Entrance Requirements

Wheaton College selects candidates for admission from applicants who evidence a vital Christian experience, high academic ability, moral character, personal integrity, concern for others, and the desire to pursue a liberal arts education as defined in the aims and objectives of the College.

The College seeks to enroll, from its many applicants, a well-rounded first-year class—a class composed of 600 dynamic individuals with a wide variety of attributes, accomplishments, backgrounds, and interests.

These qualities are evaluated by considering each applicant's academic record, autobiographical statements, test scores, recommendations, participation in extracurricular activities, and an interview (should the applicant choose to have one). An audition is required for Conservatory of Music applicants.

Secondary School Record

Wheaton College requires a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate (GED) for admission as a degree seeking student. We allow an exception for students who have completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law.

Therefore, students who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (e.g. GED), or do not meet the home school requirements, and who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012, will not be eligible to receive Title IV student aid. "Ability to benefit" (ATB) alternatives to a high school diploma or its equivalent are no longer accepted.

A student’s final high school transcript including all completed high school coursework and date of graduation serves as proof of a high school diploma. With the exception of homeschools, final high school transcripts must be signed and sent directly from the high school in a sealed envelope or through an approved electronic transcript transfer. If we are unable to validate a student’s high school diploma, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. There is no appeal process should this situation occur.

Applicants should have followed a challenging college preparatory curriculum and meet the unit requirements listed below.

A minimum of 18 units should be earned in high school. (A unit is one full year of a subject). Only courses taken in grades 9-12 are counted. An applicant should plan to complete at least 14 units by the end of the junior year.

Of the 18 units, 15 must be earned in the academic areas of English, social studies, mathematics, science, and foreign language. Applicants will be expected to have completed at least two years of one foreign language.

Courses That Meet the Unit Requirements

Subject Recommended Units
English (Examples: grammar, literature, composition, speech, debate, forensics, writing) 4 units recommended
Mathematics (Examples: algebra, geometry, algebra II, trigonometry, analytic geometry, precalculus, calculus, math analysis) 3-4 units recommended
Science (Examples: biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, physical science, geology, astronomy) 3-4 units recommended
Social Studies (Examples: world history, global studies, U.S. history, western/world civilization, European/African/Asian history, geography, psychology, economics, political science, government, sociology, philosophy) 3-4 units recommended
Foreign Language (Examples: French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Latin) 2-3 units recommended
Other (Examples: accounting, art history/survey/appreciation, Bible/religion, business, child development, communications, computer science, consumer education, drama, ESL, family living, general math, journalism, marketing, music history/theory/appreciation, pre-algebra)

No units are granted for health and activity courses such as physical education, driver education, or vocational courses. A maximum of one unit of computer science may be counted toward the 18 units.

Homeschooled applicants are required to submit additional curricular information, by completing the Homeschool Information Form.

Students who are in an accelerated program in high school and who can complete all requirements for a diploma and Wheaton entrance requirements in three years may be considered for admission. They must satisfy all Wheaton's requirements for admission, including the 18 units of coursework and assurance that a diploma will be granted before enrollment at Wheaton. They must also demonstrate exceptional academic ability as evidenced by grades and test scores and display sufficient maturity to perform at the college level.

In recent years, the average unweighted grade point average of students accepted for admission has been 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. Over 50% of these applicants graduated in the top 10% in their class. These figures are not minimums, but are provided to give a general profile of the first-year class.

Entrance Tests

Satisfactory scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination Board (SAT) or the American College Testing Assessment Program (ACT) are required of all first-year and transfer applicants who, at the time of application, have not completed 60 semester hours of college credit post high school graduation. Wheaton's code number is 1905 for the SAT; 1160 for the ACT. All test scores must be sent directly from the testing service. All entering first-years are required to take the SAT or ACT. First-years applying for Early Action must take the ACT no later than the October test date, or take the SAT no later than the November test date. First-years applying for Regular Action must take the SAT or ACT no later than the December test date.


