How to Apply

Admission Criteria

A student must be admitted to the University before he or she may be considered for admission into New College. Please note that the New College admission process is separate from, and in addition to, admission to The University of Alabama.

Students fare best in New College when they apply as first-year or sophomore-level students.

A 2.0 GPA is required for regular admission into New College. In rare circumstances, a student may be considered for conditional admission with a GPA lower than 2.0. The Admissions Committee will decide the stipulations for conditional admission.

Application Process

Students interested in applying to New College should begin with the New College Online Application System.

The application process consists of three key components:

  • Responding to two prompts in an essay known as the “Self Statement”
  • Providing the email address for the person whom you select to write your letter of recommendation
  • An in-person interview with a New College faculty member and current student

NOTE: New College works best when entrants begin as first-year or sophomore students. Accordingly, New College faculty must review academic plans of students with 80 or more semester hours prior to admission. A major consideration of this review is the likelihood of an applicant completing a sound academic experience within a reasonable time. Specific requirements for individual students that exceed the general graduation requirements for New College may be stipulated. These additional requirements will be stated in the student’s letter of admission.


The self-statement should address the following two prompts in short-essay form. The prompts are designed to assess whether an applicant is likely to succeed in a program that stresses self-designed learning and interdisciplinarity.

Applicants should upload their responses as a single document during the application process.

Prompt 1: Demonstrate your readiness for a self-designed and self-directed course of study within New College by responding to one (1) of the following prompts in a well-written, concise essay of 400-600 words.

  • Tell us about a time when you advocated for yourself and how this experience prepares you for a self-directed plan of study.
  • Tell us about a circumstance when you exhibited resilience and how this experience helps prepare you to address potential setbacks in your academic career.
  • Tell us about a time when you were able to adapt successfully to a fluid situation and how this experience helps prepare you for the ambiguity of an interdisciplinary, individualized course of study.

Prompt 2: Describe your proposed plan of study. New College requires students to create their own course of study with the guidance of a New College faculty advisor. How might you combine various subject areas or fields to create your individualized plan of study. When possible, mention specific departments, courses, and/or ideas for independent study.

Letter of Recommendation

Choose a recommender who can describe why you would succeed in a program that emphasizes academic independence, creativity, and responsibility to self and community. While there may be exceptions, we find that teachers and educational counselors or advisors are best positioned to provide this important feedback.


After the self-statement has been approved and the letter of recommendation has been received, the applicant will be interviewed by a faculty member and an upper-level New College student.

We consider the following factors in New College admission decisions:

  • The applicant’s commitment to an individualized interdisciplinary approach to learning, which combines different subjects, academic areas, or departments
  • The applicant’s commitment to intellectual independence, self-directed learning, and critical thinking
  • New College’s ability to accommodate the applicant’s academic goals and the enrollment capacity of the program

NOTE: Although New College can accommodate a great many individualized programs of study, applicants should be aware that some educational pursuits have special requirements (e.g., certifications or accreditation) that New College may not be able to provide.  Further, New College cannot waive the requirements of other programs or departments.