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Application Checklist

You control the timing of when you receive your admission decision and scholarship award based on when you apply to McDaniel.There are different processes for applying to McDaniel as a first-year student, international student or transfer student

First Year Students

Early Action November 1 November 24 December 5
Early Action December 1 December 22 December 22
Honors Program and Honors Scholarship Consideration January 2 January 27 March 10
Regular Decision January 15 February 6 February 6
Regular Decision February 15* March 7 March 7

*Online submissions are due February 15; paper submissions should be postmarked by February 17.

We consider any student who has not graduated from high school to be a first-year college student. Choose from five deadlines for submitting an application and complete credentials, guaranteeing an admission decision and a scholarship decision within two or three weeks of the date you select. All applicants may also complete the Net Price Calculator to receive an estimate of the financial aid possibilities available to you. Best of all, there is no obligation to deposit before May 1. If you know McDaniel is your top choice, you can deposit promptly and enjoy the rest of your senior year, or take all the time you need to make a good decision by May 1.

Pick the deadline that works best for you, and be sure that you notify the Admissions Office of your deadline choice. Look for a confirmation email once you have submitted your application asking you to verify the deadline you are requesting (or to provide one if you haven't already).

A completed application for first year students includes:

The Common Application or The McDaniel Smart Decision Application

A personal essay. Please write an essay (250 words minimum, 750 maximum) on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Your official high school transcript. Please include all grades through junior year at minimum and your senior year schedule. Senior grades will be requested if needed.

Application fee of $50 (nonrefundable). We do offer application fee waivers for students who either qualify for a College Board fee waiver or who visit campus prior to submitting an application. If you qualify for either, please select "Mailed Fee Waiver" on your Common Application. We cannot process your application without the fee or fee waiver.

Secondary School Report form and two letters of recommendation from academic sources

SAT or ACT scores. The SAT school code is 5898 and the ACT school code is 1756. McDaniel College continues to take the highest critical reading and highest math scores from multiple test dates on the SAT or your highest composite score from any ACT date. We want standardized testing to work for you, not against you, and therefore will consider all scores or only scores which you feel comfortable sending. We will not use the writing score on the SAT or ACT as part of our admissions evaluation. Scores will be considered official if they are sent by the high school guidance office or testing service.

You may be eligible for our SAT Optional program if you:

  • Report a high-school rank on your official high-school transcript and are in the top 10 percent of your class
  • Come from a school that does not report rank, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale in college preparatory coursework

All application materials may be submitted online or by regular mail—choose the option you prefer. You can submit them in any order. Once we receive all your credentials, we will include your application for review at the next available deadline. We will only review your application in one round of admission and scholarship consideration, so the deadline you choose should reflect the final credentials you intend to submit for scholarship purposes. For example, if you have additional standardized test-taking planned and you want your latest scores to be considered, or you believe your senior fall semester grades should be a critical part of your record, you should wait to apply until a deadline that follows receipt of these materials. If you have specific questions, or a special circumstance you’d like to discuss, we suggest you contact the Admissions Office by phone and speak directly to your admissions counselor.

International Students

January 15 March 1 March 1

We only accept international applications for the fall term, and we consider a student to be international if your citizenship status is from a country other than the United States. If you have any questions about requirements, application status, or scholarships please contact Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions, Betsy Beveridge (

For students who are Dual U.S. citizens or legal Permanent Residents (with a valid Alien Registration #), or if you are a US citizen or Dual U.S. citizen who lives abroad, you are not evaluated as an international student and you should follow all the application-related details for first-year or transfer students.

Basic immigration information and how to apply for a VISA.

Please submit the following items to the Office of Admissions to complete your application.

  1. Complete our application online through the Common Application program.
  2. A $50 non-refundable fee is required. We will not process your application until we receive your payment. This fee may be paid either online with a credit card through the Common Application site, by calling our office with a credit card number, or by mailing a payment to The Office of Admissions.
  3. Forward your official secondary school transcript (officially translated to English)
  4. Test Scores - Submit TOEFL and/or SAT Scores.
    1. Official copies of the SAT. The SAT school code is 5898. McDaniel College evaluates the highest critical reading and highest math scores from multiple test dates on the SAT.
    2. If English is not your first language, you are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit official scores from College Board. We require the following minimum scores for TOEFL: 550 on the paper TOEFL examination; 213 on the internet TOEFL examination; or a score of 80 on the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum score of 20 in each section).
  5. Examinations (if applicable)
    1. The results, in English, from all secondary school, university, and national examinations.
    2. Copies of Advanced Placement, College Level Examination Program scores and/or your International Baccalaureate predicted scores.
  6. Copies of diplomas and certificates (if applicable)
  7. Financial Information
    1. Submit the Certificate of Finances form (PDF)
    2. An official bank statement (translated to English)
  8. If you’re transferring from another four-year college in the United States, submit the Residential Student Release form (PDF). We must receive this form before we review your application.

