Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Policy

Eckerd College seeks to admit students of various backgrounds, ethnic and national origins who are prepared to gain from the educational challenge they will encounter at the College while also contributing to the overall quality of campus life. Admission decisions are made after a careful review of each applicant’s aptitudes, achievements, and character. When you apply, we will look at your academic performance. For First-Year students and some transfer students we will also consider your performance on the college entrance examinations (ACT or SAT), if provided. Students are not required to submit standardized test scores in order to be considered for admission or scholarship.

SAT II’s are not required. Your potential for personal and academic development and positive contribution to the campus community is important, and we will look closely at your personal essay, record of activities, and recommendations from your counselors and/or teachers.

First-Year Admission Policy

Students who have earned their high school diploma or its equivalent without completing any post-secondary coursework may apply as a first-year student.

First year students considering Eckerd College should have taken a college preparatory curriculum. The College’s preference is for students who have taken four units of English, three or more units each of mathematics, sciences, and social studies, and at least two units of a world language. Although no single criterion is used as a determinant for acceptance and there are no automatic “cutoff” points, the great majority of students who gain admission to Eckerd College have a high school average of B+ or better in their college preparatory courses, and those who choose to submit standardized test scores place in the top 25 percent of college-bound students taking the ACT or SAT.

First-year students may apply under our Early Action or Regular Decision process. Early Action applicants must have a completed application and supporting materials sent to the Admission Office by November 15. Notification of admission status will be postmarked by December 15. Applications completed after November 15 will have regular decision notification delivered on a rolling basis.

Transfer Admission Policy

Eckerd College welcomes students from other colleges, universities, junior and community colleges that have earned regional accreditation. A transfer student is defined as anyone who has taken post-secondary courses after receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent. There is no minimum number of courses required to be considered a transfer student. Applicants are expected to be in good academic and social standing at the institution last attended and eligible to return to that institution.

Transfer student applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in October and continuing through the academic year for the following fall. Students considering mid-year admission for winter term (January) are advised to complete application procedures by December 1. Applicants for fall entry should complete procedures by August 1.


What are your minimum requirements for GPA and test scores?

We do not have minimum requirements. Admission to Eckerd College is based on past academic performance, aptitude, intellectual potential, character, special talent, leadership, range of interests, emotional maturity, and potential for personal development. Students admitted to Eckerd generally have earned B+ averages or higher in academic subjects in high school. Most first-year students come from the top 20 percent of their high school classes.

The average GPA of the recent incoming class was 3.6 on a 4.0 scale.

The middle 50 percent of the recent incoming class scored:

  • SAT: 1100-1300
  • ACT: 23-28

Students are not required to submit standardized test scores in order to be considered for admission or scholarship.

What is your test optional policy?

Eckerd College does not require SAT or ACT scores for consideration.

Test scores are not required for our academic or merit-based scholarships. Students who wish, may share their scores with the College and those scores will be evaluated as part of the application for admission.

How will the college evaluate or use two or more sets of SAT/ACT scores?

If test scores are submitted, Eckerd will superscore to create your best possible composite score. We accept either the ACT or the SAT and use the test on which you scored higher.

Do you accept self-reported test scores?

Yes. To support access to all applicants and reduce submission barriers, Eckerd will accept self-reported test scores directly from a PDF submitted by the applicant or school counselor.

What credentials must be submitted to properly complete an application?

  • Application for admission. Students may apply using the Eckerd Online Application, or the Common App. There is no preference regarding application choice.
  • $50 application fee
  • One counselor or teacher recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal essay

Are high school honors, AP, or IB courses weighted in favor of the grade point average?

Advanced standing classes (AP, IB, AICE) are weighted as we view transcripts and GPA. Honors courses do not receive numerical weight, although they are looked upon favorably when considering the challenge of an applicant’s coursework.

Is there a prescribed curriculum you need to complete in high school for admission?

The encouraged curriculum is:

  • At Least Four Years of English
  • At Least Three Years of Math
  • At Least Three Years of Science
  • At Least Three Years of Social Sciences
  • At Least Two Years of World Language

Is an interview required for admission?

An interview is not required but encouraged for high school seniors who have not yet applied to Eckerd. Interviews for juniors are conducted when there is availability. Phone and regional/off-campus interviews are also available as an alternative for those who are unable to come to campus. If you would like to schedule a phone or regional interview, please contact your admission counselor.

If I plan to graduate early, do you have any special requirements?

