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General admission policy

Enrollment in the first-year class totals approximately 575 full-time students. Since the college desires to maintain a community of students with diverse backgrounds and interests, and because the number of applicants greatly exceeds the number of places available, admission is the result of a highly selective process. Applicants are evaluated on 1) their academic performance and potential, 2) their accomplishments in their schools and communities, and 3) their qualities of character and personality.

The college uses a holistic approach to student admissions with emphasis placed on high school transcripts, recommendation letters, leadership positions, work history, involvement in school and community activities, and other characteristics that predict success. Applicants should be well prepared for Trinity’s academic work and have the desire to contribute to campus and community activities.

Applicants for admission must apply by completing the Common Application. Additional pertinent information about the application process and application deadlines can be found here.

Personal qualities and character

Trinity is keenly interested in attracting and admitting candidates who not only demonstrate academic strength, but also desire to take initiative, search for truth, promote social justice, and build community. We place great value in a candidate’s capacity to move beyond the limits of personal achievement to involvement in the life of the community at large. We seek candidates who take an interest in the lives and welfare of others and/or place themselves in situations that call for personal initiative and leadership. We believe that such experiences develop an individual’s appreciation of ethical issues and may well enhance the capacity to make a difference in the society one will enter as a college graduate. 

We believe that students should aspire to develop integrity as well as intelligence during their high school years. In addition to artistic, athletic, extracurricular, and academic talent, we recognize in the admissions process the development of strong personal qualities. Our pluralistic and democratic society requires many qualities from its leaders as it seeks to meet the challenges of the years ahead; character is certainly one of them.

Secondary school requirements

Trinity requires a diploma from and certification by an accredited secondary school or a GED. An applicant’s academic program should consist of at least 16 academic units, typically including the following number of courses: English (four years), foreign language (three years), laboratory science (two years), algebra (two years), geometry (one year), and history (two years).

 Because Trinity’s curriculum assumes entering students will have prepared themselves academically in depth as well as in breadth, virtually all successful applicants offer considerably more work than this in college preparatory courses. 

Students desiring to apply whose academic programs do not include study in the subject areas or for the number of years listed above should contact the Admissions Office for advice.

Trinity College supports the efforts of secondary school officials and governing bodies to have their schools achieve, when possible, regional accredited status to provide reliable assurance of the quality of the educational preparation of its applicants for admission.

Standardized testing requirements

Trinity does not require the ACT of the American College Testing Program, the SAT I Reasoning Test of the College Board, or SAT II Subject Tests. If an applicant chooses to submit test scores, it is the applicant’s responsibility to have scores sent to the Trinity Admissions Office. Trinity’s CEEB code is 3899. Trinity’s ACT code is 0598.

Trinity College requires all international applicants to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting one of the following exams: Duolingo English Test, the International English Language Test (IELTS), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants are required to submit official English test scores. Applicants may request a waiver of the English proficiency requirement if they meet one or more of the following criteria: they are a native speaker of English; they will have completed four years of study at a high school where English is the primary language of instruction by the time they enroll at Trinity; they are a transfer applicant who has completed a year or more of college-level courses taught in the United States.

Early decision

Students for whom Trinity is their first-choice college, and who agree to attend if offered admission, may choose to apply under either Option 1 or Option 2 of the Early Decision Program.

Option 1: All application materials (except the mid-year secondary school report) must be received no later than November 15. Candidates will be notified of admission decisions by mid-December.

Option 2: All application materials must be received no later than January 17. Candidates will be notified of admission decisions by mid-February.

Both options require a signed statement affirming the candidate’s commitment to attend Trinity if admitted. Candidates will receive one of three decisions—acceptance, deferral, or denial. Those denied admission under either early decision option will not be reconsidered as a regular decision applicant during the same admissions cycle.

Regular Decision

The regular decision deadline for applying to Trinity is January 17. Candidates will be notified of admission decisions by early April.

International students

Trinity College welcomes diversity in its student body and encourages applications from international students. For admissions purposes, international students are defined as non-U.S. citizens, regardless of country of residence. Need-based financial aid is available to a limited number of students in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. International students applying for financial aid must complete the CSS Profile. Those who do not intend to apply for need-based financial aid must complete our Statement of Finances Form.

