Northern Arizona university GPA

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by

Northern Arizona University is a public research university with an acceptance rate of 85%. Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University is located on a 738-acre campus in Flagstaff, Arizona. Students can choose from over 100 undergraduate degree programs offered through the university’s seven colleges. Biomedical science, criminology and criminal justice, and nursing majors are popular among undergraduates. In athletics, the NAU Lumberjacks compete in the NCAA Division I Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences.

Considering applying to Northern Arizona University? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Northern Arizona University had an acceptance rate of 85%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 85 students were admitted, making Northern Arizona’s admissions process less competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants36,855
Percent Admitted85%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield)15%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Northern Arizona University has a test-optional standardized testing policy. Applicants to Northern Arizona may submit SAT or ACT scores to the school, but they are not required for all applicants. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 32% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section25th Percentile75th Percentile

ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that of those students who submitted scores during the 2018-19 admissions cycle, most of Northern Arizona’s admitted students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Northern Arizona scored between 520 and 620, while 25% scored below 520 and 25% scored above 620. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 520 and 610, while 25% scored below 520 and 25% scored above 610. While the SAT is not required, this data tells us that a composite SAT score of 1230 or higher is competitive for Northern Arizona.


Northern Arizona University does not require SAT scores for admission for applicants who meet the school’s guaranteed admission requirements. For students who choose to submit scores, note that Northern Arizona participates in the scorechoice program, meaning that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. Northern Arizona does not require the essay section of the SAT. At Northern Arizona, SAT Subject test scores may be used to substitute for required coursework.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Northern Arizona has a test-optional standardized testing policy. Applicants to Northern Arizona may submit SAT or ACT scores to the school, but they are not required for all applicants. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 49% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section25th Percentile75th Percentile

This admissions data tells us that of those who submitted scores during the 2018-19 admissions cycle, most of Northern Arizona’s admitted students fall within the bottom 46% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Northern Arizona received a composite ACT score between 19 and 25, while 25% scored above 25 and 25% scored below 19.


Note that Northern Arizona does not require ACT scores for admission for applicants who meet the school’s guaranteed admission requirements. For students who choose to submit scores, Northern Arizona participates in the scorechoice program, meaning that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all ACT test dates. Northern Arizona does not require the ACT writing section.


In 2019, the average high school GPA of Northern Arizona University’s incoming freshmen class was 3.64, and 46% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.75 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Northern Arizona University have primarily A grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Northern Arizona University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
 Northern Arizona University Applicants’ Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Northern Arizona University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances
Northern Arizona University, which accepts over three-quarters of applicants, has a somewhat selective admissions process. If your GPA in minimum required coursework falls within the school’s range, you have a strong chance of being accepted. For guaranteed admission, you’ll need a 3.0 or higher GPA in core academic subjects including four years of English and math, three years of laboratory science, two years of social science and a foreign language, and one year of fine arts. You can also be considered for admission if you have a 2.5 GPA in core courses and have no more than one deficiency in the required academic subjects. Note that the course requirements for admission can also be fulfilled with standardized test scores. Students who submit official test scores will also be considered for scholarships. The university does not have a holistic admissions process, so essays and extracurricular activities do not play a role in the admissions process.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent students who were admitted to Northern Arizona University. You can see that the great majority had combined SAT scores (ERW+M) of 850 or higher, ACT composite scores of 16 or higher, and a high school GPA of a “B-” or higher. Note that Northern Arizona University has test-optional admissions for some applicants.

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All admissions data has been sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and Northern Arizona University Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Freshman Admission Requirements

Competency requirements for Northern Arizona University freshman applicants

You are considered a freshman if you will graduate high school within one year, have earned fewer than 12 college credits since graduating from high school, or are dual-enrolled but have not yet graduated from high school.

You will be offered admission to Northern Arizona University if you have a 3.0 or higher core GPA (based on a 4.0 scale and calculated using only the 16 required core courses below) and have no deficiencies in those core courses.

