Admissions Policies 2022-23

St. Lawrence University Admission Policies

St. Lawrence University seeks to admit students who will take full advantage of its educational program, contribute to the campus community and add to the diversity of the student body. The University is interested in enrolling students who not only give proof of academic curiosity and ability, but also take an interest in the lives and welfare of others and actively demonstrate personal initiative and leadership.

First-Year Admission

The Admissions Committee reviews a variety of materials when considering an applicant. First, the committee is interested in the academic record (the rigor of the courses the applicant has taken and the grades he or she has earned) and, second, in what counselors and teachers have to say about the student’s work in class and contributions out of class. Finally, the Admissions Committee is interested in the student as a person, considering special talents and contributions made to the school or the community.

To be considered for admission to St. Lawrence University, each first-year applicant must submit the following:

  • An application for admission using the Common Application or the St. Lawrence Application for Admission;
  • Official transcripts showing the records of academic work completed at all secondary (grades 9-12) and post-secondary institutions;
  • A recommendation from a secondary school counselor or school official; and
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers with whom the student has studied an academic subject; students are encouraged to ask for letters of recommendation from teachers they have worked with in grade 11 or 12.

First-year applications and all supporting materials must be either submitted electronically or postmarked no later than February 1 of the year in which a student wishes to enroll. Students interested in applying Early Decision should read the information below.

All transcripts and admission materials become the property of the University as soon as they are received, and will not be returned or sent to another institution.

For more information contact:
Office of Admissions
St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617
800-285-1856 or 315-229-5261

Requirements for Admission

Since St. Lawrence is a liberal arts university, applicants are expected to have as broad a preparation as possible at the secondary school level. Competitive candidates for admission typically present:

  • Four years of English;
  • Three years each of social studies, mathematics, foreign language and science, with additional years of study in the areas of greatest interest to the student; and
  • Courses in other areas as determined by the requirements of the secondary school and the interests of the student.

Standardized Examinations

The submission of standardized test scores as part of the application for admission is optional. If a student chooses to submit scores, the SAT Test should be completed by the December test date, but must be completed no later than January of the senior year. The ACT examination must be completed no later than the December test date.

If you have a strong high school record, we welcome your application regardless of how you performed on your SAT or ACT.

Students whose native language is not English and who are not attending an English-speaking school must submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores as a proof of English language proficiency.


Indicate on your Common Application or St. Lawrence Application which scores, if any, you wish to be considered in the application process.

List St. Lawrence University as a recipient institution when registering for exams to ensure the testing agency sends us your report; use the appropriate school code:
SAT/TOEFL code: 2805
ACT code: 2896

If you decide to submit your scores, St. Lawrence will now accept self-reported scores at the time of your application. This means that you can send us your scores through:

  • An official score report sent by the testing agency (SAT/TOEFL code: 2805; ACT code: 2896);
  • Via email from your high school counselor;
  • On your official high school transcript (if your school includes test scores on transcripts);
  • Self-reported by sending a screenshot or PDF of your full student score report to (don’t forget to include your name!).

If you’ve taken a test multiple times, submit all of the results; and you should not convert, superscore, or recalculate your self-reported scores in any fashion.

Early Decision Admission

Students who have selected St. Lawrence University as their first choice are encouraged to apply under the Early Decision Program. Through this program, a candidate’s file is read prior to the review of the general applicant pool. Any student accepted under this program is obligated to attend St. Lawrence, provided financial aid meets demonstrated financial need, and agrees to withdraw any applications they may have filed at other institutions.

Early Decision candidates are considered on the basis of their total qualifications, which must include a strong secondary school academic record through the fall term of their senior year. Additionally, candidates considering applying under the Early Decision Program are strongly encouraged to visit campus prior to filing their applications.  While some students may not be admitted under the Early Decision Program, others may be deferred to Regular Decision and asked to submit additional academic information.

The review of Early Decision applications begins November 1. Students whose applications are complete by that date, and from whom the Early Decision contract has been received, will learn of their admissions decision approximately three weeks later. Any student may subsequently apply Early Decision by submitting the Early Decision contract and a complete application for admission. Early Decision applications will be reviewed and candidates notified on a continual basis until the Regular Decision deadline of February 1.


