Application Procedure

Applicants are urged to submit the application for admission and complete credentials well in advance of the semester for which they seek admission. Acceptance is based on evidence of potential for successful study. The following criteria are considered: curriculum related to rigor of program and grades achieved in secondary school, standardized test scores (if submitted since we are test optional), extracurricular activities and recommendations.

Minimum course preparation should include three years of math, three years of science, four years of history (social studies), two years of language and four years of English.

Prospective students are strongly urged to come to the campus for an interview and tour. Please contact the Office of Admissions to arrange for an appointment.

The decision of the Admissions Committee will be sent after all credentials have been received. Official and final acceptance takes place after receipt of a completed medical form, a confirmation fee, and confirmation of high school graduation.

Admission Requirements for Secondary School Students

Applicants who wish to begin college in the fall semester should apply during the fall term of the senior year in high school. Students graduating at mid-year who wish to begin college in the spring semester are strongly encourages to apply no later than November 15th.  

An applicant must arrange for an official high school academic transcript to be submitted to the Office of Admissions. While we encourage the submission of the results of either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT) battery, we are test optional. Entrance exams are not required.

Franciscan Health Care Professions Dual-Admission/Dual-Degree Program

High school seniors seeking admission to St. Bonaventure University’s dual-admission/dual-degree programs of study must first apply to the University and the Franciscan Health Care Professions Program. The application must include a focused personal essay that explains the applicant’s decision to pursue the profession of medicine.  A resume that demonstrates the applicant’s experiences and exposure to the chosen field of study, volunteer and community service, shadowing experience with health care providers/pharmacists and any structured introductory health care programs at his or her high school is also required.

Applicants must also submit SAT or ACT scores, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a Science teacher. In addtion, students accepted into the Franciscan Health Care Professions programs must maintain academic and comportment requirements.

Giant Step

Giant Step is a program designed to provide an opportunity for qualified secondary school students to enroll in college-level courses prior to the completion of their high school education. Students will be allowed to take up to six hours per semester. The students will be required to pay $230 per credit hour, subject to change.

All secondary students who meet the following criteria are eligible for consideration:

  1. Students must be recommended by their high school counselor or principal.
  2. Students must submit an application with the Office of Admissions.

Admission Requirements for Giant Step:

  1. Giant Step application
  2. Official high school transcript
  3. Recommendation by high school principal or guidance counselor

Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

Jointly sponsored by New York State and St. Bonaventure University, HEOP is designed for students who have the potential and interest to pursue post-secondary education but, because of educational and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend a private or independent college. Students who qualify participate in a summer program prior to their first year to develop collegiate academic success strategies and strengthen skills in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and leadership. Throughout their undergraduate course of study, HEOP Students also receive tutoring, professional and social development workshops, academic and personal counseling, and financial support. Applications for HEOP should be submitted to the Office of Admissions upon initial application to the University. Anyone desiring further information may contact the HEOP office at (716) 375-2402 or

Senior Citizen Program

St. Bonaventure University invites senior citizens to enroll in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education courses for a nominal charge. The privilege is extended to eligible persons 60 years of age or older. The cost of tuition varies depending on the individual’s application status: auditor, non-matriculant, or matriculant. Regardless of the application status, an individual is responsible for the cost of books and supplies as may be needed for a course.

Applicants must procure the senior citizen application form from the Office of Admissions. This form should be completed and returned prior to registration day of the session for which the applicant intends to enroll.

International Students

Applicants from foreign countries are urged to complete their applications at least five months before they plan to enroll. In addition to the information required for secondary school students, one of the following also applies:

Incoming Freshman with no prior college or university courses taken


Admissions currently does not require a WES (or equivalent:SpanTran, Josepf A. Silny) international credential evaluation of high school (secondary school) transcripts for undergrad admission; however, transcripts must be translated into English and must be sent to St. Bonaventure Admissions directly from your high school.  A WES may be required if the provided transcript is insufficient for translation.

Test Scores

If your courses were conducted and instructed in English the test requirements are not necessary. 

TOEFL, IELTS, DuoLingo, SAT or ACT are required.  If student takes the SAT, reading score must be higher than 480 to waive the TOEFL or IELTS.  If student takes the ACT, reading score must be higher than 21.  If reading score is below a 480 on the SAT or below a 21 on the ACT, each case will be reviewed by admissions on an individual basis.  Some cases may warrant requesting the student to also take TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo to ensure adequate English proficiency.  If students chose to take the DuoLingo exam, the minimum score required is 105.    

Incoming student, attended college or university in a country other than the United States

If a student has studied at a university in a country other than the U.S. and wishes to transfer credits to SBU, a WES (or equivalent) evaluation may be required by the registrar’s office.

