General Requirements for Admissions

Principia College seeks curious, engaged students from diverse backgrounds. As a coeducational institution, we consider diversity to be an educational asset that actively encourages a mix of ideas, cultures, and experiences in our student body.

Principia practices holistic admission, considering the whole person in the process. Whether or not a test score is submitted, admissions will take into serious consideration the high school transcript including grades and rigor of courses, personal essay, interview, and engagement outside of the classroom. Qualified candidates will express a variety of interests and aspirations. The strength of the high school program, record of academic aptitude and achievement, quality of written statements, and demonstration of readiness to engage fully with peers and faculty are very important factors. Demonstrated commitment to community service and other extracurricular fields, as well as evidence of personal resilience, originality, motivation, and leadership potential are also considered in the admissions process. As an institution founded on the principles of Christian Science, we value individuals of all faith backgrounds who are willing to engage in a diverse community of spiritual practice.

Principia College welcomes applications from legal US citizens, lawful permanent residents, legal refugees, and international students who will be entering the country on a valid student visa upon admission. All students enrolling should have a high school diploma, the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma.

College Preparedness

To ensure a smooth transition from high school to college, it is recommended that students have taken at least 16 core academic courses in their high school program and have an academic record indicative of success. Students who have succeeded in challenging courses in high school are more likely to be prepared for Principia courses. However, students attending a school without advanced course options will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. Admissions will consider courses available to the student in evaluating the high school curriculum (including honors, AP, IB and other advanced designations) and the student’s own choices in coursework.

The preferred minimum for admission to Principia College is a high school GPA of 2.80 with sustained progress through junior and senior year. 

The following high school courses are strongly recommended as a minimum preparation for Principia College:

  • 4 years of English (composition, literature)
  • 4 years of math, including pre-calculus or an equivalent (such as math analysis or college algebra, etc.)
  • 3 years of natural science, including some lab work
  • 2 years of history and social science (including U.S. history)
  • 2 years of the same foreign language
  • 2 years of academic electives (from any of the five academic categories above)

To enroll at Principia College, students must submit evidence of graduation from high school by:

1. a final transcript which shows that a high school diploma has been earned; 

or

2. a document showing that the GED (General Education Diploma) or state recognized equivalent has been received. 

Students who take the GED must have a minimum total score of 580 and no score below 145 on any of the four individual tests.

Standardized test scores are not required for admission consideration, however they can be used to determine academic scholarships. Through our holistic admissions process, a variety of factors are considered in determining a student’s preparation for a Principia College experience. Whether or not a test score is submitted, we will take into serious consideration the high school transcript, including grades and rigor of courses; personal essay; interview; and engagement outside of the classroom. Students wondering whether or not to submit a standardized test score, should consider the following:

If scores are an accurate representation of the student’s ability, feel free to submit them. If they are not, then don’t submit them.

If the student gets the score they hoped for, and especially if it qualifies the student for a higher level of academic scholarship, submitting the score may be helpful in the admission process.

A high SAT or ACT score can offset a low GPA. If a student does not submit a score, Principia has less information about academic performance. If a student has a low GPA but does well on the SAT or ACT, the test score can be an important indicator of the applicant’s potential to succeed in college-level classes.

Applicants choosing to submit test scores should be aware that Principia requires a minimum score of 1010 on the SAT and a minimum composite score of 19 on the ACT. Principia will consider the applicant’s best superscored ACT composite scores and best superscored SAT math and evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) scores.

Admissions Deadlines

Further information on application pathways and deadlines can be found on our website.

First-Year Student

Principia College considers a first-year applicant to be a student who has never attended any postsecondary institution since graduation from high school, or whose only secondary enrollment was in the summer term immediately prior to a fall applied-for term.

Transfer Students

We welcome applications from students enrolled at other colleges and universities within the US who wish to transfer to Principia College. Unofficial transcripts may be used for admission consideration, but final official transcripts must be received by the Registrar’s Office prior to initial enrollment. Students must arrange to have a final official high school transcript and official college transcripts representing all previous college work sent to Principia College prior to enrollment.

Students who have not yet completed a full year of college coursework (30 SH) with a GPA above the minimum standard for admission to Principia College will be required to provide a high school transcript confirming appropriate academic preparedness with a GPA above the minimum standard for admission consideration.

Courses taken at other fully accredited colleges and/or universities may be accepted for credit provided they parallel courses available at Principia College and were completed with a grade of C- or higher. Students must consult with the Registrar’s Office to determine what transfer course will be accepted. For the transfer of credits, students must provide all required information to the Registrar’s Office for evaluation. The Registrar's Office works in coordination with appropriate applicable faculty to determine the transferability of incoming coursework from accredited institutions of higher education. A final overview report will be retained in the student's record. Further information may be found in Principia College’s Catalog, section Academic and Non-Academic Credit Rules

International Students 

Principia College welcomes qualified applicants from all countries. All international applicants must be intending to enroll as full-time regular degree-seeking students in a program leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree. International students must be 18 years of age or older prior to enrolling at Principia College. Canadian citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents follow the same application procedures as domestic students. All international applicants must have completed secondary school and must have earned a diploma or certificate of completion, which makes them eligible for admission to higher or advanced education in their home country. Principia College must receive a completed application for admission including Common Application, official English translated transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores, and English Proficiency scores, prior to the application deadline.

Applicants transferring from a school outside the US should be aware that credentials cannot be evaluated for transfer credit without an official foreign credential evaluation through WES and course descriptions (in English) detailing course content. Due to variations in credit hour systems and course content, it is not guaranteed that coursework will fulfill course progress towards your degree program at Principia College.

Non-Traditional Students

Principia College primarily serves a traditional, college-aged residential population. Students who do not fit this demographic should contact the Office of Admissions to discuss their unique situation. We want to be welcoming to all students who may qualify for admission. 

High School Diploma/GED Validation Policy

In the event Principia College has reason to believe that a high school diploma is not valid or was not obtained from an entity that provides secondary school education, Principia College will conduct additional research to determine if the diploma is in fact valid. Red flags that will prompt additional research are:

  • No apparent state legal authority for high school or GED;
  • Limited curriculum/instructors;
  • High school diploma given for a fee within a short period of time;
  • High school diploma date/place not consistent;
  • High school diplomas/transcripts/GED’s that were issued by a school that bears a non-traditional name that does not end in “high school”, such as “academy”, or “center”;
  • High school diplomas/transcripts/GED’s that were purchased and/or completed online;
  • High school diplomas/GED’s that have names and/or dates that have been written on the diploma, and those where “white out” type corrections have been made.

Should any of the above red flags exist, Principia College will conduct additional research to include:

  • Checking the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website for information relative to the validity of the high school, and if the school in fact provides secondary school education. If Principia College is unable to obtain the required information, Principia College will contact the state in which the high school is located in an attempt to obtain the appropriate documentation.
  • Determining if the high school has previously been identified as a high school diploma mill, via internet research and existing lists Principia College maintains.
  • Determining if the diploma or transcript was purchased online with little work expected by the student, or if it was earned via brick-and-mortar traditional high school.
  • If Principia College is not reasonably certain a high school diploma or GED. is valid, the student will not be admitted. Principia College’s decision relative to the validity of a particular high school diploma or GED. is final, and not subject to appeal.

Returning Students

If you are returning to Principia College after an absence of two semesters or more, please see Re-enrollment Process.