You will be considered for NAU admission if you have a 2.5 core GPA and you have no more than one deficiency in any two areas of the required courses below. If you have a combination of a math and lab science deficiency, you are not admissible.

Note: The writing portions of the ACT and the SAT are not used for undergraduate admission.

Course Requirements for Undergraduate Admission

Freshman applicants must satisfactorily complete the following Arizona Board of Regents coursework competencies:


Meet one of the following:

  • 4 Years of high school English (composition/literacy-based)
  • ACT: 21+ English score
  • SAT: 580+ Critical Reading score (530+ if taken before March 2016)
  • One transferable three-credit college English Composition course


Meet one of the following:

  • 4 years of high school math courses, including one year each of Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, and an advanced class for which Algebra II is a prerequisite
  • ACT: 24+ math score
  • SAT: 570+ math score (540+ if taken before March 2016)
  • One transferable three-credit college math course for which at least intermediate algebra is a prerequisite

Laboratory Science

Meet one of the following:

  • 3 years of high school laboratory science: one year each of biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics. An integrated science class may be substituted for one required course.
  • Two years high school laboratory science (biology, chemistry, earth science or physics) plus one of the following test scores (test score may be used to satisfy one lab science unit other than high school credits earned):
    • ACT: 20+ science score
    • SAT: 600+ chemistry score, 590+ biology score, or 620+ physics score
  • Three transferable four-credit college lab sciences courses (One semester each of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics). An integrated science or advanced level science class may be substituted for one required course.

Social Science

Meet one of the following from each section:

  • History/Social Studies
    • One year high school American History
    • SAT II: 560+ American History/Social Studies score
    • One transferable three-credit college American History course
  • Social Science
    • One year high school social science (such as European history, world history, economics, sociology, geography, government, psychology or anthropology)
    • SAT II: 580+ world history score
    • One transferable three-credit college social science course

Second Language

Meet one of the following:

  • 2 years of the same high school second language (foreign, Native American or sign language)
  • Attain minimum score on national standardized second/foreign language test (AP 3+, CLEP 50+, IB 4+)
  • One year of transferable college study in same second language.

Fine Arts

Meet one of the following:

  • 1 year or a two-semester combination of high school fine arts or Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • One transferable three-credit college fine arts course.

Applicants are allowed no more than two deficiencies in the above criteria. If the two deficiencies are a combination of math and lab science, the applicant is not admissible. Deficiencies are caused by the following:

  • Not taking the required number of courses in a competency area
  • Receiving a grade of “D” or “F” in a core competency course
  • Receiving an unweighted subject GPA of below 2.0


You may be exempt from the course requirements if you meet one of the following:

  • You are 22 years of age or older
    • We will evaluate using overall high school GPA or a combination of high school and college work
  • You’ve earned a GED (submit an official score report from the applicable state’s department of education)
    • Pre-2002: 50+ score
    • 2002-2014: 500+ score
    • Post-2014: 680+ score with minimum 170 in each content area
  • You were home-schooled
    • Provide a transcript of high school coursework. Submit ACT/SAT scores for scholarship consideration

Chances of getting into Northern Arizona University

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate


Admission StandardsUnavailable
Applicant CompetitionVery Low
Will you get accepted?

Find out how likely you are to get accepted at NAU based on your GPA, test scores, and even extracurricular activities. Then, get custom recommendations for how to improve your odds – completely for free.CALCULATE MY CHANCES

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How hard is it to get into NAU and can I get accepted? The school has a 85% acceptance rate ranking it #6 in Arizona for lowest rate of acceptance. Last year, 31,248 out of 36,810 applicants were admitted making Northern Arizona University an easy school to get into with a very good chance of acceptance assuming you meet the requirements. Northern Arizona University typically accepts and attracts “B+” average high school students. Only 17% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school. Most incoming freshmen graduated in the top half of their high school class.

Test Optional

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is recommended but not required for admission to Northern Arizona University. If you submit test scores, they will be considered with your application.

