Qualifications for Admission

The requirements for matriculation of undergraduates as specified below apply to students admitted for the regular academic year or for summer school.

Bucknell University is interested in selecting for admission those students who can best take advantage of the educational opportunities offered at the University. The University receives many more applications than it has spaces available in each year's incoming class. Therefore, Bucknell's Admissions Committee considers applicants' intellectual capabilities as well as their ability to uniquely benefit from, and contribute to, the academic and co-curricular life of the campus.

In considering candidates for admission to the University, the members of the Admissions Committee undertake a thorough evaluation of the quality of the admissions application; the secondary school curriculum of the applicant, with emphasis on both rigor and performance; aptitude for college study as reflected by the SAT or ACT (with writing) tests; written recommendations on behalf of the applicant; school and community activities; indications of special talents; and evidence of strong personal qualities of character and leadership. Those with the best academic preparation in secondary school and a demonstrated interest in being actively engaged in the myriad aspects of Bucknell's residential learning community are more favorably viewed by the Admissions Committee.

Visiting Bucknell

"Finding the right fit" is the goal of the college search process and it involves a period of discovery of one's self, and then an exploration phase to find the institutions that will best accommodate the various interests, talents, and criteria that have been established by the student. Continuing research into a preliminary list of schools may involve visiting their respective websites, taking their virtual tours, e-mailing the school for information and/or to submit information, and ultimately, visiting the campus itself.

Visiting campus is an important part of a student's college search process, not only to assess the appropriate fit for the student, but also as an opportunity for the student to demonstrate interest in the university. Demonstrated interest is an important part the application review process for the Admissions Committee as it reviews many qualified applicants. Becoming acquainted prior to the application review period, and remaining engaged with Admissions personnel during that process will convey to the Admissions Committee serious intent on the part of the applicant, and may provide insight for the committee during its deliberations.

Bucknell University's visitation options include information sessions, tours, open houses, and special junior and senior programs. Interviews are not a part of the application process. All visit options can be viewed at www.bucknell.edu/visit.

Filing an Application

To apply to Bucknell University, secondary school students submit the Common Application as well as the Bucknell Supplemental Application form by one of the application deadlines. The Common Application and supplement are available on the Common Application website at www.commonapp.org or by accessing a link on the Bucknell University website. Bucknell University's application options are Early Decision (two deadline choices) or Regular Decision.

The application fee of $60 is payable either by check mailed to the Admissions Office or by credit card or electronic check paid through the Common Application site. The application fee is nonrefundable and should be paid by the application deadline. Application fee waivers are available through the applicant's secondary school guidance counselor and should be submitted by the application deadline. The Office of Admissions reserves the right to change the application fee and acceptable methods of payment.

A completed application includes the Common Application; the Bucknell University Supplement; a $60 application fee or fee waiver; Secondary School report with counselor evaluation and transcript from each high school attended; SAT or ACT scores; at least one teacher recommendation preferably from a core subject; and the Mid-Year report, when available. Early Decision candidates must also submit the Common Application Early Decision Agreement form. This form is signed by the applicant, the applicant's parent or guardian, and the applicant's counselor testifying that Bucknell University is the applicant's first choice institution.

Early Decision

Bucknell University offers two early decision plans which allow a student to apply, and receive an answer earlier than the Regular Decision applicants. The application deadline for Early Decision I is November 15, and applicants receive decisions by mid-December. The application deadline for Early Decision II is January 15, and applicants receive decisions by mid-February. Both early decision options are first-choice plans, which means that the student has determined Bucknell University to be his or her first choice of colleges. Regular decision applications may be filed with other colleges, but must be withdrawn if early decision admission is offered by Bucknell University. One of three possible decisions will be rendered in the early decision plan: acceptance, deferral for later consideration in Regular Decision, or denial. For those offered admission, a $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit will be required within 30 days of the admission notification.

Regular Decision

The application deadline for Regular Decision is January 15. Applicants receive decisions by April 1. One of three possible decisions will be rendered in the regular decision plan: acceptance; wait list for later consideration if there is still room in the incoming class after regular decision deposits are received; or denial. For those applicants offered admission who choose to enroll, a $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit will be required by May 1.

Academic Requirements

Below are described the minimum requirements for various course areas as they relate to prospective major and non-major studies. As noted in an earlier section, the emphasis of the Admissions Committee review of a student's secondary school curriculum will be on both content and performance.

