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Undergraduate Admission

Campus Visits

Prospective students are invited to explore the educational opportunities at Drake University by arranging a campus visit. During an individual campus visit, students can meet with an admission counselor and tour the campus with a Drake student. During the week, prospective students may meet with faculty to discuss academic programs and major areas of interest or attend a class. Additional meetings may be arranged if requested when scheduling the appointment. The Office of Admission is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year-round except holidays. Campus visits are also available on selected Saturdays in the fall and spring. Visitors are encouraged to schedule appointments two weeks in advance of their visit.

In addition to individual visits, students are welcome to attend one of Drake’s visit programs, designed to showcase the academic and extracurricular experience at Drake. The visit programs include sessions that cover academic offerings, admission process and criteria, campus environment, extracurricular options and financial assistance programs. In addition, students tour the campus with a Drake student and have an opportunity to meet many members of the Drake community. These programs are held on specified dates, which are listed on Drake's admission web site.

To schedule a visit or register to attend a specific visit program, please contact Drake’s Office of Admission at 1-800-44-DRAKE, extension 2095, toll-free; please use 1-515-271-2095 to call locally and from outside the U.S. or visit the admission web site.

Application For Admission

Application for admission to most undergraduate degree programs may be made for any fall, spring or summer term. The deadline for admission into the pre-pharmacy or PharmD programs is granted only in the fall term (see below for specific information). Applications may be obtained by contacting the Office of Admission, or through the Web site:

Office of Admission
Drake University
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311-4505 U.S.A
Toll-free: 1-800-44-DRAKE, extension 3181
Local/outside the United States: 1-515-271-3181
Fax: 1-515-271-2831

Students may choose to complete an undergraduate application by using one of two options, and each will receive equal consideration:

  • Drake University Application Drake University Application – $25 application fee is waived for those who apply online.
  • The Common Application – available at Students should submit the Common Application and the Drake University supplement following the appropriate deadline dates; $25 application fee is waived for those who apply online via the Common Application.

Drake University does not require all applicants to submit a standardized test to be considered for admission.  Most students will be able to take advantage of the test-flexible path, which allows them to substitute the ACT or SAT with an interview as part of the application process.  First-year applicants may apply to Drake University via one of two pathways:

  1. Standard Pathway - Required for the following students:
    • Incoming first-year students with a G.P.A. below 3.0 (weighted or unweighted)
    • Pre-Pharmacy applicants (December 1 priority application deadline)
    • Pre-Athletic Training applicants
    • Pre-Occupational Therapy applicants
    • National Alumni Scholarship applicants (December 1 application deadline)
    • NCAA student-athletes
    • Home-schooled students
  2. Test-Flexible Pathway

Regardless of the pathway, all first-year applicants are required to submit the same documents.  However, for a student opting to submit a test-flexible application, an interview will be required in lieu of the ACT or SAT test scores.  Standard application students will be required to submit an ACT or SAT score report.  A listing of these requirements is given below.

Applications and all supporting documents should be on file in the Office of Admission by the following dates:

Application Deadlines

First-year and transfer students, for all undergraduate programs except pre-pharmacy and PharmD:

Fall Term: March 1 to receive priority consideration for admission, financial aid, scholarships and housing.

Spring term: December 1

Summer term: April 15

Applications submitted after March 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Pre-Pharmacy and PharmD applicants:
(Please note that health sciences applicants follow standard first-year and transfer application procedures.)

First-year pre-pharmacy students: Priority deadline - December 1.  Applications for pre-pharmacy may be considered after December 1 only on a space-available basis.  Students seeking a pre-pharmacy major are strongly encouraged to apply by December 1.

Transfer PharmD students:

Admission consideration is only at the professional program level; pre-pharmacy admission is not available to transfer students. Applications are submitted through Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) at A supplemental application and fee are required.

The deadline for the PharmCAS application and supplemental application and fees: December 1.

Admission to Drake University is selective and considers the complete record of a candidate for admission. Since the University prefers students with varied talents and interests, there is no single and inflexible set of admission standards applied to all candidates for admission. Prospective students bring a variety of academic preparation; therefore, Drake reviews the full record of each candidate for admission and makes a decision based on the qualifications of each individual. Admission is granted without regard to sex, color, creed, religion, race, age, national or ethnic origin or disability. Drake University admits students without regard to sexual orientation, to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded to or made available to students at the University.

