Freshman Students

Application process for freshmen

A freshman is a beginning student who has never attended a college or university before.

IU accepts two applications—the Apply IU Application and the Common Application. Both ask the same types of questions, although they may be worded differently. We do not prefer any particular application, and we use the same review process for each. You can choose whichever one works best for you.

Apply now

There are two options to choose from, but you should submit only one application for admission. You will not receive any benefit from applying multiple times, and all application fees are nonrefundable. If you apply using more than one application, it may delay processing.

Apply IU

Use the Apply IU Application to apply to more than one Indiana University campus.

Start your Apply IU Application

Common Application

Use the Common Application to apply to any of over 900 schools, including Indiana University.

Start your Common Application

Steps for applying as a freshman

This page lists the important steps in the application process so you know exactly what you need to do to successfully apply to IU as a freshman.

  1. Review admission standards
    • Academic preparation
    • Required grades
    • Secondary school graduation
    • English proficiency
  2. Review admission and scholarship deadlines
  3. Explore our majors
  4. Learn about direct admission
  5. Learn about receiving credit for AP, IB, and other advanced coursework
  6. Review fee waiver information (if eligible)
  7. Submit the online application and essay
  8. Receive your Atlas login information
  9. Submit your supporting documents
    • Secondary school academic records
    • Demonstration of English proficiency
    • SAT or ACT exam scores (optional)
    • Letters of recommendation (optional)
  10. Submit your financial documentation
  11. Check your admission status
  12. Receive your admission letter from OIS
  13. Let us know you plan to enroll

You may also want to know:

1. Review admission standards

Before you begin the application process, you should read our admission standards to make sure you qualify to apply. Admission to Indiana University is selective, and we review each application for its individual merits and qualities. We pay particular attention to these factors:

  • Academic performance and preparation
  • Strength and quality of your high school curriculum
  • Anticipated completion of secondary school before you start at IU
  • Recent grade trends
  • SAT or ACT results (if applicable)
  • Essays

Academic preparation

We require at least 34 credits (or semesters) of college-preparatory courses, advanced placement courses, or college courses in secondary school in these subjects:

  • 8 credits (or 4 years) or the equivalent of secondary work in English or in your native language, including literature, grammar, and composition courses
  • 7 credits (or 3.5 years) of mathematics, including 4 credits of algebra and 2 credits of geometry (or an equivalent 6 credits of integrated algebra and geometry), and 1 credit of additional college preparatory math (precalculus, trigonometry, or calculus)
  • 6 credits (or 3 years) of social sciences, including history, government, economics, psychology, or sociology
  • 6 credits (or 3 years) of sciences, including at least 4 credits (2 years) of laboratory sciences such as biology, chemistry, or physics
  • 4 credits (or 2 years) of another world language
  • 3 or more credits of additional college-preparatory courses

Additional mathematics credits are recommended for students intending to pursue a science degree. Additional world language credits are recommended for all students.

Note: If your secondary school does not offer the courses needed to meet one or more of these requirements, then alternative college-preparatory courses may be substituted for the courses that are not available.

Academic grades required for admission

Your cumulative GPA, as well as the grades you have earned in the 34 courses required for admission, will be an important part of the application review process. Our students have the equivalent of a B average or higher in secondary school.

You are given more serious consideration if your marks or grades have been consistently above average or steadily improving in a challenging academic program. On the other hand, low marks or grades in the most recent term or a less demanding academic program are often reasons to deny admission to IU.

Secondary school graduation requirement

You need to complete the equivalent of U.S. high school. Many education systems call this upper secondary school. It includes all course components and examinations required for graduation. Review country-specific requirements to see details for the country you’re studying in.

If you are homeschooled or attend an alternative school, you need to submit credentials that demonstrate equivalent levels of achievement and ability.

Demonstration of English proficiency

IU Bloomington requires all international undergraduate applicants to demonstrate English proficiency. You need to have met this English proficiency requirement within the last two years.

You can do this by:

  • Submitting acceptable results for one of the English proficiency tests or the SAT or ACT exam listed in English proficiency tests
  • Submitting acceptable results from certain classes listed in Curricula scores
  • Holding citizenship from or completing at least three full years of secondary school in a predominantly English-speaking country, defined in List of English-speaking countries
  • Successfully completing Level 7 of the Intensive English Program (IEP) at IU Bloomington
TOEFL (internet-based test)79
TOEFL (paper-based test)550
TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition79
TOEFL ITP+ China543
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)6.5
IELTS Indicator6.5
Duolingo English Test (DET)105
Cambridge English176
Pearson PTE53
Michigan Tests MET53
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing560
ACT English section21

You can self-report these scores for the admission process. However, if you need an immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019), the testing agency will have to provide the official score report before we can create the immigration document. Have the testing agency send the score to IU Bloomington.