Requirements in Mathematics

The completion of three years of college-preparatory mathematics is required by the University for admission to any of its courses in mathematics. Students planning to take calculus at Bucknell University — including all students majoring in mathematics, science, engineering, economics, or management — are required to have additional preparation, including a year of precalculus. The term college-preparatory mathematics denotes a logical sequence of topics, including algebra and geometry, with emphasis on basic concepts and on principles of deductive reasoning. The term precalculus denotes the study of polynomial, rational, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions.

Requirements in Foreign Language

All applicants are required to have completed a minimum of two years of foreign language (in the same language) in secondary school for all of Bucknell's degree programs. Courses taken before 9th grade (or equivalent) do not count toward this requirement.

Requirements in the Sciences for Engineering Students

Engineering students are required to have one unit of either chemistry or physics. It is strongly recommended that they shall have had a minimum of four years of science, including both chemistry and physics.

Standardized Tests

Each applicant for undergraduate admission is required to take either the SAT or the ACT with writing. Each applicant is required to complete either of these tests in the junior year or in the fall of the senior year. SAT Subject Tests are not required. Information on the SAT is available at www.sat.org, and on the ACT at www.actstudent.org.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination unless all secondary school instruction received is in English. The minimum required TOEFL score is 600 on the paper-based exam (PBT) or 100 on the Internet-based exam (iBT). The minimum required IELTS score is 7. Information on the TOEFL is available at www.toefl.org, and on the IELTS at www.ielts.org.

Entrance Deferral

A student may elect to defer enrollment for one year after being admitted by submitting a request in writing to the dean of admissions. A non-refundable deposit will be required to hold this space for the year.

Advanced Standing for First-year and Transfer Students

An applicant who earns eight or fewer Bucknell University course credits at another college while simultaneously enrolled in high school normally shall be considered for admission only as a first-year student. Thus, it is assumed that such students will be eligible for, and required to comply with, University curricular and cocurricular programs and policies intended for those entering college immediately after high school.

Accordingly, first-year students will be limited to a maximum of eight transfer credits (including both AP and college courses elected while in high school). Such students may attend eight semesters (10 if enrolled in a five-year engineering program). Students who have earned more than eight course credits but still wish to be admitted as first-year students should consult with the associate dean of their college to decide which eight courses they should select for transfer.

A student who wishes to transfer more than eight Bucknell University course credits including Advanced Placement and credits earned at another college while simultaneously enrolled in high school normally shall be considered for admission only as a transfer student. Thus, it is assumed that such students will not be eligible for, nor required to comply with, University curricular and cocurricular programs and policies intended for those entering college immediately after finishing high school. Such students will have their graduation date adjusted to reflect prior semesters’ work. Graduation date (class year) determines the number of semesters a student may attend Bucknell University; when necessary due to curricular needs, the deans may adjust the student’s graduation date.

A student who earns college credits while matriculated in a degree program elsewhere, and subsequent to high school graduation, will be considered for admission only as a transfer student. Should the number of accepted transfer credits be fewer than four, the students will be eligible for, and required to comply with, University curricular and cocurricular programs intended for first-year students.

While the foregoing policies are to apply in most situations, exceptions may be made by the Office of Admissions following consideration of the particular circumstances of the applicant, and after appropriate consultation with the offices of the Registrar, the Deans of Engineering or Arts and Sciences, and Student Services.

A grade point average of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 = A scale) is required of students who apply for transfer. The mean GPA of accepted transfer students is a 3.4. All courses comparable to those given at Bucknell University, which can be counted toward the requirements for graduation, and in which a grade of C or better was earned, will be credited. (A grade of C- or below will not be accepted for transfer credit.) Credit is not granted for Pass/Fail grades or audited courses. Examples of courses not acceptable for transfer are those in professional or vocational fields, mathematics at a level lower than our introductory calculus courses, and language courses which repeat high school work. As with all coursework, courses taken online at regionally accredited universities will be considered for transfer credit at the discretion of the department chair.

Most students transfer to Bucknell University from schools which employ the semester hour credit system. For transfer purposes, Bucknell University courses are considered to be 4-semester-hours courses. For schools on a semester hour system, 4 semester hours are equivalent to 1.0 Bucknell course credit. Policy does allow that 2 courses of only 3 semester hours may each transfer as a full course credit. Transfer credit would be reduced to 0.75 credits for any 3 semester hour course taken thereafter. For schools on a quarter credit hour system, 6 quarter hours are equivalent to 1.0 Bucknell course credit. Policy does, however allow that 2 courses of only 4.5 quarter hours may each transfer as a full credit. Transfer credit would be reduced to 0.75 credits for any 4.5 quarter hour course taken thereafter.