Beginning October 15, applicants to all programs of study, except to the pre-pharmacy and the PharmD programs, are notified of an admission decision within 4 to 6 weeks after all required materials have been received in the Office of Admission.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all required documents are forwarded to:

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

First-year Student Non-Pre-Pharmacy Admission Requirements

High school seniors are admitted for the fall and spring semesters as well as the summer terms. Students are encouraged to apply for admission in the fall of the academic year. March 1 is the priority deadline for admission, financial aid, scholarships and housing; however, applications may be accepted after that date on a space-available basis.

Drake University reviews each application for admission individually.  There is no single, inflexible set of standards, such as GPA, test score, or years of courses.  Instead, first-year applicants will be asked to choose which application pathway to follow: Standard Application or Test-Flexible Application.  Most students are free to choose the application pathway that best reflects their abilities, skills, life experiences, and potential for success at Drake.  Note: the following students are not eligible to apply to Drake through the Test-Flexible Path:

  • Pre-Pharmacy applicants (December 1 priority application deadline)
  • Pre-Athletic Training applicants
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy applicants
  • National Alumni Scholarship applicants (December 1 application deadline)
  • NCAA student-athletes
  • Home-schooled students
  • Incoming first-year students with a G.P.A. below 3.0 (weighted or unweighted)

Each completed application for admission is reviewed individually. Drake University considers this criterion to be important in evaluating qualifications for admission:

  • The quality of preparation for college-level work achieved in high school in terms of coursework and grades. Each high school record is evaluated to determine potential to achieve academic success at Drake University.
  • Satisfactory scores on the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) (Standard Pathway only).
  • Evidence of involvement and leadership in activities.
  • Written communication as demonstrated through a writing sample.

The admission of high school seniors is contingent upon successful completion of graduation requirements with grades comparable to those upon which the admission decision was based. After graduation, students must provide final, official transcripts showing graduation date, final semester course grades and final rank in class, if applicable. Failure to provide all necessary documents may result in the cancellation of admission or registration. It also precludes the release of a Drake transcript.

First-year Student Pre-Pharmacy Admission Requirements

Health Sciences applicants follow standard first-year student application procedures. Admission to the pre-pharmacy program in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) is offered only for the fall term.

Applying for direct admission to the pre-pharmacy program within the CPHS differs from applying to all other undergraduate programs of study in two ways. There is a strict application deadline, and students are selected from a pool of applicants rather than on a rolling-admission basis. Admission may be granted directly to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences or to one of Drake’s other colleges and schools.

  • December 1 is the deadline for direct admission to the CPHS. The application and all required documents must be postmarked no later than December 1. All required documents must reach the Office of Admission no later than December 10. Notification of admission decisions for priority applicants is made in January.

First-Year Student Application Requirements

  • Completed application for admission in any manner as described above with a selected pathway (Standard or Test-Flexible).
  • Official high school transcript.
  • Official test scores from either the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) (Standard Pathway only).
  • High School Report and Counselor Recommendation Form.  A letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or guidance counselor also will be accepted.
  • Writing sample is required.

Prospective students who graduated from high school four or more years prior to applying for admission and who did not take the ACT or SAT examination should contact the Office of Admission.

Students who were enrolled at other colleges or universities during high school must submit official transcripts from each institution attended. Failure to provide official transcripts from each institution attended or any misrepresentation on the application for admission may result in the cancellation of admission or registration. It may also preclude the release of an official Drake transcript.

Equivalency Diploma

Candidates for admission who are at least 18 years of age and hold equivalency diplomas issued by state departments of education are eligible for admission consideration. To be considered, candidates must submit an official transcript of all high school work attempted and a transcript of General Education Development (GED) or HiSET credentials. Prospective students who did not take an ACT or SAT examination while in high school or within four years of leaving high school should contact the Office of Admission.

Veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have completed the GED, the Comprehensive College Test or the General Examinations of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) should apply to their state department of education for equivalency diplomas. Official certification should be sent by the state department of education directly to the Drake Office of Admission.

Transfer Student Non-Pharmacy Admission Requirements

Drake welcomes transfer students from two- and four-year institutions.  Consideration for admission is given to transfer applicants with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, for all college work attempted at an accredited institution. However, a 2.5 minimum CGPA is recommended for admission. Transfer applicants must be in good academic standing at the last institution attended.

