Drexel’s Custom-Designed Major offers students the opportunity to pursue an individualized and interdisciplinary course of study that uniquely satisfies their interests. Designed for the highly motivated, it allows students to lay out their own educational roadmap that is supplemented with one-on-one mentorship from faculty.
Note: Prior to applying for the Custom-Designed Major, check out Drexel’s extensive list of majors and minors to make sure that your desired course of study cannot be fully satisfied by an existing program. Some examples of Custom-Designed Majors include Quantitative Behavioral Finance, Sustainable Design, Science and Technology Policy, and New Media Entrepreneurship.
Despite appearing in the essay section of the Common App, this prompt can be more accurately described as a “vision statement.” It is very specific in its requirements and outlines all of the content that Drexel wants to see from applicants. It can be broken down into five key points.
Vision Statement Key Points:
- What do you want to study?
- What do you hope to accomplish while in the program?
- Why do you need a Custom-Designed Major?
- How will a Custom-Designed Major prepare you for your career/pursuits and help you impact the world?
- What is your plan of study?
Don’t be intimidated by the large block of text in the prompt because at it’s core, the vision statement simply asks you to explain why and how a personalized education path at Drexel will benefit you.
Why a Custom-Designed Major?
A strong way to start off your vision statement is by identifying a societal or professional need for an educational pathway that is currently nonexistent at the school. You can open with a personal experience or an observation that shows why an interdisciplinary approach is necessary. By doing so, you immediately grab the attention of your reader and give him/her the lenses to understand the rest of your writing from your perspective.
Once you highlight that need, you should specify a course of study by selecting at least two existing programs and discussing their intersection to form a Custom-Designed Major. Ideally, you want to come up with a name for your major, which could be based on either a professional field or your own experiences. Make sure you describe the programs in detail because your vision statement is centered around them.
Make sure to answer the “why” by explaining the future benefits of your course of study. Higher education helps you become better prepared for your pursuits later on in life, so you must express some kind of a trajectory that necessitates your Custom-Designed Major.
If you know exactly what you want to do in the future, write about your specific career path and how having a solid foundation in multiple fields will strengthen your skills and insight. If you are not certain of the specific job you would like to work at but have a general idea of what you want to do, discuss the shortcomings that currently exist and how your interdisciplinary studies prepare you to better respond to situations.
How will you take advantage of the program?
How will you use your time at Drexel? The admissions officers want to know that you are going in with clearly defined goals. Remember, this program is for students who are driven to pursue a specific path, and not for those who are still exploring. You need to make sure that you clearly demonstrate that you will make full use of the resources available.
That said, your vision statement must outline your key goals while in the program. Think about what you want to accomplish. For example, maybe you want to develop an in-depth understanding of how two fields relate so that you can one day make improvements to an existing industry. Whatever you decide your goals should be, make sure that they connect back to the interdisciplinary nature of your custom-designed major.
Plan of Study
Once you know what you hope to accomplish in the program, ask yourself how you will achieve those objectives. What academic resources will put you on the right trajectory? Here, Drexel wants you to be specific and discuss which aspects of existing programs you will merge to form the crux of your Custom-Designed Major.
Your proposed Plan of Study should be a term-by-term outline of the courses that you want to take. Notice how the prompt specifies you to look at existing courses in the University Catalogue. You want to create an organized table that lists out the specific classes you plan on taking during each term of each academic school year.
The majority of the academic departments at Drexel operate under a quarter system, permitting you to take classes even during the summer if desired. This gives you the option of overloading on courses, but make sure your proposal is one that you could realistically manage.
In addition to listing out the courses you want to take, make sure you include the ones that are degree requirements for all Custom-Designed Majors. These requirements include a number of CSDN/WEST courses as well as fulfilling a number of credits in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and sciences.
Note: This plan does not necessarily need to be set in stone, but it should be thorough enough to indicate that you have the foresight to succeed as a student in the program.
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 Drexel University is 76%. For every 100 applicants, 76 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 Drexel University's requirements, you'll be one of the unlucky few people who gets rejected.
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.
The average GPA at Drexel University is 3.47.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
With a GPA of 3.47, Drexel University requires you to be around average in your high school class. You'll need a mix of A's and B's, and very few C's. If you have a lower GPA, you can compensate with harder courses like AP or IB classes. This will help boost your weighted GPA and show your ability to take college classes.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.47, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Drexel University. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
Drexel 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: 1270 (Old: 1782)
The average SAT score composite at Drexel University is a 1270 on the 1600 SAT scale.
On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1782.
This score makes Drexel University Competitive for SAT test scores.
Drexel University SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1160, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1370. In other words, a 1160 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1370 will move you up to above average.
Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Drexel University SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)
The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1610, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1930. In other words, a 1610 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1930 puts you well above average.
Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
Drexel 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.
Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.
For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:
Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, Drexel 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 Drexel 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 1160, 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 surely give you the highest Superscore possible.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
Drexel University ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, Drexel 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: 27
The average ACT score at Drexel University is 27. This score makes Drexel University Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 24, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 29.
Even though Drexel University likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 24 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.
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 24 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.
However, from our research, Drexel University is understood to superscore the ACT. We couldn't confirm it directly from the school's admissions website, but multiple sources confirm that the school does superscore the ACT. We recommend you call their admissions office directly for more information.
Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that Drexel University receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.
Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.
For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:
Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, Drexel 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 20 to 32 in this example.
This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Drexel University forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT 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 ACT score is currently below a 24, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT 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 ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.
Drexel University considers the SAT/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.
We did not find information that Drexel University requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.