Frequently Asked Questions - Parents and Families

Whether this is your first or your fifteenth student to go to college, the process can be intimidating. There are a lot of applications, deadlines, and processes to keep track of. We are here to help! These are questions we frequently receive from parents and family members of students as they apply to college. If you have questions that are not answered below, please call the Office of Admissions at 513-556-1100.

What are my responsibilities as a parent or family member during my student's application and admission process?

During this time of transition, we want to help you support your student and their growth into young adults. As students move from high school and into a college environment or from one college to another, we encourage them to take ownership of that process. We hope that parents and family members will support their students in taking on the responsibility of managing their own application, asking good questions, reaching out to admissions counselors, and meeting important deadlines. 

Most conversations about an application must be had with the applicant themselves even if they are under the age of 18 because that record is legally theirs. However, we encourage parents to be involved in many ways including accompanying their students on campus visits, helping students proof-read their personal statement or emails they intend to send to admissions staff, and reminding students of important application steps and deadlines. Our admissions staff is happy to answer any questions you or your student have about the admissions process or the University itself. We look forward to working with you to ensure your student has a successful transition to the University of Cincinnati!

 

What are Cincinnati's admission requirements?

First-Year Students

The University of Cincinnati requires that students applying for their first year of college at the main campus have completed the following minimum requirements in a college preparatory curriculum:

    4 units of English

    4 units of math*

    3 units of science

    3 units of social studies

    5 units of electives**

*Mathematics units must include 1 unit of algebra II or the equivalent of algebra II.

**Electives can include any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education or additional core courses not otherwise required.

Preference may be given for completion of foreign language (2 units of the same language) or additional core courses (English, math, science, social studies) not otherwise required for graduation.

Note: 1 unit is defined as the equivalent to one full year of course instruction.

Required Application Materials

  • The Common Application, including writing prompts and information specific to UC
  • $50 application fee or fee waiver
  • Common Application School Report or letter of recommendation (both are strongly encouraged)
  • ACT or SAT test scores sent directly from the testing agency
  • Official high school transcripts

Transfer Students

The University of Cincinnati offers more than 300 undergraduate programs with admission requirements varying by college and program.

Required Application Materials

  • The University of Cincinnati online application
  • $50 application fee
  • All college or university transcripts from previous institutions
  • High school transcripts (if you have completed fewer than 30 college credits)

 

What classes should my student take in high school to prepare for success in college?

The University of Cincinnati requires that students applying for their first year of college at the main campus have completed the following minimum requirements in a college preparatory curriculum:

    4 units of English

    4 units of math*

    3 units of science

    3 units of social studies

    5 units of electives**

*Mathematics units must include 1 unit of algebra II or the equivalent of algebra II.

**Electives can include any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education or additional core courses not otherwise required.

Choosing to take advanced credit courses such as AP, IB, CCP, or dual-admission is a good way for students to become accustomed to college-level coursework. We encourage students who feel they will be successful in these types of courses to take advantage of what their high school has to offer. However, please keep in mind that although you may earn college-credit for some of these courses, the University of Cincinnati does not view this as a replacement for college and in some cases, academic advisors may recommend that a student enroll in a beginning level course instead of bypassing a course to ensure the student fully understands the material. We hope students will work with their guidance counselors while in high school to choose the appropriate classes.

 

How will my student's AP courses or advanced credit apply to their degree?

Credit for Advanced Placement examinations (AP) is granted, in most cases, for scores of 3 or higher. To find AP equivalencies, consult the AP Key. Send your original AP scores to the University of Cincinnati Office of Admissions. AP credit cannot be granted based on another college's transcripts.

There are many different types of advanced credit that a student may bring with them into their first year of college. The Credit Evaluation Center can provide more information about each type of credit and how it may apply to a degree. The first opportunity you will have to speak with an academic advisor will be at Bearcats Bound Orientation during the summer before your first year on campus. This advisor will be able to tell you how your advanced credits may affect your path to your degree. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the Office of Admissions at 513-556-1100.

 

What is the difference between an "early action" deadline, "early decision" deadline, and a "rolling" deadline?

The "Application Deadline" is the date by which we need to receive all your student's application materials.

The University of Cincinnati follows two types of admission plans, Early Action and Rolling.

  • Early Action is a non-binding plan that gives applicants priority consideration to our more competitive programs. Additionally, students need to apply by the Early Action deadline to be considered for the University Honors Program and merit-based scholarships. There is not a separate application for either of these. The fact that this deadline is non-binding is what differentiates an "early action" deadline from an "early decision" deadline. If a student applies "early decision" they have made an agreement with that school to confirm admission there if offered. The University of Cincinnati does not have this kind of binding agreement with students. 
  • Rolling means that we accept applications on a space available basis.

The "Confirmation Deadline" is the date by which we need to receive a response from your student regarding their admission decision. They will not be able to enroll in classes until they confirm their admission. 

 

What does "direct admit" mean?

"Direct admit" means that when your student is reviewed for admission, they can be reviewed for a specific major within one of the academic colleges on campus. When your student applies to the University of Cincinnati, they can preference up to three majors on the application. They will be reviewed for these programs in the order they listed them on their application. If they are eligible for admission to one of their preferences, they will begin classes in this major during their first semester of freshman year. If they do not know what they would like to study, they can also preference Exploratory Studies which is the University of Cincinnati's version of "undecided." This gives your student the opportunity to explore their interests before committing to a specific major.

 

Does the University of Cincinnati "super score?"

The University of Cincinnati does not "super score" a student's ACT or SAT scores. To "super score" means to combine each of a student's highest sub-scores from multiple instances of the same standardized test and create a new (higher) composite score. We do not do this.

However, it is often in a student's best interest to send us multiple test scores because we are able to view individual sub-scores from multiple standardized tests. If your student has a math sub-score that is the highest across all their standardized tests, we may use that in our admissions review process even if that score is not part of the highest composite test score.

 

Is there an application fee? Can it be waived?

There is a $50 fee (non-refundable) to apply to the University of Cincinnati. First-year students eligible for a fee waiver may submit the NACAC Fee Waiver. Their guidance counselor must complete and submit the form directly to Cincinnati's Office of Admissions.

Transfer applicants are not eligible for a fee waiver. 

 

Can my student change their major preference after they have already applied?

If your student has already submitted their application but has yet to enroll in classes, the Office of Admissions can help them change their major preferences. Students should contact an admissions counselor and they will walk them through the steps necessary to change their preferred major.

 

If my student is being home schooled, what do they need to do differently?

Students who were home schooled follow the same application process as all other first-year applicants. Home schooled students who meet their state requirements for high school graduation and have taken the SAT or ACT test will be considered for admission based on the same criteria as all high school graduates.

To be considered, home schooled students must submit with their application materials:

  • a detailed curriculum, including course content descriptions
  • a copy of the superintendent release form authorizing the home schooling (Ohio students only, as required by the State of Ohio)
  • other documentation upon request