College Planning Tips for Students and Their Supporters

  1. Visit campus. Explore college campuses before the fall of your senior year. Meet students and faculty and tour campus facilities. Visiting campus is the best way to determine whether a school is a good fit for you. To learn more about visit options at the U of M, check out our Visit Us page.
  2. Choose coursework that will prepare you to succeed in college. This means during your senior year, too. The classes you take in high school are a foundation for what you will experience in college. That's why it's really important to take a challenging "college preparatory" curriculum while you're in high school. Work closely with your school counselor to choose the appropriate college preparatory courses offered at your school. See our minimum requirements below.
  3. Learn about ACT/SAT requirements as soon as you can. Many colleges and universities have made changes to their ACT/SAT guidelines recently. The University of Minnesota will not require an ACT/SAT score on your application for 2024 or 2025 admission or scholarships (learn more about U of M test requirements).
  4. Complete your admission applications and self-reported academic record early in the fall of your senior year! Don't procrastinate. Applying early ensures that you'll meet application deadlines. (Plus, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your winter vacation!) Prospective University of Minnesota Twin Cities freshmen should fill out the Freshman Admission Application via Common App or our Golden Gopher Application.

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.