Gap Year Request

Students admitted to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as incoming freshmen may request to take a gap year or gap semester:

  • Gap year shifts fall term of admission to the following fall term
  • Gap semester shifts fall term of admission to the spring term

Students approved for a gap year or gap semester will be admitted to their original college of admission unless otherwise determined. The deadline to apply for a gap year or gap semester is August 17.

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is now also offering the option to take a gap semester, instead of the traditional gap year. The U of M understands that as things continue to change, and the world evolves to the new normal, students may be seeking new options.

This new option, only available for Spring 2021, would allow admitted students for fall 2020 to start their college coursework during the Spring 2021 semester, instead of deferring for the traditional full gap year. Spring semester begins in January 2021. Students approved for gap semesters will be admitted to their original college of admission unless otherwise determined. All rules and requirements that apply to gap year students will also apply to gap semester students.

Students approved for a gap year or gap semester may not enroll at another academic institution, including another college, university, or in a program that grants credit through an accredited institution. Students approved for a gap year or gap semester that choose to enroll at another academic institution during their gap period will lose their freshman admission status and must re-apply for admission as a transfer student to the University of Minnesota. Transfer applicants must meet transfer admission requirements to their college of interest.

If a gap year or gap semester enrollment request is approved, students do not need to apply for admission to enroll the following year. By November 1, students with an approved gap year or gap semester must submit a final high school transcript with graduation date. Applicants with an approved gap year or gap semester should review the University's policy on final high school transcripts and senior year grades.

Reasons for requesting a gap year or gap semester

The Office of Admissions reviews gap year and gap semester requests on an individual basis for admitted freshmen. Approval of a gap year or gap semester is intended to give students time to focus on personal growth, development of a skill, travel, work, military commitments, or time to recover from a medical condition while ensuring their enrollment for the next year, or semester, and maintaining freshman admission status.

Admitted freshmen may request a gap year or gap semester for various reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Rotary exchange or other 13th year high school level study abroad or exchange program
  • Cultural, religious, or personal growth opportunity
  • Volunteer service or work opportunity
  • Junior hockey
  • National or international sports competitions
  • Military service or National Guard commitment
  • Employment and/or financial reasons
  • Pregnancy, surgery, illness, or other medical health condition
  • Other non-academic pursuits

How do I request a gap year?

  1. Complete our Gap Year Request form.
  2. By November 1st, submit your final high school transcript with graduation date.
  3. If your gap year or gap semester request is approved, you will receive a new admit letter for your new enrollment term. You must submit your enrollment confirmation form (and pay the enrollment confirmation fee if you had not previously done so) for your delayed enrollment term.

University Honors Program Admission and Academic Scholarships

  • Students admitted to the University Honors Program for their original term of admission will have their admission to the University Honors Program carried forward to the following fall term of enrollment pending a review of their final high school transcript.
  • When possible, academic scholarships will be deferred for students approved for a gap year or gap semester. However, please note that some scholarships may require students to be reconsidered for scholarships due to the availability of funds for their new term of enrollment.

Gap Year and Gap Semester FAQ

What is the deadline for requesting a gap year or gap semester?

The deadline to request a gap year is August 17 prior to your original fall term of admission.

How does a gap semester differ from a gap year?

This new offering by the University of Minnesota follows all the same rules and requirements of gap year students, such as:

  • The deadline to request a gap semester is August 17 prior to your original fall term of admission.
  • Gap semester students will be admitted to their original college of admissions.
  • Gap semester students cannot enroll at another academic institution. Those who do will lose their freshman admission status and must re-apply for admission as a transfer student.

Do I need to submit a new application for my new term following my gap year or gap semester?

No, students with an approved gap year or gap semester are not required to reapply for admission. By November 1, students with an approved gap year or gap semester must submit a final high school transcript with graduation date.

What happens after my gap year or gap semester request is approved?

Applicants with an approved gap year or gap semester will receive a notice via Application Tracker confirming the approval. Applicants with an approved gap year or gap semester that have submitted final high school transcripts with graduation date will receive a new admit letter detailing their next steps to enrollment at the University of Minnesota. Once admitted for the new fall term, students approved for a gap year must confirm their enrollment no later than May 1st of their new fall term of enrollment.

Do I need to pay the enrollment confirmation fee again for my new term of enrollment?

No. If you have already paid the confirmation fee (or had the confirmation fee deferred to your first semester tuition and billing), you should not pay the fee for your delayed enrollment term.

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