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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. Your Social Security number is also required to be considered for financial aid. If you need to change your major or co-op selection after submitting your application, please contact the Admissions office 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.


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.

International applicants should refer to International Instructions for additional requirements.

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 should refer to International Instructions for additional requirements.

Nursing co-op applicants who were born outside of the United States — regardless of citizenship, native language, or location of degree-granting institutions — must also review the International Instructions for additional requirements.

Financial Aid Documents

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

Applicants who are interested in 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 this information by the deadline may not be eligible for institutional need-based financial aid.

Applicants who are only interested in need-based aid from the federal or state government only need to file the FAFSA by the stated deadline.

You can submit the CSS Profile on the College Board website; be sure to list Drexel so that we can receive your information. You can submit the FAFSA online at using Drexel's FAFSA school code: 003256. You do not need to 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.

Learn more about How to Apply for Aid.


Applicants to the following programs should email portfolio materials to as PDF attachments or provide links to images or videos hosted on a publicly accessible website. All work submitted becomes part of the application and will not be returned.

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.

Game art and production applicants may submit an optional portfolio. Your portfolio may contain any material you feel is relevant to your skills (i.e., drawing, painting, photography, video, 3D models, animations, music, video games, computer programs, code, research, etc.).

Graphic design and 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.

Interior design applicants may submit an optional portfolio. 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 or a website.

Music industry applicants may submit an optional 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.

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; however, if you do have online samples of your work related to this major, please feel free to include the URL of your portfolio within your essay.

Architecture: Objects, images, spaces, and places are able to change our perception about particular issues or topics. For your intended area of study (architecture), describe an experience where instruction in that area or your personal interaction with an object, image, space, or place changed the way you think. What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?

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 a 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?

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 4. Refer to the BA/BS/MD Accelerated Degree Application Process for additional information and to access application.

Homeschooled Students

Homeschooled applicants are not required to present an equivalency diploma to be considered for admission. Accepted students who decide to enroll, however, must present proof of graduation. Homeschooled students must provide a diploma that is equivalent to a high school diploma in the applicant's home state, or complete and submit results of the GED test prior to enrollment at Drexel.

International Students, Permanent Residents, and U.S. Citizens Born Abroad

Refer to our International Instructions for additional requirements.

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

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.