Northern Arizona University SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range

Not Reported

Applicants Submitting SAT

SAT Reading 25thN/A
SAT Math 25thN/A
SAT Composite 25thN/A
SAT Reading 75thN/A
SAT Math 75thN/A
SAT Composite 75thN/A
Average SAT ScoreN/A

Northern Arizona University ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range

Not Reported

Applicants Submitting ACT

ACT Reading 25thN/A
ACT Math 25thN/A
ACT Composite 25thN/A
ACT Reading 75thN/A
ACT Math 75thN/A
ACT Composite 75thN/A
Average ACT ScoreN/A

Northern Arizona University GPA

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA


Typical High School Grades


What GPA do you need to get into Northern Arizona University?

Applicants require above average high school grades to get into NAU. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Northern Arizona University was 3.4 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily B+ students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #4 in Arizona for highest average GPA. If your high school grades are above the average 3.4 GPA, you have a very good chance of being admitted as NAU accepts 85% of all applicants.

High School GPAFreshmen Within RangeCompetitiveness
3.50 to 3.7517%Avg +
3.25 to 3.5017%Avg +
3.00 to 3.2516%Avg –
2.75 to 3.0019%Reach
2.50 to 2.752%Reach
2.25 to 2.50N/A%Low
2.00 to 2.25N/A%Low

Northern Arizona University Requirements for Admission

What are Northern Arizona University’s admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we’ll cover what you need to get into Northern Arizona University and build a strong application.

School location: Flagstaff, AZ

This school is also known as: NAUShares

Admissions Rate: 85%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Northern Arizona University is 85%. For every 100 applicants, 85 are admitted.

This means the school is lightly selective. The school will have their expected requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores. If you meet their requirements, you’re almost certain to get an offer of admission. But if you don’t meet Northern Arizona University’s requirements, you’ll be one of the unlucky few people who gets rejected.
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Northern Arizona University GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school’s average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.64

The average GPA at Northern Arizona University is 3.64.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.64, Northern Arizona University requires you to be above average in your high school class. You’ll need at least a mix of A’s and B’s, with more A’s than B’s. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. This will show that you’re able to handle more difficult academics than the average high school student.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

Northern Arizona University has indicated that the SAT or ACT is required for some applicants. This can mean a few things:

  • The SAT or ACT is optional, but recommended by the school to improve your application chances.
  • You might be able to get admitted with through your GPA or class ranking alone.
  • Only specific departments at the school require the SAT or ACT.

If you’re applying to this and other schools, it’s safest to take the SAT or ACT. This will maximize your chance of getting into the best school possible, especially since most other students will be submitting their scores.

Northern Arizona University SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school’s average score.

Average SAT: 1135

The average SAT score composite at Northern Arizona University is a 1135 on the 1600 SAT scale.

This score makes Northern Arizona University Competitive for SAT test scores.

Northern Arizona University SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1040, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1220. In other words, a 1040 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1220 will move you up to above average.

Here’s the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Reading + Writing570520620

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Northern Arizona University has the Score Choice policy of “Highest Section.”

This is also known as “superscoring.” This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

Test 17003001000
Test 23007001000
Test 3300300600

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, Northern Arizona University will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1000 to 1400 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Northern Arizona University forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 1040, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will give you the highest Superscore possible.

Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your SAT score by 160 points?

Northern Arizona University ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Northern Arizona University likely doesn’t have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 22

The average ACT score at Northern Arizona University is 22. This score makes Northern Arizona University Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 19, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 25.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you’re taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school’s ACT requirement of 19 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you’re happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren’t able to find the school’s exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Northern Arizona University, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 19.

Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section.

Northern Arizona University considers the SAT Essay/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don’t need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you’re applying to may require it.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

Northern Arizona University has indicated that SAT subject tests are required for SOME applicants. Typically this means that applying to certain majors or colleges within the school requires SAT subject tests, and others don’t. Read further to see if you’ll need to submit SAT subject scores.

Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.

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