Admission Information

Admission Criteria

Concordia University admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, disability, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship, and loan programs, athletic, and other school-administered programs.

Concordia University stresses sound scholarship, yet realizes that academic achievement is not the sole end in life. It stresses social interaction, realizing that individual worth is not always capable of expression in group-oriented settings. Therefore, each applicant will be given careful individual consideration and no one criterion can be identified in advance as the most crucial single factor. Thus, the following admission criteria are flexible guidelines used by the admission committee for the benefit of the student to measure and determine the potential for successful completion of a university education. Factors evaluated in the decision include: academic preparation, scholastic aptitude, recommendations, character, motivation, leadership potential, and the ability to benefit from and contribute to the goals and mission of Concordia University. The university reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant. Space limitations may also affect the total number of applicants admitted in a given year.

General admission to the university does not constitute admission to a program of study. Each program has its own admission requirements. Consult the respective program director for specific requirements.

Students desiring admission to a post-baccalaureate, graduate degree program or adult degree program should consult the website.

Basic Requirements for General Admission

Concordia University welcomes applications from students who have demonstrated ability to succeed in college-level work. Criteria for selection include the following:

Academic Preparation

All applicants must be high school graduates or have completed the equivalent of the high school level of education. Concordia University accepts some students who have received equivalency certificates or diplomas through the General Educational Development Test (GED) or the California High School Proficiency Exam (CPE).

Applicants for regular admission status must have successfully completed the following high school courses:

  1. English:  4 years 
  2. Mathematics:  3 years including algebra 1, algebra 2, and geometry
  3. Science:  3 years including at least 2 years of laboratory science that includes at least 2 of the following: biology, physics, and/or chemistry
  4. Social Science:  2 years
  5. Foreign Language:  2 years recommended

Scholastic Aptitude

Entrance eligibility is determined by academic, not cumulative, grade point average (GPA) together with SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT (American College Testing) scores and class rank. Other tests may be specified by the university testing program.

Credit by Examination

Credit by examination at Concordia is available only through AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP (College Level Examination Program), DSSTS (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) or International Baccalaureate examinations. Concordia’s standards for granting credit for these tests are available from academic advising. Students are responsible for providing the Office of the Registrar with the official AP, CLEP, DSSTS and/or International Baccalaureate examination scores.

Physical and Mental Health

As a part of the application procedure, each applicant must provide the admission committee with a medical history that gives evidence of a level of physical and mental health commensurate with the demands of a college education and apartment living.

Ordinary means are available on campus to enable those who have moderate physical impairments to fulfill the academic requirements for a degree. If an applicant needs additional assistance beyond what the university is able to offer and can obtain it through their own means, regular admission may still be granted.

Other Factors

Other factors considered in evaluating applications include character, motivation, and extracurricular activities in school, in the church, and in the community, particularly those involving leadership roles. The university reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant.

Falsification of Admission Documents

Any student who enters the university using false information or by omitting required information is subject to penalty, including immediate dismissal without refund.

Admission Status

Regular Admission

Applicants who have fulfilled all of the basic criteria as previously described.

Pathway Admission

The Pathway Program helps to prepare international students for academic success by easing them into undergraduate studies while offering academic and cultural support. The CUI Pathway Program is designed for international students who meet all admission requirements except for the English level requirement of TOEFL 79/IELTS 6.5. The Pathway Program accepts students as undergraduates and provides 12-18 units of Intensive English per semester and 0-6 additional undergraduate course units for a period of one semester.  Students seeking admissions via the Pathway Program must complete the normal undergraduate application process, participate in a selection interview, must meet minimum entrance requirements of TOEFL 56/IELTS 5.5, (an SAT or ACT score may be used if students don't have TOEFL or IELTS score) and a 2.8 high school GPA. Students who wish to pursue undergraduate studies at CUI and do not meet these requirements may still be eligible for Conditional Admissions via completion of the standard Intensive English Program. Successful completion of IEP Level 6 is required for transition out of the Pathway Program to the regular undergraduate program.  

