A student sitting in class

First-Year College Students

Admissions Requirements

You are guaranteed admission if you meet the core course requirements and at least one performance requirement. If you don't meet these requirements, we strongly encourage you to apply anyway—your admission will be determined by a committee appointed by the director of admissions, and your complete academic profile will be considered.

Performance Requirements

First-Year Applicants Should:

  • Have a 3.0 cumulative high school grade point average.
  • Or, score 20 or higher on the ACT, writing portion not required.
  • Or, score a total of 1040 or higher on the SAT Critical Reading and Math sections.
  • Or, rank in the top half of their high school graduating class.
  • All first-year applicants under the age of 23 are encouraged to submit an official ACT or SAT score.

Note: You are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score to be considered for admission or scholarships.

Core Course Requirements

There are 16 units of academic courses required for admission.

A unit is one year of high school study or a semester/quarter of college coursework.

High School Classes

View the list of Nebraska high school classes that count toward core course requirements.

Ways to Meet Admission Requirements

If you are missing courses required for admission, there are ways to remove the deficiencies before you enroll.

Core Courses

Required academic courses
Category Requirements
English 4 units of English:
Units must include intensive reading and writing experiences.
Mathematics 4 units of math:
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • 1 additional unit that builds on knowledge and concepts learned in Algebra II
Social Sciences 3 units of social sciences:
  • 1 unit drawn from American and/or world history
  • 1 additional unit drawn from history
  • American government and/or geography
  • a 3rd unit drawn from any social science discipline
Natural Sciences 3 units of natural sciences:
  • At least 2 units selected from:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Earth sciences
  • 1 unit must include laboratory instruction
World Language 2 units of world language:
  • Both units must be in the same language.
  • Students who are unable to take 2 years of world language in high school may still qualify for admission.
  • NOTE: Some University of Nebraska–Lincoln degree programs require the equivalent of 4 years of high school world language in the same language in order to graduate.
  • View world language requirements by degree.

College Specific Requirements

All colleges at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln require students meet the minimum core course and performance admission requirements (as listed above).

Some colleges have additional requirements that students must meet in order to be admitted to their requested college.

The Explore Center

If you do not meet the following college specific requirements you can still be admitted through our Explore Center.

  • You will be advised by the Explore Center until you meet the college specific requirements for your desired college.
  • Once you've met your college's requirements, you will have the opportunity to transfer into the college you requested.
Colleges Without Additional Requirements

The colleges below do not have additional requirements beyond core course and performance requirements.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Education & Human Sciences
  • College of Journalism & Mass Communications
Colleges With Additional Requirements
College of Architecture
Architecture course requirements
Category Requirements
Math
  • 1 full unit of Pre-Calc/Trig
  • OR 1/2 unit Pre-Calc/Trig
  • 1/2 unit Math/Calc
ACT/SAT scores
  • ACT composite score of 22 or higher.
  • OR an SAT combined score of 1110 or higher.
  • Graduate in the upper 25% of your high school class.
  • OR have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.2.
Transfer & Readmit Students In addition to the above requirements, must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
College of Business
Business administration course requirements
Category Requirements
Transfer & Readmit Students Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5.
College of Engineering
Engineering course requirements
Category Requirements
First-Year College Students
Math 4 Units of Math (needs to include Alg I, Alg II, Geometry, and either a Pre-Calc or a Calc)
Natural Sciences 3 Units of Natural Science (needs to include Chemistry and Physics)
ACT/SAT Scores
  • ACT composite score of 24 or higher (or 1180 SAT score).
  • OR 24 ACT math sub-score (or 580 SAT math score).
  • OR 3.5 cumulative high school GPA.
Domestic Transfer Students
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.
Hixson-Lied College of Fine & Performing Arts

Audition and/or Portfolio Requirements

You must also meet any audition or portfolio requirements listed below:

Audition requirements
Category Requirements
Art, Art History: No auditions or special applications. Optional portfolio review for additional scholarships.
Music, Dance: Auditions are required.
Theatre emphasis in:
Performance
Auditions are required.

View the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film audition information.

Theatre emphasis in:
Design/Technical Production
Application and portfolio required.

View the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film portfolio information.

BFA in Emerging Media:
Emerging Media Arts
Application and portfolio required.

View the Emerging Media Arts application information.

College of Public Affairs & Community Service
Public affairs and community service course requirements
Category Requirements
Transfer & Readmit Students Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5.
College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
PGA Golf Management Requirements
Category Requirements
PGA Golf Management Students A 12 Handicap is required for students entering into this program. For more information, please visit: https://pgm.unl.edu/requirements.

Transcript

You will self-report your academic record. Use an unofficial transcript to fill in your information.

ACT/SAT

After you've taken the ACT/SAT, request the testing institution to send us your official scores.