The grade point average required for good standing and for graduation is compiled only on work taken at Bucknell University. An applicant for admission with advanced standing must submit to the dean of admissions an official transcript of record of all earlier college work and any other information the dean may request.

In certain highly structured areas — such as the programs leading to the Bachelor of Music degree, the Bachelor of Science degrees, and the engineering degrees — the sequence of courses is very important. Potential transfer candidates interested in these areas should contact the Office of Admissions and the appropriate department chair as early as possible for advice on course selection at the institution where the student is currently enrolled.

All applications and credentials must be received by March 15 from transfer candidates who wish to begin their studies at Bucknell University in the first (fall) semester, or by November 1 for the second (spring) semester. Transfer application materials and instructions will include a statement regarding policies and procedures for awarding of credit.

Students will not be admitted to the University as candidates for a bachelor's degree if they have earned more than 80 semester hours elsewhere. This maximum credit limitation includes credits earned through Advanced Placement Tests and subject College Level Examination Program tests of the College Board. To satisfy Bucknell's graduation requirements, undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete a minimum of 12 Bucknell University courses, and in the College of Engineering a minimum of 13. In addition, a minimum of two semesters in residence during the junior and senior years is required. Both the first semester after matriculation and the final semester before graduation must be in residence.

Students who are accepted and plan to enroll at Bucknell University as a transfer student may be required to come to the campus for a counseling meeting prior to the start of their first Bucknell semester.

Integrity of Application Process

Each applicant is required to certify that any and all information furnished to the University is accurate and complete. In addition, any material submitted (including — but not limited to — the application itself, essays, and supplemental materials) must be the applicant's original work. Any applicant for admission or financial aid, who knowingly submits false or fraudulent information, conceals material information, or intentionally misleads or misinforms the University, may be subject to denial of admission; revocation of an award of financial aid; if already admitted, discipline (including dismissal from the University) under Bucknell's student conduct regulations; or if a degree already has been awarded, revocation of the degree if based on material fraud.

Medical Requirements

All full-time and international entering students must submit the medical history and physical examination form completed by their physicians. Students are required also to have completed the following immunizations: tetanus-diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox (Varicella) and the first of three hepatitis B injections. The remaining two hepatitis B injections must be completed within one year.

In addition to the above, evidence of freedom from tuberculosis in the form of a TB Mantoux Test within one (1) year prior to matriculation is required.

Meningitis: Pennsylvania law requires all students residing in University housing either to have the meningitis vaccine or to sign a declination statement after review of written information concerning the benefits of receiving the meningitis vaccine.

Health Insurance Requirement

All full-time undergraduate students (taking three or more classes) attending Bucknell University must enroll in or waive out of the health insurance coverage offered through the University. All students (except international students, see below) providing verifiable proof of comparable coverage, may waive the purchase of the sponsored plan. Students without proof of coverage will be automatically enrolled in the plan offered by the University. Students will receive information regarding the University-sponsored plan, as well as a form for verification of their own insurance during the summer. In order to complete registration for fall semester, the waiver/enrollment insurance card must be returned to the University by the date stated in the mailing.

Bucknell University requires all international students to purchase the University-sponsored medical insurance program. The premium for this coverage is automatically charged to a student's account and enrollment is automatic. There is also coverage available for dependent spouses and children that can be purchased through the school-sponsored plan.


A student who has withdrawn voluntarily from Bucknell University and has attended another college or university without the permission of the dean of his or her college at Bucknell must submit an application for readmission to the Office of Admissions under the regulations governing transfer students.

Crime, Fire Safety and Campus Emergency Information

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act requires that crime, fire safety and emergency notification information is available to the campus community. Specifically, it requires schools to provide numerous statements and policies including: (1) an annual crime statistical report; (2) an annual fire safety and statistic report; (3) a daily campus crime and fire safety log; (4) timely reports regarding crimes that present an ongoing threat to the campus community; and (5) emergency notifications that alert campus to any dangerous situations that may threaten the health and safety of the campus community. Bucknell University is in full compliance with this law and such information is available to you in writing, upon request, at the Department of Public Safety building or on the Bucknell University Public Safety website at www.bucknell.edu/clery.


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