Students are selected by the Office of Admissions on the basis of their academic preparation, leadership qualities and overall interests as indicated by their applications, school records and test results. Since applicants are considered on their own merit, Shenandoah University invites them to supply all evidence to indicate their competence and eagerness to deal with a demanding and exciting Shenandoah program of study.
Admission to Shenandoah University is competitive. The number of new students admitted each year is limited by the available residence hall and classroom space, instructional personnel and budgetary resources. The Executive Director of Recruitment and Admissions is authorized to accept applicants who meet the published admission requirements after examining their application in accordance with policies approved by the institution. In some cases, the Executive Director of Recruitment and Admissions may make exceptions to the published requirements.
The Undergraduate Application for Admission is for degree-seeking students and requires a $30 application fee. Application fees are not credited to tuition and are non-refundable. Application documents submitted to Shenandoah University will not be returned to the student. Undergraduate applications are available at www.su.edu/admissions.
Admission of High School Graduates
The strongest candidates for admission will demonstrate preparation for a university liberal arts education. The high school transcript should indicate courses pursued, grades earned, grade point average and credits earned. It is required that the coursework include: four units of English, three units of Mathematics (Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry are strongly encouraged), and two units of science (including one laboratory science). Two units of a foreign language are strongly recommended. Other classes may be appropriate for some curricula and will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Office of Admissions. Applicants are strongly recommended to indicate community and extra-curricular involvement. Shenandoah Conservatory applicants are also required to successfully complete an audition, meeting the specific requirements as outlined in the university’s “Audition Guidelines.” The “Audition Guidelines” are available from the Office of Admissions.
The most heavily weighted factor in the applicant’s total profile is actual academic performance, as indicated by the high school transcript.
Applicants for admission to Shenandoah University are evaluated in following areas:
- High school or college records or both
- Results of the SAT or ACT examination
- Community and school involvement
- Leadership positions
- For Conservatory applicants only, the result of the audition
Most applicants seek admission during the first semester of their senior year in high school to enter Shenandoah University the following fall. A student who intends to enter directly after high school graduation must request the necessary forms from the Office of Admissions. Procedures for admission are:
- Application for admission must be made on the Undergraduate Application for Admission which can be found at www.su.edu/apply. The application must be signed by the applicant. A nonrefundable application fee of $30 must be submitted, and is not credited to tuition and fees.
- Applicants must ask their high school guidance office to send an official transcript of their high school records and SAT or ACT test scores to the Office of Admissions. Credentials submitted by the applicant are not considered official.
- If the SAT or ACT scores are not included on the high school transcript, the applicant must request the College Entrance Examination Board to send them directly to Shenandoah University, CEEB code #5613.
- Shenandoah Conservatory Applicants Additional Requirements: Conservatory applicants must satisfactorily complete an audition or portfolio review prior to the admission decision. In the audition, each applicant must demonstrate an appropriate level of technical facility in one performance medium. Specific audition and portfolio requirements are found in the “Audition Guidelines,” which are available from the Office of Admissions and on the website at: www.su.edu/admission.
All music curricula require the music theory diagnostic skills exam during the audition process.
An interview with a faculty panel is required for the following curricula: Music Education, Music Production and Recording Technology, and Music Therapy.
An interview and portfolio review session with a faculty member is required for the following curricula: Composition and Theatre Design and Production.
Applicants do not audition for study with a particular Conservatory teacher, as the faculty member conducting the audition is a representative of the department. Applicants will have an opportunity to express a preference, but it is not guaranteed that they will study in the studio of the auditioning faculty.
When an application file is complete, the applicant will usually receive notification of the admission decision within three weeks by their admissions counselor.
Early Assurance Pathway Programs for Graduate Health Professions
The Early Assurance (EA) Pathway is available for incoming freshman applicants and is highly competitive. This pathway guarantees an admission interview with a graduate program as long as criteria are maintained during the undergraduate years. The graduate schools reserve placements with their graduate program for all EA students passing the interview. Some graduate programs offer an early assurance pathway that accelerates a student’s transition into the graduate program by overlapping the first year of graduate school with their fourth year of undergraduate study.
