Admission Information

Freshmen Requirements & Deadlines

Admission to USF is more competitive than ever, but the process of applying is not difficult. We consider each applicant individually, taking into account grades, rigor of curriculum and standardized test scores. Learn more about how to apply, application deadlines and admission requirements.

Application Deadlines

Apply early! Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in late Fall as applications are completed and all supporting documents are received. You may apply as early as July of your senior year. Freshman applications are considered for the spring, summer and fall semesters.

Summer/Fall Semester Start

  • July 1 Summer/fall application opens
  • November 1 – Priority application completion deadline for Summer and Fall applicants
  • January 1 – Priority deadline for financial aid consideration
  • January 15 – Application completion deadline for students to be considered for admissions scholarships 
  • March 1 – Final application deadline
  • May 1  Admissions deposit deadline

Spring Semester Start

  • February 1  Spring application opens
  • October 1 – Preferred admissions deadline
  • November 15 – Application completion deadline
  • December 1  Admissions deposit deadline

How to Apply

You must complete the following steps before USF will consider your application complete and begin admission evaluation.

  1. Complete the online application
  1. Pay the non-refundable $30 application fee or submit an application fee waiver*
  1. Send your official transcript(s) to USF
    • High School Students: Ask your school to send transcripts to USF electronically. If this option is not available, official transcripts for all three USF campuses should be mailed to:

University of South Florida
Office of Admissions
4202 E Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036
Tampa, FL 33620

  1. Send official SAT or ACT scores to USF
  1. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ONLY: Send official IELTS or TOEFL scores to USF

* We will waive your admissions application fee if you can show evidence that the fee creates severe financial hardship and serves as a deterrent to your ability to seek admission to USF. Please submit an original ACT or SAT Request for Deferral/Waiver of College Admission Application Fee Waiver Form. Typically, you may secure this via your high school guidance counselor who will send it to USF on your behalf. Although this is the easiest way to ensure the waiver of an application fee, the Director of Admissions also will consider requests for a waiver.

*Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible to ensure consideration for the greatest amount of financial assistance possible (USF's school code is #001537).

GPA & Test Requirements

Competition for space in the freshman class is rigorous. High school GPAs for the middle 50 percent of freshman admitted in Fall 2017 were between 3.9-4.4.

For determining admissibility to USF, we will recalculate your high school GPA based on grades earned in high school only in core academic subject areas, as well as specified AP and IB fine and performing arts courses. USF will add the quality points outlined below for approved AP, IB, AICE, Honors and Dual Enrollment courses provided you earn a "C" or better. 

Course Type Quality Point
Advanced Placement 1.0
International Baccalaureate 1.0
Dual Enrollment 1.0
AICE 1.0
Honors 0.5

Taking weighted courses can have a positive impact on your recalculated GPA as long as you are reasonably successful in these advanced-level courses.

Test Score Requirements

USF requires freshman applicants to submit official results of at least one college entrance exam (SAT or ACT). USF does not currently require or consider the optional Essay section of the SAT or the ACT for the admission or scholarship review processes. Likewise, SAT Subject Tests are not considered for admission or placement. USF's code for SAT is 5828 and for ACT is 0761.

In Fall 2018, mid-range SAT and ACT scores for admitted freshman were:

SAT: 1230-1350
ACT: 27-30

Superscoring

USF considers your highest submitted section scores across all SAT and ACT test dates. Final admission decisions will be made using only your highest cumulative scores. Each time you submit test scores to USF, we will update your record with any new high scores. We strongly encourage you to submit your scores each time you take the SAT or ACT. Sending your scores each time you take the SAT or ACT can benefit you by allowing us to consider you for all available enrollment-related opportunities.

Concordance and the Redesigned SAT

The Redesigned SAT was launched by the College Board in March 2016. USF will accept both the Original (pre-March 2016) SAT and the Redesigned (March 2016 and later) SAT for admission for the Spring 2017 semester and later. For admission and scholarship purposes, we will concord any Original SAT scores to the Redesigned SAT scale; we will also superscore all administrations of the SAT. If you took the Original SAT and want to understand how your scores will concord to the new scale, please refer to the SAT Score Converter. For more information on the Redesigned SAT, visit the College Board website.

Testing Recommendations

Because the SAT and ACT measure college readiness through different means and formats, we strongly encourage you to take each exam once during the spring of your junior year in high school. You are likely to prefer (and even to perform better) on one test over the other, which would allow you to focus on that test during the fall of your senior year. Except in rare cases, you should not take either test more than three times, as significant improvements on performance are unlikely at that point.

Course Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 18 approved units of high school work in the five core subject areas in addition to three approved academic electives. If you graduated from high school in 2011 or thereafter, you must have completed four units of math—including one course above and beyond Algebra II.

