Our admission counselors review each application carefully, taking into consideration your academic background, life experiences and interests. We don’t have a minimum test score or GPA range to gauge your potential for admission, but there are some things that can make you a stronger candidate.
Required for admission consideration
We look for students who have been successful in a variety of challenging courses, especially those that are above and beyond what’s required for graduation. And we understand every school is different, so we evaluate your transcript specifically against your high school's curriculum.
Prior to high school graduation, we require you to complete a minimum of:
- English: 4 years
- Math: 3 years
- Science: 3 years (2 must be laboratory science)
- Social studies: 3 years
- Foreign language: 2 years
If you're interested in engineering or the sciences, we recommend an additional year of math and laboratory science. Leaning more toward the liberal arts? We’d suggest another year of social studies and foreign language.
All first-year students must complete an essay via the Common App or Coalition Application. What you share in your essay is completely up to you—it should be about conveying who you are to the admission staff. No matter the topic, personalize it. Add a part of you into the piece, and make it genuine.
Required for music majors and those who are pursing a Arts Achievement Scholarship in either music or art studio
Applicants who are required to submit an Arts Supplement will see this required checklist item on their applicant status portal. Students must upload their portfolio materials using the portfolio updater prior to completing the Arts Supplement. You can access the portfolio uploader by logging into your applicant portal using your CWRU Network ID and clicking Edit Portfolio.
The Arts Supplement is optional for all other applicants. (More on that below.)
Opportunities to enhance your application
We understand there may be more you want to share with us than can fit neatly on the Common App or Coalition Application. Though not required as part of their application, some students choose to share additional information that may possibly strengthen their application and help us get to know them better. We welcome you to share such information with us.
Optional ways to enhance your application include the following:
Case Western Reserve University is test-optional for the classes entering through fall 2024 as a part of a pilot program. Read about our test-optional policy.
We “superscore” our students’ test results, which means we take your best scores on each section of the SAT and ACT. If you took a test more than once, you will be evaluated on the highest score you received in each individual section of the exam.
Here’s a look at admitted student statistics for the Class of 2025:
- SAT Total: 1420-1510
- ACT Composite: 32-35
- Unweighted GPA: 3.6–4.0
- Test optional: 42%
Ordinarily, scores for standardized tests taken in November of your senior year arrive in time for Early Action or Early Decision I deadlines, and scores for tests taken in January arrive in time for Early Decision II or Regular Decision consideration.
To ensure your application can be fully reviewed in time for your chosen decision plan, you should take tests by the following dates:
- Nov. 30: Early Action, Early Decision I and Pre-Professional Scholars Program applicants
- Dec. 31: Early Decision II and Regular Decision applicants
Consider an interview
Interviews are optional for admission to Case Western Reserve, but many students choose to interview as an opportunity to present themselves and their credentials in a one-on-one environment. Interviews are available seasonally for juniors, seniors and transfer students.
When we interview potential applicants, our goals are to learn more about you and answer any questions you may have about the university.
How can you make the most of your interview?
- Ask questions. When you ask specific questions, it shows your interest in CWRU. Ask about things that are important to you, such as classes, majors, financial aid, residence life, social activities and extracurricular interests.
- Anticipate questions the interviewer might ask you. Here are some possibilities:
- Why are you interested in CWRU?
- Have you read any good books lately?
- How would your friends describe you?
- What is your general motivation for going to college?
- Know where you are going and how to connect. For in-person interviews, leave home with the address, a contact phone number and a good set of directions to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. For online interviews, check your internet connection and follow instructions on your confirmation email.
- Wear comfortable but tasteful clothes. You don't need a three-piece suit to make a positive impression, but faded jeans and dirty sneakers may make a negative one.
- Arrive early. On-campus interviewees may want to plan some time to stroll around campus and take a few minutes to relax in the reception area and fill out any forms. For an online appointment, log in a few minutes early to make sure you have a chance to work out any technical glitches.
- Follow up. Thank your interviewer and request his or her business card. When you return home, send the interviewer a thank you note or email and ask any questions that may have come up since the interview.
