:
• TOEFL iBT: Minimum combined score of 79 with a 26 score or higher in the speaking section.
OR
• TOEFL paper-based exam: Total score of 550 and the Test of Spoken English (TSE) exam with a minimum score of 55.
OR
• IELTS: Minimum combined score of 6.5 with a 7.5 score or higher on the speaking section.

The TOEFL can be waived if the applicant falls into one of these categories:
• Born on a U.S. military base.
OR
• Completed four years of high school and received a high school diploma from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, or Ireland.

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 non-custodial 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 fafsa.ed.gov using Drexel's FAFSA school code: 003256. You should not wait to be accepted to submit the CSS Profile and FAFSA. The CSS Profile can be started in October and the FAFSA can be started as early as January 1.

U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are only interested in need-based aid from the federal or state government only need to file the FAFSA by the stated deadline.

International applicants who are interested in Drexel's institutional need-based financial aid are required to submit the CSS Profile, including non-custodial 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.

Portfolio

Note: We are currently updating our portfolio system. Please check back in early September for submission instructions.

All work submitted becomes part of the application and will not be returned.

Architecture applicants are required to submit a portfolio with a maximum of 10 items in a variety of media. Please include at least two free-hand drawings, not copied from a photo or other two-dimensional image. Work may include painting, sculpture, graphics, art photography, digital drawing or 3D fabrications, woodworking, ceramics, or other visual media that demonstrate interest in design. If any work submitted was produced collaboratively, or in a professional setting, include proper identification of the applicant's work and role in the project. CAD drawings are discouraged. Each image should be labeled with the student name, the date it was executed, the media used, and if it was done independently or in a course or office setting. Please keep in mind that the admissions committee is more interested in understanding your creative intent and design process than your specific mastery of skills. A wide range of media is recommended to show the breadth of your creative thinking skills.

Fashion design applicants are required to submit a portfolio of creative work demonstrating an interest in fashion with a maximum of 12 images of drawings, paintings, photographs, or other visual materials or a website. Students are encouraged to submit artistic work related to the fashion industry such as mood boards, design sketches, or photographs of garments.

Film & video applicants may submit an optional video. The video should be no more than five minutes in length.

Graphic design applicants are required to submit a portfolio of creative work with a maximum of 12 images of drawings, paintings, photographs, or other visual materials or a website.

Interior design applicants may submit an optional portfolio. The portfolio is not required, but is highly recommended when possible to enhance your application file for scholarship consideration. Please provide a sample of your creative work with a maximum of 12 images of drawings, paintings, sculpture, photographs, 3D models, or other visual materials.

Music industry applicants are required to submit a portfolio. Please provide any relevant samples of any creative or business-related work that demonstrates your understanding of the industry and past experience in the field. This content may include press kits, business and marketing plans, links to websites, professional résumés, and/or links to your productions/recordings, or original music.

Photography applicants are required to submit a portfolio of creative work with a maximum of 12 images of drawings, paintings, photographs, or other visual materials or a website.

Product design applicants must submit a portfolio containing original creative work or a design project that is provided by Drexel to demonstrate creative thinking in lieu of creative work. You can submit both creative work and a project if you wish. Creative work can include — but is not limited to — painting, sculpture, graphics, art photography, digital drawing or 3D fabrications, woodworking, ceramics, or other visual media that demonstrate interest in design. If any work submitted was produced collaboratively, or in a professional setting, include proper identification of the applicant's work and role in the project. Each image should be labeled with the student name, the date it was executed, the media used, and if it was done independently or in a course or office setting. Please keep in mind that the admissions committee is more interested in understanding your creative intent and design process than your specific mastery of skills.

Screenwriting & playwriting applicants must submit a sample that you think represents your abilities to their fullest. It can be a script, but that's not a requirement. You can send prose, fiction or non-fiction, or critical analysis. Do not submit poetry. There is no particular length that we have in mind, although we're probably not going to read your entire novel if submitted. You may submit multiple works of different types. Please make sure your name is contained in the document.

Writing Supplement

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

Animation & visual effects: A brief essay helps us get to know you. Please write a 250- to 650-word essay about why you are interested in majoring in animation & visual effects at Drexel. A portfolio is not required, but it is highly encouraged. If you do have online samples of your work related to this major, please include the URL of your portfolio within your essay.

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.

Design & merchandising: Please write a 250- to 650-word essay about why you are interested in majoring in design & merchandising at Drexel. What specifically interests you about the design & merchandising program? How will design & merchandising help you attain your goals?

Game design and production: A brief essay helps us get to know you. Please write a 250- to 650-word essay about why you are interested in majoring in game design at Drexel. A portfolio is not required, but it is highly encouraged. If you do have online samples of your work related to this major, please include the URL of your portfolio within your essay.

Interactive digital media: A brief essay helps us get to know you. Please write a 250- to 650-word essay about why you are interested in majoring in interactive digital media at Drexel. A portfolio is not required, but it is highly encouraged. If you do have online samples of your work related to this major, please include the URL of your portfolio within your essay.

Music industry: You are required to submit an additional essay on the following topic: "Why I want to study music industry at Drexel."

Screenwriting and playwriting: Applicants are required to submit an additional essay on the following topic: What film, TV show, play, book, song, commercial, poem, or any other creative work changed the way you look at the world, and why? There is no minimum or maximum word count; write as much as you need, but write something you think we'll find interesting.

Audition (Dance Applicants Only)

Dance applicants are required to audition. Visit the Westphal College Dance website for more information.

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.

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 application.

Homeschooled Students

At the time of application, a homeschooled student must present a transcript from an accredited school or homeschool program. Applicants who are not participating in an accredited program must submit GED results in order to be considered for admission.

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 Action or Regular Decision. Early Action applicants complete their applications earlier in order to receive an admission decision sooner. Applicants who choose to apply for 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 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.

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 will give you access to the Discover Drexel Portal.

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

Admission Decision Appeals

An applicant who has been denied admission to the University may appeal. Reversal on a decision is rare, and if considered, is done based on changes in the applicant's academic criteria, or personal circumstances that could not be considered adequately through the standard admission review process.

An applicant appealing a decision should compose a letter to the Academic Appeal Chairperson stating the reason for the appeal and provide updated documentation. The appeal should be clear and concise, and provide new information. Your letter should not repeat information already presented in your initial application. The appeal should be emailed to the attention of the Academic Appeal Committee Chairperson at enroll@drexel.edu.

Notification of the decision of the committee is final and will be made known to the applicant by mail within two to three weeks.

Notices and Disclosures

Please refer to Drexel's Consumer Information and Student Right to Know 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.