MASSACHUSETTS STATE COLLEGES AND UMASS MINIMUM ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

The admissions standards for the state colleges and UMass campuses emphasize a strong academic high school background so that students enter college ready to learn. These standards represent minimum requirements; meeting them does not guarantee admission, since campus officials consider a wide range of factors in admissions decisions. Students shall have fulfilled all requirements for the high school diploma or its equivalent upon enrollment. It is important to note that admissions standards for the state’s community colleges differ. Community colleges may admit any high school graduate or GED recipient.

Freshman Applicants

The new admissions standards for freshmen applicants have two main parts:

  • 16 required academic courses
  • a minimum required grade point average (GPA) earned in college preparatory courses completed at the time of application

Applicants must also submit an SAT or ACT score.

Academic Course Requirement

Sixteen college preparatory courses distributed as follows are required. (A course is equivalent to one full school year of study. Courses count toward the distribution only if passed.)

English 4 courses
Mathematics 3 courses (Algebra I & II and Geometry or Trigonometry, or comparable work)
Sciences 3 courses (including 2 courses with laboratory work)
Social Sciences 2 courses (including 1 course in U.S. History)
Foreign Languages 2 courses (in a single language)
Electives 2 courses (from the above subjects or from the Arts & Humanities or Computer Sciences)

Minimum Required Grade Point Average (GPA)
The GPA must be achieved based on all college preparatory courses completed at the time of application and should be weighted for accelerated (Honors or Advanced Placement) courses. Effective Fall 2001 the required minimum weighted high school GPA is for 3.0 for the four-year public campuses.

SAT Scores

Applicants who meet the GPA requirement do not have to use the sliding scale for admission, but still must submit SAT or ACT test scores for consideration if they are applying to a state college or UMass within three years of high school graduation.

Sliding Scale (used when GPA is lower than the minimum required GPA)
If an applicant’s GPA falls below the required minimum, a sliding scale will apply. This scale should be used only when an applicant’s GPA falls below the required 3.0 minimum for admission to the state colleges or UMass.

Sliding Scale for Freshman Applicants to UMass (all campuses)

Weighted High Combined SAT Reasoning Test (Critical Reading & Math) and
School GPA Must Equal or Exceed:

GPA SAT(ACT)
2.51-2.99 950 (20)
2.41-2.50 990 (21)
2.31-2.40 1030 (22)
2.21-2.30 1070 (23)
2.11-2.20 1110 (24)
2.00-2.10 1150 (25)

EFFECTIVE FALL 2000, NO APPLICANT WITH A HIGH SCHOOL GPA BELOW 2.00 MAY BE ADMITTED TO A STATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS.

Sliding Scale for Freshman Applicants to a State College (all campuses)

Weighted High Combined SAT Reasoning Test (Critical Reading & Math) and
School GPA Must Equal or Exceed:

GPA SAT(ACT)
2.51-2.99 920 (19)
2.41-2.50 960 (20)
2.31-2.40 1000 (21)
2.21-2.30 1040 (22)
2.11-2.20 1080 (23)
2.00-2.10 1120 (24)

EFFECTIVE FALL 2000, NO APPLICANT WITH A HIGH SCHOOL GPA BELOW 2.00 MAY BE ADMITTED TO A STATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS.

Exception Allowances

English as a Second Language (ESL) Applicants

Effective Fall 1999, English As a Second Language (ESL) applicants must complete the
16 required college preparatory courses with two exceptions:

1. ESL applicants may substitute up to two college preparatory electives for the two
required foreign language courses and,
2. ESL applicants may substitute up to two years of college preparatory ESL English
courses for college preparatory English courses, provided they achieve a rank of at
least the 62nd percentile on the TOEFL or ELPT test. (This means a 550 on the old
TOEFL, 968 on the ELPT, or a 213 on the new TOEFL test.)

ESL exception applicants who meet minimum GPA:
To qualify for either of these exceptions ESL applicants must achieve the required
minimum GPA in their college preparatory and substitute ESL courses. Applicants must
submit in addition to the required TOEFL or ELPT, an SAT 1 or ACT test score,
although no minimum SAT 1 or ACT score must be achieved.

ESL exception applicants who do not meet minimum GPA:
When the applicant’s GPA is below the minimum required GPA, in addition to the
required TOEFL or ELPT score, the sliding scale must be used to meet minimum
admissions standards and an appropriate SAT-I or ACT test score must be achieved.

Learning Disabled Applicants

Applicants with professionally diagnosed and documented learning disabilities
(documentation must include diagnostic test results) are exempt from taking
standardized tests for admission to any public institution of higher education in the
Commonwealth. Such students, however, must complete 16** required academic
courses with a minimum required GPA of 3.00 or present other evidence of the potential
for academic success.

**An applicant may substitute two college preparatory electives for the two required
foreign language courses only if the applicant has on file with the high school results of
a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that provides a
specific diagnosis of a learning disability and an inability to succeed in a foreign
language.

Eligibility for admission is not an entitlement of admission for any applicant, including
learning disabled students.

This policy frames minimum standards for admission to Massachusetts state colleges
and UMass. Institutions are free to set higher standards and/or to impose additional
requirements. In any case, meeting minimum standards for admissibility does not
guarantee admission for any applicant. The final decision on accepting an applicant
rests with the individual campus.