Admission to either division of Oberlin College--the College of
Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory of Music--is competitive and
selective, and based on a student's prior achievement as well as
future promise. Students may apply to both divisions. Separate
applications, fees, transcripts and recommendation forms are required
for each division. Students admitted to both divisions can choose
to enroll in either the College of Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory
of Music or in the five-year Double-Degree Program (leading to
a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree). Decisions on
the two applications are reached independently.
Application for Admission
Applicants should write to the appropriate Admissions Office for
application forms, indicating the date they plan to graduate from
high school. Application forms for high school seniors are available
after August 1. High school juniors may file a preliminary request
card, which is kept on file to ensure forwarding of the application
at the appropriate time.
Oberlin enrolls first year students in September and transfers
in the fall or spring semester.
Applications for fall semester must be postmarked by
-- November 15 -(College of Arts and Sciences, Early Decision I
and spring semester transfer applicants);
-- January 2 (College of Arts and Sciences, Early Decision II);
-- January 15 (College of Arts and Sciences, Regular Decision);
-- January 15 (All Conservatory Applicants); and
-- March 15 (College of Arts and Sciences fall semester transfer
Students wishing to enter Oberlin before completing the traditional
four years of high school should submit a letter outlining their
educational goals and provide evidence that they are socially and
emotionally ready for the challenge of college. Early Admission
students are required to visit the campus for an interview.
Students admitted to the Arts and Sciences division of Oberlin
College can request deferred enrollment for up to one year. While
the Conservatory of Music does not ordinarily consider admitted
students for deferred enrollment, in exceptional circumstances
approval to defer enrollment up to one year may be granted.
A written request for deferred enrollment should be submitted
to the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Admissions specifically
outlining the student's plans for the interim. Approved deferral
requires the student's commitment to enroll and a $200 deposit
to secure a place in the class. In return, the Admissions Office
will hold a place in the entering class of the subsequent September
(or February for transfer students only), as requested. A letter
reconfirming admission and a new intent-to-enroll card will be
mailed to all deferred admittees in December or March, prior to
their anticipated Oberlin enrollment. During deferment, students
may take six semester hours of credit per semester, with a maximum
of 12 semester hours.
Though requests for deferred enrollment ordinarily will be honored,
the Admissions Office has the option to ask for additional information
and can deny the request. If attending Oberlin College is one of
several options a student is considering after a period of time
off, deferred enrollment is unlikely. Rather, the student will
be invited to reapply for admission at a later date.
Additional questions about Oberlin's deferred admission policy
should be directed to the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences
Admissions and Financial Aid.
Oberlin welcomes applications from students currently attending
colleges and universities in the United States and other countries
who wish to study at Oberlin for a limited period. Entrance standards
are the same as for regular transfer candidates. Normally, students
are accepted for one semester only. In some cases, visiting students
may be accepted for an entire year. Institutional based financial
aid is not available for visiting students. (For more details,
contact the Admissions Office.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Students applying to Oberlin should present a program of studies
combining breadth and depth, and are encouraged to include enriched
or Advanced Placement courses when available.
The best-prepared candidates usually present the following:
-- four years of English (with an emphasis on writing);
-- three years of one foreign language ;
-- four years of mathematics ;
-- three years of natural science, with laboratory; and
-- three years of social studies, including history .
Applicants whose interests in college may require calculus should
take as much mathematics as possible. Trigonometry and pre-calculus
are especially recommended.
For students intending to major in the natural sciences, courses
in biology, chemistry and physics are all highly desirable. Foreign
language study beyond the third year is also highly desirable.
Students from secondary schools that do not offer all of these
courses should not feel discouraged from applying to Oberlin, especially
if they have strong records of achievement within their schools
and are looking for an academic challenge at the college level.
Oberlin seeks students who exhibit traits of leadership and significant
involvement in their schools and communities, and gives careful
individual attention to each application. Entry-level foundation
and introductory courses are offered to help entering students
of special circumstance. For example, Effective Reading Strategies
is a course designed to improve critical reading skills.
Students who have been enrolled in ungraded or innovative systems
should present evidence of serious academic and intellectual effort,
including detailed recommendations from a variety of academic teachers
and counselors. Home-schooled students should contact the appropriate
Admissions Office for information about Oberlin's Home School policy.
