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Oberlin, OhioLOCATION
Estd 1833Established Year

Oberlin College & Conservatory 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Vidushi Vidushi
Study Abroad Expert

Oberlin College and Conservatory admissions are very selective with an acceptance rate of 34%. Founded in 1833, it is a world-class conservatory and a first-rate art museum all on a single campus and students coming from nearly 43 countries and 47 states. The college is ranked at #33 in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges and is among the best Liberal Arts colleges in the US

With over 807 first year students, 47 double degree students and considering the remaining stats for the Fall 2019 enrollments, Oberlin had over 837 students enrolled. It offers Diploma, Bachelor’s, Post Bachelor’s certificate and Master’s and Double-Degree programs.

Oberlin College offers a number of programs across various disciplines, one amongst those being the College of Arts and Sciences providing a wide range of majors, most popular being Music, Political Science, Biological and Biomedical Sciences amongst others. It offers a diverse, yet balanced curriculum involving humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics. 

Oberlin Conservatory of Music provides majors ranging from historical performance to electronic music, transforming talented undergraduate musicians into disciplined professionals. The provision of Double Degree enables students to earn degrees from both the college and the conservatory. About 40 students are a part of the Double Degree Program each year. 

22% students admitted into the College of Arts and Science ranked in top 1%, 49% of the class ranked in top 5%, indicating their academic excellence. Oberlin fosters the values of sustainability, diversity, service and traditions.

Oberlin has an early decision acceptance rate of 49%. The average freshman retention rate portraying student satisfaction is 90%.

51% of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid, average scholarship or grant being 40,459 USD with an average tuition fee of 55,976 USD. Merit based scholarships are offered if the applicants meet the required scores in various standardized exams.

  • Average ACT scores: 31- 34
  • SAT Evidence based reading and writing: 670-750
  • SAT math average: 670-780
  • Graduate programs are limited and are only offered by the conservatory


Application PortalDirectly on the University Website
Application Fee100 USD
Acceptance Rate34%
Mode of PaymentCredit Card
SAT ScoreMath: 670-780
EBRW: 670-750
ACT Score31-34
SAT Code1587
ACT Code3304
Academic CalendarSemester wise
International AdmissionsJosh Whitson
440-775-8462 | 440-775-6848|

The admission and application process for both the colleges are different. College of Arts and Sciences, and Conservatory of Music are discussed separately:

Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences

Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences is #5 Forbes’ top colleges in the Midwest offering 47+ majors, 175+ student organizations and 9:1 student/faculty ratio. They provide first year students with a ‘First Year Seminar Program, which gets them acquainted with the learning resources amongst other course and college details.

Application Deadlines

StepsEarly Decision IEarly Decision IIRegular Decision
Application DeadlineNovember 15January 2January 15
Financial Aid DeadlineNovember 15January 2January 15
NotificationDecember 15February 1April 1
Reply/Deposit Due*January 2February 15May 1

*A 300 USD matriculation deposit is required to secure a student’s place in the incoming class.

Undergraduate (First Year) Applicants Requirements for International Applicants

  • School Report with official transcript (of courses, grades and exam marks) to be completed by a secondary school counselor.
  • Two academic Teacher Evaluations.
  • International Certification of Finances Form.
  • English Language Proficiency Requirements : To satisfy these, TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo’s English Test (DET).

Transfer Applicants Admissions

  • College Official’s Report to be completed by the Dean of Students at the current university.
  • International Transfer Student Midterm Report Form if final grades do not appear on an official transcript.

Application Deadlines (Transfer)

For transfer students applications are accepted in Fall, Spring.

StepsRegular DecisionEarly Decision IEarly Decision IIIntl. Transfer (Fall Entry)
Common ApplicationJan. 15Nov. 15Jan. 2March 15
NotificationApril 1Dec. 15Feb. 1May 1
Reply/Deposit DueMay 1Jan. 2Feb. 152 weeks after acceptance

Applications for Early Decision are accepted two times a year; whereas Regular Decision are accepted only once a year

Oberlin College has moved to a test-optional model starting with the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, continuing through 2022-2023 application year. Therefore, SAT and ACT test score submission will be accepted, but will not be required.

Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Oberlin Conservatory of Music provides 42 areas of private study, 1,500 owned instruments, with 500+ performances per year. Oberlin sponsors around 500 concerts on campus every year, which include recitals by more than 25 student ensembles and master classes by guest artists. The Conservatory of Music also offers Artist Diploma and Masters in specific disciplines.

Undergraduate Admissions

Application Portal: Complete the Common Application and add Oberlin Conservatory of Music to the college list.

Application Fee: 100 USD

Within 24 hours of submitting the Common Application, an e-mail inviting the student to the online Application Portal will be sent, which contains the required application forms and Audition and Screening Dropbox.

Required documents

  • Audition/Interview Request
  • Musical Background and Selection Information
  • Composition, TIMARA, and Jazz Studies Supplement (if applicable)
  • Music Teacher Recommendation Request
  • Audition dates and requirements will be available on the Auditions & Interviews webpage.
  • Other requirements include
    • Music Teacher Recommendation
    • Academic Transcripts
    • Secondary School Report
    • Standardized Test Results – SAT or ACT Test Scores will be accepted, but not required. TOEFL or IELTS for International Applicants.
  • Digital Photo
  • Passport Photo Page for International Applicants
  • Confidential Transfer Report for Transfer Applicants
  • Certification of Finances for International Applications
  • Music Theory Exam

Applications Deadlines

Common ApplicationDecember 1
Audition/Interview Request FormDecember 4
Music Background FormDecember 4
Music Teacher Recommendation RequestDecember 4
Screening Materials (If applicable)December 4
Supporting Application Materials*Up to 2 weeks after submission of Common Application
Music Theory ExamFebruary 15
Financial Aid MaterialsJanuary 15
NotificationApril 1
Reply/Deposit Due**May 1

**A 300 USD matriculation deposit is required to secure the student’s place in the incoming class.

Some Double-Degree students in recent years have studied piano performance and arts, composition and computer science, violin and environmental studies to name a few. Students who wish to enter the Double Degree Program are required to apply separately to each division: College of Arts and Science and Conservatory of Music.

Visa Requirements

All admitted international students need to obtain an F-1 or J-1 student visa to be able to study at Oberlin College and Conservatory. To do so, a visa document (I-20 or DS-2019) will be issued by the university. Applicants must:

  • Meet all academic requirements to be accepted for study
  • Provide evidence of sufficient funds
  • Provide bank statements, sponsorship forms and so on
  • Provide a copy of the passport

After obtaining this document, applicants must meet and schedule a visa interview at the nearest embassy.

In the current Covid situation, Oberlin College is moving courses online along with offering a variety of learning opportunities for the current and future students. Students will experience a virtual visit to Oberlin through live Q&A sessions, virtual class visits and webinars hosted by faculty and staff panelists. Oberlin being one of the fastest colleges to shift to online medium and not only change in medium but also providing alteration of courses to aid students’ learning.

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