If, as they say, every journey begins with a single step – you’ve just made an important one. We’ll be here to help you explore all that is possible for you.

Undergraduate Admissions at Otterbein University

Let’s face it. This is a big decision. We know that Otterbein is the perfect place to figure out how to take all your talent and build a great career and life with it. We invite you to explore all that Otterbein has to offer.

Application Requirements


Ready to apply?  Here’s what you’ll need to do, organize, and submit to apply to Otterbein:

  1. Completed application
  2. Official ACT or SAT test scores. Otterbein recommends having test scores sent directly from the testing agency:
    Note: ACT/SAT scores are optional for transfer and international students.
    • Otterbein’s ACT code is 3318
    • Otterbein’s SAT code is 1597
  3. Official high school transcripts
    Note: Transfer students only need to submit an official high school transcript if they have earned less than 30 semester hours or less than 45 quarter hours of college credit after high school.
  4. Letter of recommendation (optional for all applicants)
  5. Personal essay of 250 words (waived for transfer students only)
  6. $35 application fee

Application Form Information

Otterbein is a member of the Common Application. To apply online, go to:


The Common Application is now accepting applications for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.

Programs with Additional Application Steps:

Theatre and Music require an audition. Art requires a portfolio review. Additional details are available from the Office of Admission.

Admission Criteria, Special Enrollment, & Auditions


Admission to Otterbein is based on a student’s overall potential for academic success. Decisions are made after a holistic review. Student will less than 30 earned semester hours or 45 quarter hours AFTER high school graduation are reviewed on final high school transcripts, including ACT or SAT scores. Students who have completed more than 30 earned semester hours or 45 quarter hours are reviewed based upon cumulative GPA of all post-secondary transcripts. Otterbein places more emphasis on the academic transcript, as we believe it is one of the best indicators of student success and college preparation. Each student is also considered for the unique talents and contributions he or she will offer the Otterbein community.

Special Enrollment

Enrollment in the Athletic Training, Education, Engineering, Honors, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine Early Assurance and Zoo and Conservation Science programs have additional academic requirements. Details are available from the Office of Admission. Otterbein University is committed to providing a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination. Otterbein does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, military status, or veteran status in admissions, in access to, or in treatment within its educational programs or activities, in employment, recruiting, or policy administration.


Some departments require an audition or portfolio review for admission. Theatre and Music require an audition. Art requires a portfolio review. Additional details are available from the Office of Admission. Each department coordinates the process a little differently, so read carefully and do not hesitate to call the Office of Admission at 614-823-1500, or any of the individual departments if you have questions.

Application Fee Waiver Policy

Fee Waiver

Undergraduate Traditional Admission Fee Waiver Policy

College Board and/or NACAC Fee Waiver Forms
If paying the application fee would cause undue financial hardship on your family, Otterbein University will accept either the NACAC (PDF) and/or College Board (PDF) Fee Waivers. Fee waivers should be submitted to the Office of Admission by their high school counselor at the time of application.

Adult and Transfer Student Fee Waiver Policy

Online applications will be required before you can submit the $35 application fee. Students that have served in the U.S. military, returning students, and Otterbein University employees are also not required to submit the $35 application fee.

What’s next?

Questions or concerns with the application fee waiver policy can be shared at uotterb@otterbein.edu or at 614.823.1500.

If you have already submitted your application you can pay your application fee here.

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College Credit Earned in High School


AP, IB & College Credit

Otterbein University recognizes challenging coursework by giving credit for approved Advanced Placement tests (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) work and transcripted college credit earned while in high school. Advanced standing credit may be used to satisfy general university requirements, major requirements where allowed, and to ultimately accelerate graduation.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Those students participating in an IB Programme are eligible to receive credit for each certificate earned in the program and can receive up to 28 credit hours if they earn the full diploma. Along with the credit earned, students are also eligible for a $1,000 scholarship for each certificate earned up to five total and a $7,000 scholarship if they earn the full diploma. Scholarships and credit will be awarded in late June or early July upon the receipt of an official International Baccalaureate Programme Diploma.

