Post-Secondary Admissions Requirements
Community and Technical Colleges:
One of your choices might be an “open door” to higher education. At Minnesota’s state community and technical colleges, the basic admission requirement is a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Specific programs or majors may have additional requirements. Community colleges can also be a pathway to a 4-year university degree. Check out university transfer programs available at community colleges or see your high school counselor for more information.
Some technical college programs also are linked to technology-based degrees or state universities. There are over 50 approved technical institutions in Minnesota, and they offer over 100 areas of course offerings. It is important that you take courses that will give you a background in the type of work you wish to pursue. Most technical schools use the results of a placement test (Accuplacer), along with your class rank and the grades on your transcript, to determine your starting coursework level in the college.
Students who do not achieve satisfactory scores on the placement tests may be required to enroll in remedial courses. Students must pay tuition for these courses but do not receive credit towards their degree for the course. Therefore, it is imperative students who plan to attend a community or technical college work hard during high school and choose classes that will challenge and prepare them for college level courses after graduation.
Private Colleges, State Universities, and the University of Minnesota System:
Students seeking bachelor degrees (approximately 4-5 years), master’s degrees (additional 2-3 years) or doctoral degrees (additional 4 years) should look at private colleges, state universities, the University of Minnesota system, or similar out-of-state institutions. Admission requirements vary by school and state. Most four year colleges and universities will consider a student’s GPA, class rank, standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) and if a student has taken a college preparation course load when making admission decisions.
A College Preparation Course Load Generally Includes:
- 4 years of English
- 3 – 4 years of Math (at least through Algebra II)
- 3 – 4 years of Science (at least 2 with a lab component)
- 3 – 4 years of Social Studies
- 2+ years of a Foreign Language
- 2+ years of Fine Arts
For Minnesota state colleges and universities admission is generally granted to students who graduate in the upper half of their high school graduating class and/or who have obtained a cumulative score or 21 or higher on the ACT or a combined score of 1000 on the SAT standardized tests. Some universities have stricter admissions requirements, including the University of Minnesota system, so it is important to know the admission requirements of the colleges you are interested in attending and to plan ahead for your high school courses. Talk to your counselor or visit the specific college or university website to learn admission requirements for each college.
The following are some general recommendations a student should consider if he/she is planning on entering a bachelor degree program at a public or private university:
- Develop and utilize effective study habits.
- Strengthen your communication skills. Effective use of the English language-both spoken and written is expected of students. Increasing demands are being placed on students to be able to express themselves effectively.
- Practice critical and creative thinking, do not simply memorize.
- Read effectively. You should read material of medium difficulty with good understanding.
- Know your class rank and GPA. Many colleges have a minimum class rank and GPA requirement for acceptance.
- Prepare yourself now to be successful in the future. In addition to courses taken, class rank, and GPA, colleges use the results of the ACT or the SAT. Most U.S colleges now accept either the ACT or SAT results. The most effective way to prepare for these tests is to take challenging courses and fully participate in those classes.
Minnesota State Universities
- 4 Years – Courses in composition, literature, and speech
- 3 Years – 2 years of Algebra, including Intermediate or Advanced Algebra, and 1 year of Geometry
- 3 Years – 1 year each of a Biological Science and a Physical Science, & 3 sciences with a lab component
- 3 Years – 1 year each of Geography and U.S. History, along with other courses in the Social Sciences
- 1 Year
- 2 Years (of a single World Language)
- World Cultures, Computer Science or the Arts
In addition, some community and technical colleges and university programs or majors may require special preparation for enrollment.
University of Minnesota – All Campuses
All applicants are expected to have completed as a minimum the University’s High School course preparation requirements:
4 Years – Emphasis on writing, including instruction in reading, speaking and literary understanding & appreciation
- 4 Years – Elementary algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra, and a 4th year math may include calculus (preferred), pre-calculus, analysis, trigonometry
- 3 Years – Including 1 year each of Biological and Physical Science, and lab component
- 3 Years – Including U.S. History and Geography
- 1 Year – Including History and Interpretation of the Art Form (i.e. Theatre, Band, Choir, Photography, Graphic Design)
- 2 Years – Of a single World Language
- World Cultures, Computer Science or the Arts
- Biological science, chemistry, and physics are required for Management, Biological Sciences, and Science and Engineering.
*These requirements would apply to most private colleges as well.
See your counselor for other college admission requirements and NCAA requirements if you are planning on a Division I or II school sports career.