Admission Requirements

Occidental is highly selective in the admission of students. The Admission Committee seeks students with strong academic preparation and personal characteristics who demonstrate motivation, accomplishment, involvement, energy, and commitment. Rigor of coursework, grades, writing, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and test scores are all taken into consideration in selecting the members of the first-year class.

While there is no specific requirement for the high school course of study, it is recommended that applicants take five academic subjects each year, including advanced or honors courses when available. The emphasis in each academic area will vary with individual interests and goals, but a solid preparation in high school should include four years of English composition and literature, three to four years of foreign language, three to four years of mathematics (four years for students interested in science or engineering), three to four years of social studies, and three to four years of science—including one year each of biological and physical science. (Students interested in science or engineering should be sure to include both chemistry and physics.) Regular Decision applications for admission into the first-year class are due by January 15.

Students for whom Occidental is their first-choice college may apply under one of two binding Early Decision programs. ED I applications are due November 15, with decisions mailed within a month, and ED II applications are due January 1, with decisions also mailed within a month.

Transfer applications for the fall semester should be submitted by April 1, and for the spring semester by November 1. International transfer applications are accepted for fall semester only, and should be submitted by April 1.

Detailed information on the College, its curriculum and programs, and admission and financial assistance is included in published materials available from the Office of Admission and online at

First-year and transfer candidates may apply to the College using the Common Application. Prospective students are encouraged to experience Occidental firsthand by visiting the College. It is possible to attend an information session, tour the campus, and visit classes. Although interviews are not required, they are strongly recommended. For more information, call 1-800-825-5262, email, or contact: Office of Admission, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041.