Transfer students must request that a transcript bearing the official seal and signature of the official in charge of records be sent directly to Drake’s Office of Admission by each college or university previously attended. Transcripts that have been in the student’s possession are not considered official documents.

Transfer applicants are encouraged to submit the application for admission and all required documents by the following dates:


Priority Filing

Final Deadline*


March 1

July 1


December 1

December 1


April 15

April 15

*After the final deadline, applications may be considered on an individual basis. For assistance, contact Admission by using 515-271-3181 or 1-800-44-DRAKE, x3181.  

Transfer Student Non-Pharmacy Application Requirements

  • Completed application for admission in any manner as described above.
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended for all terms, including summer.
  • If fewer than 24 academic semester hours of successful college work have been completed at the point of application, transfer applicants also must submit final, official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.
  • An essay or personal statement is required of all applicants. Essay prompts are provided on the application. A paper written for a school assignment will not meet the essay requirement.
  • An official transcript from any foreign post-secondary institution is required to cover any period that a transfer student studied there. In appropriate cases, an English translation must be provided.

A final, official transcript of all college work must be provided prior to enrollment.

A student suspended for academic or other reasons at another institution, or otherwise not in good standing, is not eligible for admission consideration, or enrollment in Drake University for one year following the imposition of the suspension.

Transfer applicants must request that each postsecondary institution previously attended send an official transcript of all work attempted directly to the Office of Admission. Attendance at each institution must be reported whether credit was earned and regardless of the applicant’s preference. Failure to report all previous academic work is considered sufficient cause for rejection of an application or cancellation of admission or registration. It also may preclude the later release of a Drake transcript.

Transfer Student PharmD Application Requirements

Transfer students are considered for admission only to the professional level of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. Admission is not offered to transfer applicants at the pre-professional level. All professional-program applicants must complete an application through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) available at  All PharmD applicants also must complete the Drake Supplemental Application and submit appropriate application fees. The Drake University undergraduate transfer admission application cannot be accepted for this program.

Drake’s application deadline is December 1, 2016, for fall 2017 admission, and early application is strongly recommended. Applicants must complete the PCAT no later than January 2017, and scores must be submitted directly to PharmCAS at code [0104].

International Student Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to undergraduate degree programs are submitted to the Office of Admission. The priority deadline for scholarship and financial aid consideration for fall (August) admission is March 1. The priority deadline for the spring (January) term is November 1. The pre-pharmacy and PharmD application deadline is December 1. Applicants should refer to the first-year and transfer-student sections for specific information on application guidelines and deadlines.

International undergraduate students are eligible for all merit scholarships awarded by the Office of Admission with the exception of National Merit Scholarships. Please refer to that section for detailed information about these awards. Students also are eligible to receive aid based on financial need.  For more information, see the Financial Aid section of the catalog.

Applicants wishing to improve language proficiency before beginning an academic program may apply for admission to both an academic program as well as Drake’s Intensive English Program. Drake offers conditional admission to all undergraduate programs of study at the undergraduate level (except pre-pharmacy) to applicants who meet the University’s academic requirements but first need to improve their English. To enroll in Drake degree courses on a full-time basis, students must achieve a TOEFL score of at least 71 (iBT) or 530 (PBT). Students with scores between 54 and 71, or 480 and 530 may be approved to enroll in both degree courses and English classes, each on a part-time basis. Students whose TOEFL scores are less than 54 or 480 are asked to enroll in English classes on a full-time basis. The IELTS required score for full-time study is 6.0.

Drake University is authorized by federal law to enroll non-immigrant students and exchange visitors. International students are required to submit proof of financial resources before an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued respectively for the F-1 or J-1 visa.

Students who have sat for the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level Examinations can be awarded six to eight hours of credit per subject passed at the Advanced Level with a qualifying grade. Credit is also awarded for the German Abitur, French Baccalaureate, and selected other national examinations. Applicants who have completed the full International Baccalaureate diploma program are eligible for approximately one year of advanced-standing credit. Credit for both higher and standard levels is awarded through a course-by-course evaluation.  For more information, see the AP, IB, CLEP Credit section of the catalog.

Part-Time Undergraduate Students Admission Requirements

A student enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours of coursework during any fall or spring semester is considered a part-time student.

Part-time degree applicants are required to meet the same standards for admission as full-time applicants.

