Freshman Admission Criteria
UB is a premier destination for extraordinary people, and our students are exceptionally talented. They win prestigious national scholarships, excel in international competitions and achieve more — every day.
UB is a top 50 public research institution and a member of the elite 2 percent of universities in the United States and Canada with membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). Our national reputation for excellence attracts the best and brightest minds from around the world. As such, admission to our university is highly competitive. Last year, we admitted our most academically talented freshman class to date.
In the Office of Admissions, we carefully consider each applicant as we identify the next class of exceptional students who will influence our university community.
How We Decide
Admission to UB is based on a holistic approach that considers all aspects of a student’s application, both academic and non-cognitive factors. We review your high school average, your class rank, your highest SAT or ACT score, and the strength of your high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented evidence of exceptional creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service, socio-economic environment, family unit and special life circumstances are also considered in a holistic admission process.
If you submit both SAT and ACT scores, we consider the higher score. Note: The writing component of the SAT or ACT is recommended but it is not currently used for admission decisions.
Suggested High School Coursework
Our applicants have completed rigorous coursework in high school. Most students have taken high school courses in basic academic knowledge areas. The following courses are not required for admission, but are suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:
- Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
- Four years of social studies
- Three years of college-preparatory science
- Three years of a second language
- At least three years of college-preparatory mathematics
Some students who haven’t completed such a program still qualify for admission; however, it might be necessary to take additional courses to strengthen your knowledge in one or more of those areas after you enter the university.
When are you accepted into your major?
When applying, you should indicate your intended major on the application form. In general, the admission consideration process is currently the same for all majors, including undeclared majors. Applications for the engineering program receive an additional review to ascertain the applicant’s readiness in key science and math areas.
Direct admission to accounting and business management is subject to limited enrollment. Due to the quantitative nature of these majors, it is recommended that students complete pre-calculus and be calculus-ready prior to enrollment. An audition is required for admission to the Department of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance. Intended theatre majors with professional experience are also required to audition. The Department of Architecture invites freshman applicants to submit a digital portfolio or architecture design project to demonstrate their creativity. Architecture, art, biological sciences, business administration, engineering, exercise science and nuclear medicine technology admit freshmen directly to the major. All other departments evaluate students for admission during their second year of study at UB.
All baccalaureate candidates must successfully complete a program of study either in a specific department’s degree program or in a Special Major program developed by the student. It’s important to consult with your academic advisor, who will help you identify and complete the requirements for acceptance into a degree program. Once you’ve been accepted into a major, you will be assigned a departmental advisor to help plan and implement your academic program.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL is required to ensure that language skills don’t prevent students from successfully completing university-level courses in the United States. In general, the TOEFL is required for applicants whose native language is not English, and if any portion of their high school studies was completed in a non-English speaking country. Additionally, students who speak English as a second language and have SAT critical reading scores below 440 are encouraged to take the TOEFL. Transfer applicants whose native language is not English may also be required to submit TOEFL results.
UB requires a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (Internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) in order to be considered for admission. Students scoring between 70 and 78 or 523 and 547 on the TOEFL may be admitted to the university on the condition that they register for and successfully complete additional English courses in their first semester.
Last updated: April 23, 2018 10:25 am EST