Wings Admission

WINGS is a bridge program for first-time freshmen students who do not meet regular admissions standards. In order to ensure student success, admission to and enrollment at Concordia University Irvine is contingent on participation in the WINGS program. Students will benefit from a series of support services which include, but are not limited to, an introductory summer bridge program, academic workshops, tutoring services and academic support through scheduled meetings with the Director of Student Success. Students deemed eligible will be required to complete a minimum of 12 units each semester and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in order to enroll in subsequent semesters.

Admission Classifications

First-time Freshman Student

The first-time freshman is an applicant who has not enrolled and earned units at a postsecondary institution in any term following the summer immediately after high school graduation.  

Entering freshmen may submit an application any time after completion of their junior year of high school. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. The following must be submitted to the Office of Admission to complete an application as a first-time freshman student:

  1. University application form which is available from the Office of Admissions or online at
  2. The most recent official high school transcript and evidence of graduation must also be presented when high school work is completed.
  3. Official Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) (preferred) or American College Test (ACT) score should be sent to the Office of Admission. The university’s code numbers for the tests are: SAT – 4069; ACT – 0227.

Transfer Student

A transfer student is an applicant who has enrolled and earned units at a postsecondary institution prior to entering CUI following high school graduation.  Students who attended college for the first time during the summer immediately prior to fall admission at CUI are not considered transfer students.  Requirements for transfer to CUI are as follows:

  • Students who were eligible for admission as freshmen may transfer at any time with no minimum number of units and a minimum college GPA of 2.3.
  • Students who did not meet admission requirements as freshmen must earn a minimum of 24 semester units from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum college GPA of 2.3.

The requirements expected of a transfer student:

  1. Concordia University application form. The form is available from the Office of Admissions or online at
  2. Official final high school transcript.
  3. Official transcripts from all institutions attended which the student plans to transfer units.

Transcript evaluations are made to determine the equivalency of transferred courses. Equivalent credit from institutions on the quarter calendar is determined at a ratio of 1.5 quarter units to 1 semester unit.

Concordia University will accept transfer units completed at undergraduate, degree granting, US institutions fully accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies. CUI will also accept units from international institutions that are formally recognized by their county's ministry of education (requires transcript evaluation by a CUI-approved agency).

Concordia accepts the following General Education certifications to fulfill most of the university’s Q& I general education requirements:  

  • Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth requirements
  • Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)
  • Oregon and Washington’s Direct Transfer Associate degree (DTA).  Comparable transfer certifications from other states can be considered on a case by case basis.  
  • Associate of Arts (AA) and the Associate of Science (AS) degrees from that meet the CSU General Education Breadth requirements

Course requirements for the IGETC, CSU General Education Breadth, ADT, DTA, comparable transfer certifications, and the AA and AS degrees must be completed prior to matriculating to Concordia.  Official certifications and degrees must be submitted upon completion of all required courses.  Deadlines to submit verification or a petition for verification to Concordia are October 15 for fall semester and March 15 for the spring semester of the academic year a student matriculates to Concordia.  Upon verification, Concordia’s general education requirements are waived except for the required Enduring Questions & Ideas core courses and theology courses.  Please refer to Admission Criteria and Academic Information for more detailed information.

A total of ninety-six (96) semester units are allowed for transfer students, of which a maximum of seventy (70) semester units may be transferred from a regionally accredited community college.  Additionally, within the 96 and 70 semester units, only 32 non-accredited, credit by exam (AP, CLEP, DSST), and/or military units may be transferred. Concordia will accept grades of C- or better towards Q&I general education or elective credit.  Only grades of C or better may be applied towards a major, minor, or to fulfill program requirements for graduation.

All transferring students who have completed significantly more than 3 years of college work are advised that Concordia University requires 1 year of academic residence of at least 32 semester units. Students with more than 3 years of academic work should realize that the usual period spent in working toward the bachelor’s degree may be lengthened.

Transfer students seeking to earn a California teaching credential within their bachelor’s degree program should consult with an academic adviser regarding requirements.