Transfer of Credit

Once a student is admitted, the Office of Admission coordinates the evaluation of official transcripts documenting previous college-level work completed.

Drake University considers full transfer credit for courses in which the applicant received a minimum grade of “C-”, or the equivalent of “P” on a pass-fail system where “P” is specifically designated as indicating a quality of work no lower than “C-” on a conventional grading scale.

Grades earned in courses accepted for transfer are not included in the GPA to be maintained at Drake University. The credits, however, do count toward the total number required for graduation. Because of differences in major requirements for various degrees, there is no assurance that all courses transferred will apply toward the college/school or major degree requirements.

Students may receive credit for academic courses taken at postsecondary institutions that were regionally accredited at the time the courses were taken. Courses accepted for transfer credit must parallel courses offered at Drake University or otherwise be appropriate for college-level credit. Additional courses may be accepted for credit at the discretion of the dean of the Drake college or school in which a student is enrolled.

Credit may be granted for a combination of relevant work completed in (a) college-level non-degree, extension or correspondence courses offered through an accredited collegiate institution that accepts the credit for its own degree or (b) courses satisfactorily completed in non-collegiate organizations that are recommended at the baccalaureate level by the American Council on Education.

Students may be awarded credit for satisfactory scores in subject-matter tests of the College Level Examination Program. For more information, see the AP, IB, CLEP Credit section of the catalog.

Drake University accepts a maximum of 66 semester hours of transfer credit from two-year institutions if the courses completed are parallel to courses offered at Drake, appropriate for college-level credit or are in accordance with current course articulation agreements with a specific community college. A total of 16 semester hours of elective credit may be granted for career-technical courses at the discretion of the dean of the Drake college or school in which a student is enrolled.

A maximum of 94 semester hours of transfer credit may be applied to any Drake degree (with the exception of pharmacy students, where up to 179 hours of transfer credit may be applied). A maximum of 66 hours of acceptable college credit may be transferred from courses completed at two-year institutions as any part of the first 94 semester hours (179 hours for pharmacy) toward a bachelor’s degree.

Transfer students must successfully complete their last 30 hours in residence at Drake University.

A course-by-course review of all courses attempted and completed is prepared for each admitted transfer student by his or her college or school. Students receive details on how to access their unofficial Drake transcript online along with contact information for their respective college or school. When final official transcripts are received for any additional courses completed after the point of admission, their Drake unofficial transcript is updated accordingly.

In consultation with the dean, transfer students may elect to satisfy either the major requirements outlined in the Drake catalog from the time of matriculation at the first college or the major requirements in the Drake catalog current at the time of transfer.

Non-Degree-Seeking and Visiting Students

A student interested in taking courses for academic credit but who is not seeking a degree is welcome to enroll as a non-degree-seeking student. Students who have been denied admission to Drake are not eligible to enroll as unclassified students without the permission of the Dean of Admission. Non-degree-seeking students are held to the same probation and suspension standards as admitted, degree-seeking students. Hours earned as a non-degree-seeking student may or may not apply toward a degree program.

Non-degree-seeking students may not enroll in more than nine credit hours per semester.  Students seeking an exemption from this policy must request permission from the Dean of Admission.

Once 24 credit hours have been accumulated, the student will be contacted concerning his/her academic goals, past performance and intent to seek admission for earning a bachelors degree. If the student does not intend to pursue a Drake degree, he/she may continue as an unclassified student. Non-degree-seeking students who want to become degree-seeking candidates must submit the application for admission and official transcripts of all courses attempted for all terms at all postsecondary institutions attended.

Applicants are required to meet the same standards for admission as transfer students. The Office of Admission coordinates the transcript evaluation process with the respective colleges and schools. The dean’s office of the appropriate college or school decides how each course accepted applies toward Drake’s degree requirements.

Students who regularly attend other colleges or universities and register at Drake University for the purpose of earning credit to transfer to their home institution are required to complete the Non-Degree Seeking Student Registration Request Form available at the Office of Student Records. Visiting students are encouraged to seek course-by-course approval from their home institutions prior to registering for specific courses at Drake.

Students who want to attend Drake University beyond one summer session or fall or spring semester must submit the application for admission and required documents.

Credit for Educational Experiences in the Armed Services

Drake University follows the recommendations for baccalaureate credit in the Guide to Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services of the Office on Educational Credit of the American Council on Education. Credit is allowed as specified in the upper-division baccalaureate category and the lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category.

