DePaul Admissions: The SAT Scores, ACT Scores, and GPA You Need to Get In

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DePaul University, located in Chicago, is perfect for anyone looking to live in a truly amazing city. Its central Lincoln Park campus is close to downtown, Lake Michigan, and a million other gems Chicago has to offer.

As an alumnus, I may be a teeny bit biased, but I genuinely loved going to school there. Most importantly, I received an excellent education and thoroughly enjoyed my classes.

DePaul University is currently ranked #125 in national universities and is considered relatively easy to get into. That said, you’ll still need to meet their requirements and be prepared for rigorous academics if you want to call yourself a blue demon.

We’ll give you the complete rundown on how to get into DePaul, but first, here are some quick DePaul Admissions Statistics.

DePaul Admissions Statistics at a Glance

DePaul SAT scores (average composite score of admitted students)No longer required, but historically 1187 out of 1600
DePaul ACT scores (average composite score of admitted students)
No longer required, but historically 25 out of 36
DePaul GPA (average of admitted students)
3.6 out of 4.0
DePaul’s acceptance Rate
About 67%

Now that you have a general sense of what you’ll need to get into DePaul, let’s take a look at closer look at all of their requirements.

Standardized Tests at DePaul University

The ACT and the SAT are now completely optional when applying to DePaul University. The admissions board is aiming for a more holistic evaluation of applications, and will prioritize grades over test scores moving forward.

You can read more about DePaul’s decision to become test-optional in 2012, but the school has stressed that doing so encourages both diversity and academic prestige.

This is also a great FAQ page about standardized tests at DePaul that addresses many of the questions you may have about applying test-optional. Keep in mind that you’re more than welcome to submit your test scores if you’d like them to be part of your application.

Because you may choose to submit test scores to DePaul, next we’ll go over exactly what SAT and ACT scores you’ll need to get in.

DePaul SAT Scores

Historically, the average composite SAT score at DePaul is 1187, which is considered fairly competitive.

In terms of your actual chances of getting in with a given SAT score, it’s best to consider percentiles:

  • The 25th percentile for DePaul SAT scores is 1080
  • The 75th percentile for DePaul SAT scores is 1290

Okay, but what does this actually mean? It means that a score of 1080 or below will place you below average compared to other students who are admitted to DePaul. On the other hand, if you score a 1290 or above, you’ll be above average.

In other words, you’ll want to aim for a 1290 or above if you intend to submit SAT scores to DePaul.

As far as the percentiles for the individual sections of the SAT, they shake out like this:

SAT SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite 118710801290

Remember that if you’re applying with test scores, you’ll want them to be competitive, so aim for the 75th percentile in each category and you’ll be in good shape.

One last thing to know about submitting your SAT scores to DePaul is that SAT Essay is not required, but is optional as well.

DePaul ACT Scores

The average composite ACT score of students accepted to DePaul is 25, but again, percentiles tell us more about what you’ll actually need to for a competitive application.

The ACT percentiles are as follows:

  • The 25th percentile for DePaul ACT scores is 22
  • The 75th percentile for DePaul ACT scores is 28
  • A 22 or lower will put you below average compared to other applicants and a 28 or higher will put you above average.

    So your sweet spot to aim for if you’re applying with ACT scores is 28.

    If you’re taking the ACT it’s also good to know that you control which results get sent to DePaul. This means you take the test as many times as necessary to get a competitive score you are happy with!

    Also, the Writing test is optional, even if you do choose to submit your ACT scores.

    Average DePaul GPA

    The average high school GPA of students admitted to DePaul University is 3.6, which is pretty competitive. As mentioned earlier, DePaul’s admissions board looks most closely at your grades (reflected by your GPA), so this is where you’ll want to focus your attention if you want to get into DePaul.

    A cumulative GPA of 3.6 is a B+ average, reflecting mostly A’s and B’s, and possibly a C or two (if all of your other grades are very high).

    High grades in honors, AP, and/or IB classes will make you application stand out, and depending on how your GPA is calculated at your high school, will raise your overall GPA. A’s in challenging classes show the admissions board that you are ready for the academic rigor of college.

    As far as your chances of getting into DePaul with various GPAs:

    High School GPADePaul Freshman Scoring Within This Range
    3.50 to 3.75
    3.25 to 3.50
    3.00 to 3.25
    2.75 to 3.00
    2.50 to 2.75
    2.25 to 2.50
    2.00 to 2.25

    As you can see, your chances of getting admitted drop significantly with a GPA below 3.75, and again below 3.50. So if you’re applying to DePaul with a lower GPA, you’ll want to be a good test-taker and submit your ACT and/or SAT scores as well.