Students who plan to graduate after their junior year of high school will be considered for admission to Eckerd.  They will be requested to interview with an Admission Counselor to discuss their preparation and path to college.  These students will also be required to submit their Fall Semester grades of their junior year before a decision is made. In order to be eligible to live on campus, students must be at least 17 years of age.

How long does it take to process an application and when will the acceptance letter be mailed?

Typically, the process takes about four weeks once the application is complete; files needing committee review may take longer. An additional letter, detailing an admitted student’s merit-based scholarship, is sent with the admission decision.

When do you need to have my final decision, and how do I commit to Eckerd?

Once you have made your final decision, you can reply to your offer of admission within your Eckerd College portal. If you choose to attend Eckerd, you must submit your $400 enrollment deposit within your portal, on our dedicated deposit page or by sending a check along with the reservation form that is included with your acceptance letter. The enrollment deposit is due May 1st. This deposit will be credited to your account and deducted from your fees at the time of registration. Deposits are refundable until May 1st.

Can I take a gap year?

Eckerd College supports students taking a gap year to enrich themselves academically through travel, internships, volunteer work or other interests. Students pursuing a gap year may request a deferral of their enrollment for up to one year. A student who has been accepted for admission must submit a statement in writing which explains their plans during the time of deferral. Requests should be addressed to the Dean of Admission and must be approved on or before May 1 for students admitted for Autumn/Fall term or by December 1 for candidates admitted for Winter/Spring term.

If the request is approved, in order to secure a place at Eckerd for the following year and retain an academic scholarship award, a $400 non-refundable enrollment deposit must be paid.

Candidates who defer admission and take more than 12 hours of college coursework during their deferral, or who wish to defer their enrollment for a period greater than one year, will need to re-apply for admission and scholarship.  Students taking more than 12 hours of college coursework should re-apply as a Transfer Student.

Conditions of Deferral

  1. A non-refundable enrollment deposit of $400 is required from all students who intend to enroll at Eckerd College.
  2. A second non-refundable enrollment deposit of $400 is required by January 15 to confirm a student’s intention to enroll at Eckerd College for Autumn Term. Please note that both enrollment deposits are applied to the student’s account and will be deducted from their bill.
  3. The deferral option is not intended to allow students to begin or continue their college career elsewhere. A student may not attend another institution on a full-time basis during the time of their deferral or gap year. Full-time status is considered to be enrollment in 12 or more credit hours per term. No more than 12 credit hours may be taken during the time of deferment.

Financial Aid
Any student who chooses to defer for Autumn Term of the next academic year and who has applied for need-based aid will need to file the necessary forms (i.e. FAFSA) for the new academic year.

Any student choosing to defer for the next academic year remains eligible for a merit-based scholarship, assuming satisfactory performance in any subsequent academic work. Artistic Achievement Award recipients may carry their award over to the next academic year. First-Year Research Associateships do not carry over to the next academic year; recipients of our Freshman Research Associateship must reapply for that opportunity and compete with candidates for the new academic year.

What are the admission requirements for a transfer student?

Eckerd recommends that transfer students have a 3.0 GPA from the last college attended. Courses earning a C or better can likely be transferred, dependent upon the equivalent course offerings at Eckerd. If the student has earned more than 27 credit hours, the high school record will not be considered. Transfer students can get an unofficial estimate of which courses will transfer by viewing the transfer page.

Will my student be considered a Florida resident if...

Are we considered a Florida resident if:

  • We own a house in Florida?
  • Grandparents live in Florida?
  • We are moving to Florida after high school graduation?
  • I live in Florida for one year at Eckerd?

The short answer to these questions is, unfortunately, no. Many parents and students from outside the State of Florida wish to claim residency in the state in order to gain tuition benefits, or to gain access to federal or state grant programs available to Florida residents. In the case of Eckerd, there are no tuition benefits for Florida residents. Our total costs are the same for all students, regardless of residency.

There are a few state programs open to Florida residents including the Florida EASE Grant and The Bright Futures Scholarship. Each of these programs is intended for students who either graduate from a Florida high school, and/or the legal guardian with whom the student resides for the majority of the year has their primary residence in Florida and has lived there for at least one year. There are additional guidelines to each of these programs. If you think you may qualify, please feel free to contact your counselor.

Does Eckerd accept American Sign Language credits?

Yes. Eckerd accepts American Sign Language (ASL) as an official world language during high school curriculum evaluation on your application. But ASL does not fulfill your Eckerd College world language credit. Students who enroll are still expected to take a year of world language here at Eckerd.

Can I take a world language placement exam for exemption from the language requirement?

