Frequently Asked Questions

- Application -

Is an interview required for admission?​

Admission counselors do not conduct interviews as part of the application and evaluation process. However, a campus visit is highly encouraged.

How many recommendation letters are allowed?

One teacher evaluation is required.  However, students may submit up to three letters that speak to the skills and character they would bring to SCU.

What are the application deadlines?







Check out the SCU Undergraduate Admission website for more information.

- Financial Aid -

What is the cost of attendance?

The Cost of Attendance can be found on our website. There are several options available to reduce the cost of tuition for prospective students through our Financial Aid office and potential merit scholarships.


Should I apply for FAFSA/CSS if I feel like I do not qualify?

Santa Clara University recommends that first-year students complete both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® in order to maximize their federal, state and non-federal aid program eligibility.

To be considered for federal financial aid, first-year students need only to complete the FAFSA.

*First-year students interested in only Santa Clara University merit-based aid consideration are not required to complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®.

Is there a separate application for merit based aid?

No, you will be automatically considered for all merit based aid when your application is evaluated for admission.

What kinds of merit based aid does the university offer?

Santa Clara offers a variety of merit based awards, ranging from the Johnson Scholarship (full tuition and room and board), the Presidential Scholarship (full tuition), Provost and Dean's Scholarships. Athletic, Music, Theatre, Dance, and Alumni Scholarships are also available. Visit the SCU Scholarship webpage for more detailed information.

Check out the SCU Financial Aid website for more information.

- SCU Facts -

What is Santa Clara's retention rate?

96%. The retention rate is the number of first-year students who continue on to their sophomore year at SCU.

Useful links:

- Academics -

Can I change majors?

Yes! Students usually declare majors within their first two years at SCU. After declaring a major, students are still able to change majors within the same school or college. Switching majors within the same school or college (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Business) is a simple process. In addition, switching into the College of Arts and Sciences from Engineering or Business is also a relatively simple process. Switching into the School of Engineering or the Leavey School of Business, though, requires an internal transfer process that is more complex and competitive because of the limited number of spots in these schools. We recommend that applicants who are leaning towards Business or Engineering should apply directly into the respective school. 

Who teaches the classes at SCU?

All courses at SCU are taught 100% by professors. Some classes may have teacher's assistants who assist the professor with study sessions or labs, but the course will always be lead by a professor. At Santa Clara, we have a student to faculty ration of 11:1, so students have ample opportunity to interact with and get to know their professors. All professors are required to have office hours at least twice per week, allowing students to ask questions and develop relationships with their professors.

Does SCU offer study abroad?

SCU offers a varying database of over 150 approved study abroad programs in 50+ countries, at any given time. Students can fulfill major, minor, core, and other graduation requirements, and use 100% of their SCU financial aid, while maintaining their enrollment status while studying abroad. Roughly 1/3 of SCU students study abroad, most commonly during the Fall Quarter of their Junior year. There are also numerous summer, and shorter-term abroad options, such as Global Fellows and Immersion trips. Check out the SCU study abroad website for more information.

- Student Life -

May I have a car on campus?

First-years are not permitted to have cars on campus. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors may purchase a parking permit for a nominal fee. Public transportation options are readily accessible via the Santa Clara Transit Center located directly across from the main entrance of Santa Clara. (Cal Train, Bus system; etc.) This includes a free shuttle, which departs every 15-minutes and stops at: the San Jose Earthquake's soccer stadium, In-n-out and the San Jose International Airport. Zipcar is available for student use, as well as Zagster, our student and faculty bike share program.

Is housing guaranteed all four years?

Living on campus is not required. Although housing is not guaranteed, campus housing is always available if the housing deposit is submitted on time. SCU's housing is made up of 8 Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) with several halls reserved for upperclassmen, including our luxurious University Villas for Juniors and Seniors. Additionally, Neighborhood Units owned and managed by the University are available for Sophomores and older, found within a 1-4 block radius around campus. Housing is available for all four years. All students, including commuter students, are able to participate in RLC programming. Numerous off-campus housing opportunities are also available in the immediate area. Check out the SCU Housing webpage for more information.

How many students live on campus?

96% of first year students live on campus. 80% of sophomores live on campus. Around 30% of juniors and seniors live on campus.

- Admissions Events -

Are there any large-scale events where I can come and learn more about SCU?

Yes! We have two large-scale events per year where prospective students can come to learn more about Santa Clara, tour the campus, view residence halls and hear presentations about different academic programs offered. The first occurs in the Fall and is called 'Open House.' This event is open to all prospective undergraduate students. The second large-scale event is held in the Spring, and is called 'Preview Days.' This event is open to students who have been admitted to or wait-listed for Santa Clara. You can learn more about that event and RSVP via this link.

- International Students -

What resources are available for International Students?

About 4 percent of the undergraduate student body at Santa Clara is International, hailing from 6 of the 7 continents! We encourage International students to visit and explore the opportunities available to them on our unique campus in the heart of the Silicon Valley. To learn more about key admissions components and standards for International Students please visit our Undergraduate Admissions page for International Students. Additionally, check out of Global Broncos website, and the Global Engagement Office for International Students.

©2019 by SCU Student Ambassadors.

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