Applicants from countries where English is not the official language and/or prior schooling was not completed in English need to provide results for either the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT.  If student takes the SAT, the reading score must be higher than 480 to waive the TOEFL or IELTS.  If student takes the ACT, the reading score must be higher than 21.  If the reading score is below a 480 on the SAT or below a 21 on the ACT, each case will be reviewed by admissions on an individual basis.  Some cases may warrant requesting the student to also take TOEFL or IELTS to ensure adequate English proficiency.  All students must provide a secondary school transcript in addition to their international university transcript if university credit totals less than 24 credits (U.S.)

Incoming student, attended college or university in the United States

If an international student has studied at a U.S. college or university, the student is considered a transfer, and therefore the usual transfer requirements apply.  All students must provide a secondary school transcript in addition to their international university transcript if university credit totals less than 24 credits (U.S.)

A student who has been accepted is required to show proof of finances and pay the $500 non-refundable international confirmation deposit prior to the issuance of an I-20 form. The student must take the I-20 and valid passport to the U.S. Consulate or embassy and apply for an F-1 student visa. The International Student Services Office issues the I-20 form, and assists students with details related to planning and preparing for a program at St. Bonaventure.


Previously registered students who wish to resume studies at St. Bonaventure University after an absence of one or more semesters must apply for re-enrollment through the Registrar’s Office. Students seeking re-enrollment after having attended another higher education institution in the interim must have all complete official transcripts from these institutions sent to the Registrar’s Office. Students seeking re-enrollment as degree candidates after previous enrollment in non-degree status must submit any entrance requirements not previously submitted.

Confirmation Deposit for U.S. Students

After notification of acceptance, a $250 confirmation deposit is required of all full-time undergraduate students, including those readmitted. The deposit is a down payment for the semester’s tuition and is not refundable.

Credit by Examination/Credit for Prior Learning

St. Bonaventure University grants undergraduate credit for satisfactory performance, a grade equivalent to C, on examinations given through the Advanced Placement Exams, College Proficiency Examination, the American College Testing Program’s Proficiency Examination, the College-Level Examination Programs and Joint-Services Transcripts.

In those cases where a standard proficiency examination does not exist, a departmental examination, approved by the chair of the department and appropriate academic dean, may be administered. The Registrar will consider requests for credits only from matriculated students and applicants for matriculation at the University. Credit is granted but not quality points.

The granting of credit is contingent upon the following conditions and limitations.

  1. Formal written request must be made and all credentials presented.
  2. There must be an equivalency between material covered in an examination and courses offered by the University as part of a degree program or as permissible electives.
  3. Credit granted will not exceed that assigned to the course as listed in the University catalog.
  4. The maximum credit allowed through CPE, CPEP, REDP, CLEP or similar programs, either singly or in combination, is 30 hours.
  5. Credit for no more than three courses may be applied to a student’s major field of concentration.
  6. Full tuition charges at the per-credit-hour rate will be levied for credit received through departmental proficiency examinations unless such credit when added to other credit received that semester, totals between 12 and 18 hours in which case the normal semester tuition will be charged. No administration fee will be charged.

The University will, in addition to the above, consider granting advanced placement and/or college credit to those applicants who earn a minimum score of three or better on approved CEEB Advanced Placement Examinations.

Advanced Placement

Test Score SBU Tests Equivalent Credits
American History 3 HIST-201, HIST-202 6
American/ Comparative Politics 3 POLS-9999 3
Art History 3 ARTH-101, ARTH-102 6
Art: Studio General 3 VA-111 or VA-121 or VA-131 3
Art: 2-D Design 3 VA-9999 3
Biology 5 Credit granted for both BIOL-105 & BIOL-106. Student will be allowed to enroll immediately in Biology courses above the 100 level. 8
4 Credit granted for 1 semester of either BIOL-105 or BIOL-106 depending on high school background but must complete the remaining semester of the 105-106 sequence. 4
3 (Non-Majors Only) Credit granted for 1 semester of BIOL-101 if student has completed 2 semesters of high school biology. 4
Chemistry 5 1 CHEM-101, CHEM-102 6
4 2 CHEM-101 3
Chinese Lang. & Culture 3 CHIN-101, CHIN-102 6
Chinese Lang. & Culture 4 CHIN-201, CHIN-202 12
Computer Science A 4 or 5 CS-131 4
English Lang. & Comp 3 ENG-101 3
English Lang. & Comp. 4 ENG-101, ENG-102 6
English Lit. & Comp. 3 ENG-103, ENG Elective 6
Environmental Science 3 BIO-112 3
European History 3 HIST-101, HIST-102 6
French Language 4 FREN-101, FREN-102 6
5 FREN-201, FREN-202 6
French Literature 3 FREN-201, FREN-202 6
4 or 5 FREN-9999 6
Italian Language 4 ITAL-101, ITAL-102 6
5 ITAL-201, ITAL-202 6
German Language 3 GERM-201, GERM-202 6
Gov. & Pols.: Amer. 3 GENL Electives 3
Gov. & Pols.: Comp. 3 GENL Electives 3
Human Geography 3 IS-202 3
Latin 5 LAT-101, LAT-102, LAT-201, LAT-202 12
Latin: Virgil 3 LATIN-9999 3
Latin: Cat.- Horace 3 No Credit 0
Macroeconomics 3 ECO-102 3
Math: Calc AB 3 MATH-151 4
Math: Calc BC 3 MATH-151 4
Math: Calc BC 4 or 5 MATH-151, MATH-152 8
Math: Statistics 3 MATH-107, QMX-211 3
Microeconomics 3 ECO-101 3
Music: Theory 3 MU-121 3
Physics 1 3 N/SCI-9999 4
Physics 2 3 N/SCI-9999 4
Physics C, Elect & Mag 3 PHYS-104 & PHYL-104 4
Psychology 4 PSYC-101 3
Spanish Language 4 SPAN-101, SPAN-102 6
5 SPAN-201, SPAN-202 6
Spanish Literature 3 SPAN-201, SPAN-202 6
4 or 5 SPAN-9999 6
World History 3 HIST-361 3