Admission of Home-Schooled Applicants
Applicants must submit transcripts of home-school records and official SAT or ACT test scores to the Office of Admissions. Applicants must also submit written documentation of local school district approval of the home-school arrangement, if available. If any coursework is completed or accepted as degree credit at a local high school or community college, an official transcript must be submitted directly from the school. Based upon academic credentials and SAT or ACT scores, applicants may be required to submit General Educational Development (GED) scores.
Admission of Transfer Students
Applicants who have enrolled in a post-secondary institution after high school graduation will be considered transfer students.
Transfer admission to Shenandoah University will be considered based upon the following:
- Application for admission must be made on the Undergraduate Application for Admission. The application must be signed by the applicant and returned to the Office of Admissions. A nonrefundable application fee of $30 must be submitted, and is not credited to tuition and fees.
- Official transcript(s) of credits earned, entrance credits accepted and results of standardized tests administered must be forwarded in a sealed envelope or a secure electronic transmission directly from each institution attended to the Office of Admissions. A combined, minimum, cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 must be achieved in order to be considered for general admission.
- Applicants who have completed fewer than 24 credits must also submit official high school transcripts. SAT or ACT scores are required if the applicant has been out of high school less than two years.
All admitted transfer applicants will be required to provide a Notification of Good Standing from each prior institution before they can attend classes. Each form should be completed by the appropriate college official at all prior institutions. If a Notification of Good Standing is not provided, then the admitted applicant will not be able to begin classes.
Shenandoah University grants transfer credit based on the policy headed Transfer Credit in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.
Although admissions counselors may prepare unofficial preliminary transfer course evaluations, the official report of transfer equivalencies will be issued by the Registrar’s Office at the time of admission.
Transfer students holding an Associate of Arts, Associate of Sciences, Associate of Arts and Sciences, or Associate of Arts and Teaching degree from a regionally accredited institution will be considered to have fulfilled the Shenandoah University general education requirement. General education requirements of holders of other associates degrees or associates degrees from foreign institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Specific requirements of each academic unit and majors will be considered on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the associates degree earned.
Shenandoah University guarantees admission to Virginia Community College System students who have completed an associate’s degree with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Please refer to www.vawizard.org/wiz-pdf/TransferAgreement_856.pdf for the full terms of the agreement.
The VCCS guaranteed admission program applies only to general university admission. Several programs have specific requirements, and admission to those programs is not guaranteed. Refer to Additional Program Specified Admissions Requirements that follow. See below for Notification of Admissions Decisions and Types of Acceptance Decision.
Additional Program Specified Admissions Requirements:
Except those entering the Theater Design and Production curriculum (see below), each applicant must satisfactorily complete an audition prior to the admission decision. Applicants do not audition for study with a particular Conservatory teacher, as the faculty member conducting the audition is a representative of the department. Applicants will have an opportunity to express a preference, but it is not guaranteed that they will study in the studio of the auditioning faculty.
In the audition, each applicant must demonstrate an appropriate level of technical facility in one performance medium. Specific audition requirements are published in the “Audition Guidelines,” which are available online: www.su.edu/admissions. All music curricula require the music theory diagnostic skills exam during the audition process.
An interview with a faculty panel is required for the following curricula: Music Education, Music Production and Recording Technology, and Music Therapy. An interview and/or portfolio review session with a faculty member is required for the following curricula: Composition and Theater Design and Production.
Transfer students: If you are applying for a music program, proficiency in applied music is evaluated following the first semester of study at Shenandoah University.
If you are currently enrolled in a NASM-accredited institution and wish to be considered for a scholarship, you must submit written verification of official release from any scholarship obligations before full admission will be granted. This release can be sent to admissions in the form of an email from the current Dean of the applicant’s school.
School of Nursing
Transfer Nursing applicants must successfully pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills V (TEAS V) exam with a cumulative score of 65 (note that the passing score is subject to change). Applicants may retake the TEAS exam one time. Applicants to the Accelerated Second Degree Nursing program are not required to submit a TEAS exam score.
