Undergraduate Admission

Undergraduate programs are both academically rigorous and personally transformative. Naropa University offers a whole-person education for students who desire to become the change they want to see in the world. Naropa is committed to an admissions policy that mitigates tension while emphasizing diversity and inclusion, reflecting the true nature of contemplative education in the process.

If you have a history of strong academic performance, we welcome you into our community with minimal admissions requirements so that we may begin the work of preparing you to succeed. We also recognize that prior academic performance may not accurately reflect your potential for success at Naropa. If your academic performance has not been strong in the past, but you believe that you could benefit from a Naropa education and effectively contribute to the Naropa community, we strongly encourage you to begin the application process now.

Application Deadlines

Naropa University uses a rolling admissions policy. Applicants may apply as early as September for spring and fall admission. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis.  All new and transfer students may apply for either the fall or spring semester.

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

All applicants must submit:

Completed application form.

$25 nonrefundable application fee, in the form of an online credit card payment, or a check or money order payable to “Naropa University.” The applicant’s name must be clearly indicated on the check.

Official high school transcript(s).

Official GED scores (if the applicant does not have a high school diploma). If the applicant received a GED but also took courses at a high school, the official transcript from that high school is also required.

Official transcripts from every university attended, even if no credits were earned (must be sent directly to Naropa University or sent by applicant in an envelope sealed by the registrar).

A disciplinary form (if applicable).

Additional admissions requirements are determined by a student’s academic history and cumulative, unweighted GPA: Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher only need to submit the above requirements.

Students with a GPA of 2.0 through 2.99 are required to submit the same as above, and an essay.

Students with a high school GPA lower than 2.0 are required to submit the above, along with an essay and a professional or academic letter of recommendation; they may also be required to interview with an admissions counselor.

Students who have a home school or narrative transcript are required to submit an essay, in addition to other requirements, regardless of GPA.

International students are required to submit the above requirements and an essay, regardless of GPA. International students with a cumulative GPA lower than a 2.0 must also submit a professional or academic letter of recommendation, and they may also be required to interview with an admissions counselor. (For additional requirements specific to international applicants, see the International Student Admission section.)

Cumulative GPA is determined by the Office of Admissions. Grades used for the evaluation are taken from either high school or college-level course work, but not both: students who have attempted 30 or more credits will be evaluated based on their cumulative college GPA only; students with less than 30 attempted college credits will be evaluated on their high school GPA only.

Naropa University is a member of the Common Application, and students may apply using the application found at www.commonapp.org.

Conditional Acceptance Program

Applicants whose previous academic performance would otherwise prevent them from admission into Naropa, may be eligible for admission through the Conditional Acceptance Program (CAP). Applicants considered through the Conditional Acceptance Program must complete an Academic Success Plan and will receive an additional admissions review by Naropa College. If accepted through the Conditional Acceptance Program, the applicants must agree to an Academic Success Contract, which outlines a plan to support their academic success. Students admitted through the Conditional Acceptance Program enter the university on Academic Probation and must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) during their first semester to be eligible to continue their studies at Naropa and avoid Academic Suspension.

On–Campus Housing

Entering students who are under the age of twenty-one and who have earned less than thirty (30) credits, are required to live in Naropa University student housing. Naropa University has two on-campus residence hall facilities: Snow Lion Apartments and 2333 Arapahoe. Each residence hall possesses its own character, and facilitates student development, including vibrant Living and Learning Communities. First-time, first-year students living in a residence hall are required to participate in a Living & Learning Community, which includes enrollment in a 1-credit pass/fail course designed to support a successful transition into college. All university housing at Snow Lion and 2333 Arapahoe are alcohol-free and drug-free living environments.

Residency Requirements

Students can enter Naropa as undeclared students or can declare a major.  Please see the details for specific majors to learn more. Of the one hundred and twenty (120) total semester credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree, sixty (60) credit hours must be taken at Naropa University. Students are required to take their first semester of courses on campus; this does not apply to students enrolled in the LEAPYEAR program.

Establishing Transfer Credits

College-level courses completed at regionally accredited colleges and institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education with a grade of “C” or better are eligible to be counted toward transfer credit. A maximum of 60 credits will be accepted. A pass, credit, or satisfactory grade cannot be accepted unless the transcript states it is equal to a “C” or better, or unless accompanied by an equivalent narrative evaluation that clearly indicates strong academic performance in the course. A maximum of 30 technical or vocational credits will be accepted. No physical education credits will be accepted unless they resemble courses offered at Naropa.

No contemplative practice credits will be accepted to fulfill core requirements; these may only be applied as electives. Naropa does not award transfer credit for remedial courses taken in college.

Once credit has been transferred, it cannot be removed from the student's record. 

University policy permits that a maximum of 18 transfer credits can be applied toward BA major requirements, with the specific allotment varying by major. Where relevant transfer equivalences exist, up to 6 transfer credits may be allocated toward each 12-credit minor. Each academic department has established a maximum number of credits that can be applied to respective majors and minors, as well as a list of courses pre-approved for transfer.

