Colgate University Memorial Chapel rises above the trees.

Preparing Successful Applicants

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 typical distribution of high school courses across disciplines for most admitted students is:

  • Four years of English (especially composition and literature)
  • Four years of mathematics
  • Three or more years of natural and physical sciences, with a lab
  • Three or more years of social sciences (particularly advanced courses in history)
  • Three or more 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 values the student with interests that reflect a curiosity and commitment as well as sympathy 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.

Colgate is committed to attracting people who represent 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 and standardized testing 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 partners with the Common Application, Coalition on Scoir, and QuestBridge. We utilize Naviance/EDocs, Parchment, and are happy to receive official communication from your school email address. Additionally, Colgate partners with to allow counselors to follow applicants from their school through Colgate's application process.

Admission and Financial Aid Policy Updates

Submission of SAT and ACT scores will be optional for all applicants through the 2026-2027 application season.

Colgate’s test-optional pilot program makes submission of SAT and ACT scores optional for all applicants applying in 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026. 

More about the test optional policy

The Colgate Commitment

For eligible domestic students, this comprehensive financial aid initiative will: eliminate tuition, significantly reduce student debt, and adjust tuition based on the family's income levels.

More about the Colgate Commitment