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ODU admits students based on a holistic admission approach. We believe that standardized test scores are not always the best predictors of a student’s potential success in a college setting.
Based on this belief, along with much research, ODU offers a test-optional route to admission that allows students to replace their standardized test scores with other items that would indicate potential for academic success.

Students interested in completing the test-optional admission process must identify themselves as a test-optional applicant on their application or by notifying the office of admission of their intent. Test-optional applicants should have a minimum 2.7 high school GPA and demonstrate proficiency in core academic areas such as math, science, social science, and English. Special attention will be given to student’s GPA progress over time, additional academic criteria, demonstrated leadership capabilities, and extracurricular involvement   Students below the 2.7 GPA requirement may be referred to the admission committee for admission consideration at the request of their admission counselor as an exception.

Test-Optional Admission Requirements: In addition to the GPA requirement, students must also submit at least four items from the lists below. Two of these items must come from the academic options list.

  • Academic Options
    • Academic Recommendations From a Teacher or Guidance Counselor
    • Academic Writing Sample
    • AP Course Work
    • Honors Courses
    • IB Course Work/Diploma
    • Class Rank
  • Non-academic Options
    • Community Involvement
    • Extracurricular Activities
    • Personal or Group Achievements
    • Completed ZeeMee Profile (www.zeemee.com)

International students whose primary language of instruction is other than English must still submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS). 

Academic Recommendations
Students may submit up to two letters of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor that can attest to their academic abilities.

Academic Writing Sample
Students can submit a recent writing sample of at least 500 words that has been completed within the last two years. Academic papers and graded writing samples are acceptable. Students may also choose to write a separate essay specifically for their ODU application describing their academic and career goals and how their ODU education will help them achieve those goals.

Class Rank
A student’s class rank reflects their classroom performance. An above average class rank may indicate academic potential.

Community Involvement/Extracurricular Activities/Personal or Group Achievements
Community service, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and achievements are strong indicators of leadership and excellence which can translate to college success. Students are encouraged to submit any documents or media that showcase these items including, but not limited to, resumes, YouTube videos, presentations, certificates, awards, or slide shows.

ZeeMee Profile
ODU is excited to partner with ZeeMee, a free service that helps students bring their applications to life. We are committed to reviewing every applicant as a unique individual. Students may create their profile by uploading videos and other information to ZeeMee.com and then simply provide their ZeeMee link to their ODU admissions counselor via email.