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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.


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 applications and all other mailed supplementary 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.


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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Students who intend to apply to the pre-pharmacy program MUST choose the Drake Standard Application path and select pre-pharmacy as their major in any of the applications. Please also designate an alternate choice for area of study.

When you apply for admission, you will be asked whether or not you wish to follow the test-flexible path that requires an interview in lieu of submitting ACT or SAT scores. Students who are not eligible for the test-flexible path include:

  • Pre-Pharmacy applicants
  • Pre-Athletic Training applicants
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy applicants
  • National Alumni Scholarship applicants
  • Home-schooled students
  • Incoming first-year students with a GPA below 3.0

See the Test-Flexible Application FAQs for additional information.

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.


Original or certified true copies of academic records or transcripts in official form, including external examination results, must be submitted by the educational institution (school, college, or university) 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 will not be accepted as official until verified by a school official or educational authority. Academic records are not considered to be official if certified by notaries, commissioners of oaths, or translators, regardless of how they are submitted. An admission decision will be made once all official academic records are submitted to the Office of Admission.

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 showing rank in class (if available) and certified results from external examinations.

Any translated record should be an exact translation (not interpretive) and be accompanied by the official, original-language document. Transcripts from U.S. high schools, colleges, or universities should be sent directly from that institution to the Office of Admission.

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

If your school can provide an official electronic transcript, it should be submitted to

Contact the Office of Admission at if you have questions about your academic records.

TOEFL or IELTS Test Scores

The TOEFL requirement is 71 for the iBT and the IELTS requirement is 6.0 in order to enroll in courses on a full-time basis. With the exception of the pre- pharmacy program, Drake offers conditional admission to students meeting the admission standards but who do not meet the language-proficiency requirements for immediate entry into a degree program.

We strongly recommend that you send TOEFL or IELTS test scores to Drake during the admission process. If you do not submit official TOEFL or IELTS test scores to Drake prior to your arrival on campus, you must sit for the TOEFL upon arrival at Drake.

ACT or SAT Scores

Please have 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

Please note that Drake does not superscore; for admission and scholarship purposes, Drake will consider the highest composite score from one test administration. The essay section on either the SAT or ACT is not taken into consideration.

Test-Flexible Interview

The test-flexible path in the admission process requires an interview in lieu of an SAT or ACT score report.

International students who have achieved a secondary school cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (approximately a “B” average) are able to choose the test-flexible path in the application process. Once you have submitted your application for admission, essay, and official academic records, your admission counselor will contact you to schedule an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person or through Skype or Facetime.

Students who have achieved a secondary school grade point average of less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are asked to submit an SAT or ACT score report, but may request an interview after submission of the application, essay, and official academic records. However, interviews may not be granted.

Please refer to the test-flexible policy and FAQs for more information.

Personal Essay

Submitting an essay is optional, but strongly encouraged. 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.

Summary of Extracurricular Activities

You will need to provide information about principal extracurricular, community, and volunteer activities in order of their interest to you. Be sure to include the length of time you participated in each activity. In addition, list any academic distinctions or honors you have received. Please do not send individual certificates of achievement.

Letters of Recommendation

A recommendation, while not required, is strongly encouraged. Letters of recommendation can be submitted on your behalf by a teacher or high school counselor.

Financial Certificate

International students must submit documented evidence of financial support for educational expenses. The Int'l Financial Certificate 2020-21 must be signed by the student and sponsor, and either countersigned and sealed by the sponsor's bank or a separate letter or statement may be issued to support the information provided on the certificate.

This document can be sent to:

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


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.

Audition (Music or Theatre Students)


In order to be admitted to the Department of Music, and to be considered for scholarship awards as a Music major, Music minor, or non-major participant, prospective students are required to audition with Drake Music faculty. To learn more about upcoming Department of Music audition dates and audition requirements, visit the Department of Music Audition Information page.


In order to be admitted to any of the B.F.A. Theatre Arts degree programs or the Musical Theatre minor, and to be considered for a Departmental Fine Arts scholarship award, prospective students are required to audition/present their portfolio either on campus at the Drake Theatre Audition Day or the National Unified Theatre Auditions. To learn more about upcoming Theatre audition dates and audition requirements, visit the Theatre Arts Off Campus and On Campus Auditions page.