Admission Policies

All persons of ability and achievement are welcome in all divisions of Canisius College. Admissibility as students is determined based on aptitude, achievement and character.

Secondary School Preparation

The secondary school program of studies should include a minimum of 16 units of credit in academic subjects. The college considers academic subjects as those stressing intellectual development, including but not limited to English, social studies, science, mathematics and foreign language.

Applications for Freshman Admission

Candidates for freshman admission to the college should complete the admissions application either in paper form or online. Alternatively, students may submit the Common Application, which is given full and equal consideration. A complete application requires an official high school transcript, a school counselor recommendation, an essay and any other supporting documentation the student chooses to submit. Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) are optional for freshmen applicants applying for Spring or Fall 2022 and 2023. Records of homeschooling and GED must be submitted to the Office of Admission and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Rolling Admission and Priority Notification

Canisius adheres to a rolling admissions policy, which allows students to apply at any time until the class is full. Canisius offers an early action deadline of December 1. Students who apply by this date will have priority notification of an admissions decision. Students who do not apply by this date are encouraged to apply by March 1.

Condition of Admittance

Students who are accepted for freshman admission are admitted with the expectation that they will successfully complete their senior year of high school and graduate prior to enrollment at Canisius. Failure to graduate from high school or to maintain the academic standard for which admission has been granted are sufficient grounds to rescind an offer of admission to Canisius.

Early Admission Policy

Canisius College will accept approved candidates for early admission from high schools that officially approve of this policy and whose curricula are satisfactory. Early admission candidates are defined as students who have completed all or a majority of their high school graduation requirements in less than four years. Students applying for early admission must adhere to all freshmen admission policies.

Additional conditions for early admission are as follows:

  1. Students must be recommended by their high school principal or counselor with the understanding that students will only be recommended if they have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement and motivation.
  2. Students must have completed three years of their high school curriculum prior to enrollment at Canisius. Exceptions to this rule are very unusual.
  3. Ordinarily, students must have reached their sixteenth birthday or will reach their sixteenth birthday by the end of the first semester of freshman year.

Candidate’s Reply Date Agreement — May 1

Canisius College adheres to the College Entrance Examination Board’s Candidates’ Reply Date Agreement (CRDA). According to this policy students may submit their tuition (and housing) deposit upon receipt of their letter of acceptance or any time prior to and including May 1. The deposit is non-refundable after May 1.

International Students

International candidates for undergraduate admission should submit a completed application and certified transcripts from all secondary schools or colleges attended. Transcripts not in English should be accompanied by a certified English translation. International students whose native language is not English, and/or students whose primary language of instruction is not English, are required to submit an English language proficiency document or score. All documents should be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

In order to attend Canisius College, Canadian and other international students must receive a Certificate of Visa Eligibility (Form 1-20).  This form is issued by Canisius College after the student has submitted proof of the student’s ability to meet all educational and living expenses for the entire period of study.  The student must provide this proof by filling out the Canisius College International Student Certification of Finances form, which includes a budget worksheet to help the student determine the total educational expenses.  This form must have enough funds listed (in U.S. dollars) and verified to cover the full amount of the student’s educational and living expenses.  This form must be submitted to the Office of Admissions.

Applicants with Criminal Backgrounds

Canisius College is committed to ensuring that students have the ability to benefit from the education received at the College.  Certain affiliates associated with the college require that students placed in their facility for clinical/internship/field placement experiences clear a criminal background check prior to placement.  Students whose background check reveals a criminal history may be prevented access to the clinical site, and as a result, the student may not have sufficient clinical experience to successfully complete the program.  Additionally, licensing boards may deny the individual the opportunity to sit for an examination if an applicant has a criminal history.

Applications for Transfer Admission

Students who have graduated from high school and have completed at least three credit hours of post-secondary, college-level work as a matriculated student will be considered for transfer admission to Canisius College. Candidates for transfer admission should submit an application for transfer admission and submit official transcripts for all colleges attended. Candidates who have completed fewer than 24 credit hours of college level work at the time of application must also submit an official high school transcript. All applicants applying to the School of Education must submit an official high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores even if more than 24 credit hours of college level work have been completed. SAT or ACT scores are required for Education majors if they graduated from high school in 2019 or prior.

Adult Applicants

Applicants for freshmen or transfer admission who have had a break in their academic work must submit a statement of activity for the period representing the break in their education.

Dismissed Students

Academic policy at Canisius College prohibits acceptance of a student who has been academically dismissed from another college or university until one academic year after date of dismissal. Exceptions to this policy may be made after review of the applicant’s academic credentials by the appropriate academic dean.

Policies and Processes for Incoming Freshmen

Under the conditions indicated below, students may obtain credit for college-level courses delivered in high school through advanced placement exams, International Baccalaureate scores, CLEP exams, and submission of transcripts from accredited two- and four-year institutions. Requests for acceptance of such credits should be directed to the Office of Admissions for processing and then directed to the Griff Center for Academic Engagement who will consult with the major program or department as needed. A maximum of 30 credit hours will be granted to first-time freshmen enrolling directly from high school.

College Courses Delivered in High School Settings

Students who achieve a grade of C- or above will earn at least elective credit for classes offered in their high school by accredited colleges. An official college transcript must be received by Canisius College before credit can be awarded. All requests to use such credits to fulfill core curriculum or major requirements should be made to the Griff Center for Academic Engagement.

Advanced Placement Courses

Students achieving a 3 or higher on a College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Test will normally earn at least elective credit toward a degree at Canisius College. (Canisius College reserves the right to deny credit for a 3 in a particular Advanced Placement Test if subsequent student performance in relevant courses at Canisius College has provided evidence that a 3 on that test does not demonstrate college level competence.) Core curriculum credit for such courses is subject to approval by the Office of Academic Affairs, and credit in the major is subject to approval of course equivalency by the major department or program. Official results of the exam must be sent from the College Board to Canisius College before credit can be awarded. All such requests should be directed to the Student Records and Financial Services Center who will consult with the major program or department as needed.