Required English proficiency curricula scores
IB HL English A: Language and Literature4 or higher
IB HL English A: Literature4 or higher
GCE A-Level: English First-languageA, B, C
AP English and Composition3 or higher
AP Literature and Composition3 or higher
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grand Cayman Islands
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Singapore
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
  • United States
  • Zimbabwe

2. Review admission and scholarship deadlines

Students who complete their application materials by November 1, the early action deadline, get first and maximum consideration—both for admissions and scholarships. It is also the deadline for direct admission consideration for some schools.

February 1 is the regular decision deadline and the deadline for Global Engagement Scholarship consideration.

If you submit your application after February 1, you will be considered only if space is still available.

Admission notification

You’ll generally receive an admission notification two to three weeks after our office has received all application materials.

Notification timeline
Submit a complete application byReceive a response no later than
November 1January 15
February 1March 15
After February 1All applications submitted after this date will be considered on a space-available, case-by-case basis.

A $100 enrollment deposit is due on May 1.

See the steps to enroll

Spring and summer admission deadlines

International applicants interested in summer admission are only eligible to apply for the second eight weeks of the summer term and are required to take a minimum of 6 credits during this term.

Deadlines for students who wish to begin studying at IU during the spring or summer semester
SemesterApply by
Spring (January start)September 15
SummerJanuary 1

Scholarship consideration

Merit scholarships are awarded based on the academic information you provide through your application for admission. To be considered for IU Achievement and Selective Scholarships, you must submit your complete application for admission to IU by November 1. If you meet this deadline, you can submit updated SAT or ACT scores (if applicable) through January 15 for additional scholarship consideration. Updated scores will be evaluated and notification will be made on a rolling basis for those who qualify.

Qualified international students who submit a complete application for admission by February 1 will be considered for merit-based scholarships specifically for international students. These scholarships will be determined based on academic information provided in the admission application—no separate application is required.

Learn more about scholarships

3. Explore our majors

Before you apply, make sure you spend some time exploring our different schools and 200+ majors.

When you fill out your application, you’ll be asked to choose an intended major. If you know what you’d like to major in, select that major.

If you don’t know what you want to major in, that’s OK. IU students who have not yet chosen a major are considered exploratory students. It’s fine to spend time discovering the path that’s right for you. Indiana University promotes academic exploration above all else. It’s why most freshmen begin their studies in University Division (UD), where they fulfill the general requirements needed to certify into a degree-granting school or college.

4. Learn about direct admission

When you are accepted at IU, you are automatically admitted to University Division (UD). While a student in UD, you will work to fulfill the requirements for admission to the major of your choice. Almost all beginning students start their IU experiences this way.

However, a few IU schools also offer direct admission to outstanding students. When you receive direct admission, you are able to begin your college career as a student in the program of your choice. That means you do not later have to apply for admission to your major.

What to do to be considered for direct admission

To be considered for direct admission, you will need to:

  • Submit all application materials by the deadline.
  • Indicate the major that you want to be admitted to on your application.
  • Prove, by way of test scores (if applicable) and your academic record, that you are an exceptional student. Each school has its own requirements.
  • Fulfill all other direct admit requirements as outlined by the school of your choice.

Only 10 to 20 percent of incoming students receive direct admission. If you do not receive direct admission, you can still apply to that school later after you have spent some time studying in University Division.

5. Learn about receiving credit for AP, IB, and other advanced coursework

IU recognizes many British-style Advanced Level exams and International Baccalaureate higher-level exams when awarding credit.

Learn more about advanced coursework

6. Review fee waiver information (if eligible)

If you are a student with limited financial resources, you may be eligible for an admission application fee waiver. To obtain a fee waiver, you must request a fee waiver when completing your application.

If you are submitting the Apply IU application, you will then need to submit a completed ACT, SAT, or NACAC fee waiver form that has been verified by your high school counselor.

If you are submitting the Common Application, you will need to complete the fee waiver section on your profile and your counselor will need to verify your eligibility.

We will not process your application or make an admission decision until we receive a completed fee waiver or the $65 application fee.

7. Submit the online application and essay

Select your application platform and get started. Even though there are two options to choose from, you should submit only one application for admission to IU Bloomington. The $65 application fee is non-refundable.

As part of your application submission, regardless of which platform you choose, make sure you submit the 200–400 word IU-specific essay. If you are applying through the Common Application, this essay is called the Writing Supplement for IU Bloomington.

Make sure you allow pop-ups and enable third-party cookies to ensure that your application and fee payment will be submitted correctly.

8. Receive your Atlas login information

After you submit your online application, you will receive immediate email confirmation that it was received.

OIS will email you your Atlas login information within five days of receiving your completed application. You will then need to log in to Atlas so you can upload the additional documents you are required to submit.