One of the goals of an Eckerd College education is to instill in students a global awareness. Thus, proficiency in a world language, which is directly or indirectly linked to study abroad, another important College objective, is required for graduation. Language study beyond the beginning level is strongly encouraged and is in fact required by several majors and our Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

The College’s world language requirement consists of two semesters (or the equivalent) of beginning language study. The two semesters (101 and 102) must be completed in one single language.

Eckerd College uses a language placement exam to evaluate the world language skill of incoming students.

World Language Placement Exam Guide


Describe Eckerd's 4-1-4 academic calendar.

Eckerd College follows a modified 4-1-4 calendar. Each academic year consists of one short term and two 14-week terms. Ordinarily, a full-time student will enroll for four courses each 14-week term.

The three-week Autumn Term for first-year students occurs in August, before the beginning of the fall semester, while the Winter Term (January) occurs at the beginning of the spring semester. During these shorter terms, you will enroll for no more than one academic project at a time. This format provides for independent investigation of a topic in a concentrated manner.

What are Eckerd's general education requirements?

In order to graduate from Eckerd, students must complete 36 courses and 126 credit hours. As part of our 4-1-4 semester system, every student must participate in 4 short terms. Typically, this consists of an Autumn Term course in the first year and three Winter Terms in each subsequent year.

In addition to requirements set by their chosen discipline, the following are general education requirements:

  • Human Experience, taken in a student’s first semester, and a First-Year Experience Seminar taken in a student’s second semester.
  • Proof of world language competency. This must be demonstrated by completion through course level 102 or the equivalent.
  • Each student must complete one course in each of the following perspectives: Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Environmental and Global. Students must also demonstrate quantitative competency by taking one college-level mathematics, computer science, formal logic or statistics course.
  • Each student must pass a course designated as writing intensive and demonstrate their writing competency through submitting a writing portfolio. Students typically submit their writing portfolio for review in their junior year or the first semester of senior year.
  • All students must complete 20 hours of reflective service learning and take one reflective service learning course.
  • One semester of our senior capstone course, Imagining Justice.

How many areas of study and degrees are offered?

  • 42 majors, 52 minors, and the option to design your own major
  • 3 types of degrees:
    • Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree
    • Bachelor of Science (BS) degree
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree

What is the average class size and student-to-faculty ratio?

The average class size is 20 students, while our student/faculty ratio is 12:1.

Does Eckerd have an honors program?

Yes. The Honors Program at Eckerd College is offered to admitted students based on their achievements in high school. The Honors Program is designed to provide enhanced opportunities for independent study, research, collaboration, service-learning, and coursework. Qualified students are invited to apply to the Honors Program based on their academic history provided with their application to the College.

When will I choose my courses?

  • First-Time College Students will choose their first course (the Autumn Term course) online during the summer before arrival. The Admission Office will send out detailed instructions to all students via their Eckerd College email address. During the Autumn Term, first-year students will work with their faculty mentor to select future fall term courses.
  • Transfer Students will choose their classes through the use of EC Web, our Registrar’s Office, and their Admission Counselor prior to arrival to campus. We will contact each student via email to set up phone meeting times to discuss and choose courses for the fall. Upon arrival to campus, all transfer students will complete an orientation, and are required to meet with their assigned faculty Mentor to discuss the course selections and make any necessary or wanted changes.

What support services are available for students with learning differences?

For students with documented learning differences, typical accommodations include extended test time, distraction-free testing areas, peer note-takers and ADA-compliant housing. Please contact the Office of Accessibility for more information.

Additional resources, many of which are through our Center for Academic Excellence, include faculty mentors, faculty office hours, the Eckerd Writing Center, the Rahall Oral Communications Center, academic coaching program, workshops to enhance academic success, the Residence Life staff, the Student Affairs staff, Career Center, math lab tutors and volunteer tutors in many subjects.

How many classes does it take to graduate?

The satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 courses, including four short terms (Autumn Term for the first year and three subsequent Winter Terms) and 126 credit hours. For information regarding transfer student graduation requirements, major-specific coursework and general education requirements, please view our course catalog.

What is Reflective Service Learning at Eckerd?

As a general education requirement, students are expected to participate in at least 20 hours of reflective service learning via an academic Reflective Service Learning (RSL) course.

Can I be considered for additional scholarship if my grades improve after the first semester or year of attending Eckerd?

Eckerd College provides the best scholarship possible upon acceptance. The admission office does not offer any specific scholarships for students in subsequent years of enrollment. However, a student can always continue to pursue outside scholarship opportunities.

How can I view my child's grades?

