Undergraduate Admissions

All first-year candidates for undergraduate admission must submit the following:

2. $25 Application Fee

3. 250–650 Word Personal Essay (choose a topic) or Personal Interview/Meeting with Member of Admissions Staff
Personal interviews/meetings can be scheduled virtually or in-person. Click HERE to schedule an appointment. 

4. Official High School Transcript  

5. Official College Transcript (if applicable)

6. Letter of Recommendation (optional)
A letter of recommendation is not required, but students can choose to submit one if they would like. Letter must be from academic source, such as a teacher, school counselor, principal, etc. 

7. Official SAT and/or ACT scores (optional)
Lees-McRae College does not require SAT/ACT scores in order to be considered for admission and scholarships. Prospective Honors Program students may choose to submit strong SAT/ACT scores along with their application to the Honors Program. To submit official test scores, please request them from the official testing site (SAT code: 5364 | ACT code: 3116). While not currently required, test scores may be asked from prospective NCAA Division II student-athletes in the future.  

Completed application file will be reviewed for an admission decision within two weeks.  

Special Instructions


    High School Requirements

    Applicants must have at least 18 high school units, including:

    •  four units of English
    •  three units of mathematics (including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II or its equivalent)
    • two units of science (including Biology with a lab experience)
    • one unit of history (U.S. History preferred)
    Graduation from an accredited high school, home school, or a GED is required. A certificate of high school graduation must be submitted; a certificate of attendance is not considered acceptable for admission.

    Dual-enrolled/Early College/Additional College Credit


    When completing your application, select “Freshman with Credit” as your student type.

    An admission decision can be made based on the dual enrollment courses listed on a high school transcript or with an unofficial college transcript. However, to ensure transfer credit, we will need official college transcripts reflecting final grades of the dual enrolled courses prior to your enrollment at Lees-McRae. 

    The amount of transferred credit will vary. Please contact the Office of Admission at admissions@lmc.edu or 828.898.5241 for more details.


    Students may be eligible for advanced placement and/or academic credit through one or more of the programs listed below. Any student considering taking the AP or CLEP tests should first determine eligibility and score requirements for transfer of courses through the registrar. Credit is offered at Lees-McRae College through the following programs: 

    AP (Advanced Placement)  

    • Score of Three: Lees-McRae may award college credit if recommended by the Registrar. 
    • Score of Four: Three to four credit hours of college credit may be awarded for the appropriate Lees-McRae equivalent course. 
    • Score of Five: Six to eight credit hours of college credit may be awarded for the appropriate Lees-McRae equivalent course(s).

    CLEP (College Level Examination Program)  

    • Score of 50: Three to four credit hours of college credit may be awarded for each test taken with a score of 50 or higher for the appropriate Lees-McRae equivalent course. 

    International Baccalaureate Diploma  

    • Score of Five: Three to four credit hours of college credit may be awarded for the appropriate Lees-McRae equivalent course.


    Each transcript is evaluated individually to determine the number of transferable credit hours. Transcript evaluations are pending until receipt of official transcript showing final transfer credit or degree earned is confirmed. 

    View a list of transferable courses

    In order to receive a bachelor’s degree from Lees-McRae, the transfer student must fulfill all requirements outlined in the Requirements for Graduation, which includes earning 32 of the last 40 hours at Lees-McRae with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    Transcript evaluations are completed upon request. Email admissions@lmc.edu with copies of your transcripts.

    NOTE: If you have earned an applied associate degree, associate degree, bachelor’s degree or higher; you are not required to submit a high school transcript and test scores.  



    Students must submit an official transcript from their correspondence school, if applicable. Students who have not worked with an umbrella school may submit an academic curriculum documenting their academic experience. Academic curriculum portfolios must include course descriptions, date the courses were taken, and final grades. The homeschool transcript must show the graduation date and be signed and dated by homeschooling parent.


    International students must submit official and certified transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended within the United States and outside the United States. If an international student wants credit for any prior university-level work from a foreign university, he/she must provide a course-by-course evaluation of their post-secondary academic documents compiled by Spantran or World Education Services (WES). Lees-McRae College has partnered with Spantran to offer a discount on the course-by-course evaluation—students can use this link to take advantage of the discounted rate. Students wishing to use credential evaluations other than the two listed should first check with the Lees-McRae Office of Admission to see if these evaluations will be accepted.

    Language Proficiency Requirement
    Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit language proficiency exam scores. TOEFL IBT, DUOLINGO, and IELTS are all accepted. Minimum required scores are: TOEFL IBT–80, DUOLINGO–110, IELTS–6.5.




    Students seeking to return to Lees-McRae after being absent for more than one semester or attending another institution must submit the following information: 

    • An application for re-admission 
    • Transcripts from all institutions attended since leaving Lees-McRae

    Re-admission is conditional on approval of college departments.


    Any student wishing to take courses at Lees-McRae while enrolled at another institution may do so on a visiting student basis. Students should submit a completed application form and a statement of permission from the applicant’s home institution. This permission statement must indicate that the applicant is in good academic and social standing.