The following are required:

  • Recommendation by an academic teacher (English, social science, science, math, or foreign language).
  • Recommendation by a pastor, youth pastor, former pastor, Bible study leader, church official, or other mature Christian. This person should be a mature Christian adult who has had the opportunity to observe the student's spiritual life, and should not be a relative.
  • Conservatory applicants must also request a recommendation from one of their music teachers.

Please refer to the academic, pastoral, and music teacher recommendation forms for specific instructions.

Community Covenant

The Community Covenant is designed to express the Christian convictions, aspirations, commitments, and responsibilities shared by the members of the Wheaton College campus family. All students enrolling in Wheaton College will be required to sign the Community Covenant published in this catalog and in the admissions application.


An admission interview is optional. Interviews will be conducted while time slots are available, up to November 1 for Early Action First-Year applicants and through February 1 for Regular Action First-Year applicants. Transfer interviews will be held through the appropriate transfer application deadline. To facilitate Early Action admissions decisions, no interviews will be conducted during the month of November. Please keep in mind that interview appointments are limited and often fill up a few weeks before the application deadline.

Application Procedures

First-Year Students

Decisions are made two times during the year. Students who apply for Early Action, which is non-binding, receive their decision letters by December 31. Students who apply for Regular Action receive their decision letters by April 1. For information on deadline dates for Early Action and Regular Action, as well as for applying to the Conservatory, consult the current year’s application at https://www.wheaton.edu/Admissions-and-Aid/Undergrad/Apply. Applications submitted after the deadline dates cannot be guaranteed equal consideration with those submitted on time.

All students admitted for fall semester have until May 1 to submit an enrollment confirmation and $300 advance deposit. May 1 is the nationally recognized candidate reply date.

A student must complete the following steps to be considered for admission to Wheaton as a First-Year student:

  • Submit a completed application form along with a nonrefundable application fee using our institutional application or the Common Application.
  • Request that their secondary school send an official transcript of credits, including grade point average and the rank in class at the end of the junior year. The transcript must include work through the junior year and contain the freshman year record. If you have attended more than one high school, you must request a transcript from each school. Transcripts must be sent directly from the school or in a signed and sealed school envelope.
  • Have the Academic Recommendation completed by an academic teacher.
  • Arrange for a pastor, youth pastor, former pastor, Bible study leader, church official, or other mature Christian to complete the Pastoral Recommendation.
  • Take the SAT or the ACT and have the score reports sent to the Admissions Office directly from the testing agency. The application for admission may be submitted before taking the tests. Please note that if you are applying for Early Action, you must take the ACT test no later than the October test date of your senior year, or take the SAT test no later than the November test date of your senior year. If you are applying for Regular Action, you must take the SAT or ACT test no later than the December test date of your senior year.

If admitted, students are required to send an advance deposit of $300 by the date stated in the admission letter.

Enrolling students must request a final official transcript from their school as soon as possible, reflecting senior year credits, grades, final class rank, and date of graduation. Final transcripts must come directly from the school. Students are expected to satisfactorily complete all coursework in which they are enrolled at the time of acceptance.

Admitted students will be sent a medical history form, which must be completed and submitted to Student Health Services before enrollment.

Conservatory of Music

The Conservatory of Music is a department of the Division of Conservatory, Art and Communication at Wheaton College. Those wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education degree should use the Conservatory of Music application available online. Those wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in music should complete the online application to the Liberal Arts College. The deadline for applications is January 10 for the following academic year. A student must apply either to the Conservatory of Music or to the Arts and Sciences division of the College, but not both. Applicants to the Conservatory should refer to the section in this catalog for the Conservatory of Music. Additional requirements for admission and the procedure for applying to the Conservatory will be found in that section.

Transfer Students

Transfers should apply the previous spring for fall semester and the previous fall for spring semester. For information on deadline dates, consult the transfer student portion of our website. Typically Wheaton has about 70-90 openings for the fall semester and 20-30 for the spring. Admission is offered on a rolling basis beginning in March (for fall) and November (for spring). Applications submitted after the deadline dates cannot be guaranteed equal consideration.

