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Undergraduate Admission

First Year Application Instructions

» How to Apply - First Year Students

Please review the information below for application options, as well as instructions and deadlines for applying to Chapman University.

To receive application updates, please join our interest list.

Application Options

There are three options for applying to Chapman:

1) Early Action (EA) is a non-binding early deadline. Decision notification begins in late December for most programs, and are then sent on a rolling basis through the beginning of February.

  • EA applications are due November 1, 2020.
  • EA applicants may apply to other Early Action colleges.
  • Binding Early Decision and Early Decision II program applicants to other school can also apply Early Action to Chapman.

2) Early Decision (ED) is a binding early deadline. Decision notifications are sent in late December. This option is appropriate only if you are sure Chapman is your first choice.

  • ED applications are due November 1, 2020.
  • Binding means you must commit to enroll at Chapman if admitted.
  • ED applicants cannot apply Early Decision to other institutions.
  • ED applicants can apply EA to other colleges, but must withdraw those applications if admitted to Chapman.

3) Regular Decision (RD) is a non-binding deadline and is chosen by the majority of our applicants. Decision notification for RD is in mid-March.

  • RD applications for fall 2020 are due January 15, 2021.
  • RD applicants may apply ED or EA to other institutions.
  • You can view complete spring and fall deadlines for RD below, under “First Year Application Deadlines."

Application Steps and Requirements

Follow the steps below to apply as a first-year student to Chapman University. Please only submit the University’s required documents.

Step 1: Complete and submit The Common App and Chapman University Questions.

  • Chapman University Questions are submitted along with your Common App. You can learn more about Chapman University Questions on our Application Tips page.
  • Beginning with the spring 2021 class, Chapman University is adopting a test-optional admission process. This means most applicants can choose if they want their SAT or ACT scores reviewed with their application. For those submitting scores, we will accept:
    • Self-reported scores via the Common App’s “Testing” section.
    • Official scores sent directly from College Board or ACT. If you wish to send official scores directly from CollegeBoard or ACT, Chapman’s Testing Code for the SAT is 4047; for the ACT it is 0210.
    • Note: Home-schooled students and those who attended a high school that provided a narrative transcript must submit a standardized score with their application.

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Additional Information on Test Scores

  • You can learn more about the test-optional admission process here.
  • For those selecting to have their test scores reviewed with their application:
    • Official scores are not required for review of your application. We will require official scores to be sent after a student has been offered admission and an enrollment deposit is made.
    • Chapman will superscore the SAT, but not the ACT. Superscoring is when the highest score from each section of the test is used for review, no matter if the individual scores are from one test sitting or multiple sittings.
    • Chapman has no preference for which test the student takes, but we encourage you to list/send scores from all tests taken. We will only utilize the scores that put students in the most competitive position in our applicant pool.
  • Chapman still requires official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international applicants.
  • Chapman does not require SAT Subject Tests.

Step 2: Submit a Teacher Evaluation via the Common App

  • Request a letter of recommendation from one of your teachers through the Recommender section on the Common App.
  • Chapman only requires one letter of recommendation, but will review up to two letters.

Step 3: Submit official transcripts

  • Ask your counselor (or school official) to submit your official high school transcripts. If you have attended multiple high schools, you will need to submit individual transcripts for each institution attended.
  • If you have taken college coursework during high school, you should request those official transcripts be sent to Chapman.

Step 4: Submit the School Report form

Ask your counselor (or school official) to submit the Common App School Report form. Your counselor may also submit an attached letter of recommendation, although it is not required.

Step 5: Pay the application fee or submit a Fee Waiver Request

  • You must submit the $70 non-refundable application fee via the Common App, or select the fee waiver option if you meet the Common App fee waiver guidelines.
  • Your high school counselor must approve your fee waiver request online via the Common App, or submit a request (with your Common Application ID number) by mail or via email to admit@chapman.edu. We require fee waiver approval prior to the review of your application. 

Step 6: Submit the Creative Supplement/department requirements (for specific majors)

Applicants to academic majors within the colleges/departments below must also submit a Creative Supplement:

  • College of Performing Arts
  • Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
  • Department of Art (excluding Art History)

You can only submit your Creative Supplement after submitting your Common App. Visit our Creative Supplement page for more information.

Our Pre-Pharmacy Freshman Early Assurance Program also has additional requirements. View the application information on the Pre-Pharmacy website for specific details.

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Additional Steps for International Students

All international applicants must submit an International Supplement Form. This form is available after submitting your application. You can access it in your Application Status Page.

For non-native English speakers, proof of English proficiency is required in one of the following ways:

  • Minimum TOEFL score of 80 iBT (with balanced sub scores)
  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with balanced sub scores)
  • Minimum Duolingo English Test score of 115

Chapman’s Testing Code for the TOEFL is 4047

More information for international applicants, including English proficiency waivers, is available on our International Students webpage.

First Year Application Deadlines

Spring 2021 Deadline

All applications are due by October 15, 2020. Applications received after October 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Fall 2021 Deadlines

The Regular Decision deadline is January 15, 2021.

November 1, 2020 is the deadline for:

Applications received after the listed dates will be considered late and reviewed on a space-available basis.

Applying for Financial Aid

Please visit our Financing page for more information on applying for financial aid and financing your Chapman education.

Recommended Classes for High School Students

Recommended classes for students (similar to A-G requirements for University of California/California State University schools):

  • English: 4 years
  • Math: 3-4 years (business and science majors should take classes through pre-calculus, at a minimum, and aim to take 4 full years of math as major preparation)
  • Science: 2-3 years (science majors should try to take 3-4 years of science as major preparation; at least two courses should be a lab science)
  • History/Social Science: 2-3 years
  • Foreign Language: 3-4 years
  • Arts/Electives: 2-3 years

These courses can make you a stronger candidate for admission at Chapman University. However, if these recommendations are not completed, you will not be disqualified for admission. We would like to see that your high school curriculum and course rigor supports the major to which you have applied. You will want to check with other institutions to which you are applying to check if their recommended/required courses are different.

How We Can Help

We are happy to help as you consider Chapman and work on your application:

  • Introduce yourself to your counselor. They would love to hear from you and can answer many of your questions.
  • Come for a visit. You can sign up online for our daily campus tours (offered most weekdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.).
  • Meet us in your town. Our counselors travel throughout the country and world to meet prospective students. Check our travel schedule to see if we are visiting your city.
You can also use our program finder to help find the right major/minors for you.

Chapman University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, religion, military status, or veteran’s status in its admissions policies or administration of its educational programs, including scholarship and loan programs, under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Questions, concerns, or complaints may be directed to DeAnn Yocum Gaffney, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Senior Associate Dean of Students and Lead Title IX Coordinator at gaffney@chapman.edu , phone (714) 997-6721, Argyros Forum Room 101, or to the Director, US Department of Education, Washington DC, 20201.

Note: any questions relating to the admission process should be sent to admit@chapman.edu

Office of Admission Contacts


Email General Admission

Email Transfer Admission

Email International Admission

Phone: (714) 997-6711

Mailing Address:
Chapman University
Attn: Office of Admission
One University Drive 
Orange, CA 92866

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