Homeschooled Student

The admission process is similar to that of students entering from a traditional high school background. Concordia requires an official high school transcript at the time of application and evidence of graduation must also be presented when high school work is completed. A stronger emphasis on the student’s SAT or ACT scores is considered through the evaluation process. A reference letter must come from someone outside the student’s family who is familiar with the student’s academic performance.

International Student

An international student (undergraduate or graduate) is one who does not hold United States citizenship or lawful permanent residency. International students must fulfill the following special international student admission criteria in addition to the previous stated requirements:

  1. Requirements as listed for all bachelor’s degree students including, but not limited to, an official translated transcript proving evidence of academic achievement that is equivalent to graduation from an American high school; letter of recommendation; and appropriate SAT or ACT score.
  2. Knowledge of English as measured by TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or comparable instrument. Minimum TOEFL score is 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 Internet based; or successful completion of an English language school program from a list of approved providers.
  3. Evidence of financial arrangements to meet educational costs for the designated period.
  4. Evidence of a valid passport.
  5. Eligibility for an F-1 Student Visa.
  6. International student transfer form.
  7. Final approval must be secured from the director of undergraduate admission or the director of graduate/adult admission, whichever is appropriate.
  8. International students, both undergraduate and graduate, will be required to purchase Concordia University’s-sponsored health insurance plan.

Necessary forms for the previous items will be supplied by the Office of Admission upon request.

Assistance with obtaining an F-1 visa or maintaining F-1 visa status is available through the Office of Global Programs. International students are tracked through the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) in the Office of Global Programs.

F-1 visa students are not eligible to be part-time students. International transfer students must submit an in-status form signed by the Designated School Official (DSO) at their current school. In addition, students must have maintained F-1 visa status since last entry into the United States. International students are required to attend legal orientation upon arrival at Concordia. They are also required to report to the DSO at Concordia University within 15 days of arrival in this country.

The CUI Pathway Program is designed for international students who meet all admission requirements except for the English level requirement of TOEFL 79/IELTS 6.5. 

Readmitted Student

A readmitted student is one who has previously attended Concordia University, but withdrew or transferred to another institution and now desires to re-enroll at Concordia University. All students who are applying for readmission must go through the admission process and should contact the Concordia Admission Office for an application for readmission.

The specific categories and requirements are:

  1. Readmission following disqualification: the student must show evidence indicating that the deficiency which led to disqualification has been removed.
  2. Readmission following a leave of absence: the student must show that the situation necessitating the leave of absence has been resolved.
  3. Students must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended during the absence from Concordia. All readmission applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee. Just as new students must make a tuition deposit, the same is required of readmitted students. Readmission to the university is not guaranteed.

Students returning to Concordia after an absence of one (1) term or more will re-enter under the catalog that is current at the time of return.  Students with junior or senior status may appeal this policy unless the student chooses to re-enter into a different program than previously enrolled.

Annual Readmission

Full-time, undergraduate students at Concordia University who have been accepted through normal admission procedures are required to participate in an on-going evaluation procedure to monitor academic and extracurricular growth and conduct. The decision for annual readmission is made at the end of the Spring semester, while academic disqualification and suspension may occur during any semester.

After examination by the enrollment management committee, the student’s status may be:

  1. readmission
  2. denial of annual readmission because of:
    1. academic disqualification.
    2. unsatisfactory personal development.

Students may appeal to the president, whose action is final. A tuition deposit is required for annual readmission. For more information regarding annual readmission, refer to the Concordia University Student Handbook.

Categories of Students

Degree and/or certificate-seeking students

Those who are seeking a degree, certificate, or credential on either a full-time or part-time basis including undergraduate, graduate, fifth-year, colloquy, or adult student. These students must apply for and be accepted to Concordia through the Office of Admission.

Non-degree students 

These are students attending Concordia on a part-time basis who are not working toward a degree, certificate, or credential. These students must complete a Guest Application for non-degree course work through the Office of the Registrar before registering for classes. Credit for these courses cannot be applied toward a degree, certificate, or credential until these students have completed the application process through the Office of Admission.