Application Instructions

International First-Year Student Application:
Step-by-step instructions

You may use the Common Application and the Coalition Application to apply to multiple schools. You will need to submit a separate application to each school individually. It’s easy to do. It’s free to apply to Wellesley. We do not have an application fee, as we want everyone, regardless of ability to pay, to feel they can apply.

Please carefully review the deadlines for all required credentials on Decision Plans and Deadlines.

Helpful text message service for college-bound students!
The free tool Up Next sends simple text messages that remind you of admission and financial aid deadlines. Text the word “college” to 44044 to get started. The service sends prompts to your phone with reminders. 

Step 1. Complete and submit your application.

You may use  the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the QuestBridge National College Match Application. to apply to multiple schools. To do so, you will need to submit a separate application to each school individually. It’s easy to do. 
  • Use your legal name throughout
    Schools will refer to you by the name you list as your "preferred name" on your application. Be sure to be consistent and use your legal name (as it appears on your passport or other legal documents) on all of your application materials. (This may sound obvious, but it's really important!)
  • Specify your decision plan
    Indicate your chosen decision plan for each school you apply to. Wellesley's decision plans include: ​
Early Decision Round I (binding): deadline November 1. 
Early Decision Round II (binding): deadline January 1. 
Regular Decision with Early Evaluation Option (nonbinding): deadline December 15. On your application, select the option marked Regular Decision. After selecting Regular Decision, you will be prompted by the question, "As a Regular Decision applicant do you wish to receive an Early Evaluation from the Board of Admission and notification of the probability of your admission as 'likely,' 'possible,' or 'unlikely' in late February?" Select "Yes" as your response. Your choice of Early Evaluation will be noted in our process. 
Regular Decision: January 15.
For more information, or to help decide which plan is best for you, see Decision Plans and Deadlines.
  • Write one personal essay 
    Write one personal essay to all the schools to which you apply. This essay is important, as it provides you with an excellent opportunity for reflection and for communicating to colleges what they should know about you. As you will have only one major essay to write, we hope it will represent your best efforts. (See Essay topics and tips.)
  • Complete the Wellesley- specific essay
    The required Wellesley “Writing Supplement,” asks you to respond to the following in two well-developed paragraphs.
When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley.  We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the “Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. Visit the Wellesley 100 ( and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (p.s. “Why” matters to us.)
  • Answer college-specific questions
    Answer any college-specific questions and complete any additional college-specific supplements.  Wellesley, for example, asks if any family members have a relationship to the College.

Step 2. Submit the following required high school credentials

Pay attention to deadlines for submitting credentials
These deadlines vary, depending on upon your decision plan. Communicate deadlines with your guidance counselors and the teachers who will be writing your recommendations. 

We will alert you if credentials are missing.  It's your responsibility to follow up on the status of missing credentials and to check with the Admission Office to see if they have been received.  Once we have received your application, you will be able to check the status of your credentials through your Wellesley Applicant Portal.

  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    Wellesley requires three letters of recommendation: one from the head of your school or your guidance counselor and two from academic instructors. At least one recommendation must include an evaluation of your proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English. These letters should be sent directly to the Board of Admission at Wellesley.
  • Official Transcript
    An official transcript is a certified record of the courses you have completed and the marks you received at each marking period in all schools attended during the previous four years. We need both the transcript in the original language as well as a translated version. If the school system uses a coded transcript, an explanation of the code and the marking system should be included. If you cannot obtain a transcript, a certified record of the courses you took, along with a progress report, must be submitted instead.
  • Diploma or Examination Certificates
    All applicants must submit certified photocopies of all academic diplomas and Government Examination certificates. These include GCSE ("O" level) and "A" level certificates, and appropriate documents from your home country (e.g., Indian S.S.C., Indian H.S.C., Kenyan Certificate of Education, Hong Kong Certificate of Education, Malaysian SRP, International Baccalaureate SPM, STEM, etc.). Examination certificates cannot be substituted for the required official transcript (see above) or for the required standardized tests (see below). All academic records and examination certificates must have an official seal or certification.
  • Standardized Tests
    Every applicant to Wellesley must take the standardized examinations except applicants from countries where the SAT or ACT is not administered. It is strongly recommended that international students whose native language is not English take one of our approved English proficiency exams (see below).

