University of Minnesota Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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How to get into University of Minnesota? Let’s look at University of Minnesota SAT scores, University of Minnesota ACT scores, and all things University of Minnesota admissions!

How to Get Into University of Minnesota: Introduction

So you want to know how to get into University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, one of the largest public universities in America. (Over 50,000 students currently enrolled, according to the University of Minnesota’s own official stats!)

This is a good choice, and certainly a popular one. To start you on your U of M application journey, let’s look at the basic University of Minnesota admissions stats. Below is a quick snapshot of University of Minnesota SAT scores, University of Minnesota ACT scores, and a few other University of Minnesota admissions “vital statistics.”

Statistics for Middle 50% of Accepted Students at the University of Minnesota


  • University of Minnesota ACT Scores: 27-32
  • University of Minnesota SAT Scores: 1310-1460
  • University of Minnesota Class Rank Percentile: 73rd-99th
  • University of Minnesota GPA: Not reported for incoming freshman
  • University of Minnesota Acceptance Rate: 52%

Sources for the data above: University of Minnesota, US News and World Report

Note that GPA is not listed above. This is because the U of M does not use GPA as a significant criterion when reviewing freshman applications. Like the admissions offices at many top schools, the University of Minnesota admissions department does not like to rely on high school GPA. This is because policies for calculating GPA vary widely at different high schools. So high school GPA really can be an inconsistent measure. As a result, GPA simply isn’t that much of a key to how to get into University of Minnesota.

So those are the basics. Now, let’s take a look at the stats above in greater detail.

How to get into University of Minnesota: University of Minnesota SAT Scores

As you may have guessed from its enrollment of 52,000 or so students, the University of Minnesota is a large school. In fact, U of M is so big that each of its different undergrad colleges has its own SAT standards. Whether or not your SAT score truly falls in the middle 50% of the applicant pool depends on your intended field of study.

Here are the stats for the middle 50% of University of Minnesota SAT scores, by college:

University of Minnesota SAT Scores by Undergraduate School (mid-50% of accepted students)

  • Design: 1220-1370
  • Education and Human Development: 1230-1380
  • Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Sciences: 1240-1400
  • Liberal Arts: 1270-1420
  • li>Biological Sciences: 1320-1430

  • Carlson School of Management: 1330-1440
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  • Science and Engineering: 1380-1500
  • For your convenience, I listed the above schools in order of “easiest” (lowest minimum SAT scores required to be in the middle 50%), to “hardest” (highest expectations for University of Minnesota SAT scores). As you can see, education, art, and humanities tend to have lower SAT scores for their middle 50%. Business and science programs tend to have higher expectations, with the exception of food/agriculture/natural resources. (Source: University of Minnesota Academic Profile)

    Next, let’s take a similarly in-depth look at the stats for the other test that is accepted by University of Minnesota admissions. A good ACT score, much like a good SAT score, can be part of the secret to how to get into University of Minnesota.

    How to Get Into University of Minnesota: ACT Scores

    Each college of undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota also publishes its own middle 50% statistics/expectations for University of Minnesota ACT scores. So let’s take a look at that list. As I did with the University of Minnesota SAT scores, I’ve sorted the brackets for these University of Minnesota ACT scores brackets from lowest minimum score to highest:

    University of Minnesota ACT Scores: Middle 50% for Each Undergrad College

  • Education and Human Development: 23-28
  • Design: 25-30
  • Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Sciences: 25-30
  • Liberal Arts: 25-31
  • Carlson School of Management: 29-32
  • Biological Sciences: 29-33
  • Science and Engineering: 30-34
  • The “easiest-to-hardest” continuum is roughly the same for University of Minnesota ACT scores and University of Minnesota SAT scores. As a general rule, arts, education and the humanities have a lower minimum score. And again, business or science majors usually need higher minimum scores in order to be competitive. (Source: University of Minnesota Academic Profile)

    How to Get Into University of Minnesota: GPA

    As I mentioned in the first part of this article, University of Minnesota doesn’t really consider high school GPA. At the same time, GPA does have some importance in University of Minnesota admissions.

    First and foremost, remember that University of Minnesota admissions officers do look at high school transcripts. This means that they do see your GPA. And while GPA is not treated as a major factor in decisions, it can still matter somewhat. If you have an exceptionally low GPA (below 2.5) or an exceptionally high GPA (above 3.8), University of Minnesota admissions will definitely notice. And that can influence admissions decisions in some way.

    GPA becomes a much more significant factor if you’re applying to the University of Minnesota as a transfer student. You may have noticed that I keep saying that the U of M does not consider high school GPA. But university GPA is a different matter entirely. Universities calculate GPA in a far more universal and predictable way than high schools do. So the University of Minnesota does consider your transfer GPA to be a good measure of your performance.

    Because of this, the University of Minnesota publishes the average GPA of transfer students, by undergraduate college. Remember when I listed the college scores from low to high for the middle 50%, for University of Minnesota SAT scores and University of Minnesota ACT scores? For your convenience, I’ve also listed the undergrad colleges’ transfer score expectations from “easiest” to “hardest.” Check out the list below:

    University of Minnesota: Average GPA for Accepted Transfer Students, by School or Major

  • Continuing Education: 3.1
  • Dental Hygiene: 3.1
  • Mortuary Science: 3.23
  • Education and Human Development: 3.34
  • Liberal Arts: 3.32
  • Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources: 3.34
  • Design: 3.35
  • Nursing: 3.45
  • Medical Laboratory Science: 3.5
  • Biological Sciences: 3.55
  • Science and Engineering: 3.64
  • Carlson School of Management: 3.81
  • (Source: University of Minnesota Transfer Profile)

    The list of schools for transfer student GPA is a little different than the “colleges” lists for University of Minnesota SAT scores and University of Minnesota ACT scores. There are two reasons for this. First, in any given school year, not every college receives transfer students. Second, in any given ear, many transfer students transfer straight into a specific major.

