First-Year (Freshman) Admission Criteria

We carefully consider each applicant as we identify the next class of exceptional students who will influence our university community.

Student holding up and looking at a petri dish.
  • How We Decide

    Admission to UB is based on a holistic approach that considers all aspects of a student’s application, both academic and non-cognitive factors. We review your high school average, your class rank and the strength of your high school academic record.

    UB is test optional and supports SUNY’s decision to make the submission of SAT and ACT test scores optional. Students can share their scores as part of their application if they choose by selecting this option on their application. UB will consider your highest SAT or ACT score if you choose to submit test scores.

    A personal essay, recommendations, documented evidence of exceptional creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service, socio-economic environment, family unit and special life circumstances are also considered in a holistic admission process.

  • Suggested High School Coursework

    Our applicants have completed rigorous coursework in high school. Most students have taken high school courses in basic academic knowledge areas. The following courses are not required for admission, but are suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:

    • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
    • Four years of social studies
    • Three years of college-preparatory science
    • Three years of a second language
    • At least three years of college-preparatory mathematics

    Some students who haven’t completed such a program still qualify for admission; however, it might be necessary to take additional courses to strengthen your knowledge in one or more of those areas after you enter the university.

  • When are you accepted into your major?

    When applying, you should indicate your intended major on the application form. If you apply via the Common Application you are encouraged to select a second-choice major. In general, the admissions consideration process is the same for most majors, including for exploratory students.

    An audition is required for admission to the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Intended theatre majors with professional experience are also required to audition.

  • Departmental Requirements

    All baccalaureate candidates must successfully complete a program of study either in a specific department’s degree program or in a special studies program developed by the student. It’s important to consult with your academic advisor, who will help you identify and complete the requirements for acceptance into a degree program. Once you’ve been accepted into a major, you will be assigned a departmental advisor to help plan and implement your academic program.

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

    TOEFL is required to ensure that language skills don’t prevent students from successfully completing university-level courses in the United States. In general, the TOEFL is required for applicants whose native language is not English and if any portion of their high school studies was completed in a non-English speaking country. Additionally, students who speak English as a second language and have SAT critical reading scores below 440 are encouraged to take the TOEFL. Transfer applicants whose native language is not English may also be required to submit TOEFL results.

    UB requires a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (Internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) in order to be considered for admission. Students scoring between 70 and 78 or 523 and 547 on the TOEFL may be admitted to the university on the condition that they register for and successfully complete additional English courses in their first semester.