The School of Nursing requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all science courses. Students under consideration for admission may attempt no more than two science courses a maximum of two times each to be considered for admission to the School of Nursing. A 3.0 grade point average is also required for remaining prerequisite courses for all nursing pre-licensure transfers.
Readmission of Former Students
Former students seeking readmission, who have not attended class at Shenandoah for three consecutive semesters, must submit an Undergraduate Application for Admission to the Office of Admissions. A non-refundable application fee of $30 must be submitted and is not credited to tuition and fees.
Former students who were in good academic and good social standing may be readmitted upon completion of the appropriate forms. Former students, however, may be denied readmission on the basis of an outstanding and/or unresolved debt to Shenandoah University.
Former students who were not in good academic or good social standing may be readmitted only upon completion of the appropriate forms in the Office of Admissions, and approval by the appropriate academic office, the Office of Student Accounts and the Office of Student Life.
If a former student enrolled at another institution after withdrawing from Shenandoah University, the student must submit official transcript(s) of credits earned, entrance credits accepted, results of standardized tests administered, and evidence of good standing forwarded in a sealed envelope or a secure electronic transmission directly from each institution attended to the Office of Admissions.
English Proficiency Requirement
All applicants must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:
- Completion of a high school diploma (or equivalent) from the following countries:
- United States of America (except Puerto Rico)
- United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Cook Islands
- Falkland Islands
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Completion of a post-secondary degree (or equivalent) with a cumulative GPA of a 2.5 or higher from the following countries:
- United States of America (except Puerto Rico)
- United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Cook Islands
- Falkland Islands
- The Gambia
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Sierra Leone
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Completion of the equivalent of Shenandoah’s ENG 101 with of B or better at a regionally-accredited U.S.-based institution.
- Successful completion of Shenandoah University’s IESL program
- Receive one of the following scores:
- 480 or higher on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing (ERBW) section of the SAT (test must be taken within two years of submission).
- 18 or higher on the English Composition section of the ACT (test must be taken within five years of submission).
- 79 or higher on the TOEFL IBT for all programs, except those in the School of Nursing,School of Health Professions, and Music Therapy programs, for which an 83 or higher is required (the test must be taken within two years of submission).
- 21 or higher on each section of the TOEFL Paper-delivered test for all programs, except those in the School of Nursing or School of Health Professions, for which a 24 or higher is required (test must be taken within two years of submission)
- 6.5 or higher on the IELTS test for all programs except those in the School of Nursing or School of Health Profession which do not accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency (test must be taken within two years of submission).
- 53 or higher on the PTE (Pearson Test of English) (test must be taken within two years of submission)
- 55 or higher on 100-point scale (prior to July 2019) or 105 or higher on new 160-point scale on the Duolingo English Test (DET) (test must be taken within two years of submission).
- For some graduate programs, including NonTraditional PharmD and Transitional Physical Therapy, Shenandoah University can hold a license as proof of English proficiency.
- For Nontraditional PharmD applicants, all U.S. licensed pharmacists can submit their active license as proof of English proficiency.
- For Transitional Physical Therapy applicants, most states require licensed PTs to provide a TOEFL score when sitting for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). If applicants hold a license in one of those states, the language proficiency requirement will be met. If an applicant is licensed in one of the few states that does not require a specific TOEFL score, he or she must demonstrate proficiency in the English language when applying to Shenandoah University. These states include (as of August 2018): Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.
Conditional Admission for English Proficiency
Those students with minimum scores of 45 on iBT (Internet TOEFL), 5.0 on IELTS (International English Language Testing System), 39 on PTE, or 31 on DET may be granted conditional admission and must complete Shenandoah University’s Intensive English as a Second Language Program (IESL).
Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL)
Shenandoah University’s Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL) program welcomes international undergraduate and graduate-level students to prepare for success in their academic careers by providing a comprehensive course of instruction including 20 hours per week of coursework in oral communication (speaking and listening), reading, writing, and grammar in use offered on campus so that students are fully immersed into the American collegiate experience. Courses are taught at the intermediate and advanced levels only. IESL classes are non-credit bearing. Successful completion of the IESL program is proficiency-based as determined by attainment of TOEFL/IELTS scores that meet university admissions requirements.
