How to Get Into UMN Twin Cities: Admissions Stats + Tips (2024)

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What’s Covered:

  • How Hard Is It To Get Into UMN – Twin Cities
  • Average Academic Profile of Accepted University of Minnesota Students
  • What Is The University of Minnesota Looking For?
  • How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into UMN – Twin Cities

Located in the flourishing urban district of Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is ranked #26 in the nation for top public universities, #68 for overall best national universities, and #140 for the best value schools according to the U.S. News and World Report. It’s also highly ranked in various undergraduate degree programs, including chemical engineering, management information systems, and nursing, taking the 7th, 7th, and 10th spot respectively in the nation.

The University of Minnesota has separate admissions processes for each of their campuses, so for the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on what you need to be admitted to the Twin Cities campus. Keep reading to learn more about the tips that have helped CollegeVine’s students get into the school that’s perfect for them.

How Hard Is It to Get Into the UMN – Twin Cities?

In 2020 over 38,237 applicants applied to the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, with only 26,628 students admitted into the school. This gives the school a 70% acceptance, with just 5966 students or 22% of those admitted deciding to attend the university.

While the University of Minnesota’s acceptance rate is low, your personal chances of acceptance may actually be higher or lower, depending on your profile strength.

To better understand your chances at UMN College, we recommend using our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance and give you tips on improving your profile!

Average Academic Profile of Accepted University of Minnesota Students


The average unweighted high school GPA of this year’s class was 3.73.


Although academic reporting is not required at the University of Minnesota, submitting either the SAT or ACT standardized test scores will greatly improve your chance of getting into the university. The school classifies these scores as “Very Important” and recommends the applicant complete the optional writing and essay components of both tests depending on which one you choose to report. Around 14.38% of the students reported SAT Scores, while 90.88% reported ACT scores.

For the SAT, the bottom 25% scored 1260 with a 600 reading and writing score and a 640 math score, while the top 75% scored at least a 1430 with a 700 reading and writing score and a 760 math score.

For the ACT, the bottom 25% scored 25 for the composite section, 25 for the math section, 24 for the english section, and 20 for the writing section. In comparison, those in the top 75% scored a 31 on the composite section, 30 on the math section, 32 on the English section, and 24 on the writing section.

Class Rank

Not every school will consider or report class rank. However, if your school does, you can use this metric as a tool to help increase your chances of getting into the University of Minnesota. Only about 38.8% of students choose to report their class rank. Around 48.6% of those students were in the top tenth of their graduating class, approximately 80.5% of those students were in the top quarter of their graduating class, and lastly almost all students, about 97.8%, were in the top half of their graduating class.

What is the University of Minnesota Looking for?

According to U of M, the primary factors they consider in their admissions decision are meeting the minimum high school coursework requirements, the grades earned in academic coursework, class rank and GPA, and standardized test scores. You’ll want to set yourself up for success by taking challenging classes throughout high school, earning top grades, and submitting good test scores. Many of the admitted students are earning standardized scores that fall in the top 75%. You’ll want to make sure you’re on par with the other applicants and study adequately for taking the SAT or ACT to earn a top score.

Academics aren’t everything. The University of Minnesota wants to know what you are about and who you are. They want to know what you’re passionate about and what has impacted your life. Whatever you don’t include in your application, they won’t know about, so make sure you highlight your strengths, your values, and your passion throughout your application.

How UMN – Twin Cities College Evaluates Applications

According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities considers the following factors “very important”:

  • Rigor of secondary school record
  • Class rank
  • Academic GPA
  • Standardized test scores

These are “considered”:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Talent/ability
  • Character/personal qualities
  • First-generation
  • Alumni/ae relation
  • Geographical residence
  • Racial/ethnic status
  • Volunteer work
  • Work experience

And these are “not considered”:

  • Application Essay
  • Recommendation
  • Interview
  • State residency
  • Religious affiliation/commitment
  • Level of applicant’s interest

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into UMN – Twin Cities

1. Achieve at least a 3.73 (unweighted average GPA) while taking the most challenging classes available

The University of Minnesota considers GPA, class rank, and standardized test scores very important in their consideration of your application. Doing well in all your classes is essential, as well as taking challenging courses that can show your college admissions officer you are ready for the rigorous course load college can provide. AP courses can help boost your weighted GPA, while Dual Credit and other programs can give you college credit, both of which will make your application look good and also help you graduate early and stay ahead in college.

A good indicator of your performance and standing compared to other applications can be found using the Academic Index.