While interviews are not required, we strongly encourage a visit to campus. A campus visit permits a closer look at the opportunities available to students at St. Lawrence and offers the chance to meet students and faculty and to see our extensive facilities. In addition, we have the opportunity to get to know the applicant better. Because each student is an individual, we believe an interview will benefit both the Admission Committee and the applicant.

Campus visits and interviews can be scheduled by contacting the admissions office, which is open Monday through Friday throughout the year, and on many Saturdays during the academic year. Additionally, scheduled tours are available on most days when the office is open.

The admissions staff also offers off-campus and web interview opportunities throughout the year. Please see our website for more details. To make arrangements for any of these options, please call 800-285-1856, or 315- 229-5261, or e-mail

International Students

International students seeking admission to St. Lawrence must generally meet all regular requirements for completion of the application.  Applicants for whom English is not their first language must submit evidence of English language proficiency. Please go here for details.

International students who do not require financial aid or are Canadian citizens, may elect to apply Early Decision. All other international students should apply Regular Decision. Consideration for the award of credit or advanced placement will be determined on a course-by-course basis. Final determination will be made by the University Registrar and faculty.

Transfer Admission

Transfer students are considered for admission with advanced academic standing. Students transferring from other institutions may receive the bachelor’s degree only after completion of a minimum of 16 course units in residence at St. Lawrence.

To be considered for admission for the fall semester, a transfer candidate must submit an application, complete with all supporting materials, no later than March 1; candidates for the spring semester must complete their applications by November 1. Students wishing to apply after those deadlines should contact the office of admissions to discuss their individual situations.

All transcripts and admission materials become the property of St. Lawrence University as soon as they are received, and will not be returned or sent to another institution.

Although not required, interviews for transfer candidates are strongly encouraged.

To be considered for admission to St. Lawrence University, each transfer applicant must submit the following:

  • An application for admission using the Common Application or the St. Lawrence Application; official transcripts of all secondary school work;
  • Official transcripts showing the grades of all post-secondary academic work;
  • A list of courses, including the course number, that will be completed prior to the expected entry date, with mid-term grades for courses in progress
  • A recommendation from a faculty member with whom the applicant studied at his or her most recent college or university; and
  • The College Official’s Report from the appropriate official at the applicant’s most recent college or university.

Non-traditional applicants may have particular requirements changed or waived. Transfer candidates interested in applying for financial aid should submit the FAFSA at the same time the admission documents are submitted.

Need-based financial assistance recipients must reapply for financial consideration each year. St. Lawrence awards will be continued for a total of eight semesters as long as financial need continues and the student is in satisfactory academic and social standing. The maximum time frame for federal student aid eligibility is 12 semesters. Awards may vary from year to year as financial need fluctuates based on changing family circumstances.

Further information about the financial aid program at St. Lawrence is available in the office of financial aid.

Merit Scholarships

St. Lawrence University merit scholarships recognize applicants who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and talent during their high school years. Notification of scholar designation is made at the time of admission to the University. 

The University is committed to facilitating the progress of all scholars toward their degrees through both academic and financial assistance, and in turn expects scholars to maintain an academic standard commensurate with their demonstrated potential, in most cases, no less than a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Higher Education Opportunity Program

The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), established by legislation in 1969, provides a broad range of services to New York State residents who, because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend a post-secondary institution. Under the auspices of the New York State Education Department, HEOP follows guidelines that include a mandatory five-week, pre-first-year summer program. During the academic year, the program provides academic, personal and financial counseling. Further information may be obtained from the director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617, 315-229-5580.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit

St. Lawrence University awards advanced placement and credit toward graduation for entering first-year students through the College Board Advanced Placement Program and the Inter- national Baccalaureate Program. The effect of advanced credit upon the department major requirements is at the discretion of each department chair. Each department chair will review the requested credit and make a recommendation to the registrar.

Generally, advanced placement and credit toward graduation are granted to students who achieve a rating of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in several subjects; for specifics, see the University catalogue.

Credit earned is acceptable in lieu of departmental prerequisites and fulfill distribution requirements, as indicated. Students who score 3 may be considered for advanced placement and/or credit by individual departments. The effect of advanced credit upon the department major requirements is determined by each department chair.

St. Lawrence University also recognizes the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations in which a score of 5 or higher is obtained. Credit is not awarded for Standard Level Examinations. Course credit is regarded as transfer credit and is determined by the registrar in consultation with the appropriate department chair.

College courses taken before matriculation may, subject to approval by the appropriate department chair, be acceptable for graduation credit.