General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A Level) Credit

Students achieving a score of B or higher on a GCE A Level test will normally earn at least elective credit toward a degree at Canisius College. In some cases, the GCE A Level test will satisfy major or core curriculum requirements toward a degree at Canisius College. Department chairs determine course equivalencies and minimum scores and communicate them to the Office of Academic Affairs. The student may petition the relevant associate dean for GCE subjects that do not have approved equivalencies. Official exam score verification must be received from the Cambridge International before credit can be awarded.

College Level Examination Program

Students who are applying for admission or who are presently in attendance may obtain credit for previously completed examinations sponsored by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). The minimum acceptable grades for these exams are “Pass” for exams graded Pass/Fail, “C” for exams with letter grades, and 50 on exams graded on a standard score scale of 20 to 80. Credit is not awarded for the CLEP general examinations. Credit in appropriate subject area exams is granted by the Student Records and Financial Services Center after the student has matriculated at the college. However, not all CLEP exams are acceptable as transfer credits. In addition, credits to be used in fulfilling departmental major requirements must first be approved in writing by the department chair. Students should plan to complete all their coursework at the college. Permission for matriculating students to take CLEP exams to fulfill degree requirements must be requested from the appropriate associate dean and will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances.

Regents College Examinations

Students who are applying for admission to Canisius College or who are presently in attendance may be eligible, under unusual circumstances, to receive college credit for previous experience through the Regents College Examination program. The minimum acceptable score on the examinations is 50. Students who have already taken such examinations must receive permission to use the credit from the appropriate assistant or associate dean.

Policies for Transfer Students

A transfer credit evaluation will be completed for transfer students who are accepted for admission to Canisius. A maximum of 60 credit hours may be transferred from two-year colleges and at least 60 more credit hours must be earned at Canisius in order to be awarded the bachelor’s degree. Students transferring from four-year institutions must complete at least 30 credit hours at Canisius, including at least 18 in their major, in order to earn the bachelor’s degree.

Transfer credit from accredited two- and four-year institutions of higher education is granted when the course objectives for the completed work are substantially the same as the course objectives at Canisius College. Transfer credit is awarded only for courses with a minimum grade of C- or better.

Teacher certification candidates must meet accreditation and New York State admission requirements.  In addition, a grade of C or better is required to transfer courses listed as major courses in teacher education (including special education, adolescence education, and childhood education), physical education, and health education programs. Once transcripts have been submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Student Records, the student must meet with the appropriate associate dean to review the transfer credit, determine the appropriate major, and register for classes.

Canisius College has a variety of articulation and dual degree agreements with community and junior colleges throughout New York State. These agreements recognize specific programs and majors at the two-year institutions that allow students the most comprehensive transfer of courses and credits. Students at these institutions should consult with their academic counseling center for specific information on articulated programs and majors.

Policies for a Second Degree

Individuals may enroll in a second baccalaureate degree if they can demonstrate that a second bachelor’s degree is necessary for their career. Individuals must fulfill the admissions requirements for the degree sought and must receive approval from the appropriate dean prior to matriculation in the program. These individuals, however, should be advised that in most cases it is unnecessary to receive a second baccalaureate degree; rather they merely need to complete a prescribed series of courses that apply to their career or life needs.

If they still wish to receive the second degree, the following policy will be the guideline: The credits received from the first bachelor’s degree will be applied as transfer credit to the second degree. The first degree need not have been completed at Canisius. The minimum requirements for the second degree include the completion of a minimum of at least 30 credit hours at Canisius, with at least 18 credit hours of the courses being taken from the selected major. The student must complete all the departmental requirements for the degree, as well as the general graduation requirements, including a 2.00 grade point average for all courses taken at Canisius.

Individuals should meet with the appropriate dean or advisor to outline the program of courses necessary for the completion of the second degree.

Matriculated Students

Most undergraduate students enter the College as matriculants, i.e., as students who are enrolled in a specific program leading to an undergraduate degree.  Each student is responsible for the completion of the requirements and course prerequisites in force in the student’s program of study at the time of matriculation.

A student who interrupts matriculation for two or more semesters must apply for readmission and is bound by the requirements in force at the time of readmission. Completed courses with content that is no longer academically or professionally current may need to be repeated. The decision will be made at the discretion of the department chair and the associate dean. Please contact the admissions office for the current reapplication requirements.

Non-Matriculated Students

Non-matriculated students, i.e., individuals who are not working towards a degree at Canisius, may be approved for a maximum of 9 credit hours per semester. Courses requiring prerequisites may be taken only when supporting documents are presented at the time of application insuring that the prerequisite courses have been successfully completed. Non-matriculated students will receive the normal college credit for all work successfully completed.

Students enrolled on a non-matriculated basis who wish to enroll as matriculated students must submit all required admission documentation to the Office of Admissions based on their status as either a freshman or transfer student.

Visiting Students

Students from other colleges or universities who wish to attend Canisius for the purpose of transferring earned credits to their home institutions must apply for entrance through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. An application for visitation must be accompanied by a letter of permission from the appropriate academic dean at the home institution. The letter, in substance, should state that the applicant has permission to take courses at Canisius for the purpose of transfer back to the home institution.


Students wishing to audit courses at Canisius College must secure the approval of the Student Records and Financial Services Center. No credit is granted for an audited course. Responsibility for examination, assignments and attendance is determined by the faculty member teaching the course. No student will be permitted to change from audit to credit after the end of the add/drop period. Auditing fees are listed in the Tuition section of the current Undergraduate Catalog.