The University accepts limited International Baccalaureate (IB) credit.


Credit for corresponding CHML-101 or CHML-102 lab is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. High school chemistry lab syllabus and graded labs must be presented to department chair for review before lab credit can be granted.

CLEP Scores    

Test Minimum Score Course Equivalent Credits
Composition and Literature
American Literature 50 ENG-220 & ENG-221 6
Analyzing & Interpreting Literature 50 ENG-103 3
College Composition 50 ENG-101A 3
College Composition Modular x No Credit
English Literature 50 ENG-203, ENG-204 6
Humanities 50 Lit. & VPA Distribution 3
Foreign Languages
College French (I) 50 FREN-101 & FREN-102 6
College French (II) 59 FREN-201 & FREN-202 12
College Spanish (I) 50 SPAN-101 & SPAN-102 6
College Spanish (II) 66 SPAN-201 & SPAN-202 12
College German (I) 50 GERM-101 & GERM-102 6
College German (II) 60 GERM-201 & GERM-202 12
History and Social Sciences
American Government 50 POLS-102 3
Human Growth & Develop. x No Credit
Introductory Educational Psychology x No Credit
Prin. of Macroeconomics 50 ECO-102 3
Prin. of Microeconomics 50 ECO-101 3
Introductory Psychology 50 PSYC-101 3
Introductory Sociology 50 SOC-101 3
Social Science & History x No Credit
History of the US I 50 HIST-201 3
History of the US II 50 HIST-202 3
Western Civilization I 50 HIST Elective 3
Western Civilization II 50 HIST Elective 3
Science and Mathematics
Calculus 50 MATH-151 4
College Algebra x No Credit
College Algebra/ Trigonometry 50 MATH-108 3
Trigonometry x No Credit
College Mathematics x No Credit
Pre-Calculus 50 MATH-108 3
General Biology 50 BIO-101 4
54 BIO-105 4
59 BIO-106 4
Chemistry 55 CHEM-101 3
65 CHEM-101 & CHEM-102 6
Natural Sciences x No Credit
Financial Accounting 50 ACCT-201 3
Information Systems/Computer Applications 50 BIS-310 3
Introductory Business Law 50 BLX-210 3
Principles of Management x No Credit
Principles of Marketing x No Credit

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit 

Evaluation will focus on the results of individual examinations completed at the Higher Level (HL), a student does not have to complete the full IB Diploma to be eligible for consideration for transfer credit. Examinations at the Subsidiary Level (SL) are not eligible for transfer credit consideration.

Test Score SBU Tests Equivalent Credits
Art Design 4-7 VA-161 3
Biology 4-7 N/SCI-9999 3
Business & Management 4-7 BUS-9999 3
Chemistry 4-7 CHEM-9999 3
Classical Languages 4-7 LAT-101 3
Computer Science 4-7 CS-131, CSL-131 4
Design Technology 4-7 GEN-9999 3
Digital Society 4-7 JMC-9999 3
Economics 4-7 ECO-102 3
English A 4-7 ENG-101, ENG-103 6
Film 4-7 VA-9999 3
Geography 4-7 S/SCI-9999 3
German B 4-7 GERM-202 3
Global Politics 4-7 IS-101 3
History, Americas 4-7 HIST-201, HIST-202 6
History, European 4-7 HIST-250, HIST-251 6
Info Tech Global Society 4-7 IT-9999 3
Mathematical Studies 4-7 MATH-121 3
Mathematical Methods 4-7 MATH-151 4
Music 4-7 GEN-9999 3
Philosophy 4-7 PHIL-104 3
Physics 4-7 PHYS-9999 3
Psychology 4-7 PSYC-101 3
Social and Cultural Anthropology 4-7 S/SCI-9999 3
Spanish A 4-7 SPAN-101, SPAN-102 6
Spanish B 4-7 SPAN-201, SPAN-202 6
Sports, Exercise & Health Science 4-7 PHED-9999 3
Theatre Arts 4-7 THTR-101 3
Visual Arts 4-7 VA-9999 3