Students must give their parents access to view their grades due to federal privacy laws. Students can provide access for their parents by setting up a PIN in EC web.

Life at Eckerd

What is the Eckerd College mentoring program?

Throughout a student’s career at Eckerd, each student has the continuing support and counsel of a faculty mentor who is specially trained to help each student plan an academic program, to help with career planning and with the student’s personal growth. A first-year student’s mentor will be the faculty member teaching their Autumn Term and fall semester Human Experience course. The student continues with that mentor throughout their first year.

Upon completing the first year, each student may choose a new mentor who is a specialist in the student’s area of academic interest. Each student and mentor will continue to plan the academic program, including independent and directed studies, internships, off-campus programs, work experience, career planning, study abroad, and other learning opportunities. The mentor/student relationship goes beyond education and career advice; this one-on-one relationship is very important to the Eckerd experience and often alumni continue to stay in touch with their mentors for years after graduation.

Does Eckerd have a religious affiliation? Are students required to take religion classes?

Eckerd College is affiliated by covenant with the Presbyterian Church (USA), although all religions are represented on campus. While there is no required religion-based coursework, interested students may take classes available through the Religious Studies major.

The office of Religious Life exists to help students grow in their faith, to provide a safe place for students to ask questions about themselves and God in the world, and to reach out to and provide service for the EC community.

Regular activities include:

  • Weekly Catholic Mass
  • Hillel Jewish Life at Eckerd
  • Student clubs for Christian Bible study and worship
  • Buddhist monthly meditation
  • Arabic Club/Islamic celebrations
  • Interfaith dinners and conversations
  • Meditation and yoga classes
Our chaplains assist students with finding both on-campus and off-campus religious life support. You may contact our College chaplains at
The College maintains relationships with Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, and other religious communities in the Tampa Bay area to ensure that all students have access to resources in support of their spiritual journey.

What are the dining options on campus?

Dining at Eckerd College is provided by Bon Appétit, a national leader in fresh, natural, made from scratch meals. There are five food service options on campus: the cafeteria, Triton’s Pub, the CEC café, a late night pizza stationary truck and a full-service Starbucks. The food options at each location vary on a daily basis. Students choose from meal plan tiers prior to the school year, based upon how many meals they foresee consuming.

Is there a health facility on campus? Will I be notified if our child goes to the health center?

Yes. The Health Center on campus is supervised by a physician and staffed by registered nurses experienced in college health. Referral for more serious evaluation and treatment is made to nearby physicians and medical specialists. Two full-service hospitals, with state-of-the-art emergency services, are within 10 minutes of the campus.

Parents are not notified of student health service visits nor can they request that information. Student health records are required by law to be confidential due to privacy standards. Eckerd will notify the family only if a student is in an emergency situation.

Are first-year students allowed to have cars on campus?

Yes. About 50% of first-year students have a car on campus. Public transportation does make frequent stops on Eckerd’s campus. Campus shuttles also regularly take students to Walmart, Publix and other shopping areas. Students will register their vehicles with campus safety and pay an annual fee of $120 for a parking permit; students living off campus pay a vehicle registration fee of $60.

Where will I go during the event of a hurricane or other emergency situations?

Eckerd College has implemented an Emergency Management Team to manage the necessary procedures to insure the safety of our community. You can learn more online about the College’s Hurricane Preparedness Plan; incoming students are required to complete a Hurricane Preparedness Form prior to arrival.

What are the storage options during summer break?

During the summer, students must remove personal items from the residence halls. Since we have such a large number of out-of-state students, many choose to rent a storage unit to share with fellow students and store larger items. Eckerd students get a discounted price from some nearby storage facilities.

How can parents/family members get involved with Eckerd?

The Office of Student and Family Relations sends news and information to parents regularly and the Parent Council sends a newsletter to families once each semester. Upcoming events and ways to get involved are highlighted in these communications.

Parents are encouraged to attend regional admission and alumni events, share information about Eckerd with local high schools, and share internship and employment information with our Career Center. For more information on how to get involved, visit the Parent Council page.

How soon would you suggest we start planning for graduation? Any other suggestions?

Parents typically make their plans early in the student’s senior year since popular hotels near campus often book quickly. Families wishing to make reservations for a post-graduation lunch at local restaurants should do so within a few months of graduation, especially if it is a large party.

Parents should arrive early on the morning of Commencement because parking is limited. Eckerd’s commencement is unique because it takes place on South Beach. This means that you should dress accordingly. Designate a meeting place after the ceremony, as there are many people in attendance and it will be easier to find your student if you have a predetermined location to meet.