Students in hallway

2-year state colleges

The two-year state community and technical colleges have an open admissions policy. This means:

  • You can enroll if you have a high school diploma or a GED. Even without those, you may be admitted if you demonstrate potential for success in college.
  • You don’t have to take a standardized test to be admitted, and your high school grades and class rank are not considered.
  • After you are admitted, you will take a placement test. That will tell you if you need to take remedial or developmental courses, which will not count toward a degree, before you can take college-level courses. Many students need just one developmental course, often in math or English. If you have taken a “college prep” curriculum in high school, you’re more likely to do well on the test.

4-year state universities

The seven state universities generally will admit you as a first-year student if you can answer “yes” to at least one of these questions:

What courses do I need to take in high school?

For admission to a state university, you should have completed these courses in high school:

  • Four years of English, including composition, literature and speech
  • Three years of math, including two years of algebra, one of which is intermediate or advanced algebra, and one year of geometry
  • Three years of science, including one year each of a biological and a physical science, all with significant laboratory experience
  • Three years of social studies, including one year each of geography and U.S. history
  • Two years of a single world language, including non- English native languages and American Sign Language
  • One year of arts (visual arts and the performing arts of theater, music, dance and media arts)
  1. Did you graduate in the top half of your high school graduating class?
  2. Did you score 21 or higher on the ACT standardized test?
  3. Did you receive a combined score of 1000 on the current SAT standardized test or its corresponding score on the redesigned SAT standardized test (offered beginning spring 2016)?

Some of the state universities may ask you to meet slightly different requirements to be admitted. Check with the university admissions office for details. Even if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you may be considered for admission under special provisions.

Graduate programs

The state universities offer graduate programs leading to master’s degrees, other advanced degrees including some doctorate degrees, and specialized certificates. Call the office of graduate studies or the admissions office for information and a graduate program application.

International students

Admissions requirements for international students are based on the admissions requirements for domestic students. Minnesota’s state admissions policy says “International students shall be considered for admission if their scholastic preparation is judged to be equivalent to the admissions requirements of the institution to which they are applying. International students who are not native speakers of English shall be required to demonstrate proficiency in English on a standardized test selected by the admitting institution.”

More information for international students

When should you apply?

Apply early in 12th grade for the best chance of being admitted. Some universities and programs do not have room for all qualified applicants.