University statement of nondiscrimination
Admission requirements
Admission procedures
  Conditional admittance (Discovery program)
  Home school policy
College credit for high school students
  Advanced placement
Requirements for first-year students
   Three-year program
  Majors offering a three-year degree
Requirements for transfer students
  Transfer articulation agreements
Requirements for readmission
Requirements for international students

Admission to Bluffton University is gained through the admissions office, which acts on behalf of the faculty. Admission may be granted to first-year students, transfers, special and transient students and, on a limited basis, to current high school students through the College Credit Plus Program.

All candidates for admission to the university upon applying do agree to uphold the Standards of campus conduct.


University statement of nondiscrimination

Bluffton University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin regardless of gender or handicap to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the institution. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or handicap in administration of its education policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics and other school-administered programs.


Admission requirements

To be considered for regular admission, applicants must have a minimum 2.3 cumulative high school GPA and a minimum 19 ACT/990 SAT. In addition, class rank may be considered. Students who do not meet these regular entrance requirements may be invited to apply to the Discovery Program, which requires additional application materials.

Admission procedures

Application materials are available from the Bluffton University admissions office and on the university website. Application should be made late in the junior year or early in the senior year. The deadline for submitting the application is two weeks prior to the intended date of enrollment (semesters begin in August and January).

After obtaining the necessary forms, the applicant should do the following:

  • complete and return the application for admission;
  • have the ACT or SAT scores sent to Bluffton; and
  • plan to visit the campus; call the admissions office to make an appointment. A campus visit, though not required, is strongly encouraged.

Because Bluffton University operates on a rolling admissions plan, the admissions office will make the decision on admission and notify the applicant soon after receiving all of the above items. Students are encouraged to apply early.
More info...

Following graduation from high school, final transcripts must be sent to Bluffton prior to actual enrollment.

When accepted, a student will be sent a medical history form. This form must be completed and returned to the university prior to enrollment.

conditional admittance (discovery PROgram)

The Discovery Program is designed to support students of academic promise who do not meet Bluffton University's admission requirements. The Discovery Program includes a semester of carefully planned classes to help students develop the skills necessary for post-secondary academic success. Students admitted to the university through this program must enroll in the Discovery Program Foundation Courses. In addition, students in the Discovery Program must enroll in DIS 050 (Applied College Skills) and complete it with at least a C- in order to continue at Bluffton University. Other expectations of students in this program will be outlined in the acceptance letter.


home school policy

Bluffton University welcomes applications from home school students. In addition to standardized test scores such as the ACT or SAT and a transcript of courses, a personal interview is required. A reading list and writing sample also may be requested. Contact the admissions office for more information.

College credit for high school students

Bluffton University grants transfer credit for all college credit earned at a regionally accredited college or university for college level courses with grades of C- or above. For students in the state of Ohio, this credit is generally earned through the College Credit Plus Program, a program sponsored by the state of Ohio which allows high school students to earn college and high school credits at the same time.

In addition, Bluffton University participates in the College Credit Plus Program by partnering with a select number of high schools in offering Bluffton University course credit as well as allowing a limited number of high school students to enroll in courses at Bluffton University. Contact the admissions office for details on application and admission requirements for the College Credit Plus Program


ADvanced placement

The advanced placement program of the college entrance examination board was developed to give recognition to applicants who take college-level courses in secondary school. Thus, students may earn college credit and may be excused from certain college requirements by satisfactorily passing advanced placement examinations.

Credit and possible course waiver will be issued to applicants who earn a score of four or five on any of these examinations. Credit and/or course waiver may be issued for a score of three upon recommendation of the department concerned and/or the dean of academic affairs. More info...


Requirements for first-year students

In determining eligibility for admission, Bluffton will carefully consider whether each applicant individually has the proper background for study at a liberal arts university.