Our codes are:

  • ACT: 2482
  • SAT: 6877

Application Deadlines

  • Summer/Fall: May 1
  • Spring: December 1
Applications Received After Published Deadlines

Any application received after the published deadline may be placed on a waitlist. The admissions committee will prioritize the waitlist based upon candidates that meet Nebraska's assured admission requirements.

Find out more about University of Nebraska–Lincoln assured admission requirements.

Note: There is no guarantee of admission for waitlist applicants.

Application Fee

There is a $45 application fee payable with a credit card or a check. If you participate in the free/reduced lunch program or are active duty military, you may request to waive this fee at the end of the application. Make the check payable to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and put the applicant's full name on the memo line.

Note: You do not need to pay the $45 admission fee if you have applied for undergraduate admission at UNK or UNO within the last year and submitted an application fee to either of those campuses.

Scholarship Statement

To be considered for Leadership, Service and Diversity Enhancement scholarships, you must write a 500-word essay all about you. Focus on leadership, career goals and community service. Complete your Scholarship Statement.

International Students

International students have additional requirements and information.

Admissions Committee

Per Admissions Office Procedures Manual in Accordance with RP- 5.2.1-4b—an Admissions Committees may admit students that do not meet the Board of Regents assured admissions requirements for full admission. These decisions are based upon a holistic review of an individual applicants student record including but not limited to: academic achievement (GPA, academic courses, class rank, standardized test scores), high school course availability, recommendation letters, and retention services. The Admissions Committee will utilize this information through the holistic review process to determine whether there are other indicia in the record that would contribute to the applicant's academic success at the University. The Office of Admissions has three committees that perform the above described work: First-Year college students; Transfer/International and Special Circumstances.

The Special Circumstances Committee will holistically review applicants with special merit that are required to participate in intrusive and successful retention programs such as, but not limited to, Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, William H. Thompson Scholars, and Nebraska Athletics Support Services. The Director of Admissions must approve retention programs to be considered for the Special Circumstances Committee. Members of this committee will be appointed by the Director of Admissions.

Admission Based Upon Special Talents

In Accordance with RP- 5.2.1-4b, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln may admit students with special talents who do not meet the Board of Regents assured admissions requirements for full admission. Prospective students who do not meet assured admission requirements and who can provide evidence of special talents, such as outstanding artistic skills, unique educational experience or remarkable career achievements can be considered for admission with executive-level sponsorship. Each academic college and the Athletic Department are permitted to recommend no more than 15 special talent appeals to the director of admissions each term. To be considered for admission based on special talent, an applicant must:

  • Identify an executive sponsor (executive-level sponsors are considered a college dean, associate dean, the athletic director or associate athletic director):
    • The executive sponsor must write a letter of reference to the director of admissions which details the prospective student’s special talent, explains why the sponsor believes the student is deserving of admission and provides specifics regarding how the unit will academically ensure the student’s success;
  • The prospective student may request an executive sponsorship before or after an initial admission decision has been determined:
    • If the prospective student requests admission based upon special talents prior to applying for admission, the executive sponsor’s reference letter should be accompanied with unofficial of transcripts, standardized test scores, and English proficiency scores (for all international students or students for whom English is a second language);
      • In this case, the director of admissions will review the unofficial documents and executive sponsor’s reference letter and will make a provisional admissions decision—pending the student’s formal application for admission and submission of official documents by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s established admissions deadlines;
    • If the student requests admission based upon special talents after an initial admission decision, the prospective student may request an executive sponsor send the reference letter to the director of admissions;
      • The executive sponsor should include the prospective student’s birth date and NUID number in the letter;
      • The director of admissions will review the prospective student’s academic file and notify the applicant and executive sponsor of the admission decision.

Revocation of Admission and/or Degree

Admission to or a degree awarded from the University may be revoked for: Fraud; misrepresentation; violation of University standards in obtaining the degree; serious violation committed by an applicant or student prior to course enrollment, matriculation, or graduation; or other significant infractions endangering the safety and/or well-being of the university community.

Campus Security & Fire Safety Report

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln publishes its Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report (ASR), found at police.unl.edu/annualreport. This report contains the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's 3-year crime and fire statistics (incidents on/near university property), as well as a list of on and off campus resources available to crime victims. The report also includes a description of campus law enforcement, policy statements, tips to avoid being a crime victim, how to report crimes/how reports are handled, available campus safety and drugs/alcohol programs, disciplinary procedures, fire safety and evacuation procedures, and other campus security and safety information. If desired, a free paper copy can be requested from the UNLPD at 300 N. 17th or via email at unl.police@unl.edu.

Don't Forget

After meeting these requirements, you have to apply for admission and pay the $45 application fee to be considered for admission.