Admission Information

Houghton seeks to admit students who appear capable of success. The Office of Admission carefully reviews each application, including transcripts, standardized test scores, Christian character recommendation and other supporting documents.


Houghton College admits students of any race, color, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or handicap in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The college reserves the right to operate as a church-related institution and to develop policies consistent with the religious tenets of its sponsoring denomination, The Wesleyan Church.

Application Forms

A student will be considered for admission after all parts of the application are received, including the signed completed application form, a Christian character recommendation, high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores and the application fee. While Canadian applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores, doing so is recommended for those seeking scholarship consideration or admission to the Houghton Honors Programs.

Application forms are available from the Office of Admission, Houghton College, Houghton, NY 14744. E-mail; Web; phone: 800.777.2556.

Application Deadlines

The Office of Admission responds to applications for admission on a rolling basis. Students applying before December 1st will receive priority consideration for scholarships.

An accepted applicant is asked to confirm his or her intention to enroll by paying a $300 enrollment deposit by May 1, thereby reserving a place in the entering class.

Applications for spring semester admission must be received by December 1.

Application Fee

A $40 nonrefundable application fee is normally charged on all applications. The application fee will be waived for students who regularly attend a Wesleyan Church or for students who submitted their application by the advertised fee waiver dates.

Music Majors

Music majors must apply separately to, and audition for, The Greatbatch School of Music. Music applications can be obtained from The Greatbatch School of Music or completed online (no additional application fee). Email; phone: 800.777.2556, ext. 4000; Web site.

Houghton Honors Program Admission

Upon admission to Houghton, selected students will be invited to apply for admission to the Houghton Honors Programs on the basis of their academic profile. The Admission Office will begin the formal invitation process for the program in early November, continuing through early January. Finalists and their parents will be invited to campus for an interview weekend.

Decisions regarding admission to the programs will be made by late March. Approximately 75 students will be admitted to the programs annually. A student’s intended major is not a factor in the selection.

For further information please contact the Admission Office or click on this link: Admission Web site.

Recommended High School Courses

Houghton regards quality high school achievement as more important than the specific alignment of courses; however, the following are beneficial in academic preparation for college:

  • English -- 4 years
  • Foreign Language -- at least 2 years
  • Mathematics -- 3 years
  • History or Social Science -- at least 3 years
  • Science -- at least 2 years

Entrance Examinations

Applicants must take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I) of the College Entrance Examination Board or the Test Battery of the American College Testing Program (ACT) in their junior or senior year of high school. SAT subject tests are not required.

When considering the SAT, Houghton College will primarily focus attention on the traditional critical reading and math sections of the exam. Writing section scores will be considered, both for admission and scholarship purposes, but will not carry the same weight as the other two sections. The same is true for the optional ACT Writing Test.

Information regarding the SAT may be obtained from College Board. ACT information may be found at ACT.

Houghton’s institution code numbers are: 2299 for SAT; 2766 for ACT.

International Students

Application requirements for International Students may be found on our Web site or by contacting the Director of Admission.

Students from non-English speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540, and see that these scores are forwarded to the college. Students with a paper-based TOEFL score of 550 or higher, an Internet-based score of 80 or higher, or a computer-based score of 213 or higher may be offered admission provided that all other factors are acceptable.

High School Equivalency

Under some circumstances, an applicant may be considered for admission on the basis of adequate scores on the New York State High School Equivalency examination or on the USAF high school equivalency test of General Education Development, High School Level. In order to qualify for such consideration, he or she must earn a composite score of 2500 or higher with no individual test score below 450. A student who has completed three years of high school may be accepted and then be eligible for a high school diploma from New York state upon the successful completion of 24 semester hours at Houghton. Students who are considering leaving high school early should consult with the Houghton College admission and student financial services offices. In some situations, students who attend college full-time before completing high school are not eligible for financial aid.

Advanced Placement Tests

Advanced course standing and/or college credit may be granted to students who take the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement (AP) Tests. These are given in May to students who have taken high school courses equivalent to first-year college courses. For the current list of approved tests and applications of credit, please see Academic Records.

Inquiry concerning these tests should be made to the high school guidance office or to Advanced Placement Program, College Entrance Examination Board.


College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests for advanced placement and/or credit may be taken at Houghton College. Only subject examinations will be accepted from CLEP. Guidelines for the transfer of credit via CLEP can be found at Guidelines.

Students may test for credit by CLEP at the beginning level of a foreign language provided the testing is done prior to the completion of the level 205 foreign language course, and at the intermediate level provided the testing is done prior to the completion of the first advanced course. Standard fees will apply for CLEP tests taken on campus. More information on CLEP exams may be obtained from the Academic Records Office, the Center for Academic Success and Advising Office, or College Board.


Students who have withdrawn from Houghton College and wish to return must re-apply for admission and ensure that the college receives transcripts for any college work taken in the interim. Re-admission is not automatic, but is based on the student’s entire academic record, previous Houghton involvement, and other life circumstances since leaving Houghton.


Houghton College welcomes applications from homeschooled students. Approximately 40-50 students each year come to the college from a homeschool background.

Houghton does not recommend any particular curricular program. Homeschoolers who submit work to a distance learning program (i.e. Christian Liberty Satellite Academy) should have that organization send a transcript. Otherwise, families should provide information regarding academic work and related activities for the ninth-12th grade years. A reading list may also be submitted. The admission page of the Houghton College Web site features a sample curricular template, and other useful information for homeschool families.

New York residents wishing to receive state need-based financial aid (NY State TAP) must demonstrate the “Ability to Benefit” (ATB) from higher education. Presently, the SAT and ACT are not acceptable ATB tests. A GED or high school diploma (from a school registered with the state of New York) is acceptable, as are passing scores on one of several basic skills tests. A letter attesting to educational equivalency from a local public high school official will also meet the ATB requirement. The following link provides helpful information regarding ATB requirements for homeschooled students.

Homeschoolers who have taken college courses should send official transcripts of that work to Houghton.

Part-time Students

Individuals who wish to take a class as a part-time student must complete a special student application form, which can be obtained through the admission office. Similarly, high school students (and homeschoolers) who wish to take a class prior to graduating from high school must complete the high school student application form, which can be obtained through the admission office. Students must have completed their sophomore year in order to take a class at the college. Certain other stipulations and restrictions may apply; please contact the admission office for further details.