Common Application Walk-Through

General FAQs

What parts of the Common Application are required for Syracuse University?

Once you select Syracuse University as one of your selected schools, it will be added to your Dashboard. You will see there are two items to complete, the Application and the Writing Supplement. The Application includes:

  • Common Application
  • Member (Syracuse University) Questions
  • Assign Recommenders

These three sections must be completed in order to submit your application. In addition, the Writing Supplement includes a few short answer questions. This can be submitted after submitting your application.

How do I submit my application if I have a fee waiver?

In the “Profile” section of the Common Application you will indicate and sign that you qualify for a fee waiver, based on the indicators of economic need listed in this section. This will allow you to submit your application without paying the fee.

I’m applying Early Decision. Where do I find the ED Agreement form?

  • There is no separate form, unless your school is using Naviance eDocs. If this is the case, a PDF of the ED Agreement will appear in the “Assign Recommenders” section.
  • You will indicate in the “General” section of the Syracuse University Member Questions that your preferred admission plan is Early Decision. Once you do, you will see a box of text explaining the terms of Early Decision. Select “Yes” for this statement.
  • An additional box of text indicating that you have read and understand the terms of Early Decision, for which you should select “Yes”
  • You will be prompted to submit your electronic ED Signature.
  • Once you sign, you will see in the “Assign Recommenders” section that you will need to invite a parent via email. Once they receive the email, your parent will be able to sign electronically. In addition, your counselor will also receive notice to sign electronically.

If you applied for Regular Decision and now want to apply for ED, or if you’re having difficulty completing the electronic signatures, you may download and complete the ED Agreement PDF and mail or fax to us at:

Undergraduate Admissions Processing Center
Early Decision Review
P.O. Box 37324
Syracuse University
Syracuse NY 13235
Fax: 315-443-8427

I'm working on my essay, but the formatting seems to be off?

The Common Application has informed all member colleges that errors in the text-to-PDF conversion process have the potential to produce essays that contain unusual formatting, including inconsistent fonts and errant paragraph breaks. They have assured colleges that students have no control over this formatting and that these types of errors are not the fault of the Common Application, nor the students’.  You will not in any way be penalize this technical problem as is out of your control.

Should you find that some of your text has been deleted after copy and pasting, please contact the Common Application Help Center.

If you continue to experience problems with entering your essay on the Common Application, you may also submit it to us by mail, e-mail or fax:

 Art Supplement

The “Art Supplement” refers to the required portfolio or audition for the School of Art and Design or the Department of Drama. Only portfolios or auditions for programs in these areas can be submitted through the Common Application via SlideRoom. Please read through the following FAQs for more information:

Can I submit a portfolio/DVD/recording to enhance my application even if I’m not applying to a program for which it is required?

No. Syracuse University does not accept or review these items if they are not required for the program to which you are applying. You should answer “No” for the question asking if you intend to submit an art supplement.

I plan to have my portfolio review or audition in person. Do I also have to submit through the Common Application?

No. If you are applying to the School of Art and Design or the Department of Drama you’ll need to choose whether you want to have your portfolio review or audition in person. If you intend to do so in person, you should answer “No” for the question asking if you intend to submit an art supplement.

How can I schedule my portfolio review or audition in person?

More information, including dates and locations, can be found here:

Can I submit my portfolio or audition before submitting the Common Application?

If you intend to submit online rather than in person, you will need to submit your application prior to submitting your portfolio or audition through SlideRoom.

Can I submit my portfolio for the School of Architecture through the Common Application and Slideroom?

Portfolios for the School of Architecture cannot be submitted through the Common Application. Go to for information on submitting a portfolio for the School of Architecture. If applying to the School of Architecture, you should select “No” for the question asking if you intend to submit an art supplement.

Can I submit my audition for the Setnor School of Music through the Common Application and Slideroom?

If you are applying to programs in the Setnor School of Music, do not select “Yes” to submit an Art Supplement. The Setnor School of Music requires audition for performance based programs, but the audition cannot be submitted through the Common Application. Instructions for submission of music auditions can be found here:

Do I need to submit an audition or portfolio if I’m applying to the School of Art and Design or Department of Drama as my second or third choice?

Yes. If you are applying to ANY program for which it is required, even if it’s not your first choice, you will not be considered unless you submit the portfolio or audition.


Do I have to select three choices for college/plan?

Yes, these are all required fields and you should list in order of preference. You may not be admissible to your first-choice and we would like to consider you for other college/plan if space remains. If you only want to be considered for one college/plan, you should select the same for choices two and three.

I’m applying to the College of Arts and Sciences. Why is it asking me about Discovery Programs?

Applicants to The College of Arts and Sciences have the option of applying for one of our Discovery Programs to spend the fall semester in Florence or Strasbourg. If you do not wish to apply for a Discovery Program, simply select “No” in the drop down menu. If you are applying to a Discovery Program you must submit the Discovery Program Application Supplement by January 15, 2014.

Activities and Recommenders

Why does it only allow me to enter one activity in the “Activities” section?

Although the link indicates you may add another activity, our only question is in regards to your interest in studying abroad. Once you select “Yes” or “No” you do not have to answer again and should press “Continue” to move to the next section.

Can I submit a letter of recommendation from someone other than academic teacher?

Your two academic recommenders must be teachers from your core academic subjects. In addition, you may submit an additional recommendation from someone such as an art/music teacher, coach, or work supervisor if you feel this person would be able to provide additional insight.

As a transfer applicant, whom should I submit as the Registrar in the “Assign Recommenders” section?

You may enter the name of the person who will submit your official academic transcript or an academic/career advisor. Syracuse University does not require a recommendation or school report from your registrar.

Writing Supplement

What is the word count max/min for the questions in the writing supplement?

Although there are no word count limitations, please keep your answers brief to a few sentences or 1-2 paragraphs.

Please note: There will be an additional question in the Writing Supplement if you are applying to the Citizenship and Civic Engagement program in The College of Arts and Sciences or if you are applying as a transfer student.