The Academic Index is a tool that admissions officers at Ivy League and other selective colleges use to expedite the decision-making process. Using the information from a student’s transcript and test scores, the Academic Index calculates the combined student’s overall academic performance into a single numerical score. This score helps admissions officers make a quick assessment as to whether a student has enough academic qualifications to be considered for admissions, helping admissions officers make decisions on thousands of applications in a few short months. It’s not the only factor in an admissions decision, but it is an important one.

Having a competitive transcript is the first step to getting your application read. For the most selective schools, students should not only get all A’s (or mostly A’s) but also take the most challenging courses available to them. (here’s some context on how many APs students should aim for).

If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to raise your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.

2. Aim for a 1430 SAT and 31 ACT

Most applicants that were admitted into the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities scored between a 25-31 Composite ACT score and a 1260-1430 SAT score. However, scoring closer to the higher score will put you in the 75th percentile and exponentially increase your chances of gaining admission into the university. However, any score in that range could be enough for admission as long as the other components in your application are respectable.

In light of COVID-19 test-optional policies, we recommend taking the test if you can safely (students who submit scores are accepted at higher rates than those without). We generally recommend submitting your score if it’s the 25th percentile or above for accepted students at that school. Students can get recommendations on whether or not they should apply test-optional using our free Chancing Engine.

To improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:

  • How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
  • How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
  • More SAT Info and Tips
  • More ACT Info and Tips

3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”)

Not everything is about academics; extracurriculars are essential too. Extracurriculars give a student depth and demonstrate a more personal picture to admissions officials. Colleges are not simply searching for academically excellent students; rather, they’re looking for well-rounded students who will get involved in and engage with their campus communities. Even at the most academically selective schools, a strong extracurricular profile can help a student stand out from other academically excellent applicants.

When considering your extracurriculars, following the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars is vital in order to distinguish which activities are worth mentioning in your application or resume. Rare achievements that demonstrate exceptional talent, like winning a prestigious national award, sitting first chair in an all-state orchestra, and starting a nonprofit that gains national attention are examples of tier 1 activities. Serving as student body present or making it to a state tournament for tennis would be classified as tier 2 activities. Leadership positions in school clubs or sports teams would be an example of a tier 3 activity. Lastly, tier 4 describes the activities that admissions committees most commonly see. Although less impressive than the other tiers, these activities do play a role in helping colleges see what kind of student and person they would be admitting. This tier includes general membership in clubs and organizations, volunteering regularly, or taking music classes or other types of lessons for several years.

In order to include an activity on your application or resume, make sure it is important to you and takes up a lot of your free time outside the classroom. Playing Minecraft on the weekends or volunteering once doesn’t count! 1-2 well-developed interests, known as a “spike,” will make you more competitive rather than a bunch of unrelated interests.

3. Write engaging essays

Once you clear the academic thresholds, essays are the best way to set yourself apart from other applicants. You want to share your authentic voice and demonstrate your fit with the school.

Here our guide for writing the UMN – Twin Cities supplemental essays.

4. Apply Early Action/Early Decision

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities does not have early decision, however, early action is an option for all applicants. Early action gives applicants the opportunity to apply to the university early and ahead of the regular deadline in order to increase their chances of getting into the school of their choice.

How to Apply to UMN – Twin Cities


The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities gives students the option to apply on the U of M site through the Golden Gopher Application or the Common App. Either works to apply with as there is no difference in application or deadline; however, the Common App might be easier and more time-effective to submit as you can submit the same application to multiple other schools you are interested in.

Here are some deadlines you should watch out for:

Application Timeline


Early Action I Deadline

November 1

Early Action II Deadline

December 1

Regular Deadline

January 1

Early Action I Admission Decision

January 31

Early Action II Admission Decision

February 15

Regular Decision

March 31

Application Requirements

  1. Application form: Submit your Golden Gopher Application or the Common Application.
  1. Application fee: Pay the $55 application fee within your application platform or receive an automatic fee waiver based on answers in your application form.
  1. Academic Record

    Self-report your high school courses and grades.
    Golden Gopher Application: complete the Academic Record section within the application.
    Common Application: complete the Courses and Grades section and enter your test scores in your profile section.

The following classes are required in order to apply to The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities:

Course Requirements

Required credits


3 credits

Biological Sciences

4 credits; must include lab or field experience

Historical Perspectives

3 credits


3 credits

Mathematical Thinking

3 credits

Physical Sciences

4 credits; must include lab or field experience

Social Sciences

3 credits

Learn more about The UMN – Twin Cities

Are you still wondering, “how can I get into UMN – Twin Cities?” Check out the following resource to help you on your college search, and learn more about the admissions process:

How to Write the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Essays 2021-2022

How to Get Into UMN Twin Cities: Admissions Stats + Tips (2024)


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