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.

International Freshman Admissions Overview

The following admissions overview is for international students (i.e. students who are not U.S citizens, permanent residents, or refugees, and who are on temporary visas). If you are NOT an international student, please visit the general Freshman Admissions Overview.

Freshmen accepted to the University of Minnesota are admitted directly to one of eight colleges based on their academic interests and preparation. (See a complete list of colleges and majors.)

Admission to the University of Minnesota is competitive. The competitiveness of admission each year is based on the number of applications received, the academic qualifications of the applicants, and the number of spaces available. To learn more about the students admitted for fall 2020, see the academic profile of admitted freshman applicants.

Enrolling an academically qualified, diverse student body is essential to the University's mission. The academic and social environment of the campus is greatly enhanced, and our educational environment prepares students to contribute to and thrive in a global society.

International Admission Review and Selection Process

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 preparation and performance, as well as the additional information provided in the application, based on the academic and context factors listed below. The strongest consideration in the decision is given to the academic factors. Note that no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision. Applicants are first considered for admission to the colleges listed in their application, in the order in which they are listed. Then, applicants automatically are considered for other U of M freshman-admitting colleges that may be a good fit with their academic interests and preparation.

Academic Factors

  • 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.)
  • 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 such as those listed below are also considered as part of the overall assessment of each application and may factor into individual decisions.

  • 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

High School Courses and the Senior Year

A very strong curriculum during high school will enhance students' success in college, because college courses build on the skills and knowledge taught in high school. The senior year is especially important, and we expect students to continue with math and science for all four years of high school.

Minimum High School Course Requirements

Applicants are expected to complete the minimum course requirements listed below. Admission is competitive and successful applicants typically exceed these requirements.

English - 4 years Emphasis on writing, including instruction in reading and speaking skills and in literary understanding and appreciation.
Mathematics - 4 years 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.
Science - 3 years Including one year each of biological and physical science, and including a laboratory experience.
Note: Biological science, chemistry, and physics are required for the Carlson School of Management, College of Biological Sciences, and College of Science and Engineering.
Social studies - 3 years Including 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 year Including 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 and senior year performance:

Senior year courses are a primary factor we consider when making admissions decisions. After final transcripts or exam results are received, we review each student’s final-year coursework and the grades earned in those courses or exams to confirm course completion, and that academic performance during the final year is consistent with performance at the time of the application.

Changes in senior year coursework may result in a change to the student's college of admission. Unsuccessful completion of senior year coursework and/or a significant decline in academic performance during the final year may result in the cancellation of admission. Final transcripts may include exam results such as, but not limited to, IB, A-level, WAEC, HKDSE, SPM, and CISCE/CBSE.

Students considering making schedule changes, or those who are concerned about their academic progress in any of their courses, must consult with the Office of Admissions via phone (1-800-752-1000 or 612-625-2008) or online (z.umn.edu/ContactAdmissions).

Request information

Return to Home Page

YouTube Instagram Virtual Tour