First-Year Admission

Admission Decision Priority Dates

PLU has four admission decision dates – October 15th, November 15th, December 15th, and January 15th. Students who complete their application materials prior to one of these dates can expect an admission decision and notification of academic scholarship eligibility prior to the next decision date.

Can you still apply after January 15th?

Yes! Applications completed after January 15th will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Application Checklist

Undergraduate Application

Students can apply via the Common Application. It is free to apply to PLU!

Personal Essay

The essay should be at least 250 words.

Official Transcripts

Send in official transcripts from all high school and college coursework. When reviewing applications of prospective freshmen, PLU computes an “admission GPA” for the applicant. Check out the weighted GPA section below.

Academic Recommendation

The academic recommendation must be from a qualified person familiar with your academic record such as a principal, teacher, or counselor.

*PLU is test optional. Students may decide for themselves whether they wish to have their ACT or SAT test scores considered as part of their application, and should indicate their preference on the test optional question on their application. Please see below for further test optional information.

Once you’ve submitted your Common Application, you can check on the status of each checklist item through your student applicant portal.

Admission Criteria

PLU welcomes applications from students who exhibit capacities for success at the university level. Admission to PLU is competitive. We look for students who:

  • Demonstrate success in a challenging college preparatory curriculum
  • Desire academic and personal challenges
  • Communicate clearly
  • Exhibit leadership and service in their community, church or school
  • Will share unique or special talents

Each application is reviewed based on grade point average, class rank, transcript patterns, standardized test scores, personal essay, and an academic recommendation.

Applications for admission are evaluated without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disabling conditions, financial resources or any other status protected by law.

Test Optional Admission

Because standardized tests do not always accurately reflect academic ability or the potential to be academically successful, and because we practice a holistic review of admission applications, SAT or ACT test scores are no longer a required piece of the application for admission.


  • Homeschooled students are required to submit official ACT or SAT scores, unless they have earned 30 college-level transferable semester credits or 45 college-level transferable quarter credits.
  • Students from schools with written evaluations rather than grades are required to submit their ACT or SAT scores.
  • Students planning on applying for Nursing Conditional Admission are strongly encouraged to send in their scores.
  • Students interested in teaching (including Education majors) may want to send in their scores, which can be used for the basic skills admission requirement by the state to get into a teacher program.
  • International students are strongly encouraged to submit test scores if available.

How do I apply as test optional? The Common Application will ask if you wish to have your test scores considered as part of your application. If you select “no, I prefer to apply test optional”, you will be reviewed for admission and academic scholarship eligibility solely on all other application components.

If you feel your SAT or ACT scores are an accurate reflection of your academic ability, you are welcome to submit them as part of your application for admission. To have your scores sent directly to PLU from a testing agency, please use the following codes: SAT: 4597, ACT: 4470. You may also choose to self-report your test scores on your application and we will use those scores in the decision-making process.

Weighted GPA

When reviewing applications of prospective freshmen, PLU computes an “admission GPA” for the applicant. The admission GPA weights classes that are identified on the high school transcript as International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), Honors, or Accelerated. This weighted GPA will be used throughout the admission, financial aid, and scholarship process. If the applicant’s high school produces their own weighted GPA, the admission office will use the better of the two. The maximum GPA for PLU admission and financial aid purposes is 4.00.

Required Prep Courses

  • Mathematics – Two years of college prep math with an average grade of C or higher*
  • Foreign Language – Two years of the same language with an average grade of C or higher*
  • English – Four years
  • Social Studies – Two years
  • Laboratory Science – Two years
  • Electives – Three years (selected from the areas listed above, as well as courses in computer science, speech and debate, visual arts, etc.)

*If you are deficient in the math or foreign language entrance requirements, but are admissible by all other criteria, you may still be offered admission. You will be required to complete the deficiencies during your first year at PLU.

College-level Credit Policies

If you have taken AP, IB, or Cambridge exams, or have participated in the Washington State Running Start or other college in the high school programs, you may be eligible for college credit.

College-level Credit Policies
Nursing Conditional Admission

Students interested in Nursing should apply for the School of Nursing’s Conditional Admission. Through this competitive program, a select number of incoming full time, first-year students will be guaranteed admission (after completion of several academic requirements) to the School of Nursing’s BSN program starting their third year.

Apply for Nursing Conditional Admission
International Honors Program

For students in any major, the International Honors Program is a rigorous alternative to the General Education Program, and is designed for independently-motivated students with an interest in pursuing their studies in a global context. The IHON application priority date is February 15.

Learn more about IHON
Business Direct Admission

Students interested in business when they apply are automatically admitted to the School of Business as an ‘Open Business’ major. To guarantee their spot in the School of Business, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and successfully complete five pre-business core courses by the end of their sophomore year.

Learn more about the School of Business

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ZeeMee is the social community for students to connect around their college interests. You can meet other students considering PLU, ask counselors and current students any questions you have, and get the latest videos of life on campus.