Skip to main

Our streamlined (and free!) application process helps you easily apply for undergraduate admission. Apply with the Common Application or the McDaniel Application (we have no preference- choose the one that works best for you). McDaniel College is proudly test-optional, so you will decide if you would like to submit your test scores for review.

You are a First-Year Applicant if:

  • You have not earned your high school diploma (even if you are currently enrolled in college courses through a dual enrollment program); or
  • You have graduated from high school but have fewer than 12 transferable college credits.

As part of our commitment to campus diversity, we do not charge an application fee.

Application Requirements

High School Transcript

Through your transcript(s), we'll be able to see what coursework you've taken, your grades, extracurricular activities and more! We only need an unofficial transcript for our admission review. Once you've graduated from high school, we'll need an official one prior to enrolling.

Personal Essay (Optional)

Your personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses and grades. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.

Letters of Recommendation (Optional)

Letters of recommendation are optional but strongly suggested. First-year students are encouraged to submit at least one letter of recommendation.

SAT or ACT Scores (Optional)

McDaniel is proudly test-optional but students who believe their test scores demonstrate their ability or enhance their application are welcome to submit them.

Admission Evaluation

McDaniel College evaluates the potential academic success of each candidate by considering the following:

  • Secondary school courses and grades, with special consideration given to accelerated and college-level courses;
  • Personal essay;
  • Personal traits, goals, and motivation;
  • Recommendations and evaluations by principals, counselors, and teachers;
  • Participation in nonacademic activities.

Once your application is complete, your admissions counselor begins the review process that includes all the materials you submitted to us so we get to know you well inside and outside the classroom.

Throughout the application process, your admissions counselor will work closely with you to ensure you are not missing any required items. Remember that McDaniel College is proudly test-optional, so you will decide if you would like to submit your test scores for review.

Recommended High School Course Work

Prospective applicants should pursue a broad secondary school program. Sixteen high school units of core academic work are usually considered the minimum preparation for college. The College recommends that high school programs include:

  • English: 4 years
  • Social studies: 3 years
  • World (foreign) language: 3 years
  • Laboratory Sciences: 3 years
  • Mathematics: 3 years

Whenever possible, students should carry more than the minimum academic load and participate in enriched or accelerated high school courses.

SAT/ACT Scores

McDaniel College is proudly test-optional. Students who believe their test scores demonstrate their ability or enhance their application are welcome to submit them. Students who believe that standardized test scores do not accurately reflect the strength of their academic achievements or enhance their application for admission can choose not to submit test scores.

Advanced Placement Test

Advanced Placement exam scores are normally accepted by the College for the following scores:

  • 4 or 5: Students may receive advanced placement plus up to 8 hours credit.
  • 3, 2 or 1: No advanced placement or credit is given. 
  • AP Calculus scores of 3 – get placement into MAT-1118 Calculus II and satisfy both basic Arithmetic and basic Algebra.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

The College recognizes IB-level work and grants a maximum of one year of credits (32 hours) for examinations in higher-level courses only. Credits are awarded for the following scores:

  • 5 or higher: Student will receive up to eight hours credit.
  • 4: Student will receive credit at the discretion of the appropriate department.
  • 3 or lower: Student will not receive credit.

IB credits may be counted toward the McDaniel Plan Requirements, major or minor requirements, or electives in the same manner as Advanced Placement credits. Students should confer directly with departments to determine exact placement in departmental courses.

College Placement and Credit by Examination

In addition to granting college credit based on Advanced Placement Test results, the College grants to enrolling students college credit for Liberal Arts subject areas based on the results of subject tests from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) to enrolling students. Placement and credit will be granted to those whose CLEP scores are equal to or above the American Council of Education’s recommended minimum scores. These scores are listed in the College Board’s publication College Placement and Credit by Examination.

New students should take the Mathematics Placement Exam to ensure that they are placed in the appropriate math class or other quantitative skills-based class.  The summer online Mathematics Placement Exam (available only to new students) covers material from MAT 1001 - Basic Arithmetic, MAT 1002 - Basic Algebra, MAT 1107 - College Algebra and Trigonometry, and MAT 1117 - Calculus I.  

The summer online Mathematics Placement Exam can be taken twice: once at the deposit date through early June (dates vary slightly each year), and once in a “retake” period typically held in mid-August. The placement exams in the summer are all taken online in Blackboard.

The portion of the Mathematics Placement Exam covering MAT 1001 and MAT 1002 is also offered four times during the academic year: August (for returning students only), October, January, and March.  Students should register with the Registrar’s Office to take the Mathematics Placement Exam at these times.

Students may take the Mathematics Placement Exam no more than three times total (summer and academic year combined).  If a student has taken the Mathematics Placement Exam three times and has not yet passed the MAT 1001 or MAT 1002 portions of the exam, they must enroll in and pass those courses to be able to register for courses that have MAT 1001 or MAT 1002 as a prerequisite.