A transfer is defined as any student who has previously enrolled in a college or university after graduating high school. In order to apply as a transfer student, an applicant should have first graduated from high school and enrolled at an accredited postsecondary institution. The student should have at least a B average and be in good standing at the school last attended. Credit is granted for work of satisfactory grade (C-) taken in accredited schools, provided courses apply toward the Wheaton program. Junior college students may transfer up to two years (62 semester hours) of credit.

Students applying for transfer to Wheaton must complete the following steps:

  • Submit a completed application form along with a nonrefundable application fee using our institutional application or the Common Application.
  • Request that the secondary school send a transcript of credits, including a statement of graduation. Transcripts must come directly from the school.
  • Request transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, whether or not credit was earned. Transcripts must be sent directly from the school or in a signed and sealed school envelope.
  • Have the Academic Recommendation completed by a professor or faculty advisor at the previous college.
  • Arrange for a pastor, youth pastor, former pastor, Bible study leader, church official, or other mature Christian to complete the Pastoral Recommendation.
  • Have the SAT or ACT scores sent to Wheaton directly from the testing agency. Students who have earned at least 60 semester hours of credit at the time of application are not required to submit test scores.

If admitted, students are required to send an advance deposit of $300 by the date stated in the admission letter. (See section on advance deposit.)

Enrolling students must also submit final transcripts of college work as soon as it is completed. Final transcripts must come directly from the school. Students are expected to satisfactorily complete all course work in which they are enrolled at the time of acceptance.

In addition, a medical history form must be completed and submitted to Student Health Services before enrollment.


When a matriculated student withdraws from Wheaton and desires to return, a Returning Student Application must be submitted to the Admissions Office. Application deadlines for students applying for re-admission are the previous spring for fall and summer, and the previous fall for spring. For information on deadline dates, consult the current year’s application. Readmission is not guaranteed; however, preference is given to returning students based on the number of openings in a given semester. Students are advised to submit the application and supporting documents well in advance of their desired date of reenrollment.

If the student has attended another college since leaving Wheaton, an official transcript of all courses taken must be sent to the Admissions Office. Upon acceptance, readmitted students are required to submit a $300 advance deposit. Housing requests will not be processed until the advance deposit has been received by the Admissions Office.

If a student has not been enrolled for ten years or more and is readmitted into a degree program ten years from initial enrollment, the requirements listed in the catalog for the year of readmission must be met for graduation. Such students may file an Academic Petition with the Registrar's Office to extend degree completion beyond the ten-year limit. Students also may petition departments to be allowed to use credits more than ten years old to meet requirements of the newer catalog.

International Students

Qualified international students (non-citizens without a U.S. permanent resident visa) of high scholastic standing are invited to apply for admission to the College. The application deadline for undergraduate international applicants intending to enroll in the Fall is November 1 for Early Action and January 10 for Regular Action First-years and March 1 for Transfers.

English Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants

International applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. Generally, admitted students have an Internet-based TOEFL score of 95-105 or higher (587-620 or higher on the paper-based test) or an IELTS Academic score of 7-8 or higher and a CEFR level of C1 or above.

Applicants who fulfill all of the following criteria, may submit SAT or ACT scores to fulfill the English proficiency requirement instead of TOEFL or IELTS scores. However, the Admissions Office strongly encourages all international applicants whose native language is not English to take the TOEFL exam or IELTS Academic exam. The required criteria for the SAT or ACT exception is as follows:

  • Applicant has studied as a full-time student in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the British West Indies within the last two years, OR you have studied at an international school where English language is the language of classroom instruction within the last two years.
  • AND applicant has taken at least one English class with a grade of B or better.
  • AND applicant has a good academic record at the school attended.

An applicant who is a native speaker of English and is a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the British West Indies is not required to take the TOEFL exam or IELTS Academic test but instead is required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

NOTE: We must receive official score reports directly from the testing service.

