First-year Admissions Requirements

Academic Criteria

Successful applicants typically submit high school records with a minimum of 16 units of credit that include:

  • Four units of English
  • Three units of mathematics (two years of algebra is explicitly required for all nursing and dietetics students; calculus is recommended, but not required, as a prerequisite for engineering students)
  • Three units of natural science (chemistry is required for all nursing, dietetics, social work, natural science, and other allied health pre-professional students)
  • Three units of social science or history
  • Three units of elective credits (elective credits are chosen from the above college prep area or from the following: foreign language, fine arts, computer science, or other academic areas)

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes count towards these requirements. See Viterbo's alternative credit policy and equivalencies.

Admission Criteria

Viterbo is seeking to admit new incoming first-year students who rank in the top half of the academic performance range as measured by grade point average or class rank.

Viterbo is test-optional for undergraduate admissions. You do not need an ACT or SAT score to be considered for admission. We still encourage you to send your scores to Viterbo using the free score submission option when you sign up for an exam. Later, when completing your application for admission, you can indicate to us if you would like your scores included as part of your application review.

Submission of a high school transcript (or equivalent documentation) is required. Pass/fail grading as a result of COVID-19 is okay--if questions arise during our review regarding particular coursework listed on your transcript, our admissions team will reach out to students/school counselors as needed.  

Letters of recommendation, personal statements, resumes, or essay samples are encouraged for new incoming first-year students, but they are not universally required for admission review. They may be beneficial for additional academic department scholarships or scholarships that are above and beyond our regular merit scholarship process.

Students not in the top half of their class (or below a 3.0 GPA) are still welcome and encouraged to apply. The director of admissions may refer such applications to an admissions committee for further review and consideration. The admissions committee may request additional documentation to support this review, which may include, but is not limited to, letters of recommendation, personal statements, updated transcripts, updated test scores, or interviews. 

Admission to the university as a new incoming first-year student does not guarantee admission into each program. Some programs have additional steps to determine if a student will be approved to be a degree-seeking student (for example, auditions for music theatre, theatre, and music). Some programs have unique admission requirements for incoming first-year students, including nursing.

  • Prospective first-year nursing majors can learn more about the requirements and processes for direct and holistic track admission. Track determinations are test-blind--meaning standardized test scores will not be reviewed determine nursing track placements for new students for those terms.
  • Prospective students for the Conservatory for the Performing Arts are required to complete a music audition or theatre/music theatre audition for department faculty.

Students approved to take dual-credit coursework at Viterbo University must still later complete the traditional undergraduate application for consideration for admission.

Ready to apply?

Applying to college can seem like a big step. Don’t worry, we are ready to help you! Call us at 1-800-VITERBO (1-800-848-3726).

You are encouraged to begin the application process any time after July 1 the summer before your senior year of high school.​

  1. Apply

    We’ve made applying easy to do online. (First-year students also have the option of applying via the Common Application.)

  2. Send transcripts 

    High school transcripts or GED/HSED: Viterbo accepts unofficial transcripts for application review, but an official copy of a student's final high school transcript will be required prior to enrolling at Viterbo. To be considered official, transcripts must come directly from your high school and may be submitted through an electronic transcript service (like Parchment), via email to, or via postal mail to Viterbo Admissions, 900 Viterbo Dr, La Crosse, WI 54601.

    If you have earned college credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or through another college or university, request an official copy of your scores or transcripts to be sent to Viterbo.
  3. Send test scores (optional)

    ACT/SAT test scores: Viterbo is test-optional, but we encourage you to send your scores. Your high school may be able to include your test scores with your high school transcript. If not, please have your scores sent directly from the testing agency using Viterbo's school codes: ACT: 4662 / SAT: 1878. 
  4. Apply for financial aid and scholarships

    To receive financial aid, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and include Viterbo’s school code: 003911. It is best to apply for financial aid as early as possible. Helpful information about application forms and an application checklist is available for you.

    We recommend that you grant access to your parents through our parent portal.

    Viterbo University offers many scholarships. Talk to your admissions counselor to find out about scholarship opportunities that might be a good fit for you.