For Motivated High School Juniors and Seniors

The Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program through the University of Minnesota Twin Cities allows motivated high school juniors and seniors to take classes at the University for both high school and college credit.

PSEO: An Overview

COST

  • Tuition, course fees, and textbooks are free to the student

COURSES

  • On-campus or (limited) online
  • Full-time (3-4 classes/semester) or part-time (1-2 classes)
  • Hundreds of courses available
  • Fill high school requirements, get a head start on college requirements, or just try subjects that interest you!

MINIMUM GPA TO APPLY (unweighted)

  • General PSEO: 3.600
  • American Indian Studies (AIS) or School of Music (SOM) options: 2.000
  • Exceptions for international or no-GPA high schools

OTHER ELIGIBILITY

APPLICATION TIMELINE

  • February 15, 2024: Application opens
  • April 15, 2024: Application deadline
  • May 22, 2024: Decisions sent

Admitted students are eligible for both fall and spring classes. There's no separate, spring-only admissions cycle.

CORE ADMISSIONS REVIEW FACTORS

  1. GPA - Average admitted: 3.93 (unweighted)
  2. Rigor - Taking challenging classes relative to what your high school offers

Most other factors (like test scores) not accepted.

HOUSING

TRANSPORTATION

COURSE TRANSFERABILITY

  • 1,600 Applicants per year
  • 3.93 Average unweighted GPA of admitted students
  • 45% Students who apply to U of M PSEO are admitted

Is PSEO the Right Choice for You?

Attending PSEO at the U of M is exciting, but it’s also a major change compared to high school. We recommend doing a self assessment to be sure PSEO is the right choice for you. If all of the descriptors below resonate, then you’re a great candidate for PSEO and the next step is application.

Are You Proactive in Your Education?

  • There are three main qualities every PSEO student should have: an independent learning style, good time management skills, and willingness to seek help when it’s needed.
  • U of M PSEO students actively use peer tutoring services, the writing center, and instructor office hours to excel in PSEO.

Do You Have a Proven Track Record of Academic Success?

  • Admitted PSEO students have usually pursued the most rigorous high school courses available to them.
  • Grades earned in PSEO will remain on your U of M college transcript and can impact freshman admission to college.

Do You Fully Commit to Academic Priorities? 

  • The U of M does not consider high school activities, such as band and sports, to be excusable activities. If these commitments conflict with an exam in a U of M class, instructors may not accommodate you.
  • The amount of outside work required in PSEO classes and significant commute times can make time management challenging.
  • Juggling your high school and PSEO courses can be tricky. Carefully consider your course load and extracurricular activities, and prepare for the investment.

To better understand your responsibilities as a PSEO student, read the PSEO Student Expectations Agreement.

Application Timeline | 2024−25 School Year

One application period per school year.

* PSEO orientation and registration happens in stages during the summer. There are no required on-campus orientation events. Orientation information and instructions will be provided to admitted students upon admission. Students who complete summer orientation may choose to defer their enrollment until the spring semester.

Application

Students must meet the Minnesota Department of Education criteria (click on the "Postsecondary Enrollment Options Reference Guide").

Minimum High School GPA

  • GPA
    • 3.600 or higher unweighted high school GPA required for the general PSEO program or for students only taking world language courses
    • 2.000 or higher unweighted high school GPA required for the American Indian Studies option
    • 2.000 or higher unweighted high school GPA required for the School of Music option

Residency and High School Enrollment

  • The UMTC PSEO program is open to 11th and 12th grade students only.
  • Students must have a free period (or study hall) during the high school day (public schools only).
  • Students must live in Minnesota* and be enrolled in:
    • a public school district, charter school, home school or nonpublic school in Minnesota
    • a public school district or nonpublic school out of state through a tuition arrangement between the out of state district and the Minnesota public school district, OR
    • attending a nonpublic school in another state, whether or not the parent is paying tuition.

* South Dakota resident students attending a Minnesota district under the Minnesota-South Dakota Reciprocity Agreement (includes only border districts) are eligible for PSEO.

Age Requirements

International Students

Students who hold J1, J2, F1, F2, or B visas are not eligible to participate in PSEO.

Admission criteria for acceptance into the U of M Twin Cities PSEO program are evaluated on a holistic basis. Space is limited to around 750 new students each year. Approximately 45% of applicants are admitted to the program. As a result, we unfortunately must deny admission to many well-qualified students.

Primary Considerations

  • GPA
    • 3.600 or higher unweighted high school GPA required for the general PSEO program or for students only taking world language courses
    • 2.000 or higher unweighted high school GPA required for the American Indian Studies option
    • 2.000 or higher unweighted high school GPA required for the School of Music option
  • Class rank (if available)
  • Rigor of courses (honors, accelerated, advanced, enriched, concurrent enrollment, AP, IB, PLTW, other PSEO, etc.)
  • Successful grades in rigorous courses (B or higher to be competitive)

Secondary Considerations

  • Grade trends
  • Extenuating circumstances affecting grades (e.g., illness)

Special or Extenuating Circumstances

If you have experienced extenuating circumstances which caused a temporary downtrend in academic performance or impacted your ability to take more rigorous courses, you will have the opportunity to share that information in your application.

