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Freshman Admissions Requirements

Admission to the freshman class is highly selective and is contingent upon successful completion of required high school courses at a level consistent with the university’s admissions standards. The primary criteria for admission are the high school transcript and SAT/ACT scores. Other criteria, including the level of academic challenge, extracurricular activities, work, etc., are also considered.

Required Materials

A complete application includes the following material:

  • A complete Common Application
  • Official high school transcript (through the end of the junior year)
    First-term senior grades should be sent as soon as possible.
  • SAT I and/or ACT scores sent electronically by the testing agency.* The UMass Amherst SAT code is 3917 and the ACT code is 1924.  We are unable to process “rush” test score reports. Test scores are not required for students who have been out of high school for five or more years.
  • Application fee of $75 (or approved fee waiver)

*Learning-disabled Massachusetts residents who submit documentation of disability are eligible for exemption from the standardized test score requirement. Documentation includes a copy of either the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan OR a letter from the high school guidance counselor confirming that the student has a diagnosed learning disability.

High School Unit Requirements

Minimum subject matter requirements must be met (see chart below). The rigor of the curriculum is strongly considered.  We appreciate applicants who take challenging courses, including honors, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if available.

When assessing academic achievement, course grades as well as grade trends are important, including course selection and grades in relation to the desired major. A strong senior schedule helps show the applicant’s commitment to higher education. If the high school provides a class rank, that is taken into consideration as well.

Units

  • English: 4
  • Mathematics (Algebra II minimum): 3
  • Natural Science (2 labs): 3
  • Social Science (one course in US history): 2
  • Foreign Language: 2 of same language
  • Electives (from areas above, arts and humanities, or computer science): 2

Applicants to the College of Engineering, Isenberg School of Management, or the Computer Science major must have four math units (Algebra I & II, Geometry, and an advanced math course, such as Calculus or Trigonometry). Applicants to the College of Engineering must also have Chemistry and Physics.

Architecture, Art, Dance and Music Majors

Applicants to the Architecture, Art, Dance and Music majors are encouraged to contact the appropriate department and apply as early as possible to allow enough time for an audition or portfolio review.  Students must have their admission application on file with Undergraduate Admissions before auditions or portfolio reviews will be scheduled.

English Proficiency Test Requirements

All applicants who are not native speakers of English are required to demonstrate their English language proficiency in one of the following ways:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS. Official copies of scores must be submitted. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 80 or better on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or 213 or better on the computer-based TOEFL is required, although achieving this score does not guarantee admission. The UMass Amherst TOEFL code is 3917. An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher is also acceptable.

Prueba de Aptitud Academica (PAA): Applicants applying directly from Puerto Rico may take the TOEFL or the PAA and must submit official score reports.

TOEFL/IELTS Exemption: Applicants with strong SAT/ACT scores may receive a TOEFL/IELTS waiver.

ESL Placement Exam: Some applicants may also be required to take a university-administered English language proficiency examination to determine their eligibility for placement in the university’s English as a Second Language (ESL) course sequence.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

International students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit the following as part of the application process:

  • Official transcripts showing all secondary (high school) and post-secondary (if applicable) coursework, with official translations. Note: Attested or notarized copies of original foreign transcripts are permitted for the admission decision; however, if admitted, the student must present the original document(s) upon request.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (see requirements above)
  • Application fee (fee waivers are not accepted)
  • Official bank statement*
  • Sponsor statement of financial support*

* Freshman applicants may wait to submit their Bank and Sponsor statements until after an offer of admission has been received; however, these documents must be submitted to the International Programs Office prior to visa processing.

* Transfer applicants must submit the Bank statement and Sponsor statement to Undergraduate Admissions along with their other required credentials.

Home-Schooled Applicants

Home-schooled applicants are required to submit all of the application materials required for freshman applicants, including standardized test scores, a personal statement, and a transcript.  It is understood that the transcript of a home-schooled student may be different from that of a traditional high school student.  Regardless of the format, a transcript should include all 9th to 12th grade courses (including those in progress) and the timeframe of each course (academic year and semester).  In addition, an assessment of performance (a letter grade, percentage, narrative assessment, etc.) is needed.  Occasionally applicants are asked to submit additional information describing the curriculum and/or texts used.

Home-schooled students who are admitted are required to provide the university with proof of graduation in one of the three following ways:

  • An official final transcript from the local school district.
  • An official final transcript from a home school association or agency.
  • An official GED score report.

Home-schooled students who have completed AP exams and/or college coursework must request that those official score reports and transcripts be sent directly to the Admissions Office.