Freshman Admission Requirements

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Incoming freshman students must have completed a core of selected high school courses as well as specific performance criteria listed below. Students who meet all Core Course Requirements and at least one Performance Requirement will be assured admission.

Students who do not meet guaranteed standards are still encouraged to apply.  In these cases, admission decisions will be determined by a committee appointed by the Director of Admissions and your complete academeic profile will be considered.

If you graduated high school before 1997 visit the pre-1997 graduation admission requirements section.

Performance Requirement

Freshman applicants should have:
  • an ACT composite score of 20 or higher (writing portion not required)*
  • OR, an SAT total score of 950 or higher (Critical Reading and Math only, the writing portion is not considered.)
  • OR, rank in the top half of their high school graduating class

*All freshman applicants under 23 years of age are required to submit an official ACT or SAT score. Official test scores are required to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the testing agency.  Please request the testing agency send an official score report.  Our ACT code is 2482. Our SAT code is 6877.

For more information on sending ACT scores, visit http://www.actstudent.org/scores/understand/.

For more information on sending SAT scores, visit http://www.collegeboard.com.

Core Courses

There are 16 units of required academic courses required for admission. A unit is described as a Carnegie unit—one year of high school study or a semester or quarter of college coursework.

Required academic courses
Category Units Requirements
English 4 All units must include intensive reading and writing experiences.
Mathematics 4 Algebra, algebra II, geometry, and one additional unit that builds on knowledge and concepts learned in Algebra II.
Social Sciences 3 One unit drawn from American and/or world history; one additional unit drawn from history, American government and/or geography; and a third unit drawn from any social science discipline.
Natural Sciences 3 At least two units selected from biology, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences. One unit must include laboratory instruction.
Foreign Language 2 Both units must be in the same language. Students who are unable to take two years of foreign language in high school may still qualify for admission.
*Click for more information on foreign language requirements in various UNL degree programs.

See which Nebraska High School classes count toward these core course requirements, or find information on removing core course deficiencies.

Additional Requirements

In addition to meeting the above performance and core course requirements, traditional freshmen students seeking admission to the University should:

  • submit an application for admission
  • submit the application fee ($45)
  • submit official high school transcripts*
  • submit official college transcript*, as applicable for dual credit/enrollment courses

*For transcripts to be official, they must be sent in a sealed envelope directly from the school OR via an approved electronic method directly from the school.


College Specific Requirements

All colleges at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln require students to meet the minimum core course and performance admission requirements listed above. Some colleges have additional requirements that students must meet before they can be admitted into that college. If you are not admitted into the college you request on your application for admission, it is because you have not met the requirements listed below for the college you indicated.

If you are admitted to the Explore Center instead of the college you indicated on your application, you will be advised by the Explore Center until you meet the college specific requirements for your desired college. At that time, you will have the opportunity to transfer into the college you requested.

Please note: Some University of Nebraska–Lincoln degree programs require the equivalent of four years of high school foreign language in the same language in order to graduate. View the list of foreign language requirements.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions.

College of Architecture

To be admissible to the College of Architecture you must also have successfully completed:

Architecture course requirements
Category Requirements
Math 1 full unit of Pre-Calc/Trig OR 1/2 unit Pre-Calc/Trig and 1/2 unit Math/Calc
ACT/SAT scores ACT composite score of 22 or higher, OR an SAT combined score of 1030 or higher

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

No additional requirement.

College of Arts & Sciences

No additional requirement.

College of Business Administration

No additional requirement.

College of Education & Human Sciences

To be admissible to the College of Education & Human Sciences you must also have successfully completed:

College of Education & Human Sciences admission requirements
Freshmen must meet at least one performance metric listed above.

College of Engineering

In addition to requirements listed above, to be admissible to the College of Engineering you must also have successfully completed:

Engineering course requirements
Category Requirements
Math Pre-calculus and trigonometry as part of the 4 units required and one full unit of Geometry
Natural Sciences Chemistry and physics must be taken as part of the 3 units required
ACT/SAT Scores ACT composite score of 24 or higher, OR an SAT combined score of 1110 or higher

Hixson-Lied College of Fine & Performing Arts

To be admissible to the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, you must also have met any audition or portfolio requirements listed below:

Engineering course requirements
Category Requirements
Art, Art History: No auditions or special applications.
Music, Dance: Auditions required for majors and minors. for online reservations.

Audition Dates for Admission and Scholarship:

  • Friday, January 24, 2014 (brass, composition, percussion, voice, winds)
  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 (dance, keyboard, strings (including guitar), voice)
  • Saturday, February 21, 2014 (dance, keyboard, strings (no guitar) and voice)
  • Saturday, February 22, 2014 (brass, composition, guitar, percussion, voice and winds)
Engineering course requirements
Category Information Dates
Theatre Emphasis-Performance: Auditions required for majors. Schedule an audition through the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at (402) 472-2072, ext. 1. Auditions: September 24, 2013, October 15, 2013, November 26, 2013.
Theatre Emphasis-Film/New Media: Film/New Media application and portfolio required. Obtain special application from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the address below and return completed application and portfolio to. https://carsonschool.slideroom.com/#/Login. Deadline: February 15, 2014.
Theatre Emphasis-Design/Technical Production: No portfolio or audition required. Contact the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film to declare Design/Technical emphasis (see address below). Optional -- Portfolio for Scholarship Deadline: March 7, 2014.
Theatre Emphasis-Directing and Management: Directing and Management application and supporting materials required.  Obtain special application from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the address below and return completed application to the same address.   Early Deadline: November 1, 2013. Regular Deadline: March 1, 2014.
Theatre Emphasis-Directing and Management: Directing and Management application and supporting materials required.  Obtain special application from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the address below and return completed application to the same address.   Early Deadline: November 1, 2013. Regular Deadline: March 1, 2014.


PLEASE NOTE - VERY IMPORTANT:

"Pre" designations for music, music education, dance and theatre are relevant only during the application process. "Pre" applications with unsuccessful auditions will be considered undeclared majors and will be moved to the Explore Center for advising by March 31 for fall/summer entry to UNL, or October 31 for spring entry to UNL.  After these dates, students whose applications are incomplete will be assessed on an individual basis; those who pass their auditions will be accepted into the college.

Non-majors may enroll in music ensembles, beginning dance and beginning theatre classes, art history classes and other courses designated for non-majors only. All other courses offered in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts are open to majors only.

Fine and Performing Arts school contact information
Dept of Art and Art History
102 Richards Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0114
(402) 472-5522
artdept@unl.edu unl.edu/art
Glenn Korff School of Music (including Dance Program)
121 Westbrook Music Bldg.
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(402) 472-6830
music2@unl.edu
unl.edu/music
Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film
215 Temple Building
Lincoln, NE 68588-0201
(402) 472-2072 ext. 1
theatrearts@unl.edu unl.edu/TheatreArts

College of Journalism & Mass Communications

College of Journalism & Mass Communications admission requirements
Core course requirements required

College of Public Affairs & Community Service

College of Public Affairs & Community Service admission requirements
Core course requirements required