Our goal in the admissions review process is to enroll an academically qualified and diverse student body, which is essential to the University's mission. In doing so, the University's educational and social environment prepares students to contribute to and thrive in a global society.
If you are accepted to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as a freshman, you will be admitted to one of the following colleges:
- Carlson School of Management
- College of Biological Sciences
- College of Design
- College of Education and Human Development
- College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science and Engineering
- School of Nursing
Admission to each of the University's eight freshmen-admitting colleges is very competitive, and the number of available spaces varies by college. Applicants are first considered for admission to the colleges listed in their application, in the order in which they are listed. Then, applicants are automatically considered for other U of M freshman-admitting colleges that may be a good fit with their academic interests and preparation.
Holistic Review Process
At the University of Minnesota, 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 and context factors. Note that no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision.
Admission Decision Timeline and Definitions
Academic Profile of Admitted Students
Along with your admission to a specific college, we will automatically consider you for these programs:
President's Emerging Scholars
President's Emerging Scholars is an educational opportunity program which ensures timely graduation of its participants by encouraging and supporting academic, career, and personal well-being through scholarships, programming, professional advising, and peer mentoring. 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.
University Honors Program
The University Honors Program will enhance your University of Minnesota Twin Cities experience through enriched curriculum, interdisciplinary experiences, and exceptional community between your fellow honors students, faculty, and advisors. Honors admission is offered to the overall most competitive applicants from each freshman-admitting college.
Do you really review every application?
Yes! Each and every application is read very carefully by more than one staff member in the Office of Admissions before a decision is made. This process ensures that each application is given a thorough, fair, and consistent review. Because we are committed to ensuring that each application receives very careful consideration, our review takes time to complete.
What factors do you consider when making an admissions decision?
Each and every application is read very carefully by more than one staff member in the Office of Admissions before a decision is made. This process ensures that each application is given a thorough, fair, and consistent review. Admission decisions are based on a very careful, overall assessment of each student's academic and context factors. Note that no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision.
Applicants are considered for up to two colleges listed on the application in the order the interest is indicated. If we are unable to admit the student to one of the colleges listed, the applicant is automatically considered for admission to all other U of M colleges that are a good fit with the academic interests, academic preparation, and other information included in a student's application materials. Admission decisions are based on a comprehensive, individualized review of the student's application, the overall strength of the applications received, and the number of spaces available in each of the University's freshman-admitting colleges.
What are the possible admission decisions that an applicant could receive?
- Admit: Based on our holistic review, the student has been admitted to the University of Minnesota. Frequently asked questions about how we determine college of admission.
- Defer: A deferred admissions decision means that although the student met the Early Action I or Early Action II deadline, we need more time and more information about our applicant pool in order to make our final decision. The overall strength of our applicant pool and the number of spaces available in each freshman-admitting college will determine the admission decision. An update will be provided to the student by March 31. Frequently asked questions about defer decisions.
- 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. Frequently asked questions about deny decisions.
- 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 mid-June. If we determine that spaces remain available, the overall strongest applicants will be admitted from the waitlist. Frequently asked questions about waitlist decisions.
What is the academic profile of students who are admitted?
Admission decisions are based on an individual, overall assessment of each application, using the academic and context factors listed above.
Am I at a disadvantage if my school’s grading system, course offerings, or activities changed due to COVID-19?
We acknowledge that many elements you intended to include on your application may look different this year. Your activities, sports academics, and family responsibilities have likely changed, and we encourage you to use the short-answer questions on our application to tell us about your circumstances.
Your application will be read in its entirety, and we promise to review your experiences with compassion and understanding. Rather than using equations to grant admission, we get to know your individual story—and that includes the ways in which you faced the challenges of COVID-19.
- Sports and Activities - sports, clubs, teams, and other group activities have all had to change since spring 2020. We understand you may not be participating in any of these activities at this time. In the short-answer questions on the application, please share what you have done over your high school timeframe and what adjustments you had to make in 2020 and beyond.
- Grades - Many high schools adjusted their grading scales to accommodate the shifts in courses last spring. We are expecting to see different grading patterns (such as Pass/Fail) and will look at the overall trend of your high school grades—not just a single semester—to understand your academic performance.
The U of M has proudly joined 350 colleges across the country in signing Care Counts in a Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19. Care Counts is a promise to you on what our admissions professionals value as we read your applications this year: self-care, academic work, service and contributions to others, family contributions, and extracurricular activities.
Am I at a disadvantage because my high school does not provide high school rank information?
No. Students whose high schools do not provide high school ranks receive full consideration for admission, through an individualized and overall assessment of the application. See a list of holistic review factors.
Am I at a disadvantage if I don't submit an ACT/SAT score?
All students, whether or not they choose to have an ACT/SAT score considered as part of their application, will receive full consideration for admission, scholarships, and our University Honors Program. Application review for students who do not submit a score will place greater emphasis on the other academic factors and the context factors in our holistic review process. See our Frequently Asked Questions on ACT/SAT scores for more information.
I was admitted to the University of Minnesota. Will I receive an academic scholarship?
Scholarship 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. Our freshman scholarship review process ensures that each application is considered individually, based on our academic and context review factors. Although the strongest consideration in the scholarship review is given to the academic factors, no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision.
I was admitted to the University of Minnesota. Will I be admitted to Honors?
Students who are admitted to the University Honors Program are notified by the end of March. Admission to the University Honors Program is highly competitive, and the degree of competitiveness varies by college of admission. Honors admission is offered to the overall most competitive applicants from each freshman-admitting college.
I was admitted to the University of Minnesota, but I received low grades. Can my admission be rescinded?
Yes. Senior year courses and grades are very important, and are considered when making admission decisions. After final transcripts are received, we review each student’s senior year coursework and grades to confirm completion and that student performance during the senior year is consistent with their academic performance at the time of application. Changes in senior year coursework may result in a change to the student’s college of admission. Unsuccessful completion of senior year coursework and/or a significant decline in academic performance during the senior year will result in reconsideration of the admission decision and may result in the cancellation of admission.
If you are making changes to your senior year courses, or are experiencing declining grades in your courses, you must consult with a U of M admissions counselor right away at 612-625-2008 or 1-800-752-1000.
Please visit our Final High School Transcripts and Senior Year Grades policy website for more information.
Can students who received a deny admission decision apply for transfer admission to the U of M in the future?
Yes. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities welcomes more than 2,000 transfer students each year. Visit our transfer admissions page for more information on application deadlines and transfer admissions requirements.