Not Accepted

We do not accept or consider the following items when reviewing applications for admission:

  • College entrance exam scores (ACT, SAT, PSAT, etc.)
  • Standardized test scores
  • AP, IB, or other exam scores
  • Resumes
  • Letters of recommendation (except those required for application to the American Indian Studies option) 
  • Late applications are reviewed on a space available basis.
  • Late application documents are accepted if received by May 1. Note: Students need to complete step 1 (request an application) no later than April 15. 
  • Be sure all forms include the required signatures. Forms missing signatures will not be accepted.
  • Materials submitted on time to the wrong address will be considered late if resubmitted to the PSEO Office after the application deadline.
  • The responsibility for submitting a complete, on-time application lies solely with the student applicant. Exceptions to the April 15 deadline are not granted for high school, counselor, parent, or any other person's error.

American Indian Studies (AIS)

The PSEO office has partnered with the Department of American Indian Studies (AIS) to offer a program option for high school students interested in learning about the history, issues, and languages of our Indigenous communities.

Eligibility
Students must have a 2.000 unweighted high school GPA at the time of application. See the Eligibility & Application Requirements section.

Courses & Placement
To check a course's schedule or instruction mode (online, in person), visit schedulebuilder.umn.edu. Course availability is not guaranteed.

Students admitted to the AIS program option may take the following courses:

Dakota language courses 

  • DAKO 1121: Beginning Dakota I
  • DAKO 1122: Beginning Dakota II
  • DAKO 3123: Intermediate Dakota I
  • DAKO 3124: Intermediate Dakota II

Ojibwe language courses

  • OJIB 1101: Beginning Ojibwe I
  • OJIB 1102: Beginning Ojibwe II
  • OJIB 3103: Intermediate Ojibwe I
  • OJIB 3104: Intermediate Ojibwe II

Foundation (1xxx level) American Indian Studies courses

  • AMIN 1001: Introduction to American Indian & Indigenous Peoples - 3 credits [on-campus only]
  • AMIN 1002: Indigenous Peoples in Global Perspective - 3 credits [on-campus only]
  • AMIN 1003: American Indians in Minnesota - 3 credits [on-campus only]

Other American Indian Studies courses may be available with department approval.

Language Placement

Students may take the first beginner course in a language sequence (DAKO 1121 or OJIB 1101) without needing a language assessment. These courses are only available each fall semester.

If you have prior experience with Dakota or Ojibwe and would like to take a more advanced course, you will meet with the Department of American Indian Studies to determine your placement. Admitted students will learn more about language placement in their admission letter.

How to Apply

See Step 1 to request an application. Then, select the American Indian Studies (AIS) option in the PSEO application.

In your PSEO application, you will be required to submit a statement of interest (maximum 250 words, or about half a page) describing the AIS course or courses you'd like to take and why you're interested in them. You may also be asked to provide a letter of recommendation depending on the holistic review of your application.

Students with an unweighted high school GPA of 3.600 or above will be automatically considered for admission to both the AIS Option and general PSEO program, which allows access to other U of M courses.
 

School of Music (SOM)

Students interested in enrolling in private music lessons (one-on-one study) with a faculty member may do so by applying to the School of Music. A virtual audition is part of this application process.

Eligibility

Students must have a 2.000 unweighted high school GPA at the time of application. See the Eligibility & Application Requirements section.

Students with an unweighted high school GPA of 3.600 or above will be automatically considered for admission to the general PSEO program, which allows access to other U of M courses.

Admission to the School of Music does not guarantee admission to the PSEO program. 

Students admitted to PSEO and the School of Music may be limited to School of Music courses only, depending on our holistic application review.

How to Apply

You will need to submit an application to the School of Music in addition to your PSEO application.

Visit the School of Music's website for application and audition information.

The School of Music application deadline is April 1.

World Languages

Students interested in a U of M world language course will be asked to share this information when they apply for PSEO. Students will be considered for these courses based on their readiness for a college-level world language course. Admitted students may be limited to world language courses only, depending on our admission criteria.

Applicants should demonstrate readiness for world language courses through experiences such as:

  • success in rigorous language coursework such as prior PSEO, CIS, AP, or IB.
  • immersion school attendance
  • being a heritage speaker
  • something else! Tell us what has prepared you to succeed in U of M world language courses.

Course space is not guaranteed. Classes may be full when PSEO students register in late July. A minimum 3.600 unweighted GPA is required to be considered for these courses. 

Spanish language courses at the U of M Twin Cities have limited availability. One option is to consider Spanish language courses offered by another PSEO program.