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Please be aware that all international students are required to have a minimum financial support of $17,000 USD annually in order to be considered for admission. We do not offer need-based financial aid to international students. Competitive merit-based scholarships are available to international students and these awards range from $10,000 to full tuition. (Room, board, books, insurance and other fees are the responsibility of the student.) Scholarships are renewable for all four years of attendance.

Transfer Students

Spring Enrollment January 4 January 10 January 10
Fall Deadline 1 April 15 May 3 May 3
Fall Deadline 2 June 1 June 15 June 15

We consider any student who has completed more than 15 credits at any two or four year college to be a transfer student.

Visit us.
While we don’t require campus visits, we recommend them — you’ll like what you see — and we recommend that you have an interview. As a bonus, the application fee of $50 is waived if you visit prior to applying.

Complete the application online by using the Common Application with essay. We do not require a supplement and a $50 nonrefundable fee is required (unless you visited campus before filing this application, are a member of Phi Theta Kappa, are active military or veteran). If you file your application electronically, you must send the $50 fee to the admissions office by mail. We can’t process your application until we receive your payment.

Forward your official transcripts from ALL colleges that you have attended to the admissions office. (Note: If you have less than 30 transferable credits, the admissions office will also need your official high school transcript and SAT/ACT scores.)

Submit the residential student release form (PDF) if you are transferring from another four-year college and plan to live on campus. We can’t review your application until we receive this release. Download the form here.

What do we consider when reading your application?

While we carefully read all the information you provide us, your college academic history is the most important part of your application. We want to ensure your success at McDaniel and we need to be able to gauge your ability to succeed in a full-time load of college courses here. We not only look at your grades, but also the difficulty of the courses you complete.

Your transfer essay is also an important part of your application because it not only gives you an opportunity to tell us about yourself, but it also provides us with a glimpse of your writing style. The essay is also an opportunity for you to explain any "blips" in your academic history. For example, if you had a low GPA one semester, or you received a poor grade in a class, it is a good idea to explain what happened in your essay. A student who has taken some time off of school should explain what s/he has been doing since leaving school.

The Transfer Process

During the admission process, the Admissions Office will complete a preliminary (and unofficial) transfer credit evaluation for you as early as the point of receiving your application; we will mail you an initial evaluation showing the amount of credit to be accepted, the equivalent McDaniel Plan requirements met, any elective credit earned, and the minimum number of McDaniel College semester hours to be completed for the degree.

We are pleased to assist any student thinking about transferring to McDaniel at a later date with course selection at other institutions. If you are just beginning your academic career and would like any suggestions on transferable course credit, don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions Office and a counselor will assist you.

Maryland community college students who are considering transferring to McDaniel after completion of two years of coursework or the Associate degree will find many resources and questions about specific courses available on ARTSYS, a computerized data system created to facilitate the transfer process from the Maryland community colleges to participating four-year colleges, including McDaniel. You can find ARTSYS online at at any time.

How will my credits transfer?
McDaniel College grants transfer credit for courses that are standard liberal arts courses or that compare to the offerings of the College from institutions accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. No grades of C- or lower will be approved for transfer.

Once you have decided to attend McDaniel, completed all transfer work and sent your final official transcripts, an updated credit evaluation is performed and posted on the McDaniel Archway showing how your credit applies to specific degree requirements for graduation. Shortly before school starts, the Academic Affairs Office will contact you to complete pre-registration for your courses. After you arrive at McDaniel, you should meet with your academic advisor to discuss your academic plan for your time at McDaniel.

How many of my credits will transfer?
McDaniel College will accept up to a maximum of 64 credit hours from a community college and a maximum of 96 credit hours from a four-year college or university to be applied towards the McDaniel degree. You must earn a grade of “C” or better for the credit to transfer. Most liberal arts classes are accepted for transfer credit, provided the class is of the level and nature offered here. Transfer students seeking advanced placement should consult with their academic advisor and the Registrar’s Office to determine applicable requirements.

How do my credits fit into the McDaniel Plan or into my major?
When we evaluate your transcript, we indicate the courses you have taken which fulfill the curriculum requirements of the McDaniel Plan and list which ones satisfy each specific requirement. We refer major-specific questions to the faculty in that department - either when you enroll or earlier if you desire.