    One last thing to keep in mind about your GPA is that it’s very hard to change after your sophomore year, so you’ll want to get good grades early on and keep them up over the course of your high school career.

    DePaul Acceptance Rate

    DePaul University’s acceptance rate is about 65%, which is pretty high. But as you’ll notice, some of the application requirements (specifically GPA) are fairly competitive, meaning you’ll have to meet or exceed them to get in.

    In short, while DePaul offers admissions to a large pool of students annually, their standards for those students are consistently high.

    It remains to be seen how the test-optional policy will affect DePaul’s acceptance rate long-term, but the goal is to attract the best, brightest, and most well-rounded students possible.

    DePaul’s Freshman Profile

    This is a very useful overview of freshman enrollment for the class of 2022, which constitutes the most recent information out there.

    Perhaps most noteworthy, DePaul is a highly diverse university, with students of color comprising 44% of the class of 2022.

    Per the freshman enrollment report linked above there are:

    • 1,342 Caucasian students
    • 557 Hispanic/Latino students
    • 243 Asian students
    • 164 African-American students
    • 168 students from multiracial/non-Hispanic backgrounds
    • 45 students from other/unreported backgrounds
    • 51 international students
    • 2 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students
    • 3 American Indian/Alaska Native students

    Additionally, 33% of this incoming class are first generation students, meaning the first in their families to attend college! Of that group of students, 45% come from the suburbs of Chicago.

    DePaul Admissions Requirements

    Here’s a to-the-point application checklist for undergraduate applicants:

    • An online application
    • Your ACT or SAT scores (included on your transcript or sent directly from a testing agency), unless you are applying test-optional
    • Answers to a series of short questions if you’re applying test-optional
    • Records of your Advanced Placement test scores and credit, if you have earned it
    • Your complete high school transcripts along with a school counselor recommendation form

    FAQs About DePaul Admissions

    How do I get into DePaul’s Theatre School?

    DePaul’s Theatre School is highly prestigious and therefore competitive. Here is a great FAQ page about the Theatre School that can help you through the application process.

    Does DePaul use the Common App?

    If you are applying for early action or for Fall of 2019 or beyond, you can use the Common App, short for the Common Application to apply to DePaul University. Keep in mind that as part of this application, you will have to complete a Common App essay. Here’s more information on how to write an outstanding Common App essay that will help make your application shine.

    Does DePaul require letters of recommendation?

    Besides the required letter of recommendation from your counselor, you are not required to submit any additional letters. However, if you’d like to, you may submit up to 3 additional letters of recommendation, which can help create a clearer (and more impressive) picture of you as a candidate. Check out this handy guide to asking for a letter of recommendation for college!

    How to Get Into DePaul University

    So after everything we’ve gone over, here’s our short and sweet advice for ensuring entrance into DePaul University:

    • Earn a GPA of 3.75 or higher
    • Score a 1290 or higher on the SAT (if you’re submitting SAT scores)
    • Score a 28 or higher on the ACT (if you’re submitting ACT scores)
    • Write a strong, thoughtful, polished Common App essay
    • Write strong, thoughtful, polished responses to the application questions if you are applying test-optional
    • Provide extra letters of recommendation from teachers who know you well and can speak to your academic ability, growth, potential, and character
    • Participate in plenty of extracurricular activities

    And of course, if you plan to take the SAT and/or ACT, you want to start prepping early! Check out our 1-week SAT free trial and 1-week ACT free trial to get you started!

    Happy studying and good luck!

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    • Nadyja Von Ebers

      Nadyja von Ebers is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. Nadyja holds an MA in English from DePaul University and has taught English and at the high school and college levels for twelve years. She has a decade of experience teaching preparation for the AP exams, the SAT, and the ACT, among other tests. Additionally, Nadyja has worked as an academic advisor at college level and considers herself an expert in all things related to college-prep. She’s applied her college expertise to posts such as UCLA Admissions: The SAT Scores, ACT Scores, and GPA You Need to Get in and A Family Guide to College Admissions. Nadyja loves helping students reach their maximum potential and thrives in both literal and virtual classrooms. When she's not teaching, she enjoys reading and writing for pleasure and loves spending time in or near the ocean. You can connect with her on LinkedIn!

    By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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