Freshman Admission Decisions 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.

Learn about our review process and admissions decisions:

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.

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. 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
  • Rigor of academic curriculum based on what is available in the high school (including enrollment in honors, AP, IB, or college-level courses when available)
  • ACT or SAT scores
    (Submitting an ACT/SAT score is not required for 2021 applicants. 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 and frequently asked questions, please visit our ACT/SAT FAQ.)
  • 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 development outcomes of a University of Minnesota education. Our university community is strengthened by our students representing different races, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, genders, religions, ethnicities, sexualities, talents, and beliefs.

Our holistic review takes into consideration the individual circumstances that make each individual student unique. We consider the following context factors in our decision review.

  • Outstanding talent, achievement, or aptitude in a particular area
  • Strong commitment to community service and leadership
  • Military service
  • Contribution to the cultural, gender, age, economic, racial, or geographic diversity of the student body
  • 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
  • Family employment or attendance at the University of Minnesota
  • Personal or extenuating circumstances
  • Information received in open-ended questions

Freshman-Admitting 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.

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.

Academic Profile of Admitted Students

This table provides a general overview of the middle 50 percentile high school rank and standardized test scores of freshman applicants admitted for fall 2020. Overall, the middle 50 percent of students admitted for fall 2020:

  • Scored between 26 and 32 on the ACT
  • Scored between 1300 and 1460 on the SAT
  • Had a high school rank percentile between 80 and 96

Please note the data presented in the table are a composite picture of admitted freshman applicants; they are not admission criteria. Admission decisions are based on an individual, overall assessment of each application. 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 match with their academic interests and preparation. For complete information on our application review factors, please see our admissions overview.

  Biological Sciences Design Education & Human Development Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Liberal Arts Management (Carlson School of) School of Nursing Science and Engineering
High School Rank
High School Rank (if provided) - Range of the Middle 50 Percentile of Admitted Freshmen 89 - 98% 74 - 94% 73 - 92% 74 - 94% 74 - 94% 87 - 97% 89 - 98% 88 - 98%
*ACT Composite
ACT Composite Score 28 - 33 25 - 30 25 - 27 24 - 30 25 - 31 28 - 32 28 - 32 30 - 34
*SAT Total
SAT Composite Score 1330 - 1460 1280 - 1410 1280 - 1380 1300 - 1420 1310 - 1440 1340 - 1460 1320 - 1440 1370 - 1490

*Please note: the University of Minnesota Twin Cities will not be requiring an ACT or SAT score for the 2021 undergraduate application.

Admission Decision Timeline and Definitions

Early Action I applicants: Students who submit their complete applications by the November 1 Early Action I Deadline will receive an admission decision on Application Tracker by January 31.

Early Action II applicants: Students who submit their complete applications by the December 1 Early Action II Deadline will receive an admission decision on Application Tracker by February 15.

Regular Deadline applicants: Students who submit their complete applications by the January 1 Regular Deadline will receive an admission decision on Application Tracker by March 31.

Scholarship recipients and students admitted to the University Honors Program will be notified by March 31.

POSSIBLE DECISIONS:

  • Admit: Based on our holistic review, the student has been admitted to the University of Minnesota.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Admission Decision Frequently Asked Questions

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. We know that your application is important to you and your family, and we do not take your interest in the University of Minnesota for granted.

Because we are committed to ensuring that each application receives very careful consideration, our review does take some time to complete. We work very hard to ensure that we each student is given the time and attention needed to make a fair admission decision. Our comprehensive and individualized review process ensures that each application is given a thorough, fair, and consistent review.

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 our information on holistic review above.

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 FAQs on ACT/SAT scores for more information.

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.

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.

Yes. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities welcomes more than 2,000 transfer students each year.

Students admitted as incoming freshmen may request to take a gap year and defer their fall term of admission to the following fall term. Students approved will be admitted to their original college of admission unless otherwise determined. Please note, students approved for gap years may not enroll at another academic institution, including another college, university, or in a program that grants credits through an accredited institution. Students that are approved for a gap year and then choose to enroll at another academic initiation during their gap year will lose their freshman admission status and must re-apply for admission as a transfer student to the University of Minnesota.

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