Admission to Centre is selective. Centre College typically enrolls students who have completed strong college preparatory high school programs and have achieved good academic records in their course work. Though most admitted students present high school programs that include more college preparatory courses, including honors and advanced-level work, the minimum preparation required for admission to Centre includes the following: English—4 units, Mathematics—4 units (Algebra I and II, geometry, and at least one advanced math course), Science—2 units (laboratory courses), Social studies—2 units Global language—2 units, the arts—some study in this area. If the “core” courses above are not available, or if unusual circumstances such as home study or international travel preclude such study, the Admission Committee may choose to exercise flexibility. 

While the quality of the student’s high school program and their level of achievement are the primary factors in admission decisions here, we also examine several other elements of the application. Centre has adopted a test optional admission policy for those applying for 2023. If a student chooses to apply without submitting test scores, other parts of the application will be weighted more heavily in our holistic, student-centered review process. Students who choose not to submit test scores will still receive full consideration for merit and premier scholarships. Students may choose to submit test scores. If standardized ACT or SAT scores are submitted, the highest score attained on either test is used in the admission decision. Centre uses the highest combination of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math scores to calculate an SAT total score. Similarly, we combine a student's highest ACT section scores to calculate a new composite score. Centre requires a written personal statement on a provided topic. A secondary school evaluation prepared by the applicant's high school counselor is required. Additionally, one written recommendation is required from a teacher who has taught the student in a college preparatory course during the junior or senior year. Supplementary recommendations from a coach, employer, etc. may be submitted. We also evaluate the student’s personal commitments in areas such as school activities, athletics, fine arts, community groups, part-time work, and domestic duties. An interview is not a requirement for admission, but we strongly recommend an admission conversation to ensure that there is a good match between the student’s interests and talents and Centre’s academic and non-academic offerings. 

Centre accepts the Common Application as its only official application form, which is available to students the summer prior to entering senior year. A brief written supplement is required and is included on the Common Application. Students may submit the Common Application online at and there is no application fee. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as they have decided that Centre is one of their choices. Students may apply in one of three ways: Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision. Centre College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran’s status, citizenship status, or genetic information in its admission process. The college admits its students on the basis of preparation, achievement, qualification, and character.

Early Decision

Students who believe Centre is their first-choice college and who are prepared to make an early commitment to Centre may apply Early Decision (ED) by November 15. Early Decision candidates pledge to enroll if they are admitted, provided they receive a financial aid award that makes attendance possible. Applicants will receive admission and scholarship decisions by January 1 and financial aid notification in early January. Admitted ED students submit an enrollment deposit by February 1 and will withdraw their applications to any other colleges at the point of making an enrollment deposit.

Early Action

Students who want an early evaluation of their application may apply under our Early Action plan. If a student submits all the required admission application pieces by December 1 of their senior year and indicates that they would like to be considered under the Early Action plan, we will evaluate the application early and send our official admission decision by mid-January. There is no obligation for the student to make a college choice at that time, as the required response date is the same as for regular applicants—May 1 of the senior year (the National Candidate’s Reply Date). Students receive their financial aid package in February.

Regular Decision

The Regular Decision deadline is January 15. Students must submit their applications by January 15. They can expect to receive notification of admission by mid-March, and admitted students must notify the College of their college choice by May 1 (the National Candidate's Reply Date). Students receive their financial aid package in March.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit

In general, we view all coursework completed before high school graduation as preparation for a rigorous, four-year academic experience at Centre, not as a substitute for courses on our campus. However, we do recognize credit earned through two internationally-recognized programs. Through the Advanced Placement program of the College Board, Centre awards a minimum of three hours of credit for scores of 4 or 5 on most Advanced Placement exams taken in the junior and/or senior years of high school. Credit for global language requires validation by the College's own language placement exam. Academic programs may award additional credit and assign course equivalencies. 

Centre also recognizes the International Baccalaureate program and will generally grant college credit for exam scores of 6 or 7 earned on the higher-level exams. Credit may be awarded for a grade of 5 or higher on the higher-level exams in global languages. Regardless of credit granted, individual major programs have the prerogative to place students in an appropriate course, to waive lower-level requirements, and to determine equivalencies to courses in their curriculum. 

Credit may be granted for appropriate courses appearing on a college transcript provided the course is taught in a classroom on a college campus, by a college instructor who is not also a high school instructor, in a class that includes college students who are not also high school students. Students wishing to transfer college credits earned prior to enrollment at Centre must have those courses approved for transfer in advance by Centre’s registrar. 

NOTE: A maximum of 24 hours of pre-matriculation credits may be awarded to first-year students from all sources (e.g., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual-credit, all other college credit). Credit is not awarded for any course or exam completed prior to the start of the junior year in high school.

Admission of Transfer Students

We welcome applications from qualified students who want to transfer from other colleges or universities. Transfer applications are evaluated using the following criteria: the quality of academic performance in previous college courses; the level of preparation and academic achievement in secondary school; academic aptitude and achievement as measured by such tests as the ACT or SAT if they choose to submit standardized scores but they may apply as test optional; and a written essay. Personal commitments, involvement in school or community activities, employment, or domestic duties are also considered. Any transfer student should be in good academic and social standing at their previous institution and be eligible to return there. Normally, the student should have had high school preparation equivalent to Centre’s regular admission requirements. Credit is given for courses comparable to those taught at Centre or those which are compatible with a liberal arts education. Credit will be granted only for courses in which the grade attained was “C-” or better. Transfer students must complete all of the College’s requirements for graduation. In addition, they must complete at least 54 credit hours at Centre, including 23 of the last 30. A portion of Centre’s general education requirements may be required through course work at Centre.

International Students

Centre welcomes applications from international citizens who have outstanding secondary school records and who meet university entrance requirements in their native countries. International students should apply for admission via the Common Application ( International students may be considered for competitive merit scholarships and for limited need-based financial aid. International applicants whose primary language of instruction is not English must present credentials attesting to their proficiency in English. Proficiency may be demonstrated the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the DET (Duolingo English Test). Our required minimum for the TOEFL is 90, the IELTS is 7.0, and the DET is 115. English proficiency can also be demonstrated by a) strong performance on the reading/writing sections of the SAT or ACT, or b) strong performance in a curriculum taught in English. Students who are proficient in English who believe they should be exempt from submitting an English proficiency test may submit an English proficiency test waiver request. Additional instructions for international students are on the College’s admission web pages.

Campus Visits

We strongly encourage prospective students to visit the campus, either for an open house event or a daily visit. A weekday visit during the academic year will typically include touring the campus with a Centre student, meeting with an admission counselor, and attending a class or meeting with an appropriate faculty or staff member. Airport pick-ups in Lexington and Louisville are also available. The Admission Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday all year and by appointment on selected Saturdays from September through April from 10 a.m. until noon. Visits should be scheduled in advance through the College’s website. Centre also offers a variety of virtual resources that prospective students may explore to become better acquainted with Centre. Virtual resources may be found on Centre's website.