Freshman Admissions Overview

Freshmen accepted to the University of Minnesota are admitted directly to one of seven colleges based on their academic interests and preparation. (See a complete list of colleges and majors.)

Admission to the University of Minnesota is competitive. The competitiveness of admission each year is based on the number of applications received, the academic qualifications of the applicants, and the number of spaces available. To learn more about the students admitted for fall 2014, see the academic profile of fall 2014 admitted freshman applicants.

Enrolling an academically qualified, diverse student body is essential to the University's mission. The academic and social environment of the campus is greatly enhanced, and our educational environment prepares students to contribute to and thrive in a global society.

Admission Decision Timing

By the end of February, students who submit a complete application by the December 15 priority deadline will receive one of the following decisions.

  • Admit: The student has been admitted to the University of Minnesota.
  • Waitlist: The student's application has been placed on a waitlist. Although we have determined that the applicant is academically prepared to succeed at the University of Minnesota, we must make certain that we do not exceed the number of spaces available in each of the freshman-admitting colleges. Waitlisted applicants will receive an update on the status of their applications by April 15. If we determine that spaces remain available, the overall strongest applicants will be admitted from the waitlist.
  • Deny: We are not able to offer freshman admission. Students who are denied admission are encouraged to apply for transfer admission for a future semester. Transfer admission is also competitive so it is important that students achieve a strong academic record at another college or university.

Admissions Review and Selection Process

We believe that selecting students from a highly talented group of applicants requires an individual assessment of all application materials submitted for each student; every application is read in its entirety.

Admission decisions are based on a very careful, overall assessment of each student’s academic preparation and performance, as well as the additional information provided in the application, based on the primary and secondary factors listed below. The strongest consideration in the decision is given to the primary factors, and no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision. Applicants are automatically considered for admission to all U of M colleges that are a good fit with their academic interests and preparation.

Primary Factors
  • Coursework through high school graduation. (Admitted students typically exceed the University's high school requirements. See course requirements)
  • Grade point average
  • Class rank (if available)
  • ACT or SAT scores
Secondary Factors

Individual circumstances listed below are also considered as part of the overall assessment of each application.

  • Outstanding talent, achievement, or aptitude in a particular area
  • An exceptionally rigorous academic curriculum (enrollment in honors, AP, IB, or college-level courses)
  • Strong commitment to community service and leadership
  • Military service
  • Contribution to the cultural, gender, age, economic, racial, or geographic diversity of the student body
  • Evidence of having overcome social, economic, or physical barriers to educational achievement
  • First-generation college student
  • Significant responsibility in a family, community, job, or activity
  • Family employment or attendance at the University of Minnesota
  • Extenuating circumstances

Course Requirements

High School Courses and the Senior Year

A very strong curriculum during high school will enhance students’ success in college, because college courses build on the skills and knowledge taught in high school. The senior year is especially important, and we expect students to continue with math and science for all four years of high school.

Minimum High School Course Requirements

Applicants are expected to complete the minimum course requirements listed below. Admission is competitive and successful applicants typically exceed these requirements.

English 4 years Emphasis on writing, including instruction in reading and speaking skills and in literary understanding and appreciation.
Mathematics 4 years Elementary algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra (integrated math 1, 2 & 3). Examples of 4th year math include calculus (preferred), pre-calculus, analysis, integrated math 4.
Science
(Biological science, chemistry, and physics are required for the Carlson School of Management, Biological Sciences, and Science and Engineering.)
3 years Including one year each of biological and physical science, and including a laboratory experience.
Social Studies 3 years Including one year each of U.S. history and geography (or a course that includes a geography component such as world history, western civilization, or global studies)
Single Second Language 2 years
Visual and/or Performing Arts 1 year Including instruction in the history and interpretation of the art form (e.g. theater arts, music, band, chorus, orchestra, drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, media production, theater production)

* Beginning with students who apply for fall 2015 admission, four years of math will be required for all applicants.

Schedule changes and senior year performance

We consider the application to be a contract between the student and the University, with the student agreeing to successfully complete senior year courses listed on the application, and achieve grades consistent with their academic performance through 11th grade.

In August, after final transcripts are received, we review each student's senior year coursework and the grades earned in those courses to confirm course completion and that the performance during the senior year is consistent with the academic performance at the time of application. Unsuccessful completion of senior year coursework and/or a significant decline in academic performance during the senior year may result in the cancellation of admission.

Students considering making schedule changes, or those who are concerned about their academic progress in any of their courses, must consult with their U of M admissions counselor (1-800-752-1000 or 612-625-2008).

President’s Emerging Scholars Program

The mission of the President’s Emerging Scholars Program is to ensure the timely graduation of its participants. This four-year program serves students who have demonstrated the potential to succeed academically at the University, but whose high school academic records suggest participation the Program will ensure a smooth transition to college and their successful development as student scholars.

President’s Emerging Scholars benefit from a full range of services that enhance and support the academic success of students with diverse backgrounds and characteristics, including: urban students, rural students, first-generation college students, student parents, students with disabilities, students of color, older students, students who have overcome barriers that have impacted their success, and students for whom English is not their first language.

Key benefits of the President’s Emerging Scholars Program include:

  • Academic guidance and support to help ensure academic success and timely degree completion including regular meetings with both academic advisers and peer mentors
  • Programming and activities that encourage campus engagement and help create a sense of belonging to the University community
  • Scholarship support to help make a University education possible for eligible students (Eligible participants receive a $1,000 President’s Emerging Scholar Award.)
  • Optional participation in the Summer Seminar for new incoming freshmen President’s Emerging Scholars are admitted to one of the seven freshman-admitting colleges based on an individual, overall assessment of the primary and secondary factors listed above. Preference is given to first-generation students and other students whose applications demonstrate evidence of having overcome social, economic, or physical barriers to educational achievement. As a condition of their admission, selected students are required to participate in all programmatic elements of the President's Emerging Scholars Program in their first year. Participants are primarily Minnesota residents.

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