Re-enrollment for Undergraduate Students

Degree-seeking full- or part-time undergraduates whose studies are interrupted for a period of one or more fall or spring semesters are required to submit an application for re-enrollment through the dean’s office of the college or school of their last enrollment. Students are encouraged to begin the re-enrollment process at least two months prior to the beginning of the semester or summer session in which they intend to re-enroll. Re-enrollment forms are available from the Office of the Student Records and Academic Information. Returning students who intend to apply for financial assistance are encouraged to submit all required documents by March 1.

Re-enrolling students who have registered at other college(s) after leaving Drake must provide official transcripts from all institutions attended. Students must request that a transcript bearing the official seal and signature of the official in charge of records be sent directly to Drake's Student Records Office by each college or university previously attended. Transcripts that have been in the student's possession are not considered official documents. Students are subject to the academic regulations and requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

High School Visiting Student Program and Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act (PSEO)

Drake University provides students who are currently enrolled in high school and desire the challenge of academic study above and beyond what is available in the high school curriculum to investigate the opportunity of dual enrollment. Students are eligible to take a maximum of two courses during the fall and spring semesters in day or evening courses and one course per summer session as visiting students at Drake University while completing their remaining high school graduation requirements. Enrollment in requested courses is subject to course availability. Students in the Visiting Student Program also may qualify under the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act for financial assistance.

To qualify as visiting students to take courses while still in high school, students must be in their junior or senior year, provide a copy of their high school transcript, rank in the top one-third of their classes and have scored a composite of 115 on the PSAT, 1150 (critical reading and math only) on the SAT, 25 on the ACT PLAN or 25 on the ACT. Applicants to this program must complete a Post Secondary Enrollment Application, available in the Office of Admission or at their high schools, and receive approval from their school counselor.

Additional information is available on the admission website.

Admission to Summer Sessions

Prospective students who want to begin a Drake degree program during the summer session must apply for admission through the Office of Admission. Students who wish to enroll in Drake summer courses for personal enrichment or for transfer to another institution may do so without formal admission to a Drake degree program.  Please see information above regarding Unclassified (non-degree) enrollment.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Information on merit scholarships and financial aid is available on the admission website.

First-year applicants (including first-year pre-pharmacy) eligible to compete for the National Alumni Scholarships must submit the separate scholarship online application and all other required admission application documents by the December 1, 2016 postmark deadline.

Following Admission

Drake University supports the National Candidates Reply Date, which allows admitted students to choose without penalty among offers of admission and financial aid until May 1. Full-time admitted students planning to enroll at Drake for the fall semester are required to submit the Enrollment Reply Card with a nonrefundable $250 tuition deposit. Professional PharmD transfer students are encouraged to submit the Enrollment Reply Card and required enrollment deposit of $350 by May 1. The nonrefundable deposit is credited to the first semester’s tuition account. Part-time students must return the Enrollment Reply Card, but are not required to submit the deposit. Comprehensive instructions for replying to the offer of admission are mailed with admission notification.

Full-time students must live in the Drake residence halls during any period of University enrollment within two years following high school graduation unless they are married or live with their parents or legal guardian within a 45-mile radius. Other students may choose to live in student residence halls if space is available.

Residence hall contracts are mailed to students with notification of admission. The contract should be submitted with the required $250 housing deposit to the Office of Residence Life. Students are encouraged to return the student residence contract and housing deposit as soon as possible after admission. The $250 housing deposit is fully refundable when a written refund request with a postmark no later than May 1 is submitted to the Office of Admission.

For more information about Drake University, write:

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

Or call:

Toll-free: 1-800-44-DRAKE, extension 3181
Local/outside the U.S.: 1-515-271-3181
Fax: 1-515-271-2831

So that Drake may respond appropriately to your inquiry, please include in your correspondence the following information about you and your interests:

  • Are you seeking information about undergraduate or graduate programs?
  • Do you have a degree? If so, please specify.
  • Would you be an entering first-year student, transfer student or graduate student?
  • Are you an international student?
  • Please indicate your anticipated term of enrollment.
  • Please indicate the school you are currently attending (high school or college) or have most recently attended.
  • Please provide your full mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address.

2016-2017 Drake University Undergraduate Catalog
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