Transfer Students

Undergraduate students from other accredited institutions may apply to St. Bonaventure University. Transfer students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

The following items need to be submitted for transferring:

  1. Application for admission
  2. High school records/GED (proof of high school graduation)
  3. Official transcripts from all other institutions attended

Candidates for advanced standing should have satisfactorily completed college-level courses at a university, college, junior college, or community college accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Foreign institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in their home country. Credit may be awarded for coursework as recommended by the American Council on Education. No credits will be awarded for vocational or technical coursework. Transfer candidates are admitted to the University for both the fall and spring semesters and for summer sessions.
Students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (out of 4.0) or above at their previous institution(s) will be reviewed for admission and admitted to the institution when the Office of Admissions is satisfied that the applicant has presented all criteria for admission, and credit granted for all previous coursework in which they have received a passing grade. For students below a 2.5 cumulative GPA in previous coursework, admissions decisions, and the granting of transfer credit, for any courses in which they have received a grade below “C,” will be based upon the review and recommendation of the transfer coordinator and dean of the School to which they have applied; approval of transfer credit will be in accordance with established policies.  

In all degree programs, the University requires students to complete the General Education requirements.  Transfer students will be granted course credit as follows for coursework taken prior to matriculation:

  • Historical Studies Distribution – an appropriate 3-credit world, European or American history course
  • Social Science Distribution – an appropriate 3-credit psychology, sociology, political science, or economics course
  • ENG-101 and ENG-102 – two appropriate 3-credit introductory writing courses at least at the 100 level
  • Franciscan Studies/Theology Distribution – an appropriate 3-credit theology or religious studies course
  • Required course with a “D” for Diversity – an appropriate 3-credit course with content reflective of a multi-cultural perspective
  • Literature & The Visual Performing Arts Distribution – an appropriate 3-credit art, music, theater, or literature course
  • Natural Science with Lab Distribution – an appropriate 4-credit science lab course
  • Philosophy Distribution – an appropriate 3-credit philosophy course
  • PHIL-104 (Ethics) – an appropriate 3-credit course with content reflective of Ethics
  • Intensive Writing (W) – an appropriate 3-credit course that fulfills the learning objectives related to intensive writing
  • Quantitative Reasoning Distribution – an appropriate 3-credit quantitative literacy course
  • BONA-101 a 3-credit requirement; all transfer students will be required to take a version of this

All students who transferred to St. Bonaventure University must take THFS-101: The Way of Francis and Clare (unless they transfer an equivalent course from a Franciscan Institution).

Students who have earned an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science Degree or Associate in Applied Science in Nursing Degree will be considered to have satisfied the following requirements of the General Education Requirement:

Required specific courses
ENG-102Writing II3
Historical Studies
Literature and the Visual and Performing Arts
Natural Science with a lab
Social Science
Quantitative Literacy
Franciscan Studies/Theology

Students who have earned an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science Degree or Associate in Applied Science in Nursing Degree must demonstrate that their coursework has fulfilled the following requirements it they want to be exempted from this graduation requirement:

One course from each designation:
Intensive Writing (W)
Diversity (D)

All decisions regarding transfer credit will be made by the appropriate academic dean and confirmed by the Registrar, subject to the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Please note that the above policy does not apply to matriculated students or those who seek readmission to SBU.

Quality points are not transferred, and hence, the cumulative index or grade point average for graduation is computed only on the basis of quality points earned at St. Bonaventure.  A student must complete no fewer than 45 undergraduate credit hours at St. Bonaventure.

Classification of Students

Students are classified in one of two ways:

  1. Regular-recognized as matriculated (a degree candidate), either as a full-time student (carrying 12 credit hours or more) or as a part-time student (less than 12 hours).
  2. Non-Matriculating-credits for courses taken are not applicable to a St. Bonaventure degree. This includes those taking courses, the credit for which will be transferred to another institution which has given the student written permission to take the courses.

Center for Student Wellness

The Center is responsible for maintaining student health records and uses a secure electronic health record system. Incoming students are asked to provide their medical records, to include their most recent physical and immunization history. New York State Public Health Law 2165 requires specific immunizations, of which our staff will review and verify for compliance. Students may be prohibited from move-in (i.e., not receive their room key), unable to register for classes, or restricted from the room selection process if the required immunizations are not on file and verified by the Center for Student Wellness. Students entering in the fall semester must submit records by July 15th to help ensure there is no delay in the verification process.