Once enrolled, international students must pursue a full course load (four courses per semester) to be eligible for student visa sponsorship (F-1). Trinity College has been approved for attendance of nonimmigrant students under the Immigration and Naturalization Service (at Hartford on April 30, 1954, with the file number A10 037 658) and issues student visas (F-1) for enrolling full-time international students.

Transfer admission

Students who have matriculated at a two- or four-year accredited college who wish to transfer should visit our website for information about the application process. Candidates for admission by transfer should be prepared to provide catalogues and/or syllabi describing the content of college courses already completed and presently being studied. 

For spring term admission consideration, candidates are required to complete the application process by November

1. Spring admission candidates whose applications are properly completed by this deadline should receive a decision by the end of November.

Students who want to begin their studies at Trinity in the fall must complete the application process by April 1. Fall admission candidates who have properly completed their applications by the April 1 deadline should receive a decision by mid-May. Applicants who are not in good standing at their current or previous institutions will not be considered for admission.

A candidate admitted by transfer must earn at least 17.5 course credits through courses taught or supervised by Trinity faculty members. As a general rule, transfer credit will be given for courses comparable to those offered in the Trinity curriculum in which the applicant has received grades of C- or better. However, the number of course credits awarded to a transfer student for work completed at another institution prior to enrollment at Trinity College shall not exceed that which the student could reasonably have earned during a comparable period of residency at Trinity, i.e., an average of nine course credits per year.

Those admitted by transfer will be notified of the credit to be transferred toward general degree requirements at Trinity and which, if any, of the five parts of the distribution requirements have been satisfied by such credit. In all cases, the registrar reserves the right to award or withhold credit. After entering Trinity, transfer students may petition the appropriate faculty member regarding the use of transfer courses to satisfy major requirements or to replace up to three courses in an interdisciplinary minor. (Refer to “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” and “Interdisciplinary Minors” elsewhere in this catalogue.) Grades in courses taken before matriculation at Trinity are neither entered into the student’s Trinity record nor included in the student’s grade point average.

A full discussion of transfer credit policies is found in the “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” section elsewhere in this catalogue.

Campus visits

Prospective students who are interested in visiting campus for a tour, interview, or group information session are encouraged to view the Admissions Office website for the most up-to-date campus visit offerings.

Additional scheduling questions can be directed to the Office of Admissions at 860-297-2180.


Although an admissions interview is not required, this kind of meeting is a good opportunity for a mutual exchange of information. Students interested in scheduling an admissions interview are encouraged to visit the Admissions Office website for the most up-to-date interview offerings.

In the fall and early winter, interview appointments are reserved for high school seniors and students interested in transferring to Trinity. Juniors in high school will be able to register for interviews after March 1st.

Advanced placement for first-year students

Trinity’s academic departments will consider applications from entering first-year students for advanced placement. A maximum of nine course credits will be awarded for any of the exams listed below.

College Board AP Exams—Students who submit AP exam scores will receive credit according to the guidelines noted below. Students who receive AP credit from a department that indicates that the work is equivalent to a Trinity course or courses (e.g., AHIS 101, 102) may not take those courses for credit. AP credit may not be used to satisfy general education requirements except for the second language foundational requirement.


•  One course credit for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam. (This course credit may not be counted toward the biology major, nor does it exempt students from any of the courses required for the major.)


•  One course credit for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam. (This course credit may not be counted toward the chemistry major.)


•  One course credit for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Latin exam. Computer science

•  One course credit (CPSC 110) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Computer Science Principles exam or the AP Computer Science A exam


•  One non-major course credit for scores of 4 or 5 on either the AP Macroeconomics or AP Microeconomics exam. This does not exempt the student from taking ECON 101 when ECON 101 is required as a prerequisite for a course.

•  One course credit (ECON 101) for scores of 4 or 5 in both the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics exams or for scores of 5, 6, or 7 in the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Economics Examinations.

•  Two course credits (ECON 101 and a 200-level course) for scores of A or B in the “A” Level General Certificate of Education examinations in economics.


•  One course credit for a score of 4 or 5 on either the AP Language and Composition or the AP Literature and Composition exam. (Neither can be counted toward the English major.)

Environmental science

•  One course credit (ENVS 149L) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Environmental Science exam. Fine arts/art history

•  One course credit (AHIS 101, or 102) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Art History exam. History

•  One course credit each for a score of 4 or 5 for the AP European History exam, the AP United States History exam, or the AP World History: Modern exam. These course credits may not be counted toward the history major or minor, nor do they exempt students from any of the courses required for the major or minor.

