First-Year Applicant Requirements

Please note
If you would like to apply to NDSU and are unable to obtain required materials due to school closures or test cancelations, please contact NDSU at We will make every effort to work with you to find temporary alternatives to complete your admission file.


Requirements for Applying to NDSU

Applications are evaluated on an individual basis. The university uses selective criteria in order to ensure that students are adequately prepared to be successful in their academic pursuits. NDSU reviews the following criteria.

High School GPA

It is recommended that applicants have a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.75 or higher (4.0 scale). Strong consideration is given to grades earned in the high school core classes listed below. 

Test Scores

An ACT composite score of 22 or higher is recommended, or an SAT score of 1100 or higher (combined score of Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing). If you have not achieved this threshold, we strongly advise you to retest. The writing component of the ACT is not required.

High School Core Coursework

Students applying for admission should complete the following 14 high school core courses:

  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of mathematics (at the level of Algebra 1 and above)
  • 3 units of laboratory science
  • 3 units of social science
  • 1 unit from existing core subject area or world language (including foreign languages, Native American languages, or American Sign Language)

Students who do not meet these minimum guidelines will still be considered if there is evidence in the student's academic record that demonstrates a high probability of success. Students with higher GPAs and lower test scores, or conversely, lower GPAs and higher test scores, will also be given consideration.

GED Certificates 

NDSU will accept the General Education Development (GED) certificate in lieu a high school transcript.. For students testing in 2014 or later, a minimum score of 170 must be presented. Applicants with GED scores prior to 2014 must meet prior requirements for successful completion of a GED. 

Freshman Admission Procedures

Incoming freshmen are encouraged to complete the application process between September and January for the following fall semester, or by November for the following spring semester, to ensure that applications and paperwork can be completed in a timely manner.

  • The final deadline to apply for admission for fall semester is August 1. 
  • The final deadline to apply for admission for spring semester is December 1.

Please note it may take two to three weeks from the date we receive all your materials to make an admission decision. You can expect an admission decision by mail.

Submitting Your Application

To be considered for freshman admission, students must submit the following: 

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Admission.
  2. Report your high school information, including coursework, test scores and GPA.
  • For a quicker admission decision, self-report your coursework, test score(s) and GPA. You will be asked to confirm this information by providing an official high school transcript and test score(s) following graduation.
  • A preliminary admission offer can be made if you meet NDSU’s admission guidelines. If you do not meet these criteria, submit your current high school transcript and test score(s). You will still be considered for admission if there is evidence in your academic record that demonstrates a high probability of success.
  • If you do not self-report, submit your current high school transcript and test score(s).
  • If you have graduated from high school, please submit your current high school transcript and test score(s).