Freshman 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 freshman students who rank in the top half of the academic performance range as measured by grade point average or class rank.

Viterbo has adopted a test-optional admission policy for fall 2021 and fall 2022. (Students without test scores may still apply for admission for fall 2020 or spring 2021 as well--please contact the director of admissions to discuss that exemption process.) The policy may eventually extend beyond these terms. If you have test scores, we encourage you to submit them to Viterbo. 

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 about particular coursework, 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 freshmen, but they are not universally required for admission review.

The director of admissions may refer a student to the 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. Commonly, this committee reviews freshman applicants reporting a grade point average below 3.0, an ACT (or SAT equivalent) score below 20, or students not meeting additional criteria for a particular program, including nursing.

Admission to the university as a new incoming freshman 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 in music theatre, theatre, and music). Some programs have unique admission requirements for freshmen, including nursing.

  • Prospective freshman nursing majors can learn more about the requirements and processes for direct and holistic track admission. Track determinations are test-blind for fall 2021 freshmen--meaning standardized test scores will not be utilized.
  • Prospective music majors and minors are required to complete an audition for department faculty.
  • Prospective theatre and music theatre majors are required to complete an 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

  2. Send transcripts 

    Send the following documents to the Viterbo University Admissions, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601:

    High school transcripts or GED/HSED: These must come directly from your high school. Specifically for fall 2020, beyond the usual options of sending via postal mail or utilizing an electronic transcript service (like Parchment), these may also be emailed directly from your school to

    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 

    ACT/SAT test scores: Viterbo is test-optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022, but we encourage you to send your scores if you have had the opportunity to take an exam. (If you are a fall 2020 or spring 2021 applicant and were unable to test due to COVID-19, please contact the director of admissions.) 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.