First-Year/First-Time (Freshman) Admissions Criteria

The University at Buffalo welcomes first-year/first-time (freshman) applicants who are prepared to meet the rigorous academic demands of a top 40 public research university. Admission is based on a holistic review of your application using the following criteria.

Be Honest

When you apply to the University at Buffalo, you must be honest at all times. Be sure that all documents and information that you submit with your application are correct and accurate. You are responsible for everything that is submitted with your application, even if someone else helps you to complete it. Withholding or omitting information and documents or giving false information may make you ineligible for admission, subject to dismissal and/or be ineligible for transfer credit.

What is required for first-year/first-time (freshman) admission?

First-year/first-time (freshman) admission to the University at Buffalo is based on 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.

What do admissions counselors consider?

Academics English Language Standardized Tests Other Requirements

Personal Essay

Beyond your grades and test scores, we want to learn more about you as an individual. That is why we ask you to submit a personal essay. The essay topic is determined by the application platform you choose. 


You must submit one teacher recommendation written by a teacher who is familiar with your academic work. You can also ask for a recommendation from staff at your school, or from people in your community who are familiar with your work outside the classroom.

First-Year/First-Time (Freshman) Applicant Documents Checklist

You will upload these documents electronically to your Applicant Status Portal. Please do not send documents through the mail. Please note: Any document not written in English must be accompanied by an English translation.

We encourage you to collect and scan all the necessary documents as early in the application process as possible, even before you apply.

  • Copy of your most recent high school transcript, exam result certificate or assessment form.
  • English Language Proficiency test scores
  • SAT/ACT scores (optional)
  • Personal essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Supplemental requirements for special majors (if applicable)