    Veteran Benefits

    Academic programs at Lees-McRae are approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency for the enrollment of persons eligible for educational assistance benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA). Entitled veterans, participants in the Montgomery GI Bill contributory program, active duty military in voluntary education programs, drilling National Guardsmen, drilling Reservists, and eligible spouses and dependents who have applied, met all admissions criteria, been fully accepted, and actively matriculated may be certified to the U.S. DVA Regional Offices as enrolled and in pursuit of an approved program of education. For more information, contact Lynn Hinshaw, veterans certifying official, at 828.898.3473 or hinshaw@lmc.edu.

    Learn about Veterans Affairs Education Benefits



    Lees-McRae approaches admissions holistically, taking into consideration many factors when reviewing applicants. Students are required to submit official transcripts and an essay. They should engage with admission specialists throughout the enrollment process and can submit a letter of recommendation if they wish to. ACT/SAT scores are not required for students who feel that these exams do not adequately represent their academic abilities. Personal interviews are recommended and can be conducted in person, by phone, or via Zoom/Microsoft Teams.

    NOTE: Prospective intercollegiate athletes and Honors Program students may be required to submit ACT/SAT scores. 


    Honors Program

    The Lees-McRae Honors Program accepts up to 40 highly qualified and exceptionally motivated students each year. Because of the limited number of students admitted, acceptance into the Honors Program is highly competitive.   

    To be considered for admission to the Honors Program, incoming students with 0-45 hours of college credit should meet at least two of the following baseline academic criteria: 

    • Weighted cumulative GPA of 4.0 or unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.75 
    • Inclusion in the top 10% of high school graduating class 
    • Minimum SAT score of 600 on Math and 600 on Reading or ACT score of 25 

    Applicants must also submit:  

    • Short Essay (250 words). The mission of Lees-McRae is to prepare students for diverse careers and environments by inspiring them to approach life and work from a creative, collaborative, and critical perspective. With that mission in mind, tell us how you might approach your time here—both in and out of the classroom—creatively, collaboratively, and critically. Please draw from limited experiences, if applicable, and limit your response to 250 words.  
    • List of Achievements. Please list your curricular and co-curricular achievements.  

    After receiving admission to Lees-McRae, any student meeting two of the three criteria above will be invited to apply directly to the Honors Program. Students with more than 45 college credits will be ineligible to apply for the Honors Program but may be eligible for additional academic merit awards and/or our Presidential Scholars program.

Submit all documents to the Office of Admission at:

Office of Admission 
Lees-McRae College 
PO Box 128 
Banner Elk, NC 28604-0128 

Email: admissions@lmc.edu   
Fax: 828.898.8707 

NC Building



Lees-McRae offers both Early Action and Regular Decision admission programs for first-year freshman applicants. Both of these programs are non-binding, which means you are not committing to enroll at the time of acceptance.

To be considered for certain programs and receive numerous benefits, students must follow the established timelines and important dates listed below. Admission to Lees-McRae is competitive and early applications are encouraged due to limited space in many of our academic degree programs.

Early Action (non-binding) 

Want your admission decision early? Early Action is a non-binding admission process, but is strongly recommended for all applicants. This process allow you to receive an earlier decision with the highest amount of merit scholarship available. 

  • Application and all application documents due by: December 15  
  • Admission decision notification: Provided on a rolling basis but no later than January 15 
  • $300 Enrollment commitment fee (deposit) due by: May 1


Regular Decision (rolling basis) 

Choosing the right college can be tough! We understand that, so regular decision application materials are reviewed on a rolling basis. Submitting your application earlier in the process allows you more time to make a well-informed decision. 

  • Application and all application documents due by: April 1 (priorty date)  
  • Admission decision notification: Within 2–3 weeks of receiving completed application materials 
  • $300 Enrollment commitment fee (deposit) due by: By deadline on financial aid award notification

We'll Help Along The Way

Each applicant is assigned a personal admission counselor to assist them throughout the enrollment and financial aid process. Counselors are assigned by geographic area.

Find your admission counselor

What We Look For

Each application is reviewed individually and decisions of admission are based on the following: 

  •    Academic achievement and potential 
  •    Personal characteristics, motivation, and integrity 
  •    Leadership ability as demonstrated by participation in school, community, or religious organization

Lees-McRae College reserves the right to revoke or deny admission or enrollment from students who knowingly mislead or present false information on the application. The college reserves the right to deny admission to any student if, in its judgement, the presence of that student on campus poses an undue risk to the safety or security of the college community. That judgment will be based on an individualized determination taking into account any information the college has about the student. A disciplinary matter or criminal conviction, whether occurring prior to the time of application, while the application is under review, or after the admission decision has been made, may affect the institution’s decisions regarding admission, enrollment, or course of study.

Contact Admissions

Physical Address:
Chaffee Center
191 Main Street
Banner Elk, NC
Mailing Address:
Office of Admission
Lees-McRae College
PO Box 128
Banner Elk, NC 28604

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will serve as your application for all federal, state, and institutional financial aid. The Lees-McRae school code is 002939.

Important Numbers to Know

  • SAT
  • ACT