Learn more about Atlas

9. Submit your supporting documents

Completing the application for admission is the first step toward attending Indiana University.

After you have submitted your application, there are some supporting materials that you need to upload to Atlas. (All documents submitted for admission consideration become the property of IU.)

Materials required to complete your application

Upload these documents to Atlas to complete your application.

Secondary school academic records

To complete your application, you only need to upload a copy of your official academic records. These need to include an original stamp or seal. If the original is not in English, also include a literal translation certified by the academic institution as being complete and correct.

You can find what specific documents we need for each high school country below.

See the country-specific requirements

Note: if you are admitted, you will need to bring a physical version to Bloomington of all the academic records you upload (in addition to a final record showing you completed secondary school). Remember, it needs have an official stamp or seal. If your final academic records were sent to you in a sealed envelope, you will need to keep them in the envelope for OIS to consider them official.

Demonstration of English proficiency

You will need to submit evidence that you meet our English proficiency standards described in admission standards. How you demonstrate your proficiency will determine what you need to submit. For example, if you use scores from a test, you will need to submit those. Your documentation needs to be from within the last two years in order to be valid.

Optional materials you can submit with your application

SAT or ACT exam scores

IU’s test-optional admissions policy allows you to choose at the point of application whether to have your SAT or ACT test scores considered as part of your admissions review—letting you decide how best to tell your academic story. Research indicates that for most students, high school GPA paired with test scores provides the best prediction of academic success at Indiana University. However, for some students a standardized test score may not show all that they are capable of or tell the full story of their potential.

Each individual student will determine if they should apply test-optional, however various resources and guidance are available through our office.

We superscore, which means that if you choose to have test scores considered as part of your admissions review, when we are reviewing your application, we'll consider your best test scores. We’ll consider the highest critical reading and math component scores for the SAT. For the ACT, we’ll combine the highest scores for each subtest from different exams for a new ACT composite

If you took the ACT or SAT, you may share either official or self-reported scores. Students sharing self-reported scores can self-report your test scores on your application. You will also have the option to self-report additional scores after submitting your application. If offered admission, the offer will be contingent upon receipt of official test scores from testing agencies, which must match or be higher than those self-reported during the admissions process. Self-reporting your scores is only applicable if you decide to have your test scores considered at the point of application.

Self-report your scores

If you would like to have the official testing agencies send your scores, use the codes listed here to have your official scores sent to Indiana University Bloomington.

  • Our SAT code is 1324.
  • Our ACT code is 1210.
Letters of recommendation

Sometimes you may want to have a teacher, counselor, employer, or coach write a letter of recommendation to help us get to know you better. We love to hear stories of your growth, hard work, creative ideas, leadership, or obstacles you’ve overcome.

Letters can be especially useful if you struggled in a certain class or academic term because of outside circumstances. A teacher or counselor can give us insight into why your abilities are greater than an academic record may show.

10. Submit your financial documentation

As an international student at IU Bloomington, you are required to submit documents proving you have the financial means to support yourself for a full calendar year, including tuition, fees, and living expenses. We encourage you to submit your financial documents as soon as possible.

Learn more about required financial documentation

11. Check your admission status

After you apply, you can see the status of your application at any time in Atlas.

12. Receive your admission letter from OIS

You will first be notified of your admission decision via email by the Office of International Services (OIS).

If you are admitted, your admission letter will be sent to you via mail after you have paid your enrollment deposit and submitted the required financial documents. OIS will mail the admission letter after your financial documents have been reviewed and approved.

13. Let us know you plan to enroll

If you are admitted to IU Bloomington, you’ll need to let us know you plan to attend by paying your enrollment deposit.

To officially reserve your spot as an IU student, submit your intent to enroll form and $100 enrollment deposit by May 1.

Learn more about the steps to enroll at IU Bloomington

How to make changes to your application

If you need to change information that you submitted with your application, you'll need to submit a form. The form is only for changing things like email address, contact information, name, etc. Continue using Atlas to submit any new information.

Change information on your application

How to cancel your application

If you would like to cancel your application after you have already applied, you can do that on the Intent to Enroll page.

Cancel your application

Information for IU Jacobs School of Music applicants

After you apply to IU, you’ll need to complete the Jacobs Schools of Music supplemental application and submit an additional fee.

Learn about Jacobs School of Music requirements

Apply now

There are two options to choose from, but you should submit only one application for admission. You will not receive any benefit from applying multiple times, and all application fees are nonrefundable. If you apply using more than one application, it may delay processing.

Apply IU

Use the Apply IU Application to apply to more than one Indiana University campus.

Start your Apply IU Application

Common Application

Use the Common Application to apply to any of over 900 schools, including Indiana University.

Start your Common Application