Transfer work from universities that operate on the quarter system will be converted to Naropa's semester system using this ratio:

Quarter Credits Semester Credits
1 .5
2 1
3 2
4 2.5
5 3

The following categories describe ways of earning transfer credit for learning completed outside the traditional college classroom. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other forms of nontraditional transfer credit such as College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may not be counted toward the major or minor requirements. A maximum of 30 semester credits may be earned through a combination of the following alternative transfer options:

1. College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program is a national program administered by the College Board to measure college-level learning completed outside the traditional college classroom. Naropa University grants up to 30 semester credits for all exams passed in subject areas that do not duplicate prior college course work, using the minimum passing score recommended by the American Council on Education. All transferring credit, including college transcripts, AP, IB, CLEP, DSST/DANTES, and military transcripts, must be submitted during the admissions process and evaluated prior to matriculation.

For more information about the College Level Examination Program, including a list of exams, exam centers, and registration information, please visit www.collegeboard.com.

2. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate

Naropa University accepts both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit. AP exams with a score of 3, 4, or 5 are granted 3 semester credits each.

  • AP exams may be used to fulfill core requirements, with the exception of COR115 Writing Seminar II.
  • IB Diploma: 30 college credits and sophomore standing will be given if all six examinations received a score of 4 or above. If any exam score was under 4, 6 college credits will be given for HL scores above a 4, and 3 college credits will be given for every SL score above a 5.
  • For students who took IB courses but did not seek an IB Diploma, 3 college credits will be given for HL scores of 4 or above. No college credits will be given for SL scores.


DSST/DANTES exams are available in a wide range of topics. Naropa University grants up to 30 semester credits for all exams passed in subject areas that do not duplicate prior college course work. Naropa uses the minimum passing score recommended by the American Council on Education. See www.getcollegecredit.com for more information.

4. Military Transcripts

Naropa University also accepts transfer credit from official military transcripts.

Seeking a Second Undergraduate Degree

If you already have a bachelor’s degree conferred from another university and would like to apply for a second undergraduate degree at Naropa University, we first encourage you to explore various options in graduate study available here. If you wish to complete prerequisite courses for a graduate program, you may enroll as a non-degree-seeking student. If you do apply for a second undergraduate degree, you will be subject to the following transfer admission guidelines: 1. A maximum of 60 undergraduate transfer credits may be applied toward your second undergraduate degree. 2. You must apply to a specific major, and it cannot be the same major in which you received your first undergraduate degree; applications for undeclared majors cannot be considered. 3. The standard major/minor transfer credit policy applies.

Applicants Educated Outside the United States

Applicants (including U.S. citizens and permanent residents educated outside the United States) must have all non-U.S. records of secondary and postsecondary education evaluated by a professional evaluation service and forwarded to the Naropa Office of Admissions for evaluation with other application materials. This evaluation must be a complete course-by-course evaluation. (See International Student Admission section for a list of agencies).

Transcript Evaluations

Once an applicant is accepted to Naropa University, the Registrar’s Office will prepare a transcript evaluation, documenting all transferable credit and how it applies toward the core requirements. Naropa will transfer into the degree all possible credit from previous regionally accredited colleges and institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Upon arrival at Naropa, new students should meet with their academic advisor to review the transcript evaluation. Students must request changes to this document during their first semester at Naropa. This includes any course work or AP/IB exams taken before matriculation that may not have been sent to the Office of Admissions. After one semester, no changes may be made. 

Tuition Deposit

Once a student is accepted, a nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit of $250 must be paid by May 1 (for fall admission) or November 15 (for spring admission) to reserve a space in the program. If the applicant is accepted after these dates, the deposit must be paid within three weeks of acceptance. This deposit will be applied toward the first semester's tuition.


Students may request to defer their acceptance for up to one year. Each request for deferral is reviewed by the admissions committee and is accepted or denied on a case-by-case basis. Reasons for an acceptance of deferral would include traveling, service/volunteer work, family situations, timing, etc.

  1. Applicants must complete their application and be accepted in order to request a deferral. They may not defer their application prior to an acceptance status.
  2. Accepted students complete a deferral request form.
  3. If denied, the student may reapply for admission at another time.
  4. If approved, the student may not attend another college in the time off and must pay the confirmation deposit at the appropriate time.
  5. Students who have already paid their deposit prior to deferring must forfeit the $250.

Certificate Program

Applicants who have completed at least 60 semester credits are eligible to apply for the Traditional Eastern Arts Certificate—Yoga Teacher Training program. This program enables students to study at the undergraduate level intensively, without having to meet the 60-semester-credit residency, general education, or contemplative arts requirements. The Traditional Eastern Arts Certificate—Yoga Teacher Training program takes a minimum of two years to complete, and at least 12 semester credit hours must be taken in the field in which the certificate will be awarded. This certificate program is awarded at the discretion of individual academic programs, and financial aid may be available. Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

Changing a Major or Program

From a Certificate to an Undergraduate Program

Current students who wish to change from a certificate to an undergraduate program must have their admissions application reviewed. Additional materials may be required. Students may contact the Office of Admissions for more details.

From a Visiting Student to a Degree Student

This program is for undergraduate students who would like to spend one or two semesters at Naropa University as full-time students. Interested students should apply via the Visiting Student Application. Following acceptance, visiting students will meet with an academic advisor to choose relevant courses and discuss the full range of opportunities at Naropa. Consortium agreements may be created to allow an exchange of some financial aid. A visiting student may apply to become a degree-seeking student at Naropa after completing at least one semester as a visiting student. Application materials from the original application may be used, and no additional fee is required. This program is for full-time students only. To study at Naropa University as a visiting student for longer than a year, the student must reapply.