High school counselor resources

Dear high school counselors,

We also know it can be challenging to keep track of colleges' distinctive qualities, deadlines, scholarship programs, and more. This page is a “one-stop shop” as you help your students navigate SPU and the application process. Please also provide us feedback if something is missing.

We are so thankful for your work. Because of you, students receive the support they need to make their college dreams a reality, and we are so glad they have you to help them make it to Seattle Pacific! 

—SPU Undergraduate Admissions

SPU Fast Facts

  • Liberal arts university
  • Ranked a "Best National University" by U.S. News and World Report
  • Private Christian university
  • Diverse student body
  • Central location in Seattle
  • Vibrant, tight-knit community


student-faculty ratio

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of SPU alumni say our academic quality met or exceeded their expectations



Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Seattle area — and SPU graduates work at them all



of SPU students complete internships and other field experience — one of the best ways to land your first job after college

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Seattle professionals in SPU's Mentor Program, ready to network and help you explore career options

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of our undergraduate student body are students from historically underrepresented groups

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of our incoming freshman class are first-generation college students



study abroad opportunities



ministries on campus and 3 weekly worship opportunities

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Varsity sports teams at the NCAA Division II level – and 9 have won national championships



student-run clubs on campus

Faith at Seattle Pacific

Founded in the Free Methodist tradition, SPU is a Christian university. All faculty and staff are committed to their Christian faith, with over 50 denominations represented. Students are not required to sign a statement of faith to attend SPU, so there is a welcome space for students who want to grow deeper in their Christian faith, for those who align with other faiths, or for those who do not practice a faith tradition at all. 

As part of SPU’s general education curriculum, students explore or grow deeper in Christian faith through three required courses. For those students wanting to pursue additional ways to grow in their Christian faith, Chapel, Bible study groups, and worship services, amongst other optional opportunities, are spaces in which students can choose to engage.

  • Seattle Pacific accepts students who are not Christian.
  • About 75% of students profess Christian faith or come from a Christian background. 
  • All faculty and staff come from Christian faith backgrounds and represent over 30 different Christian faith traditions, Protestant and Catholic.

Faith in Access: How Seattle Pacific makes applying to and affording college accessible

Application Deadlines

If you want... First year application deadline Transfer application deadline
Autumn Quarter 2024 (Early Action)* December 1, 2023 April 1, 2024 (Extended to May 15)
Autumn Quarter 2024 (Regular Extended) February 15, 2024 July 1, 2024
Winter Quarter 2024 November 15, 2023 November 15, 2023
Spring Quarter 2024 February 1, 2024 February 1, 2024
*Early Action applicants will receive priority financial aid consideration, an application fee waiver, and a fast admissions decision.
Benefits of early application
Students who apply by SPU’s Extended Early Action deadline (Nov. 15) will get their acceptance letters by January. This is a non-binding deadline and a great way to show interest in a school. If students are looking at some of our offerings like direct admission to our nursing program or our full tuition scholarship, we ask students to apply early for consideration.  

Fee waiver process
For autumn 2024, we are offering all students who apply by November 15 an application fee waiver. Here are the details on how students can take advantage of this offer!


Test optional policy
Students who are applying to being at SPU in autumn 2024 can opt out of providing SAT or ACT scores when applying for admission and scholarships. Details here.


Direct admission to majors
Students are admitted directly into open majors upon admission to the University (this includes most of our majors). Nursing and any major in our School of Business, Government, and Economics are selective, so we have a different process for students to be directly admitted as freshmen. If a student is not directly admitted, they can still apply to the program once they have taken prerequisite courses.


  • Nursing
    • We select around 100 first-year students for direct admission to nursing. More information can be found here about how students are selected.
  • School of Business, Government, and Economics
    • Criteria for direct admission:
    1. High school GPA: 3.5+ or GPA: 3.2+ and SAT (CR+M): 1200+
    2. Attendance at New Majors Dessert
    3. Only offered to freshmen starting at SPU in autumn quarter

Letters of recommendation

Recommendation letters are optional at SPU. We allow up to two recommendations if students choose to submit them. We find they are most helpful for students who have lower GPAs or challenging grade trends. For students who opt out of providing SAT or ACT scores, we strongly recommend they provide us with two recommendations (with at least one being academic).

We know you’re busy! Recommendations can be short and can even be in bullet form. Some items we could look for in a recommendation:

  • Personality and uniqueness of the student
  • An idea of what they will bring to our community
  • Excitement and motivation to learn
  • Explanation for poor grades
  • Explanation or concern for disciplinary actions
  • Ability to overcome challenges: Do they seek out help, change behavior, use resources, etc.?


High school counselors can mail an official transcript in a sealed envelope to our office. You can also submit electronically through the application or you can email an official copy directly to admissions@spu.edu.

What we look for in applicants

We do a holistic application review, but we do look for a few specific things.

Some of the components of our holistic review:

  • Academics: We look at types of courses, grade improvements over the four years of high school, challenge of courses based on what is offered at the school, and overall cumulative unweighted GPA. View suggested course sequence.
  • Mission fit: We look for students who are energized by our vision to engage the culture and change the world, and who want to make a difference in their communities. We evaluate this by their essays and optional interviews and recommendations.
  • Engagement: Has the student reached out to us, tried to attend events, and/or showed interest?
  • Improvement: If there have been poor grades or a season of poor grades, we look for an explanation about the circumstances and how the student took steps to improve.