    If you are a prospective transfer student and are wondering how to get into University of Minnesota, I strongly recommend the University of Minnesota Admissions Transfer Profile page. This page gives you information about transfer GPA in even greater detail!

    Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a transfer student, GPA matters. So make sure you keep track of your GPA–where it is and where it’s going. Magoosh can help you do that. Use our GPA calculator tool to keep track of your stats as you ponder how to get into University of Minnesota.

    University of Minnesota Freshman Profile

    At this point, you’ve learned a lot about how to get into University of Minnesota. So far, we’ve looked at things in terms of University of Minnesota ACT scores, University of Minnesota SAT scores, GPA, and so on. From there, let’s take a break to look at the “big picture.” Let’s talk about what a University of Minnesota freshman looks like. How well do you match other successful applicants overall? And once you get accepted, what will your peers be like? (Source for this freshman profile: US News and World Report.)

    University of Minnesota has many non-traditional students.

    Well, relatively many. Nearly 10% of the students at the University of Minnesota are over the age of 25. Non-traditional students are a minority on any campus. But at U of M, they are a sizable, noticeable minority.

    University of Minnesota freshman are mostly from Minnesota.

    72% of the University of Minnesota’s students went to high school in Minnesota. Interestingly, however, only 2% of out-of-state students are from the West North Central region of the US. So you can expect to meet classmates from a wide variety of regions, even though locals outnumber in-state students nearly 3 to 1.

    Are you an East Asian international student? You just might feel right at home!

    International students comprise 8.3% (or nearly one in 10) of the U of M student body. Nearly 3/4 of those international students are from East Asia, specifically China, South Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam. So if you are from East Asia, there is a good chance you will meet others from your home country or others from a country that borders your home country.

    Actually, any international student will probably feel at home. Even if you’re not from East Asia, you’re likely to meet your fellow countrymen/countrywomen at the University of Minnesota. This is because the U of M’s international students hail from a staggering 88 different countries!

    Other University of Minnesota Admissions Requirements and Info

    I actually live in the shadow of the University of Minnesota, in a “border town” in Western Wisconsin. I have many colleagues and former classmates who have either taught at U of M or attended grad school there. And I visit the campus on a regular basis. As such, I have a little bit of extra information on how to get into University of Minnesota that I’d like to share with you.

    What we “locals” understand about University of Minnesota admissions is this: the U of M is technically not a university. Instead, it’s a system of universities.

    Why is this important to understand? Well, some students who apply to the Twin Cities campus get rejected. In fact, 52% of the students who apply get turned away. But if you can’t get into the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as a freshman, you often have a better chance as a transfer student from a different University of Minnesota campus.

    Were your University of Minnesota ACT scores or University of Minnesota SAT scores not good enough? Take heart! If at first you don’t succeed in getting into “the” U of M, consider starting at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Or the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Or any of the other lesser-known campuses in the University of Minnesota system. All of the campuses are quite good, and who knows? You just might find yourself falling in love with one of the “other” U of Ms, and waiting until grad school to apply for the Twin Cities campus.

    How to Get Into University of Minnesota: Frequently Asked Questions

    Now, let’s look at a few final facts about U of M admissions. Here are some other questions students often ask about how to get into University of Minnesota.

    Does University of Minnesota require an application essay or references?

    Yes, an application and references are part of the University of Minnesota admissions process. Both of these should be submitted to University of Minnesota through the Common App website (see this web page for details). As you get ready to send these documents in in, I recommend using Magoosh’s guide to writing a Common App essay, as well as our article on how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

    What is the University of Minnesota’s ranking?

    The University of Minnesota is currently ranked number 70 in national universities and number 27 in public universities. This is according to US News and World Report’s overall university rankings.

    How much does it cost to go to the University of Minnesota?

    Beyond what it takes to meet University of Minnesota admissions standards, cost is another very important consideration! The University of Minnesota has two different schemes for tuition and fees.

    As of this writing, in-state and “reciprocity” students pay $15,236 per year in tuition. So what is a “reciprocity” student? That would be any student who comes from one of the states or provinces that has a tuition reciprocity agreement with Minnesota. Currently, Minnesota offers reciprocal local-rate tuition to applicants from Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

    Out-of-state tuition, charged to non-reciprocity students and international students, is $33,534 per year.

    Tuition and fees are often subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, keep an eye on the University of Minnesota’s official Costs and Aid web page.

    How to Get Into University of Minnesota: Conclusion

    We’ve just explored University of Minnesota SAT scores, University of Minnesota ACT scores, and various other aspects of University of Minnesota admissions and student life. As you can see, this is a highly competitive school with lots to offer. And it’s a school you certainly can figure out how to get into.

    As someone who lives near the U of M (and used to live in Minneapolis), I would strongly encourage you to apply. Don’t just think of Minnesota as a place that gets 7 months of snow per year. Instead, think of it as a surprisingly warm and welcoming place where you can start the next exciting stage of your academic career.

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    • David Recine

      David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

    By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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