Criteria will include high school academic standing, the subjects taken, participation in co-curricular activities, moral character, purpose for college study, counselor and teacher recommendations, and ACT/SAT scores. Requirements for admission to the first-year class are the following:

  • graduation from a secondary school or a general education diploma (GED);
  • satisfactory secondary school work (preference is given to students ranking in the top half of their class);
  • satisfactory amount and distribution of secondary school work. Bluffton University gives preference to students who have taken a planned program of college preparatory courses. The recommended program includes: four units of English, with emphasis on composition; three units of mathematics, at least one of which should be taken in the senior year; three units of social studies; three units of science; and three units of foreign language. These courses will provide a good foundation for the liberal arts curriculum and the major fields; and
  • satisfactory performance on aptitude tests. Bluffton University requires either the ACT of the American College Testing Program or the SAT of The College Board. The student should take the ACT or the SAT in the spring of the junior year or fall of the senior year; scores should be sent directly to the college. Registration for ACT or SAT is made through the high school guidance counselor. 


three-year program

Bluffton's three-year bachelor's degree program provides high achieving students with a quality education in a condensed period of time and at a lower cost. Students in this program can still take advantage of the opportunities available to all students at Bluffton, including internships, practicums and student life activities.

By carrying a larger course load and taking classes in the summer while balancing other leadership and personal responsibilities, students will be prepared for the academic rigor of top-level graduate programs. Students accepted into the three year bachelor's degree program must declare their major before beginning classes and take approximately 18 hours per semester for three years and additional courses in the summer.
Majors offering a three-year degree include:
Students who decide to change their major, stop following the plan or for any reason decide to slow down, can easily transition into the traditional, four-year program.
  • minimum high school GPA of 3.4 and an ACT score of 24 (SAT 1110 verbal and math only);
  • complete a separate application for the three-year program;
  • complete the admission process by March 1, deposit by April 1 and attend summer orientation in May.

Requirements for transfer students

A student who plans to transfer to Bluffton University from another college or university must submit the following:

  • application for admission;
  • official transcript of high school record;
  • official transcript from each post high school institution attended;
  • signed transfer recommendation from post high school institution most recently attended. 

Full credit will normally be given for all courses completed at any other regionally accredited college or university in which the applicant has earned a grade of C- or better and which are comparable in content to courses offered at Bluffton.

Admission preference is given to applicants who have maintained a C average or better in all college-level work. Students who have been dismissed from another college or university for academic or disciplinary reasons are not eligible for admission to Bluffton University until they are also eligible for admission to the previous institution. Applicants must have met all financial obligations at the former institution.

An accepted applicant who has graduated from an accredited two-year institution of higher learning with an associate in arts degree will be admitted with first-term junior standing.


transfer articulation agreements

Bluffton University has articulation agreements with Clark State Community College, Edison Community College, Hesston College, Northwest State Community College, Owens Community College, James A. Rhodes State College, Rosedale Bible College and Terra Community College whereby students with  associate degrees in appropriate majors can finish baccalaureate degrees. Students will normally need the equivalent of two additional years to complete the bachelor of arts degree. Hesston College students with associate of arts or associate of science degrees are assured junior standing and have met all lower level general education requirements. Rosedale Bible College students with an associate of arts degree are assured of meeting all lower level general education requirements with the exception of science. All students interested in transferring are encouraged to contact the transfer coordinator in the admissions office for a full transfer evaluation.

Requirements for special or transient students

Individuals who are not candidates for a degree may be admitted as special or unclassified students and allowed to take courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Applications may be requested from the admissions office.

Requirements for readmission

Bluffton University students who have not been enrolled for one or more registration periods must apply for readmission to the university. The application form is available from the admissions office. A new medical form is required of students not enrolled for more than two years prior to readmission.

The factors considered in readmission include those used in the initial admission decision. The decision will be made by the admissions office, which may consult the administrative officers.

Students who have outstanding bills will not be readmitted until those obligations are met.

Requirements for international students

A student who plans to apply as an undergraduate international student to Bluffton University must submit the following:

  • Application for admission
  • Results of the TOEFL or SAT (critical reading and math only)
  • Transcripts and/or national exam results
  • Declaration of finances form
  • Financial aid application
  • Transfer recommendation form (for international transfer students)
  • Teacher recommendation

On occasion, international students may be asked to submit additional information to establish English proficiency (i.e. writing sample).

August 2019