    Wellesley requires that applicants take the SAT or the ACT

    For frequently asked questions about standardized testing, see FAQ.

    The Wellesley code number for the ACT is 1926; the code number for the SAT is 3957. Registration forms and information describing the SAT tests may be obtained by going directly to the College Board website. If you have questions, you may contact the College Board at  866.630.9305. International callers, dial 212.520.8570.

  • English Proficiency Exams​​If English is not your native language and you have been studying in an English-based curriculum for less than five years, we strongly recommend that you take one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • Duolingo English Test
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  • Cambridge Assessment English Qualifications (C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency, or C1 Business Higher accepted)
  • InitialView
  • GTEC CBT (Global Test of English Communication Computer Based Testing)
  • How to submit credentials online
    On the online Common App, once you have selected your high school, you can list and save the names of your counselor and two teachers in the “School Forms” section. The Common App will email them with instructions on how to submit school forms (for free) online or offline in print.

3. Optional Credentials, if relevant

  • Interview
    A personal interview is not a required part of Wellesley's application process for most first-year applicants; however, we do strongly recommend it. 

    On-Campus Interview: Dates and times are typically Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and some Saturdays in the fall and spring. Learn more about interviews. Schedule an on-campus interview

Off-Campus Interview: If you cannot easily visit the campus, we will try to arrange for an interview with an alumna interviewer near your hometown. Learn more about interviews. You may request an off-campus interview beginning in early September.

  • Early Decision Agreement 
    If you are applying Early Decision Round I or Round II, please be sure to complete the Early Decision Agreement with your application. Before submitting your application, you will need to list your parent's email on the recommender page on the Common Application to ensure they sign their portion of the Early Decision Agreement.
  • Arts Supplement
    If you have a special talent in the arts, you might want to submit an Arts Supplement.  Our Art Department, Music Department, and Theatre Studies Department will accept electronic submissions of portfolios, recordings, or presentations. The appropriate department will review your material. Wellesley College does not have a Dance Department and does not review Creative Writing materials. Please do NOT submit any dance and/or creative writing supplements as they will not be evaluated.

    (1)  Please carefully follow Instructions and Guidelines as outlined by the Wellesley College Art, Music, and Theatre Studies Departments. You must submit your portfolios, recordings, or presentations electronically using SlideRoom. Please review the detailed submission instructions on the SlideRoom website.

    (2) Please note: Wellesley does NOT accept the Common Application Arts Supplement Form. Also, please do NOT mail any materials to the Admission Office. Submissions sent by mail will not be reviewed.

    (3) Applicants must submit their application to Wellesley before submitting their SlideRoom supplement. An error message will pop up on SlideRoom if you try to submit your supplement before submitting your Common Application.

  • Athletic Supplement 
    If you are an athlete or are interested in competing in Wellesley College varsity athletics (Division III), we invite you to complete the Recruiting Form for an individual sport. First, join our mailing list. Then go to Athletics. Click on "Recruit Me" on the navigation bar at the top of the page. Choose "Prospective Student-Athletes" from the drop-down menu. Select the sport you are interested in and complete the "Recruiting Form."

    Send an athletic resumé to the head coach of your sport at:

    Varsity Head Coach of (your sport)
    Wellesley College
    Keohane Sports Center
    106 Central Street
    Wellesley, MA 02481-820

Questions about the application process?

Please contact the Common Application’s help desk via email if you have functional problems with the Common Application. They typically respond within 24-48 hours. If you have questions that don’t involve working with the Common Application, please email the Admission Office at

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