What We Need
- Application—You can apply for the spring or fall semester through the Common App.
- Transcript—You can self-report your grades/transcript in our Applicant Portal. If you’re admitted and deposit, you’ll be required to submit an official transcript. To send your transcript, you can either mail, send electronically, or self-report.
- Recommendations (optional)—Request one letter of recommendation from your school counselor or an academic subject teacher (English, math, science, social studies, or foreign language). You are welcome to send additional letters.
- SAT/ACT scores (optional)—If you would like to share your scores, you can include them on your transcript or submit using SAT code 2039 or ACT code 3524. Scores may be required for pre-professional programs (see FAQs below).
- Essay (optional)—Your personal essay may include information not highlighted in your application.
- List of activities (optional)—We consider these details when making merit scholarship decisions. You can include leadership, service, research, employment, and extracurricular experiences.
Veterans who completed two or more semesters of full-time study (12 credits/semester) have the same requirements as transfer students. If you have not, contact your high school to submit your official transcript to Arcadia’s Office of Enrollment Management.
Veteran students should also visit ebenefits.va.gov to research, find, access, and manage benefits information.
As a veteran, what should I consider when applying?
We encourage veteran and active military applicants to review degree programs and costs with an admission counselor. When choosing a program, you should consider your educational goals; how much you’ll need for living expenses; how much of your educational benefits you’ve already used; and how much you’ll need to reach your academic goals. Service members should contact their Educational Services Officers (ES) or counselor prior to registration to confirm the availability of tuition assistance funds.
Veteran students are required to request and have evaluated all college and university credit received prior to, during, and after military service, including joint service transcripts. This ensures that the VA does not pay for coursework twice, and that students receive the most from their benefits. Please note that the University awards ACE-recommended transfer credit whenever possible.
It is also your responsibility to notify Arcadia regarding any change in enrollment, address, degree plan, or other revision that may impact your benefits. Failure to report such changes can result in an overpayment, requiring debt collection action from the VA.
Arcadia requires one letter of recommendation from an outside source (evaluator, non-parent teacher, club leader, or employer), as well as one or more of the following: state-approved diploma; GED; comprehensive curriculum; a grade report and/or sample works representing your secondary education. You’re invited to submit SAT II Subject Tests, AP or CLEP test scores, writing samples, or a recommendation from someone who knows your academic abilities.
There is no deadline to apply, but we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Admission offers and scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis; we make decisions as applications are received.
There is a Jan. 15 priority deadline to automatically be considered for distinguished scholarships, accelerated degree programs, certain special admission programs.
What Happens Next?
We will notify you of our admission decision within a few weeks of receiving your completed application, and contact you if more information is needed.
We’ll also send you information about your enrollment deposit to secure your place at Arcadia.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Applicants
What are the most important parts of my application?
Arcadia’s Admissions staff is most interested in your:
- High school or college transcript (emphasis is placed on the program type you followed, your grades, and your class rank);
- Letter(s) of recommendation;
- School and community activities;
- Work experience;
- SAT or ACT scores (optional);
- Personal essay (optional);
- Portfolio Review or Acting Audition (for visual and performing arts majors only).
What is Arcadia’s SAT/ACT policy, and am I required to submit?
Joining more than 1,100 universities and colleges nationwide, Arcadia adopted a standardized-test optional admissions policy. Exemptions include homeschooled applicants (scores can be self-reported) and international applicants (must submit SAT or ACT if not submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or iTep). Students interested in the 3+2 Forensic Science or 3+Doctor of Physical Therapy program are strongly encouraged to submit scores.
We do not have a minimum score required for admission. We accept students with a range of scores, and will evaluate your highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math score in balance with other parts of your application.
Do I need to choose a major when I apply?
In most cases, you do not need to choose a major when you apply. We consider the program or field of study you indicate in your application as subject-to-change. By your sophomore year, you will likely declare a major.
If you are considering Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, Education, Scientific Illustration, or Fine Arts, you should check for special requirements and plan to meet with your adviser as early as possible to plan your schedule.
What scholarships does Arcadia offer, and when should I apply?
We offer Distinguished Scholarships which are awarded based on academic performance and high school involvement. Other awards are available, check arcadia.edu.award. You do not need to submit a separate application to be considered. If you are admitted, we will review your eligibility automatically.
What courses should I have taken in high school?
Arcadia recommends the following distribution of high school units:
- English- 4
- History and Social Studies- 4
- Mathematics- 3 (including Algebra II and Geometry)
- Modern Language- 2 (in one language)
- Laboratory Science- 3
- Additional units in Modern Language, Mathematics, and Laboratory Science are desirable as electives.
If you are interested in Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Forensic Science, Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Medical, other pre-health professions programs, or the combined Engineering program, we recommend a strong background in the sciences and mathematics. If your high school program does not match the recommended distribution of subjects, but your academic record and supporting application materials show the potential for success, we invite you to apply with the assurance that we will carefully review and consider your records.
What can I receive credit for?
You can transfer credit for work completed at regionally accredited institutions if the course content is comparable to what Arcadia offers or is appropriate for your intended degree program. We will not grant credit for courses in which you earned below a C-. You can transfer up to 90 credits from a four-year institution or 75 credits from a two-year institution.
- Advanced Placement (AP): If you earned three or higher on your College Board AP exams, you will receive credit for courses comparable to those offered at Arcadia.
- International Baccalaureate (IB): Arcadia reviews and evaluates IB Higher Level courses on an individual basis. Normally, we grant credit for scores of five or higher in courses that apply to your degree program. We evaluate full IB diploma holders on an individual basis as well. Typically, no credit is given for subsidiary-level courses.
- Prior Learning: Arcadia may award limited credit for prior learning experiences and employment.
Can I start at Arcadia later than I planned?
You can request to defer your enrollment for up to one year. We review such requests on a case-by-case basis. Send us (by mail or email) the semester in which you want to enroll (can be no later than one year after original term of admission); explicit reason(s) for deferring, including detailed plans for what you will do before starting; an explanation of how the time will improve your suitability for college and/or prepare you for your academic career, or of what you plan to accomplish before college.
Does Arcadia have any special admission programs? Can I apply to them?
Does Arcadia offer early admission?
Highly motivated students who have demonstrated personal and social maturity may enter Arcadia at the end of their junior year, rather than completing graduation requirements in high school. You will need to have written approval from your parent(s)/guardian(s), school counselor, and principal; and submit application materials required of first-year students.
Is it possible to graduate in less than four years?
Arcadia offers several three-year degree programs for students who are able and willing to complete their programs in a shorter time. Due to the pressure and intensity of fitting all requirements into three years, these programs are intended for students with high academic ability. Admission criteria for three-year programs are the same as the Honors Program.
The Office of Enrollment Management reserves the right to waive credentials for students with strong academic records, as determined during the initial application review. Review Admissions Policies.