Although you may take one fewer academic elective unit, applicants who are the most competitive for admission to USF typically complete a minimum of 20 academic units, which averages five per year in grades nine through twelve. 

Subject Area Graduated Before 2011 Graduated 2011 or Later
English 4 4
Mathematics 3 4
Natural Science 3 3
Social Science 3 3
Foreign Language 2 2
Electives 3 2
TOTAL UNITS 18 18

Home School Requirements

Many of USF's best students have completed home education programs. As a home schooled student, you must meet the same admission criteria as your peers graduating from traditional high schools, including:

  • A comprehensive transcript for the equivalent of grades 9 through 12, including work completed through home school, Florida Virtual School or dual enrollment.* You may use our Home School Transcript template to generate an acceptable transcript.
  • An official SAT or ACT score.
  • A portfolio or additional documentation may be requested if deemed necessary to complete an appropriate evaluation for admission.
  • Additional factors are also considered for home schooled students, such as strength of curriculum, grade trend, dual enrollment GPA and personal statements or letters of recommendation.

* Dual enrollment courses must be approved by the State University System to meet unit requirements.

GED Requirements

  • Admission to the university is selective. Therefore, having a passing score does not guarantee admission.
  • An official SAT or ACT score.
  • A personal statement and/or essay is encouraged.
  • A high school transcript with secondary coursework completed before earning the GED may be requested.
  • Other admission factors may also be considered, if applicable.

NOTE: Simply meeting minimum GED requirements does not guarantee admission. Many GED recipients are encouraged to earn the Associate in Arts degree at a public Florida community college prior to transferring to USF.

Students with Disabilities

Applicants with disabilities apply for admission under the same guidelines as all applicants. Applicants who are denied admission and would like to request reconsideration based on a documented disability that a student believes may have had an impact on grades, course choice, or standardized admission test scores may appeal the admission decision by submitting an appeal letter to the Office of Admissions (Click here for more info) with the necessary official documentation to demonstrate that the failure to meet standard admission requirements is directly related to a disability. In that appeal process, applicants  may request a substitution of university guidelines. USF can only accept documentation regarding a disability on appeal of an initial denial decision or during the review for accommodation after admission. Prior to that time, USF will return any disability documentation to the applicant.

USF provides a full range of excellent services to qualified students with disabilities.  Admitted students may contact the Office of Student Disability Services to initiate the process of applying for academic accommodations.  After a student applies via the online application and submits appropriate documentation regarding the disability, the SDS staff will begin a University review of student provided documentation to determine if students are eligible for services and accommodations because of disabilities. Accommodations and services are not provided on a retroactive basis. Approval must be given prior to receiving services or accommodations. The process begins when students provide documentation of disability and meets with a coordinator in the Office of Student Disability Services to request accommodation memos. Any student who has questions about this process is encouraged to contact the Office of Student Disability Services:

USF Tampa Student Disability Services
813-974-4309

USF St. Petersburg Student Disability Services
727-873-4990 or 727-873-4837

USF Sarasota-Manatee Student Disability Services
941-359-4714

Foreign Language Waivers

USF requires that students have completed two units (two years) of instruction in a foreign language to be considered for admission. However, you may document proficiency in a second language to meet this requirement.

In Florida, the course number that is designated to indicate a foreign language waiver is 0791920 and has a course title of "Bright Futures Foreign Language Proficiency Waiver." For a listing of ways to document proficiency in a second language for a foreign language waiver, see the Florida Counseling for Future Education Handbook. In the event you meet waiver requirements, you are encouraged to work with your guidance counselor to document the waiver on your transcript or via letter to the Office of Admissions.

Other Requirements

In addition to GPA, test scores and course requirements, we consider a number of other factors when evaluating your application for admission.

Strength of Curriculum

Your high school coursework serves to prepare you for the rigors of college courses, particularly at a research institution like USF. We strongly encourage you to challenge yourself by taking coursework at the highest levels in which you can be successful, including Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), AICE and dual enrollment courses.

In addition, we expect that you will complete additional academic coursework beyond minimum state requirements, particularly in the areas of math, science and foreign language. 

Grade Trend

One of the most overlooked areas of importance in the admissions process is your grade trend, particularly in your junior and senior years. Grade trend refers to how your grades have progressed throughout high school – whether they have gone up, stayed the same or gone down.

Generally, the higher your grades the better, and we prefer to see more As and Bs than Cs (although a few Cs may be acceptable, particularly in the most challenging courses). Ds and Fs are cause for concern.

Dual Enrollment GPA

Taking dual enrollment courses is a great way to get a head start on meeting college graduation requirements. To be considered for (and maintain) an offer of admission, we require a minimum GPA of 2.50 (unweighted) in dual enrollment courses.

We give additional consideration to applicants with a postsecondary GPA of 3.00 or higher, as they have proven themselves capable of being successful in college-level work.