For more information on IB Credit and how your credit would transfer to Otterbein, please visit the Otterbein University Course Catalog.

Advanced Placement (AP)

A student who receives a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement Test in high school will receive credit for the appropriate Otterbein equivalent course. Proficiency rather than credit will be noted for a score of 3 for any Otterbein equivalent course except Integrative Studies courses (INST) or their substitutes and mathematics (MATH) courses. Exemption from mathematics, Integrative Studies courses and substitutes requires a score of 4 or 5. Proficiency means that the Otterbein equivalent course may be skipped when it is a required, prerequisite, or co-requisite course.

For more information on AP Credit and how your score would transfer to Otterbein, please visit the Otterbein University Course Catalog.

College Credit

Upon acceptance to Otterbein, students are required to submit an official transcript from the college or university at which time Otterbein will evaluate their credit. From there, Otterbein will send a full evaluation of credit to the student, better explaining how their credits will transfer to Otterbein upon enrollment.

For more information on College Credit and how it would transfer to Otterbein, please visit the catalog to view the Otterbein University Course Catalog Transfer Credit Policy.

Adult, Transfer, & Returning Students


Adult Students: To being your application, visit our Adult Admissions site.

Transfer Students: To begin the application process, go to our Student Transfer page.

Returning Students: Contact the Center for Student Success. The Center for Student Success will have you:

  • Complete an online intake form.
  • Meet with an advisor to review your coursework.
  • Complete a re-entry form with the Registrar’s Office.

It will take around 7-10 days for the re-entry process to be completed. You will also need to submit an official college transcript from any institution(s) attended during your time away from Otterbein.


Spend Up to a Year at Otterbein

Visiting Students

A transient or visiting student may enroll at Otterbein on a part-time or full-time basis for a maximum of two semesters. Transient students must follow the steps below to complete an application for admission using Otterbein’s Online Application.


1. Create your account
In order to complete your application you will need to create an account. On the login page of the application, click New User. You can save your application and log back in at any time to finish – just remember to write down your login ID and pin.

2. Fill out the application
You can complete your application in any order, save your work and come back to it later.  To save, click the ‘finish later’ button, and then click exit.  To log back into your application and continue working on it, select the ‘apply for admission’ link and enter your login ID and pin.

3. Submit your application
Check your application carefully. When you are satisfied with it and are ready to submit it to us, click ‘application is complete’ at the bottom of the menu.

In addition, the following item needs to be included in your application file:

  • An official college transcript from your home institution.
  • $35 application fee.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)


Otterbein students interested in obtaining an officer’s commission in either the United States Air Force or Army may enroll in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) classes through cooperative agreements with nearby Ohio State University and Capital University.

Admission for Veterans (Yellow Ribbon Program)


We recognize the enormous sacrifice and contribution military personnel make to society. Returning veterans find individualized attention from Otterbein’s dedicated staff, helping to ease their transition to civilian and university life. Otterbein is proud to be a participant in the national Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program to help U.S. military veterans attend college. Eligible veterans who apply and are accepted to Otterbein are able to attend tuition-free.

How to Attend Otterbein Under the Yellow Ribbon Program

  • Apply for the program on the GI Bill website. Successful applicants will receive a certificate of coverage.
  • Apply to Otterbein University. If accepted, enroll in the university and mail your certificate of coverage to:

Otterbein University
Office of the Registrar
ATTN:  Hilary Seif
1 South Grove Street
Westerville, OH 43081


For questions about your eligibility for the program, see the GI Bill website or call them at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with a Veterans Benefits Counselor. For questions about Otterbein’s involvement in the program contact the Office of Admission at 614-823-1500.

To begin the application process, visit our Veterans information page.

When you were younger, you used to dream about the things you wanted to be and do when you “grew up.” Now, here you are. At Otterbein, you will start living your dreams, not just imagining them.

Professor Tansey with Students