High School Preparation Requirements for Undergraduates: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester

Responsible Officer
Rachel Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
Robert McMaster
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Primary Contact
Robert McMaster
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

To assure a minimum level of preparedness for University students, each campus of the University of Minnesota is responsible for setting minimum academic requirements for individuals seeking admission to undergraduate degree programs.

For the Twin Cities, Morris, and Rochester campuses, the minimum academic requirements must include:

  1. ENGLISH - Four years, including writing, literature, and speech. Within the writing component, students may elect work in composition, creative writing, journalism, or research writing. Literature may include both American and world literatures; speech may include both public speaking and debate.
    1. For students seeking admission before fall 2015: Three years consisting of two years of algebra, one of which must be intermediate or advanced algebra, and one year of geometry.
    2. For student seeking admission fall 2015 and thereafter: Four years, including two years of algebra, one of which must be intermediate or advanced algebra, and one year of geometry.
  3. SCIENCE - Three years, including at least one course each in the biological and physical sciences, and all three units to incorporate significant laboratory experience. The biological and physical science requirements would most commonly be met by courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Other courses could include advanced biology, human anatomy and physiology, botany, zoology, geology, and advanced chemistry and physics.
  4. SOCIAL STUDIES - Three years, including one year each of geography and American history. Geography need not always be taught as a full year course, and may in fact be incorporated in a significant way into other studies; transcripts should indicate specifically which courses meet the geography requirement.
  5. WORLD LANGUAGE - Two years of a single second language. Language courses may include both those traditionally taught in high schools (for example, Spanish, French, German), as well as those less frequently taught.
  6. ARTS - One year in the visual or performing arts. It is expected that all arts courses (including band and chorus) will include instruction in the history and critical interpretation of the art form. Courses in the arts should offer students the opportunity to experience the arts directly as creators/performers and as critical, informed observers.

Colleges, departments, or programs may have additional admission requirements.

Duluth and Crookston Campuses

Students applying for admission to Duluth must meet the high school preparation requirements specified at http://www.d.umn.edu/vcaa/HighSchoolPrepRequirements.html. Students applying for admission to the Crookston campus must meet the high school preparation requirements specified at http://www1.crk.umn.edu/prod/groups/crk/@pub/@crk/@admissions/documents/content/crk_content_147581.pdf (page 3).

Reason for Policy

The high school preparation requirements exist to provide guidance to prospective students and their high school counselors, to help them make informed curricular choices. These requirements were prepared and adopted in conjunction with the Minnesota State College and University system. The requirements are used in evaluating applications for admission, to ensure a minimum level of preparedness for University students. This policy implements criteria and requirements for accreditation established by the Higher Learning Commission.




Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Could a student be admitted without having met all of the high school preparation requirements?

    Yes, it is possible under extenuating circumstances. A student who is missing a high school preparation requirement is not automatically disqualified from consideration for admission. However, admission to the University is competitive and all other factors being equal, the student’s application would not be as strong as the application of a student who has completed or exceeded all of the requirements.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Jessica Kuecker Grothjohn 612-624-1328 [email protected]
Twin Cities Campus Procedures Jessica Kuecker Grothjohn 612-624-1328 [email protected]
Crookston Campus Procedures Jason Tangquist 218-281-8424 [email protected]
Morris Campus Peh Ng 320-589-6015 [email protected]
Rochester Campus Procedures Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain 507-258-8006 [email protected]


There are no definitions related to this policy.


Admissions Department
Determines which students are offered admission to undergraduate degree programs.
Academic Advisor
Advise students on the coursework needed to satisfy their campus, college, and degree requirements, taking into account the student's prior coursework and background, including high school and any courses at the college level.


December 2011 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision: Math requirement expanded to 4 years of Math for students seeking admission in Fall 2015 and thereafter. 
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009 - Policy clarified and put in standard format. Added contact information.
April 2009
Joint Preparation Requirements for the Minnesota State Universities and the University of Minnesota

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