Language and culture studies

•  One course credit for a score of 4, or two course credits for a score of 5, in each foreign language and literature exam. AP credit in language and culture studies counts toward general degree requirements only, and not toward a major under either Plan A or Plan B. Students wishing to receive one AP language or literature credit (i.e., for a score of 4) may not enroll for Trinity credit any lower than a fourth semester course in that language. Students wishing to receive two AP language or literature credits (i.e., for a score of 5) may not enroll for Trinity credit any lower than a fifth semester course in that language. Subject to departmental approval, students may opt to enroll in lower than a fourth or fifth semester course, but in order to receive College credit under such circumstances, they will not be granted AP credit. First-year students entering with AP credit are strongly urged to consult the department before finalizing their initial course selection.


•  Two course credits (MATH 131, 132) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam. One course credit (MATH 131) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam. One course credit (MATH 107) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam.

•  No course credit will be awarded without official AP scores. However, students who have at least a year of high school calculus and who wish to obtain advanced standing in calculus may take a qualifying examination administered by the department of mathematics during first-year student orientation in the fall. Students who exhibit a satisfactory level of competence on this examination, as determined by the department, may receive exemption from (but not credit for) either MATH 131 or MATH 132.


•  One and one quarter course credits (MUSC 101) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Music Theory exam.


Physics Score and Credit Mapping

provided the student’s general background in physics and mathematics is found to be satisfactory after review by the department.

•  Students who wish to obtain advanced standing in physics but lack AP credit may contact the chairperson of the department of physics and request to take a qualifying exam. Students who perform satisfactorily on this exam may, at the discretion of the department, receive placement in PHYS-231 or PHYS-232 (but no course credit).

•  Students can earn no more than one AP credit for exams in the PHYS-101/PHYS-141 category, and no more than one AP credit for exams in the PHYS-102/PHYS-231 category. Students may not earn credit for both a course and its AP equivalent, and may not earn credit for more than one introductory mechanics course (PHYS-101, PHYS-141, and their AP equivalents).

Political science

•  One course credit (POLS 102) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP United States Government and Politics exam.

•  One course credit (POLS 103) for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam.


•  Students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology exam may receive one course credit towards graduation. This course credit does not exempt students from any of the courses required for the major.

All requests and applications for advanced placement should be made to the registrar before September 1 of the year of entrance. Receipt by the registrar of an AP score report will be considered an application for AP credit.

AP credit for the International Baccalaureate and certain European examinations—Students who wish to receive credit for international or foreign examinations (listed below) must have the official results sent through the mail to the registrar. Course credits, not to exceed two per subject, may be granted. A maximum of nine course credits (i.e., the equivalent of one year of advanced standing) will be given for any combination of these results.

Students must obtain written consent from the appropriate academic department(s) at Trinity. In determining whether to grant credit and how much credit to grant, an academic department may require the student to submit additional information (copies of syllabi, examination questions, etc.) and/or pass a departmentally administered examination.

 The following scores must be earned:

 French Baccalaureate—scores of 12-20

German Arbitur—scores of 7-15 (“befriedigend” or better)

International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations—scores of 5, 6, or 7, specific department equivalencies are listed below.

–     Computer science: score of 5 or higher on the IB Higher Level Computer Science examination will be awarded 1 course credit in place of CPSC 110. The credit may be counted towards the major upon submitting a written request to the department chair.

–     Economics: scores of 5, 6 or 7 are equivalent to ECON 101

–     Mathematics: score of 5 on Math Analysis and Approaches Higher Level is equivalent to MATH 131, scores of 6 or 7 are equivalent to MATH 131 and MATH 132

–     Physics: scores of 5 or 6 are equivalent to PHYS 101 and 102, score of 7 is equivalent to PHYS 101 and 102 and admission to PHYS 231 provided the student’s general background in physics and mathematics is found to be satisfactory after review by the department.

Swiss Matura—scores of 5 or 6

United Kingdom “A” Level General Certificate Examinations—grades of A, B, or C, specific department equivalency is listed below.

–     grades of A or B are equivalent to PHYS 141, placement into PHYS 231

Normally, a student who has been granted credit in a particular area may not enroll for courses at Trinity that will repeat the student’s work in the subject.

Credit by examination—Any department is allowed to give quantitative or qualitative credit, or both, to an entering first-year student on the basis of its own special examination.