International Freshman Admissions Overview

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.

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Freshman-Admitted Colleges

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.

To learn more about our colleges, please visit our Colleges at the U of M webpage

Application 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. We review students in the context of their education system.

Holistic Review

Academic Factors

Because the greatest predictor of college success is academic preparation, the strongest consideration in the decision is given to a student's high school record. Our promise to you is that we will look at the overall trend of your high school performance to understand your academic preparation. The following academic factors are considered:

  • Coursework through high school graduation (Admitted students typically exceed the University's high school requirements. See course requirements.)
  • Grades in academic coursework
  • Class rank/Grade point average (if available)
  • Rigor of academic curriculum based on what is available in the high school (including enrollment in honors, AP, IB, A-Level, or college-level courses when available.)
  • ACT or SAT scores (Submitting an ACT/SAT score is not required on applications for the 2023, 2024, and 2025 terms. All students*, whether or not they submit a test score, will receive full consideration for admission, scholarships, and the University Honors Program. For more information, please visit our ACT/SAT FAQ
  • English Proficiency test score (when required)
  • Applicant's academic interests (We review a student's academic preparation related to the major/college for which they are seeking admission.)

Context Factors

Individual circumstances are also considered as part of the overall assessment of each application. Enrolling a diverse student body—with students bringing differing experiences, talents, and perspectives to their scholarly community—is essential to achieving the learning and development outcomes of a University of Minnesota education. 

Our holistic review takes into consideration the individual circumstances that make each individual student unique. While we do not consider an applicant's race and ethnicity, we consider the following context factors in our decision review:

  • Evidence of exceptional achievement, aptitude, or personal accomplishment not reflected in the academic record
  • Participation in extracurricular activities related to your intended major
  • Strong commitment to community service, leadership, and educational involvement
  • 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
  • Contribution to the cultural, gender, age, economic, or geographic diversity of the student body
  • Personal or extenuating circumstances
  • Military service
  • Information received in open-ended questions

High School Course Expectations

A very strong curriculum during high school will enhance your success in college, because college courses build on the skills and knowledge you acquire in high school. Your senior year is especially important. We expect students to continue with academic coursework, including math and science, for all four years of high school. In addition, we expect that students maintain their strong academic performance through graduation. Please note that admission is competitive, so successful applicants typically exceed these expectations listed below.

English - 4 yearsEmphasis 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. Learn more about mathematics requirements
Science - 3 yearsIncluding one year each of biological and physical science, and including a laboratory experience. Note: Biology and chemistry are expected for the College of Biological Sciences and the College of Science and Engineering, while physics is also expected for the College of Science and Engineering.
Social studies - 3 yearsIncluding 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 If English is not your first language, you have already met this requirement.
Visual and/or performing arts - 1 yearIncluding 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)

Schedule Changes & Senior Year Performance 

The University expects that students will successfully complete the senior year coursework they self-report at the time of application. Schedule changes of academic coursework during the senior year and/or the unsuccessful completion of senior year coursework may result in the cancellation of admission or a change to the college 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).

Prior to enrolling at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, all confirmed students must graduate from high school and/or secondary school, or complete a GED, and provide an official test score (if you included an ACT, SAT or English proficiency score on your application) from the testing agency prior to the first day of fall semester. These official documents will be carefully reviewed against the Self-Reported Academic Record.

For international students, final secondary school documents may include exam results such as, but not limited to, IB, A-level, WAEC, HKDSE, SPM, CISCE/CBSE, and WAEC.

For more information on senior year performance, please visit Final High School Transcript and Senior Year Grades.