Frequently Asked Questions - High School Students

Applying to college can be overwhelming and you probably have a lot of questions about the process. You are not alone. Here are some questions we often get from high school students preparing to apply for their first year of college.

What are Cincinnati's admission requirements?

High School Curriculum

The University of Cincinnati requires that high school students applying for their first year of college at the Uptown (Main) campus have completed the following Ohio college preparatory curriculum or their state's college preparatory curriculum:

Minimum requirements:

    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, additional core courses not otherwise required, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, or agricultural education.

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

For the purposes of admission, a student may use advanced computer science to meet one unit of math, science, or elective requirement if the student used the advanced computer science unit to meet the curriculum requirement under section 3313.603 of the Revised Code.

Required Application Materials

  • The Common Application
  • $50 non-refundable application fee (or fee waiver)
  • Official High School Transcript, Unofficial High School Transcript, or SRAR Submission
  • Official ACT or SAT test scores (optional for most programs)*
  • Letter of Recommendation (optional)

*A test score is still required for the following programs:

Does the University of Cincinnati require the writing section of standardized tests?

The University of Cincinnati does not require that students complete and submit scores for the writing sections of either the ACT or SAT. There will be writing components within the Common Application. Students should complete these sections of their application.

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

The "Application Deadline" is the date by which we need to receive all your 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 you regarding your admission decision. You will not be able to enroll in classes until you confirm your admission.

What does "direct admit" mean?

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

Can I change my major preferences after I've already applied?

If you have already submitted your application but have yet to enroll in your classes, the Office of Admissions can help you change your major preferences. Please contact your admissions counselor and they will walk you through the steps necessary to change your preferred major.

Does the University of Cincinnati "super score?"

The University of Cincinnati does not "super score" a student's ACT or SAT scores (optional)*. 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 your best interest to send us multiple test scores (optional) because we are able to view individual sub-scores from multiple standardized tests. If you have a math sub-score that is the highest across all your standardized tests, we may use that in our admissions review process even if that score is not part of the highest composite test score (optional).

*A test score is still required for the following programs:

Is there an application fee? Can I get the fee waived?

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

Is there anything that a homeschool student should 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 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

How does my Advanced Placement (AP) credit transfer to Cincinnati?

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 Undergraduate Admissions. AP credit cannot be granted based on other college's transcripts.

How will my advanced credit apply to my degree?

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.

How do I apply for CCP courses if I am still a high school student?

College Credit Plus (CCP) allows high school students to enroll in college level courses and earn dual credit. You can complete the application to be a CCP student at the University of Cincinnati online.