Admission to IESL is open to international students with minimum scores of 45 on iBT (Internet TOEFL), 5.0 on IELTS (International English Language Testing System), 39 on PTE (Pearson Test of English) or 31 on DET (Duolingo English Test)
Prior to arrival to campus, students complete placement exams to determine their levels of listening/reading/grammar, speaking, and writing and are placed in four skills classes: oral communication (speaking and listening), reading, writing, and grammar in use. Classes meet five days per week for the entire semester. Skill classes run concurrently to allow students to be placed at appropriate levels by individual skill.
The university also offers the program during an 8-week summer session. In addition to IESL, the English as a Second Language Program also offers ESL 195 English as a Second Language Bridge, a three-credit class for international students who have met university admissions requirements but desire more focused instruction in English. ESL 195 can be taken on its own or coupled with any 100 or 200 level course. Graduate students may choose to take this class along with any graduate-level course.
When an application file is complete, the applicant will usually be notified of the admission decision within three weeks by the executive director of recruitment and admissions. For additional information, see the heading “Notification of Admission Decision” in this section.
Inquiries regarding financial aid should be directed to the university’s Office of Financial Aid. Financial aid for international students is extremely limited since federal and state sources are unavailable. International students should seek to obtain educational funds from their native country and should not rely on aid being available from Shenandoah University.
Admission of International Students
International applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Complete Undergraduate Application for Admission and Supplemental Application for International Students forms and submit a $30 non-refundable application fee to the Shenandoah University Office of Admissions. The application form must be signed electronically by the applicant. The application fee must be paid in U.S. currency by credit card, money order or wire transfer made payable to Shenandoah University.
- Certified official, original transcripts from all secondary and/or post-secondary schools must be submitted. Applicants must ask their former high school and/or university to send an official transcript directly to Shenandoah University’s Office of Admissions. In addition, any leaving certificates and external examination results required for the completion of high school must also be provided. Materials can be received via postal mail or electronically. If sent electronically, materials must come directly from an official at the issuing institution. If records are not in English, the applicant must provide a certified translation. Shenandoah University will also accept verified, official transcripts from a NACES or AICE evaluating organization in lieu of official transcripts sent from the applicant’s previous institution(s) of higher learning.
- All post-secondary transcripts from countries outside the United States must also be evaluated by an academic credential evaluation company to obtain equivalency information on courses, grades and degrees earned. An English translation will not be accepted in place of an academic credential evaluation. Applicants may make arrangements to have an evaluation completed with any of the providers listed at www.naces.org or aice.eval.org. All associated fees are the responsibility of the applicant. If an evaluation is completed a semester prior to degree conferral, applicants must provide official proof of degree conferral following graduation.
- Shenandoah Conservatory applicants may complete specific audition and portfolio review requirements by submitting a recorded audition, if travel to the Winchester campus or a regional audition site is not feasible. Recorded audition rules and guidelines are available at www.su.edu/auditions.
The Admissions Office must receive all transcripts and/or test scores no later than 14 business days before the start date of each term.
Issuance of I-20 for International Applicants
To be eligible to receive a SEVIS I-20 form from Shenandoah, applicants must send financial documentation explaining how they plan to cover their educational and living expenses while a student at Shenandoah. To document financial resources, applicants may complete the Supplemental Application for International Students and include support materials as indicated.
Once an application is accepted and finances documented, applicants will be issued a SEVIS I-20 form which is needed to apply for an F-1 student visa. It is important that international students receive their F-1 visa from the U.S. Consulate Office in their native country prior to their arrival in the United States. This procedure is subject to change due to revisions and proposals of changes to the Federal Regulations governing the issuance of I-20s for International Students.
Admission of Certificate Students
Applicants for admission as a certificate student are those applicants interested in obtaining training in a specific area that is recognized by the awarding of a certificate rather than a degree and/or applicants interested in completing the Elementary or Secondary Education Virginia Licensure requirements. (The actual teacher licensure is granted by the Virginia Department of Education after review of credentials.) Certificate programs are academic programs. Generally, a certificate student is enrolled on a part-time basis.
