Freshman Admissions Criteria

The University at Buffalo welcomes international first-year students (freshmen) who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a top-quality public research university.

What is required for freshman admission?

Admission to the freshman class at the University at Buffalo is based on more than just your grades. We perform a holistic review of your application that considers your academic marks, test scores, essay and recommendations.

We are looking for students who excel academically, engage in extracurricular activities, and maintain a good school-life balance.

Am I a freshman or transfer applicant?

Freshman or transfer status has a strict definition which is based upon the facts of your educational background.

What is a freshman?

  • You have never studied or enrolled in any college / university or postsecondary studies after completing secondary school.
  • You are a freshman even if you have “advanced standing” for which you may receive university credits. This includes A Levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP).

What is a transfer?

  • You have completed secondary school and you subsequently enrolled or studied one or more subjects in a college or university.
  • You may or may not have passed the class(es); you may or may not have earned university credit for the class(es); you may or may not have changed your major or stopped studying because you did not like your major.
  • If you engaged in any study in a college or university, you must apply as a transfer applicant; you cannot “choose” to be a freshman.
Still not sure if you are a freshman or transfer? Take this test.

If a minimum of one item in statement 1 and all of statement 2 is true, then you are a freshman applicant. Otherwise you are a transfer applicant.


STATEMENT 1:   A minimum of one item must be true.

A.  I am currently studying in high school (secondary school).

B.  Even though I am not in high school, I am studying a secondary school curriculum.

C.  I have completed high school.




STATEMENT 2:   This statement must also be true.

I have never enrolled in or studied at a postsecondary institution after completing secondary school.


Both are true?  You will apply as a Freshman.

Any part not true?  You will apply as a Transfer.

What do admissions counselors consider?



What you need to know about SAT/ACT scores:

  • The SAT or ACT, while not required for admission to all programs, is encouraged and strongly recommended for all freshman applicants.
  • Freshman applicants educated in the U.S. are required to take the SAT or ACT and have official score results sent to UB (SAT school code 2925 / ACT school code 2978).
  • Freshman applicants who wish to be considered for scholarships must submit an SAT/ACT score.
  • UB accepts the best section score from multiple SAT tests.
  • UB converts the ACT Composite score to an equivalent SAT score on the 1600 Math and Critical Reading score.

The SAT/ACT is required* for direct admission as a freshman to:

  • Engineering
  • Biological Sciences/Dental Medicine Combined BS/DDS
  • Architecture

*If SAT / ACT are not offered in your country, this requirement may be waived if you have earned high marks in relevant high school subjects.

Admission as an intended major

Freshman students without SAT/ACT scores or scores that do not meet the department’s minimum score requirements will be considered for admission as an intended major. They will then apply for admission to the major in their second year at UB after meeting prerequisites.

Take the tests early

If possible, take both the ACT and the SAT early in high school. Choose the test (ACT or SAT) with your highest score and study to retake just that test. If you sit for either test more than once, UB will use the highest section score from those tests (SAT or ACT) to create a “super score” or “best score.”


Use these codes to submit your test scores to UB:
TOEFL: 2925
SAT: 2925
ACT: 2978