Applying as a First-Year Student

We won’t sugar coat it—applying to college can be stressful. But hey, take a deep breath. You’ve got this!

We’ve done our best to keep our first-year admission process straightforward. Our team is here to help every step of the way, so don’t feel like you have to wait until our application opens (August 1, by the way) to ask a question.

What We’re Looking For

We want to get to know the whole you through the application process, but stats are a good way of knowing where you stand. These figures represent the first-year class that entered in fall 2023:

Applicants: 9,435
Enrolling first year students: 1,189
GPA (middle 50%): 3.63-4.15
ACT (middle 50%): 25–31*
SAT (middle 50%): 1180–1340*
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 600-670; SAT Math: 580-680
*Test scores are for those who did not apply test-optional.
Data reflective of July 2023.

Preparing to Apply

The classes you take in high school and the grades you earn are important factors. Prospective first-year students are expected to have the following academic preparation:

English: 4 years
Mathematics: 3 years
Laboratory Science: 3 years
Social Studies/History: 2 years
Foreign Language: 2 years of the same language

If you’re planning to major in the Natural Sciences, Pre-Pharmacy, Health Sciences, Healthcare and Business, Computer Science, or Mathematics, you should take additional units of science and math.

Students who successfully complete AP, International Baccalaureate, or dual-credit courses in high school are eligible for advanced course placement at Butler. Learn more. 

First-Year Application Checklist

Here’s a summary of what you’ll need to complete your application:

Students applying to Butler can apply using the Common App. Butler requires a non-refundable $50 application fee (paid via the Common App). Eligible students with financial need may qualify for an application fee waiver through the Common App.

Students should use one of the essay prompts provided in the Common App platform in 650 words or less. Alternatively, you may submit a personal statement or essay on a topic of your choice. Submit your writing sample with your application.

Request that your school counseling office or registrar send us your official high school transcript. Include all high schools previously attended. Transcripts should reflect coursework completed through your junior year.

When you list your school counselor/registrar information in your application, we’ll automatically send an email request for these materials on your behalf.

The School Report is a supporting document that should be completed by your high school counselor and commonly accompanies the transcript and high school profile. The report provides Butler with an overview of your high school, including coursework and rigor of curriculum available. This counselor recommendation will include information about your academic performance and assess your potential for success at Butler.

We know you’re more than standardized test scores—that’s why we’ve made them optional. Learn more about test-optional admission. 

If you choose to apply with standardized test scores, you can submit them in three different ways: submit self-reported scores on the application for admission, submit official scores directly from testing services, or ask your high school to send an official transcript, if your high school includes test scores on its transcripts. We accept the SAT (code 1073) or the ACT (code 1180).

If you self-report your scores, you are required to have official scores sent from the testing service or provided on an official transcript from your high school by July 1 (summer or fall entry) or December 1 (spring entry).

Think of the résumé as a chance to provide us with a summary of your activities and interests. It doesn’t need to be fancy—you are welcome to submit a simple list!  Include your high school activities, clubs, hobbies, and community engagement. And—don’t forget—work and family responsibilities can be important to share as well.

While this is not a requirement, there may be instances where you’d like to have letters of recommendation submitted by your supporters. These letters are often submitted by teachers, but may also be from your school counselor or other non-academic recommenders like coaches, employers, or mentors. These individuals provide insight into your success in the classroom, but can also offer an overview of your interests and activities outside of the classroom.

First-Year Admission Deadlines

Butler offers both Early Action and Regular Decision deadlines for first-year fall applicants. We strongly encourage students to apply before our Early Action Deadline of November 1 to maximize their scholarship and admission consideration.

Early Action benefits include full scholarship consideration, priority consideration to the Honors Program, and an admission decision by December. 

August 1: Application opens
November 1: Early Action Deadline
December: Recommended FAFSA Filing Period
March 1: Butler’s Priority FAFSA Deadline
May 1: Enrollment deposit deadline

We share Early Action admission decisions on a rolling basis between October and December. Early Action decisions are non-binding.

August 1: Application opens
February 1: Regular Decision Deadline
March 1: Butler’s Priority FAFSA Deadline
May 1: Enrollment deposit deadline

We share Regular Decision admission decisions on a rolling basis between December and February.

We continue accepting applications for rolling admission after February 1, but you have a better chance at scholarships (and admission) if you apply by the Regular Decision Deadline.

Additional Application Requirements

If you’re applying to one of these programs or identify with a population listed below, you may need to take a few extra steps to complete your application.

Majoring in the arts? You must complete an Art, Arts Administration, Dance, Music, or Theatre supplement in addition to the Common App. Please note that this requirement does not apply to students majoring in Art History.

Audition, portfolio review, or interview: All JCA majors except for those majoring in Art History must also complete an audition, portfolio review, and/or interview. After completing your Common App and supplement, we’ll send you an email to select a date.

Learn more about Jordan College of the Arts admission

In addition to the required items listed above, international students must submit:

  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • A clear copy of your passport
  • Evidence of financial support

Learn more about international student admission

Welcome back! If you are a former Butler student in good standing and wish to return to Butler to finish your undergraduate degree, you don’t have to reapply.

Learn more about coming back to Butler

In addition to the required items listed above, home school applicants must submit:

  • Statement describing home school structure and mission
  • Transcript/record of courses and grades
  • Letter of recommendation from a person other than a parent

We’re grateful for your service, and proud to support you as you earn your college degree. Several members of our admission team can help with the application process.

Learn more about admission information for veterans