Certificate applicants must complete and submit the Undergraduate Application for Admission directly to the Office of Admissions. A non-refundable application fee of $30 must be submitted and is not credited to tuition and fees.
Certificate applicants are required to submit the same materials as degree-seeking students. See previous sections on requirements for freshman and transfer students. An undergraduate certificate applicant must have a high school diploma. Certificate students are held to the same academic standards and judged in the same way as students enrolled in degree programs.
Once the application has been received and processed, the applicant will usually be notified of the admission decision within three weeks by their admissions counselor. Certificate students are eligible for limited types of financial aid.
High School Seniors
Qualified seniors in area high schools who will not be taking a full academic load in their high school senior year can apply to Shenandoah as a visiting student. Under this program, students are permitted, with the approval of high school officials, to undertake coursework at Shenandoah University concurrently with coursework undertaken at their high school.
Under certain conditions, credit earned at Shenandoah University may be applicable to graduation requirements from Virginia high schools. Credit and grades earned become part of the student’s permanent academic record at Shenandoah University.
Admission After the Junior Year
This program, in which the student enters as a full-time, degree-seeking freshman after the junior year in high school, is designed for a small number of exceptionally qualified students. To be considered, a student must have all required credits in mathematics and science. Most commonly at the end of the junior year, the student will have only one unit in English to complete.
Students applying for this program need all the materials required of a candidate for regular admission, and, in addition, the high school counselor and principal will be asked to speak directly to the question of the student’s maturity, academic ability, personality, sense of purpose, and ability to handle responsibility independently. Credit and grades earned become part of the student’s permanent academic record at Shenandoah University.
The admission procedure is the same as for those students seeking regular admission, except that generally students seeking admission after the junior year submit their application during the spring of their junior year in high school. Students applying for this type of admission must submit the regular application for admission, the non-refundable application fee of $30, an official high school transcript, and the results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) and the recommendations from the high school guidance counselor and principal.
Visiting Students (Non-Degree-Seeking)
Visiting students (non-degree-seeking) are most often applicants who are not interested in a degree but in a specific course; applicants who did not follow an academic program in high school; or students at other institutions who will earn credits to transfer back to their own institutions. Generally, a visiting student is enrolled on a part-time basis.
Visiting students, though not enrolled in a certificate or degree program at Shenandoah University, are held to the same academic standards and judged in the same way as students who are enrolled in a certificate or degree program.
Occasionally, a visiting student will later apply for admission as a degree-seeking student. In that case, the regular admission procedure is followed. Once enrolled as a visiting student, a student cannot change their status in that semester. No more than 30 undergraduate credit hours earned as a visiting student may be applied toward an undergraduate certificate or undergraduate degree program.
Visiting students are not eligible for financial aid.
Visiting students complete the Visiting Student Registration Information Form which is available from and must be submitted directly to Hornet Central. A non-refundable application fee of $20 must be submitted and is not credited to tuition and fees. More information about registration as a visiting student can be found at www.su.edu/hornetcentral/hornet-central-for-incoming-students/.
Admission of Applicants Without a High School Diploma
Applicants may be considered for admission on the basis of the General Educational Development (GED) examination. Shenandoah University does not administer this examination. Interested applicants should consult the guidance department of a nearby high school for information about when and where the examinations can be taken. An average battery of 450 (total score of 2250) or higher with no individual score below 410 is required for admission to Shenandoah University. An interview with a member of the admissions staff is required. An interview with a member of the admissions staff is required.
Requirements for admission include:
- An average battery of 450 (total score of 2250) or higher with no individual score below 410
- Evaluation of the application by the appropriate academic unit
- Interview of the applicant by the appropriate academic unit
The decision on acceptance will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Admitted students who present acceptable scores in dual enrollment college courses may receive advanced placement with credit. Students must submit official college transcripts to the Office of Admissions to have the scores evaluated for credit. Credit granted on the basis of the dual enrollment coursework is treated as transfer work and is subject to the university’s transfer policy. See “Transfer Credit” in the Academic Policies Section of this catalog.