Required Application Documents

  1. High School Transcript, Official or Unofficial
    • Report cards or grade reports are required in addition to the transcript when there are no grades for the current academic year on the transcript (e.g., schools that only award grades at the end of the full academic year).
  2. Post-Secondary Notice of Student Registration (2024–25) Form
    • Complete and sign part 1 the form (a parent/guardian signature is required if under 18).
    • Your high school representative (or homeschool authority) completes and signs part 2 of the form.
    • If you plan to be enrolled in a different high school in the fall from the one you currently attend, contact the PSEO Office for instructions on completing this form.
  3. College Transcripts, Official or Unofficial (if applicable)
    • Submit transcripts if you took college credits outside your high school through a college or university (e.g., PSEO).
    • Transcripts required for all completed and in-progress courses
    • Transcripts not required for University of Minnesota courses
    • You do not need to submit transcripts for concurrent enrollment courses.
  1. After requesting your application (step 1), you will receive an email with a link to your application. Use your application link when you are ready to upload your application documents.
  2. (OPTIONAL) If a high school official has agreed to submit documents on your behalf, indicate this in your application. When you submit your application, an email request will be sent to your high school official asking them to upload the documents for your application.
  3. You will receive an email once your application has been reviewed for completeness. This process takes several business days. Please allow extra processing time in the last two weeks before the application deadline.

Issues submitting application documents?

  • You may submit application documents via email (pseo@umn.edu) or postal mail (U of M PSEO Admissions, 20 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455).
  • If using Parchment or another transcript service, send your transcript to pseo@umn.edu. Do NOT select University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Apply to Multiple PSEO Programs

Class seating availability for PSEO students is on a space-available basis. We cannot guarantee seating.

Given the competitive admissions process and the challenge of accessing these courses, we encourage you to apply to multiple PSEO programs to broaden your options. Admitted students have the opportunity to take courses from multiple PSEO programs within the same term.

It's important to note that the U of M Twin Cities does not offer on-campus housing. If you're interested in a residential experience, you might want to explore programs at U of M Morris or Crookston (details below), or consider local options such as Augsburg College, our neighboring institution.

Apply to Another U of M System Campus

U of M Crookston and U of M Morris offer online PSEO courses and the ability to live on campus to attend classes. Students must attend classes full-time to live on the Morris or Crookston campuses. Students living on campus pay for their room and board. PSEO does not cover this expense.

Each campus has an application and specific application deadlines. Research their programs below.

U of M Crookston

U of M Morris

Courses

Choosing Courses

Courses are offered on-campus or online. You can attend full-time (3–4 classes per semester) or part-time (1–2 classes per semester).

New PSEO students register for classes in July-August. You will get support and guidance from your PSEO academic advisor before you register.

The three most common ways for students to pick classes are to fill high school graduation requirements, liberal education requirements, and major & career requirements.

High School Graduation Requirements

One 4-credit course is generally equivalent to one year at the high school. Work closely with your high school counselor to make sure you fulfill your graduation requirements.

See our handbook for common courses to meet these requirements:

U of M Liberal Education (or “General”) Requirements

Liberal education requirements are courses that every U of M undergraduate must complete, no matter what major they focus on. Credits earned in PSEO may be used to fulfill these. See our handbook’s liberal education guide for details.

U of M Major & Career Requirements

College students eventually choose a major, an academic program to focus on. Credits earned in PSEO may be used to fulfill major course requirements. For example, visit our handbook’s pages on computer science, business, or design.

PSEO credits can also fulfill requirements for programs you’d start after college, such as medical school, pharmacy, or law. See our handbook’s overview here for more.

Course Availability

Seating in classes is available on a space-available basis. We cannot guarantee seating for PSEO students.

It is especially difficult for new PSEO students to enroll in the following courses:

  • Most online courses – Online is available often for smaller courses such as health, but NOT usually for courses used for high school requirements like economics, English, or math
  • English – e.g., Composition, Intro to Literature; Creative Writing
  • Introductory chemistry lab

Information Sessions and Tours

Virtual Information Sessions

We invite you and your family to our virtual information sessions. PSEO advisors will provide an overview of the U of M Twin Cities PSEO program and discuss how and when to apply for the 2025–26 academic year. You will also hear from a panel of current PSEO students. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Information session dates will be posted in January 2025.

High School Visits

PSEO staff members are available to attend high school events to share information about the U of M PSEO program with students, parents, and guardians. To request a visit, please contact us at 612-626-1666 or pseo@umn.edu.

Campus Tours

The Office of Admissions offers campus tours for students who are interested in attending the U of M as freshmen. If you would like to schedule a visit, sign up for a General Admission session.

Questions?

PSEO staff members are available to answer any additional questions you may have.

Feel free to also reach out to some of our students in the PSEO Student Association (pseosa@umn.edu) to learn about their experience in the program.

Resources

Current PSEO students and high school counselors can find more information and resources below:

Contact Us

pseo@umn.edu | 612-626-1666
20 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Monday−Thursday, noon–4 p.m. (except University holidays)
Phone and virtual support available Monday−Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

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