Undergraduate Admission

In keeping with its philosophy of contemplative education, Naropa University values and seeks to foster an individual’s aspiration to contribute to the world with understanding and compassion. When making admission decisions, the admissions committee considers academic background, connection to Naropa’s unique mission, and readiness to engage in contemplative, experiential college work. A student’s transcript, essay, and letter of recommendation play important roles in the admissions process.

Priority 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.

The Office of Admissions strongly encourages applicants to apply online. If an applicant submits a paper application, we request that all transcripts and the letter of recommendation be sent to the applicant in sealed envelopes, and that the entire application should be sent to the Office of Admissions.

October 15 is the priority deadline for spring semester admission.

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

  1. Completed application form.
  2. $50 nonrefundable fee in the form of a check or money order payable to “Naropa University” or an online credit card payment. The applicant’s name must be clearly indicated on the check.
  3. Statement of Interest (must be typed).
  4. Official high school transcript(s) for applicants.
  5. Official copy 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 (see #4).
  6. Official college 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).
  7. Letter of recommendation from a teacher or someone who knows the applicant well other than a family member, significant other, or current or former therapist.
  8. A phone or in-person interview is optional for all applicants.
  9. Submission of creative work—poetry, art slides, music—is optional.
  10. Test scores: Original score reports for the ACT and/or SAT tests are optional. Naropa University’s ACT code is 4853; SAT code is 0908.

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 with a Probationary status and fall under the oversight of Naropa College during their first semester. These students 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 21 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 the unique development and vibrancy of the Living and Learning Communities. ALL University Housing at Snow Lion and 2333 Arapahoe are alcohol-free and drug-free living environments.

Residency Requirements

Students can enter Naropa as an undeclared student or can declare a major. Each major has designated prerequisite courses for that particular area of study. Students are encouraged to take those prerequisites at the earliest opportunity if interested in pursuing a particular major. Please see the details for specific majors to learn more. Of the 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. 

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, 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. With the exception of Interdisciplinary Studies, up to six transfer credits may be used to count toward major requirements. Up to nine transfer credits can be used to fulfill the Interdisciplinary Studies major requirements. See specific majors for more information on major requirements. No transfer credit will be used toward minor requirements.

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

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

Students with prior bachelor's degrees will begin their Naropa studies with zero credits.

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 possibilities:

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 transfers in credit from an official military transcript.

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 advisors to approve 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 a certificate in Yoga Teacher Training. 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 Yoga Studies 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

A visiting student may apply to become a degree-seeking student at Naropa after spending a semester or year as a visiting student. Application materials from the previous application may be used, and no additional fee is required. The student must complete any supplemental application materials required by the program. Admission is not guaranteed. If accepted, the student needs to pay another $250 confirmation deposit.