When the UO Office of Admissions receives a completed application, our staff begins a comprehensive, holistic review. In a holistic review process, we consider the applicant as a whole individual, not merely select parts, such as GPA or test scores. In doing so, we evaluate applicants based on who will contribute to the University of Oregon’s academic community in meaningful ways. Holistic review takes into account factors such as a student’s strength of high school coursework, academic and extracurricular interests, unique talents, and personality. By evaluating an application from a holistic perspective, we take the time to get to know applicants as people, not as numbers.
Factors in Holistic Review
To be considered for admission, an applicant must first meet the UO admission requirements. If one or more requirements are not met, review the options for alternative admission. The review process cannot begin until a student’s application file is complete. While decisions resulting from holistic review may be made on a rolling basis, freshman applicants who meet our deadlines will be notified of their admission status no later than April 1.
The University of Oregon considers a number of factors when making admission decisions, including:
- Strength of academic coursework: Course selection is an important indicator of a student's academic motivation. Students should continue to take challenging academic courses through the end of their senior year.
- Grade trend: Students whose grades in academic courses are improving are more likely to be successful in college. We look for students who continue to take challenging courses and increase their grades in those courses.
- Test Scores: SAT or ACT tests are optional for admission. When we do receive them, though, they are considered equally—neither is preferred over the other. Standardized tests can sometimes give us insights on an applicant’s potential, but are often not needed, and of much less importance than curriculum and grades.
- Other academic factors: If a high school provides class rank, it will be considered in the context of understanding local grading practices. Likewise, if the high school provided a school profile, it will be considered for additional context on the high school.
- Personal statement/essay: The student’s application essay is an important tool in determining academic motivation and better understanding the fit between the student and the UO. While the essay is a chance to get to know the student better, the admissions committee will also look for a coherent message delivered with clarity, using correct grammar and spelling.
- Extracurricular activities/special talents: Consideration will be given for what students do outside the classroom, such as participation in school clubs, sports, jobs, or volunteer work. It also includes college preparatory programs such as GEAR UP, Self-Enhancement, Inc., AVID, ASPIRE, SAIL, the Oregon Young Scholars Program, or other related experiences that may have supported your preparation for college. Students will also be considered for exceptional skills and talents in the fine or performing arts, athletics, or other programs that may meet particular needs for the campus.
- Ability to enhance the diversity of the university: Because University of Oregon values diversity in its campus community, racial/ethnic background, socioeconomic background, and family educational history are among the many aspects of diversity that will be considered.
- Special Circumstances: Personal statements describing special circumstances, such as documented disabilities, serious illnesses, or other extenuating circumstances that affected a student’s academic performance, will be taken into consideration.
The application deadlines for freshmen are November 1 (Early Action) and January 15. Admission decisions will be made based on the following:
- Requirements: Meet the UO admission requirements. If you do not meet one or more requirements, review the options for alternative admission.
- College preparatory courses: 15 units of college preparatory courses from these five subject areas: English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language. (In these 15 courses, we only accept grades of C- or better.)
- Grade point average: The UO will use the grade point average (unweighted or weighted on a 4.00 scale) reported by your school on your official transcript (grades 9–12).
- Rolling admission notification: Students will be notified of their admission decision on a rolling basis beginning in October. Students who apply by the November 1 Early Action deadline will receive a response by December 15. Students who apply by the January 15 deadline can expect a decision by April 1.
- Complete files: Students should make sure their application file is complete no later than February 15 to ensure a complete review.