Colgate’s admission process is designed to identify individuals of academic skill, intellectual and cultural diversity, and wide-ranging interests and backgrounds.
Colgate accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application on Scoir, and Questbridge Application.
Applicants may check the status of their application through the applicant portal.
- Early Decision I: November 15
- Early Decision II & Regular Decision: January 15
Challenges in obtaining required application items
Any student experiencing difficulty obtaining a required application item or meeting an application deadline as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, natural disaster, or other emergency should contact the Office of Admission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-228-7401 to discuss these concerns and options.
Colgate offers two rounds of Early Decision applications for students who have identified Colgate as their first choice school.
Learn more about the criteria used when reviewing applications.
Colgate students are selected from applicants throughout the United States and around the world for the talent and intellect they can contribute to the campus community.
Academic achievement, reflecting a student engaged with both ideas and learning, is important to the admission decision. Colgate also values students with interests reflecting curiosity and commitment as well as a sense of empathy for others and excitement for the spirit of intellectual pursuits. Well-developed special interests, talents, and skills of all kinds can be a significant part of an admission application.
In addition, Colgate is committed to attracting people representing a wide range of intellectual perspectives as well as diverse economic, racial, religious, and geographic backgrounds.
All admission credentials, from the traditional secondary school record to letters of reference that cite intellectual and creative promise, are important. Personal character and qualities that both reflect and determine the productive use of a student’s talent are also important to the admission decision.
Colgate University, through the Office of Admission, maintains authority over all admission decisions and potential exceptions to published requirements and/or deadlines in order to achieve the mission and goals of the institution.
While other considerations are important, the academic record stands at the heart of any admission decision. An academic record is evaluated strictly in terms of course selection and achievement — that is, what a student did with what was available in the school attended.
The number and difficulty of courses chosen each year are an important measure of academic motivation and achievement. While each student’s record is evaluated individually, the strongest applicants will have completed five major academic courses per year whenever possible. The senior year program is most important as the final preparation for college-level work. It should include at least four to five courses, including honors or advanced-level courses such as AP and IB courses when available. Colgate encourages students to pursue cumulative subjects, such as foreign languages and mathematics, through senior year.
The typical distribution of courses across disciplines for most accepted students is:
- Four years of English (especially composition and literature)
- Four years of mathematics
- At least three years of natural and physical sciences, with a lab
- At least three years of social sciences (particularly advanced courses in history)
- And at least three years of a foreign language.
Colgate encourages elective coursework in the arts and strongly advises students to pursue honors and advanced-level courses in major areas of interest.
Colgate is committed to fostering an inclusive application experience for all students.
The application process includes these optional components that give students the flexibility to choose how their individual strengths are best represented:
- Students can apply for admission under an ACT and SAT test-optional policy through the 2026-2027 application season. Applicants should indicate on their application, in the section for Colgate-specific questions, whether or not they would like their scores considered as a part of their application.
- Applicants have the opportunity to lend depth to their application through optional supplemental writing prompts, if desired.
For each applicant, Colgate conducts a holistic review process that appreciates the value of all pieces of information included in an application. When students choose to submit standardized test scores or supplemental prompts, this information provides additional information to aid the holistic review. When students choose not to submit standardized test scores and/or supplemental prompts, the Office of Admission evaluates the applicant through the components of the Common Application, Coalition Application on Scoir, or Questbridge Application. This includes the high school transcript, essays, extra-curricular involvement, and recommendations. Students will be at no disadvantage if they choose not to submit the optional materials.
Scholars programs offer high-achieving students the opportunity to maximize their intellectual potential. No additional application is necessary to be considered.