Dual enrollment courses are only valid while the student is still enrolled at a high school. Upon high school graduation, if a student enrolls at another college or university before enrolling at Shenandoah University, they will be considered a transfer student, not a freshman or first-time student.
Admitted students who present acceptable scores on the College Board Advanced Placement Test(s) may receive advanced placement with credit. Students must submit official test scores to the Office of Admissions to have the scores evaluated for credit. Credit granted on the basis of the Advanced Placement Test is treated as transfer work and is subject to the university’s transfer policy. See Transfer Credit” in the Academic Policies Section of this catalog.
Admitted students who present acceptable scores for higher level International Baccalaureate (IB) courses may receive advanced placement with credit. Students must submit official course test scores to the Office of Admissions to have the scores evaluated for credit. Credit granted on the basis of the IB course test scores is treated as transfer work and is subject to the university’s transfer policy. See “Transfer Credit” in the Academic Policies Section of this catalog.
Upon written request, and payment of the advance tuition deposit, an admitted student may defer enrollment for up to one year. Deferred enrollment is subject to the admission requirements in force at the time the initial admission decision was made and is predicated upon the fact that the student will not enroll at another institution before enrolling at Shenandoah University. Applicants for Conservatory programs may be required to audition again during the deferral year. A student who enrolls at another institution before enrolling at Shenandoah University must reapply as a transfer student. The student will be subject to the rules, regulations and financial charges in effect at the time of enrollment.
Types of Acceptance Decisions
At the discretion of the executive director of recruitment and admissions, applicants who meet all admissions criteria may be accepted to Shenandoah University. Accepted applicants will receive a full admission, conditional admission or a provisional admission as students to Shenandoah, whether entering as freshmen or transfer students, and will be classified as 1) degree or non-degree seeking students, and 2) full-time or part-time students.
An applicant who presents an acceptable academic record, acceptable test scores, and a satisfactory audition or interview (when applicable) is admitted fully. Such students may enroll in a full program of study as outlined in the catalog.
If the scholastic record of an applicant is slightly below the standards for full admission, but personal recommendations, test scores, audition or interview (when applicable) or other application materials seem to indicate the probability of success at the college level, a student may be admitted in conditional standing. Students admitted in conditional standing will be required to enroll in a one-semester credit hour study skills class the first semester of enrollment. The student’s academic achievement will be governed by the university’s policy on academic standing. See “Transfer Credit” in the Academic Policies section of the catalog.
An undergraduate applicant who is admissible, but continues to have coursework in progress at another institution or has yet to provide all necessary materials, may be admitted on a provisional basis. As soon as the coursework is completed or the materials are available, the student must submit the final, official transcript or update materials. Any provisionally accepted student who fails to submit the official documentation or to complete the stipulated provisions will not be permitted to register for courses. Provisionally admitted students who are registered for classes and fail to submit final documentation will be withdrawn from classes at the end of the drop/add period.
Notification of Admission Decision
Applicants are usually notified by letter approximately three weeks after their application is complete. Admissions decisions may be deferred if an applicant is slightly below the standards for regular admission. The executive director of recruitment and admissions may require additional information and/or an admissions interview before a decision is rendered. Applicants who wish to appeal an admission decision must submit a written letter of appeal to the executive director of recruitment and admissions.
Admitted students must submit an advance tuition deposit of $300. Dates by which the deposit must be paid are stipulated in the letter of acceptance, and vary depending on the time of year the offer of acceptance is granted. Advance tuition deposits are refundable until May 1. Refund requests must be made in writing to the executive director of recruitment and admissions.
The applicant’s notification of admission is tentative and conditioned (when applicable) by the applicant’s subsequent graduation from high school and/or satisfactory completion of the current college semester. Applicants must request their official high school and/or college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Credentials submitted by the applicant are not considered official. These records should include confirmation of graduation from high school and/or evidence of good standing at the termination of the college semester.