UPDATE: Students applying for fall 2021 and fall 2022 undergraduate admission at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score. Learn more.

Fall 2015 University of Minnesota High School Course Requirement: Four Years of Math

These frequently asked questions are also provided in PDF form.

What is the new high school course requirement?

A fourth year of math (instead of the current three years) will be required effective with students seeking admission for fall 2015 and later to the Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses of the University of Minnesota.

  • Current requirement: for students seeking admission before fall 2015: Three years of math, including two years of algebra, and one year of geometry. (Currently on the Twin Cities campus, a fourth year of math is required for admission to the Carlson School of Management, College of Biological Sciences, and the College of Science and Engineering.)
  • New requirement: for students seeking admission fall 2015 and thereafter: Four years of math, including two years of algebra, and one year of geometry. Courses strong in quantitative methodology may be used to meet this requirement. See a list of sample courses that meet this requirement.

Why is the University of Minnesota requiring a fourth year of math?

The University of Minnesota's faculty and administration are strongly committed to student success and University research has shown that completing four years of math enhances student success in college. Grade point averages and retention and graduation rates at the University of Minnesota are higher for students who have taken four years of math. Currently, over 90 percent of new entering freshmen on the Twin Cities campus have completed four years of math. In addition, given the current quantitative nature of our global society, students in a broad array of disciplines, from business to history to health care, will either be required to take college-level math at the University or will be required to apply an understanding of upper-level high school math or quantitative methodology to their college-level work. Requiring students to take four years of math will help ensure that they have the math and quantitative thinking skills necessary for success in college and beyond.

Does the fourth year of math need to be taken during the senior year?

We recognize that some students may complete the equivalent of a fourth year of high school math earlier than their senior year. Even if this is the case, the University recommends that students continue taking math or quantitative methodology through the senior year of high school. When students do not take math in their senior year of high school, they enter their fall semester as University freshmen having completed no math for two summers and an entire academic year. We strongly encourage students to continue taking math through their senior year because math skills can deteriorate quickly if not used. Mathematical and quantitative thinking is a component of the University's degree requirements, and all students must complete some college-level coursework in this area at the University.

What types of math courses will fulfill the requirement?

The fourth year of math can be any college preparatory math class offered by your high school. Courses that have Algebra II as a prerequisite or are strong in quantitative methodology may be used to meet this requirement. See a list of sample courses that meet this requirement.

Will it be possible for students to be admitted if they have not completed four years of math?

Yes, it will be possible. Admission decisions are based on a holistic, overall assessment of each application, and students missing a high school course requirement may still be admissible if their overall application is otherwise very strong. Please note, however, that admission to the University is competitive, and the overall strongest applicants from a highly competitive applicant pool are selected for admission. Students are encouraged to continue taking a set of rigorous college preparatory coursework during their senior year that includes math. Completing the high school course requirements not only enhances a student's preparation for success in college; it also strengthens their application for admission.

My high school doesn't offer four years of math so my students aren't able to complete four years of math. How will they be affected?

Our overall, holistic assessment of a student's application does take into account the courses offered at the student's high school. Students attending schools where math is either not offered in the senior year or the where the student has exhausted the math options at their school will not be denied admission because of a missing fourth year of math. Admission decisions are based on an overall assessment of a student's academic credentials and secondary factors, and no single factor is a deciding factor. We do expect students to take full advantage of the math offerings at their high school and will consider the students' success in their academic coursework in our review of their applications.

If you have questions about how admission decisions are made, or questions about which courses will satisfy the math requirement, please contact the Office of Admissions at the individual University of Minnesota campus.

  • Duluth: 1-800-232-1339
  • Crookston: 1-800-862-6466
  • Morris: 1-888-866-3382
  • Rochester: 1-877-280-4699
  • Twin Cities: 1-800-752-1000

Sample courses that count toward math requirement:

Courses that usually meet the Elementary Algebra requirement:

Elementary Algebra
Algebra 1
Basic Algebra
Integrated Math 1 (IMP 1, Core 1)

Courses that usually meet the Geometry requirement:

Informal Geometry
Basic Geometry
Integrated Math 2 (IMP 2, Core 2)

Courses that generally meet the Intermediate Algebra requirement:

Intermediate Algebra
Algebra 2
Integrated Math 3 (IMP 3, Core 3)

If applicant has met the Intermediate Algebra requirement, we can assume that the Elementary Algebra requirement has also been met.

Courses that generally meet the 4th year Math requirement:

(The examples listed here include courses that have Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite.)

Geometry/Trigonometry/Algebra (GTA)
College Algebra
Discrete Math
Finite Math
IB Math Studies
IB Math Methods
IB Math Higher Level
Integrated Math 4 (IMP 4, Core 4)
Advanced Math
Functions/Statistics/Trigonometry (FST)

If applicant has met the 4th year math requirement, we can assume that the Elementary Algebra, Geometry, and Intermediate Algebra requirements have also been met.

Non-Math courses that meet the 4th year Math requirement:

(Courses that either usually have Intermediate Algebra as a course prerequisite or that meet the UM Math Liberal Education Requirements)

AP Computer Science Principles
AP Physics
IB Physics
AP Chemistry
IB Chemistry
UM PSEO: Overview of Computer Science (CSCI 1001)
UM PSEO: Logic (PHIL 1001 or PHIL 1021)

University of Minnesota courses that meet the 4th year math requirement:

(High school students may take these courses as PSEO courses or College in the Schools [CIS] courses.)

All courses in the U of M math department (MATH 1001 and higher)
All courses that meet the U of M Math Liberal Education Requirement (see full list)

Math courses that generally do not meet the math requirement:

Consumer Math
Computer Math
Senior Math
Business Math
College Prep Math
Survey of Mathematics
Topics in Math
Mathematical Concepts
Liberal Arts math
Foundations of Math

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