High School Preparation Requirements

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High School Preparation Requirements

Effective: January 3, 2011
Last Updated: Approved by EPC on April 28, 2010; amended and approved by Campus Assembly on November 9, 2010; revised and approved by EPC March 7, 2012; approved by Campus Assembly April 17, 2012
Policy Owner: Academic Affairs

These University undergraduate admission requirements were prepared and adopted in conjunction with the University system and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.


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.


  • For any student 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.
  • For any 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.


 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.


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.


Two years of a single second language.


One year in the visual or performing arts including 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.


Study in mathematics and science is highly recommended.

Students should consult their college/program policies for more specific requirements.

In exceptional cases, UMD admits students deficient in these requirements with the expectation that any deficiencies will be made up before 60 credits, including transfer credits, are earned.  Any student admitted as an exception to this policy will be unable to graduate until the requirement is fulfilled.