If new/incoming students believe that their summer placement test results do not accurately reflect their mathematical knowledge, they may request a mathematics placement conversation with members of our mathematics faculty during Orientation.  For the meeting they will need to bring their high school transcript.  They may also bring an AP or IB test report, or other evidence of math proficiency that will help them and the faculty arrive at the best course choice for them. To schedule a conversation, e-mail Benjamin Steinhurst at

2022-2023 First-Year Class Profile

document2Created with Sketch.

Applications Received

checkboxCreated with Sketch.

First-year students enrolled

mortarboardCreated with Sketch.

Average High School GPA

baseballCreated with Sketch.

Student Athletes

usergroupCreated with Sketch.

Students of Color

Contact your Admissions Counselor

Stephanie Stahler | 410-386-4857
You work with Stephanie if you attend high school in:

altimore City (MD), attend a private school in Baltimore County (MD), Hawaii, or are a home school student.

Katie Ridgway '10 | 410-857-2540
You work with Katie if you attend high school in one of the following high schools in Montgomery County, MD:

Albert Einstein High School, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Charles E Smith Jewish Day School-Upper School, Damascus High School, Gaithersburg High School, John F Kennedy High School, Katherine Thomas School, McLean School of Maryland, Montgomery Blair High School, Nora School, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Quince Orchard High School, Sandy Spring Friends School, Seneca Valley High School, Siena School, Springbrook High School, Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School, Walter Johnson High School, or Winston Churchill High School

Kelsey Kirkman '19 | 410-857-2272
You work with Kelsey if you attend high school in:

Frederick County (MD), AL, AK, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV, or Washington D.C.

Makensie Kilby | 410-386-4024

You work with Makensie if you attend high school in:

Allegany County (MD), Carroll County (MD), Garrett County (MD), Washington County (MD), CT, MA, ME, NH, PA, RI or VT.

Chad Koontz | 410-857-2274
You work with Chad if you attend high school in:

Anne Arundel County (MD), the Eastern Shore (MD) counties (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester), DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, OK, SD, or WI.

Ethan Munns | 410-386-4016
You work with Ethan if you attend high school in:

Calvert County (MD), Charles County (MD), Howard County (MD), Prince George's County (MD), or Saint Mary's County (MD).

Zach Nitsch | 410-857-2519
You work with Zach if you attend high school in:

Montgomery County (MD), AR, CO, NJ, NM, NY, TX, or UT.

Sarah O'Donnell '22 | 410-386-4018
You work with Sarah if you attend high school in:

Harford County (MD), attend a public school in Baltimore County (MD), AK, CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, or WY.

More information for

Transfer Students

If you have earned your high school diploma and have more than 12 transferable college credits, you will apply as a Transfer applicant. Visit our Transfer Student Admissions page for resources and application information. 

International Students

International students should first determine if they will be applying as a First-Year or Transfer student. International students should refer to the International Student Admissions resource page for additional application requirements. 

Veteran Students

The College encourages applications from veterans and their family members. McDaniel College provides a Veterans Affairs Coordinator to assist families utilizing veterans’ benefits and services. Veteran students who are members or former members of the Armed Forces of the United States are also granted priority registration for enrollment. 

McDaniel College offers evaluation of military training and experience for college credit. All credit granted for military training is given based on the American Council on Education (ACE) guide recommendations. Veterans of the United States Armed Services may receive credit for the required physical activity courses if they provide appropriate documentation of their service. 

Please refer to the Military & Veteran Benefits page for additional information. 

Home School Students

McDaniel College welcomes applications from students who have been home-schooled for any or all of their high school careers. Students who have official records of any high school or community college work should request that transcripts be sent well in advance of the appropriate application deadline so that those documents may be part of the evaluation process. A portfolio is also strongly recommended, with emphasis on subjects covered, textbooks used, samples of papers or projects completed, and anything else that shows the depth and breadth of the academic experience. Portfolios will vary infinitely based on the individual program of study, and there is no “right” way to assemble one; simply provide as many details as possible to illustrate what you have accomplished. It is also valuable to list your extracurricular activities, leadership experiences, volunteer service, and any community-centered activities or enrichments.

Important Dates

Nov 1

Fall Semester Early Decision Application Deadline

Nov 15

Fall Semester Early Action I Deadline

Dec 15

Fall Semester Early Action II Deadline

Final deadline if you wish to be considered for the Honors program or additional Honors scholarships.

Feb 1

International Application Deadline

For non-U.S. citizens living outside of the United States as well as those students living in the U.S. who are not a U.S. permanent resident, not a dual U.S. citizen or do not hold U.S. Refugee/Asylum status.

Jul 15

Fall Semester Application Final Deadline