Scores must be no more than two years old. If a student took the exam more than two years ago, it must be taken again. Students who do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements will not be admitted.

Financial Documentation for International Applicants

International undergraduate applicants requesting an F1 student visa must show sufficient funds to cover expenses while attending Wheaton College. To verify adequate financial support, all international applicants (including citizens of Canada) must complete the International Financial Verification Form and submit it along with required financial documentation.

Wheaton College will not make an admissions decision until all required financial forms and documents are received.

Selection Process

Admission Decisions

The selection of candidates for admission to Wheaton College is made by an Admissions Committee. Notification dates are listed in the application, or in the above section pertaining to your application type. For fall admission, all applicants with completed files should have received a decision letter by early April.

Waiting List

In April, some candidates will be notified that they have been placed on a waiting list. In the event that cancellations from those offered admission create openings in the class, those openings will be offered to candidates on the waiting list.

Advance Deposit

An advance deposit of $300 must be submitted with the Enrollment Confirmation Form to accept admission to the College or Conservatory of Music. The deposit is not refundable after the deadline and is forfeited if the student does not enroll. Upon enrollment, the deposit is credited toward tuition.

Deadlines for submitting the advance deposit are as follows: May 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester (or the deadline listed on your letter of admission). If the deposit is not received by the above deadline, the student’s spot in the class may be forfeited to a candidate on the waiting list.

Test Information and Credit

Competency and SAT Subject Tests

Competency in the areas of foreign language, speech, and writing should be demonstrated through the testing programs listed below. If competency is not demonstrated, the course or courses become part of the general education requirement. (See General Education Requirements for specific competency requirements.)

  • Foreign Language - Competency exam administered on campus if a student does not demonstrate competency through SAT Subject Tests, AP, or IB exams. For languages not taught at Wheaton, exam availability may vary;
  • Oral Communication - Test administered on campus;
  • Writing - See Writing under the English section of this catalog.

The SAT Subject Tests are not required for the admissions process. Foreign language subject tests may earn college credit as noted above. Students should arrange with their guidance counselors to take the tests sometime during their senior year, preferably no later than May. For further information on competency, see the General Education Requirements section of this catalog.

Note: If an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course and exam are taken, the SAT Subject Test is not necessary.

Additional information will be sent to admitted first-years.

Advanced Standing - Dual or Concurrent Enrollment Credits

A maximum of 40 credit hours earned prior to high school graduation may be applied to the undergraduate degree. Use of courses taken prior to college matriculation for major requirements will be at the discretion of the Academic Department.

Advanced Standing — Credit by Examination

A student may be granted advanced standing or college credit on the basis of examination. The amount of credit and level of placement will be determined by the Registrar and the department chair in which the course is taught or the Director of Core Studies. Credit for advanced standing can be acquired by the following means:

  • Advanced Placement Program of the College Board with scores of 4 or 5. AP credit will be forfeited if an equivalent college course is taken for credit;
  • International Baccalaureate courses with grades of 5 or higher;
  • Certain foreign credentials.

Additional information will be sent to admitted students.

Acceptance of Degrees and Credits

The College reserves the right to decide the acceptability and relevance of degrees and credits earned at other institutions. The Registrar is responsible for specifying the criteria and condition for the acceptance of such degrees and credits. College credit taken before the first year in high school will not be considered for transfer to Wheaton College.

Graduation Rate Information

As prospective students consider which college to attend, they often question what graduates do after graduation and how many students who start a degree program actually complete it. Of the first-years who enrolled at Wheaton for the fall 2016 semester, 93% returned to Wheaton for the fall 2017 semester. Of the 696 first-years who enrolled for the fall 2011 semester, 80% graduated from Wheaton in four years, 87% within five years, and 89% within six years.

Within five years of graduation, approx. 60% of Wheaton graduates have gone on to some form of graduate study.

This information is being provided as a service to students and in compliance with the Federal Student Right-to-Know Act.