Share your talents
Arts Supplements are required for music and music education majors and available to all applicants. If you intend to submit an arts supplement, be sure to indicate this on your application.
The arts supplement is due 15 days after the application deadline and can be completed via your applicant portal.
For detailed information:
Scholarship Audition and Portfolio Requirements
- Prepare two contrasting monologues, one Shakespeare and one contemporary, not to exceed a total time of four minutes. You may also prepare 16 bars of any song, but this is not required. If possible, please present a headshot and resume at the audition.
A portfolio presentation is needed for the directing concentration. Your portfolio should consist of the following:
- A one-page resume documenting your theater experience (directing, acting, playwriting, design, stage management, etc.).
- A one- to two- page director’s concept for a published play or musical that you would be interested in directing, detailing your vision for the show (characters, moods and tones, visual aspects) in addition to what you would want the audience to take away from the production in terms of its central themes and ideas.
- Production photos from previous projects you have directed (if applicable, not required).
- You should be prepared to speak about your interest and passion for directing as well as your previous directing and/or theater experience.
- Submit a 20-page sample of your work in either playwriting or screenwriting (or both) at least one week before the interview date. This can include either an excerpt from a full-length work or a combination of shorter pieces, such as 10-minute plays or short-film scripts. While dramatic writing is preferred, you may also submit other examples of your creative writing, such as short stories, poetry, essays, etc.
- Bring your stage management binders, copies of scripts you have worked on (with cues written in), paperwork related to the show, and any other evidence of skills related to stage management such as organization, managing/coordinating large groups of people, multitasking and communication.
- A one-page resume of experience in theater is required. You may also include experience in a related field, such as art, architecture, graphics or photography. Additionally, a statement of intent—even if that statement is exploratory—should be provided. Other materials may include a portfolio demonstrating skills in theater (renderings, sketches, paperwork, scale drawings, production photos, etc.) and related areas (artwork, photography, drawing, drafting, computer graphics, etc.). The portfolio may be in scrapbook format. Art projects or model-making could substitute or be included with the other requirements. The material should be organized into some kind of cohesive presentation, with identifying labels for references. The interviewer will retain a copy of your resume but will not keep your portfolio. Portfolio is for presentation purposes only.
- Submit a video and complete an online questionnaire for pre-screening by dance department faculty. The video submission should be 90 seconds to three minutes in length, and you should be clearly visible. Do not submit ensemble footage. Video may be from technique class or performance.
- Submit a portfolio PowerPoint consisting of 24 pieces of your work. Each image credit line should include the name of the piece, the dimensions, the material, media and the date completed. (For example: Self-Portrait, 18” x 24”, media soft pastel on paper, fall 2021.) If you are showing three-dimensional work, i.e. sculpture or pottery, you may want to show two different views, front and side, etc. You may also want to choose to photograph a specific detail.
- If you are applying for the Arts Achievement Award, please also submit the following:
- Autobiography: A short (250-word) essay, citing your course of study in the visual arts. Include any special out-of-school activities, i.e., art camp, working as a teaching assistant doing creative activities, or private art lessons. Describe both your junior high and high school art experiences, courses that you took, and subjects that you studied.
- Program of study: A separate, short (250-word) essay of what you hope to gain participating in our program in Art History and Art. You may want to consult the Art History and Art website for courses that are available for you to take.
Tell us more about yourself
Additional materials can be shared through a form on your applicant portal. You can use this opportunity to share videos, web links, PDFs, documents, photos and more.
Some students use this as an opportunity to add additional context to their application with materials like:
- Additional letters of recommendation
- Research abstracts
- ACT writing tests
- Schoolhouse.world tutor transcripts
- Predicted IB results
- AP scores, including 3s or better
- Though not all may be eligible for college credit at CWRU, these test scores can still enhance your application. You can send scores directly to us or self-report them via your portal.
Anything you have that can help us know you better and understand the contributions you can make to our campus are welcome and appreciated.