A-037 Admission Policy

Code: A-037
Date: February 7, 1983
Approved: Greg Diemer
Revised: February 20, 1992
Approved: Oliver Ford
Revised: November 2002
Approved: David C. Danahar
Revised: March 2016
Approved: Connie J. Gores
Revised April 2017
Approved: Connie J. Gores

Southwest Minnesota State University



Southwest Minnesota State University is interested in attracting and admitting students who provide evidence of strong academic preparation and of potential to be successful in the academic programs offered by the University. The University is committed to a policy that all persons shall have equal opportunity to our programs without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

First-Year Student Admission Procedures

First-Year students are defined as students who have or will graduate from high school or who have attained the GED and have not attended a post-secondary institution. Students who have earned college credit while in high school are considered first-year students in the admission process.

I. Application for First-Year Student Admission

Students wishing to be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University must present the following information:

  • Completed application for admission and a non-refundable application fee of $20.
  • Official high school transcripts(s).
  • Scores from the ACT or SAT.

Note: Final high school transcripts, complete with date of graduation, must be submitted to the Office of Admission prior to enrollment.

II. First-Year Student Admission Criteria

Each application for admission is reviewed individually, looking at the whole person. We consider GPA, high school rank, test scores, curriculum and other academic indicators. Extra-curricular activities will be considered. Personal statements and recommendations are optional and will be considered if submitted.

 Recommended Coursework:

  • 4 years of English (includes composition, literature and speech)
  • 3 years of Math including 2 years of algebra and 1 year of Geometry
  • 3 years of Science. At least one course shall be in biological science and one in physical science. All courses should include lab experiences.
  • 3 years of Social Science including one year of US history and one in geography
  • 2 years of a single foreign language (including non-English native languages or American Sign Language)
  • 1 year of specified elective chosen from the following: World Culture or the Arts

The University will evaluate each applicant’s credentials individually and note any deficiencies. If recommended college preparation courses are not offered at the student’s high school, exemptions may be granted for admission purposes.

Admission of Home School Students

Southwest Minnesota State University recognizes that not all students come to the University from the traditional high school setting. Therefore, in addition to the application for admission, students graduating from a Home School are required to submit the following criteria:

  • Scores from ACT or SAT.

Official transcript showing courses taken and grades received Applicants are expected to document admission eligibility; those who are unable to present traditional documentation of educational preparation shall be individually evaluated on the basis of guidelines consistent with the institution's identity and mission.

Admission of GED Students

Students with an earned GED may be considered for admission after submitting the following:

  • Official copy of GED  Scores
  • Official high school transcripts
  • ACT or SAT scores (if under the age of 21)
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation

Transfer Student Admission Procedures

Students who have acquired credits from another post-secondary institution are considered transfer students and should follow the guidelines below:

I. Application for Transfer Admission

Transfer students wishing to be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University must present the following information:

  • Completed Application for Admission and non-refundable application fee of $20.
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. Transcripts must be sent directly from each institution to the Southwest Minnesota State University Office of Admission.

II. Transfer Admission Criteria

Transfer admission may be granted to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Have attained a minimum grade point average of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in previous college coursework from a college, university, or technical college.
  • Students wishing to transfer with fewer than 24 semester hours from an accredited two or four year institution must submit an official high school transcript.

Information regarding preparation for transfer or evaluation of transfer credits can be obtained by contacting the Transfer Specialist in the Registration and Advising Office.

Students who do not meet the above stated admission requirements may be considered for Provisional Admission if judged to have potential to be successful in the academic program at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Students who have been suspended from another institution will not be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University until the suspension has been lifted by that institution or until one year has elapsed. Students possessing debts at other institutions will not be offered admission to the University.

International Student Admission

See SMSU Regulation A-029 for International Student Admission Policy.

Readmission to the University

Students who have attended Southwest Minnesota State University in the past and have not been enrolled in the last one or more terms (excluding summer sessions) will be considered for readmission and should contact the Office of Admission for more information and application materials. If a student has attended another college/university during his/her time away from Southwest, official transcripts from that institution are required. Students required to withdraw from Southwest Minnesota State University are not eligible for readmission for the equivalent of one academic year.

Enrollment of High School Students

Concurrent with high school enrollment, high school students may be admitted to Southwest Minnesota State University for either part-time or full-time enrollment under the Post-Secondary Enrollment Program. Enrollment is dependent upon space availability in the courses desired by the students.

Students wishing to enroll must meet the following requirements:

  • High School Seniors must rank in the upper one-half of their graduating class while junior must rank in the upper one-third.
  • Submit the appropriate form (PSEO or SACP) signed by a designated school official and parent.
  • Submit official transcript noting class rank.

Students planning to attend Southwest Minnesota State University under the PSEO program are strongly encouraged to work closely with their high school counselor. Questions relative to the PSEO program should be directed to the Southwest Minnesota State University Office of Admission.

Enrollment of Part-Time, Non-Degree Students

Southwest Minnesota State University recognizes that not all students can attend college full-time. For this reason, part-time, non-degree seeking students who have not been enrolled in secondary school or another college/university for one year may be allowed to enroll in a maximum of six credits per semester by completing a part-time student application. Students may continue under this status until they have earned 36 credit hours, at which time they must apply for admission and provide all documentation listed previously. Concurrently enrolled high school students may not enroll under this status. It is important to note that students under this status are often not eligible for financial aid.

Non-Traditional Student Enrollment

Students planning to attend Southwest Minnesota State University who are over the age of 21 with no previous post-secondary education may be admitted upon application and proof of high school graduation or equivalent (GED). Those students who have successfully completed the GED will be considered for admission upon evaluation of official GED scores. Although no ACT score will be required for admission, students should expect institutional assessment tests upon entrance to the University.

Senior Citizens

The 1975 Minnesota Law, Chapter 136, “Senior Citizens Higher Education Program,” allows residents who have reached the age of 62 years or older prior to the beginning date of a course to enroll for credit. The administrative charge for senior citizens taking credit courses on a space available basis will be assessed. Senior citizens may audit credit courses at no charge and have all fees except laboratory and material fees waived.

Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.