First-Year Application (International)

First-Year Application (International)

Whether you come from around the state of Iowa or around the world, Drake University welcomes you.

Since we review each application individually, there is no single, inflexible set of standards—such as GPA, test score, or years of courses — that guarantee admission. View our class profile for more information.

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As you complete your application, make sure that all required documents are submitted by the appropriate deadlines.

Early Action Priority Deadline: December 1

December 1 is the Early Action Priority Deadline for all programs.

Early Action Priority Applicants will be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Priority notification for admission and the Presidential Scholarship
    • Notification between October 15 and January 15
  • Priority for housing preferences

Regular Decision: March 1

March 1 is the regular decision deadline to submit your application and supporting materials for all programs.

  • Applications received after the December 1 Early Action Priority Deadline will be considered until the March 1 Regular Decision Deadline, with rolling notification of admission, Presidential Scholarship, and financial aid throughout the spring.
  • Applications received after the March 1 Regular Decision Deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Application Requirements

The sections below provide specific information for each component of the international student application.

Mailed materials should be labeled with your full name and date of birth and directed to:

Office of Admission
Drake University
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311-4505 U.S.A.

Electronic records:


Complete one of the following:

Choose either method to apply. Both options are given equal consideration for admission. There is no application fee when applying online.

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If you wish to improve your language proficiency before beginning an academic program at Drake, you may apply for admission to an academic program at the same time that you apply for the Intensive English Program. With the exception of the pre-pharmacy program, Drake offers conditional admission to those applicants who meet the University’s academic requirements, but first need to improve English language skills.

Choose a pathway: "Test-Optional" or "Test Score"

Since we review each application for admission individually, there is no single, inflexible set of standards—such as GPA or test score. First-year students are required to complete an online application and submit high school transcripts. In addition,first-year students can choose the Test Score Pathway or Test-Optional Pathway.

  • Test Score Pathway- submit ACT or SAT scores
  • Test-Optional Pathway - Choice of submitting an application essay OR partipating in an admission interview.

You can visit our Test-Optional FAQs for more details.


Original or certified copies of academic records or transcripts in official form, including exam results, must be submitted by the educational institution directly to Drake either by mail or electronically. 

Photocopies, scans, or faxes of academic records submitted by students without a fresh seal or stamp of the school, college, or university attended are not accepted as official. Academic records are not considered to be official if certified by notaries, commissioners of oaths, or translators, regardless of how they are submitted.

For first-year applicants, official academic records from all secondary schools attended must be submitted whether or not a diploma was earned. Academic records include yearly secondary school records and certified results from external examinations. 

After initial review, the admission committee may request a credential evaluation.

All documents must be in English.  Translated records should be an exact translation (not interpretive) and be accompanied by the official, original-language document.


Sending documents to Drake:

You can email your official documents to:

You can mail your official documents to:         

Office of Admission
Drake University
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311-4505 U.S.A.


English Proficiency

While English proficiency is not required to apply for and be admitted into a Drake undergraduate program, admitted students must meet a minimum English proficiency score and submit proof to International Admission within the Global Engagement Office before the creation of an I-20 can occur. Students who attended high school or another higher education institution in an English-speaking country are exempt from providing proof of English proficiency.

Students not from an English-speaking country can satisfy the English proficiency requirement using any of the following options:

  • TOEFL iBT:  Minimum overall score of 71.  Drake's TOEFL school code is 6168.
  • IELTS:  Minimum overall score of 6.0.
  • Duolingo English Test:  Minimum overall score of 95.
  • Pearson Test of English: Minimum overall score of 48.
  • SAT:  Minimum score of 500 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.  Drake's SAT code is 6168.
  • ACT:  Minimum score of 19 on the English section.  Drake's ACT code is 1302.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): A score of 5-7 or grade of A or B on HL English.

We strongly recommend that you send English proficiency test scores to Drake during the admission process to quicken the I-20 creation process. Students who do not prove English proficiency by August 1 for a fall semester start or by January 1 for a spring semester start will be required to enroll in the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Drake for that semester, thus delaying the start of their program studies by one semester.

ACT, SAT or CSAT/South Korea (Required for Test Score Path)

Drake University offers a test-optional admission pathway.

If you choose the "test-optional" pathway, you are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score for review. Instead you will choose to complete either an admission interview or essay as a part of your application.

If you choose the "Test-Score" pathway and would prefer to submit your ACT or SAT scores instead, you must send an official copy of your ACT or SAT test scores sent to the Office of Admission from the appropriate testing agency.

  • Drake University ACT school code: 1302
  • Drake University SAT school code: 6168

Drake also accepts the CSAT from South Korea as a valid test score for admission.

Starting with students applying for the Spring and Fall 2022 enrollment terms, Drake will superscore either the SAT and the ACT. ("Superscore" means that Drake will combine your highest section scores to form a new composite score, even if the section scores are from different test sittings.)

Test-Optional Path: Interview or Essay Details

Applicants who choose the Test-Optional pathway are required to either submit an essay or schedule an admission interview, in lieu of submitting the ACT or SAT score report.

  • If you choose to submit an essay: You may choose any of the essay prompts provided in the Drake application or the Common Application.
  • If you choose to complete an admission interview: Your admission counselor will contact you to make arrangements to schedule your interview after your application is complete. Interviews may be conducted in-person or through Zoom. Interviews are typically about 30 minutes in length and will be a discussion of your high school or college (transfer student) experiences and how they have prepared you for Drake.

You may also reference our Test-Optional policy and FAQs, if needed.

Personal Essay (Optional)

Submitting an essay to Drake is optional. (Those who choose the Test-Optional pathway must choose between submiting an essay or conducting an admission interview, instead.)

If you choose to submit an essay, you must use one of the essay prompts provided in the Drake Application or Common Application. Please do not submit a paper you wrote for a school assignment; the admission committee would rather read something more personal.

Letters of Recommendation

A recommendation, while not required, is strongly encouraged.

International Student Grant Application

The renewable International Student Grant may offer a partial award toward financial need. This grant, however, will not provide full funding.  Although it may be awarded along with other scholarships, the total combined aid will not exceed 40% of the total cost of attendance.

A link to the grant application process is provided within your Drake admission application.

Please view the Scholarship and Financial Aid Opportunities for International Students for more information.