Admissions Testing Program
Candidates for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences must
submit the results of either the SAT I: Reasoning Test of the College
Board or the admissions tests of the American College Testing (ACT)
Program. Writing test results from either the SAT I or ACT are
required for fall 2006 applicants and beyond. Students whose native
language is not English must submit the Test of English as a Foreign
Language (TOEFL) or the University of Michigan English Language
Proficiency Examination (MELAB). Three SAT II: Subject Tests are
recommended. Although the Admissions Committee prefers that applicants
take the tests early in the senior year, the results of tests taken
on other dates are accepted. Details concerning application for
the examination may be obtained from a high-school guidance counselor.
Admission with Advanced Placement
Incoming students may receive credit toward graduation for prior
1. successful completion of college-level course
work in secondary school, as measured by performance on the College
Board Advanced Placement Program (AP) examination;
2. successful completion of approved liberal arts courses
taken at a college while enrolled in high school; credit for such
courses must appear on a transcript from an accredited college
or university; and
3. work completed in International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.
AP credit is granted on the assumption the student does not enroll
in an equivalent course at Oberlin.
Oberlin does not recognize the results of CLEP (College Level
Examination Program) and other programs of credit by examination
not tied to the completion of specific courses leading up to the
tests. Academic credit is not granted to incoming students for
experiential learning programs.
Individual departments in which AP credit is being requested decide
standards and grant credit. Information on those guidelines is
included in each department's description of course offerings.
The following departments grant AP credit: art (art history only),
biology, chemistry, classics (Latin), English, Environmental Studies,
French, German, Hispanic Studies, history, mathematics, computer
science, music (theory only), physics, politics, and psychology.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program
Oberlin grants up to a total of 28 hours: eight semester hours
of credit toward graduation for each higher-level course completed
in the International Baccalaureate program with a score of 6 or
7 and four hours of credit toward graduation for each higher-level
course completed with a score of 5. Oberlin students planning to
take additional hours in subjects in which they have received IB
credit must negotiate with the department involved. A student may
have to relinquish some IB credit initially earned if the work
is repeated at Oberlin.
Admission of Transfer Students
The method of selecting transfer students is essentially the same
as for first-year students. In addition to the record of preparatory
work, personal recommendations and SAT I, ACT or TOEFL scores,
an applicant must submit an official transcript of college work
completed, a list of courses being carried during the current term/semester
and evidence of good academic standing. Final decisions concerning
the amount of credit to be assigned are deferred until the completion
of work at the previous college. Where grades are available, the
strongest candidates usually have a B average or better and have
provided the Admissions Committee with valid reasons for transfer.
Conservatory of Music applicants should refer to that division's
catalog section for information about audition requirements.
Transfer students should plan to complete the requirements for
graduation in not less than four semesters. No student can graduate
without four semesters of residence and the completion at Oberlin
of 56 credit hours (for Arts and Sciences majors) or 62 hours (for
Conservatory of Music majors) of college work.
Conservatory of Music
The single most important criterion for admission to the Conservatory
of Music is the performance audition or, in the case of composers,
the compositions submitted. The audition standards are the same
for all candidates regardless of intended majors. Prospective non-performance
majors (e.g. music education) are scheduled for conferences with
faculty members at the time of their on-campus auditions.
Conservatory of Music applicants audition
in their principal performing medium (instrument or voice) unless
applying for admission as a
composition or electronic and computer music major. Under normal
circumstances an applicant will be limited to an audition in one
Candidates are encouraged to audition in person at Oberlin. During
January and February, however, regional auditions are held throughout
the country. Please contact the Conservatory of Music Admissions
Office for details.
Applicants may submit pre-recorded auditions only if travel to
Oberlin or to a regional audition is cost-prohibitive. Transfers
to Oberlin should try to audition in person. Composers are asked
to submit scores of at least three recent works that demonstrate
aptitude for this major.
Details on auditions are furnished with application materials.
The Conservatory of Music notifies applicants of the outcome of
their applications by April 1.
Aptitude and Achievement Tests
Candidates for admission
to the Conservatory of Music must submit results of either the
SAT I: Reasoning Test of the College Board
or the admissions tests of the American College Testing (ACT) Program.
Although the Admissions Committee prefers that applicants take
the test late in the junior year or early in the senior year, it
accepts results from other testing dates. Details concerning application
for the examination may be obtained from a high-school guidance
counselor. No achievement tests are required. Transfer applicants
who have successfully completed a college English composition course
are not required to submit SAT or ACT results. Applicants whose
first language is not English should submit the results of the
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Students with an SAT verbal score below
580, or an ACT score below 24, or a TOEFL score below 600 must
complete one course chosen
from the RHET 111-119 series.