Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Applicants to NSU must:


Rank in the top 60 percent of their high school graduating class;

  • OR    Achieve an ACT composite score of 18 or above; SAT score of 950 or above as of March 1, 2016, or later; or SAT Reasoning Test Math and Critical Reading subscores total of 870 or above.
  • OR    Earn a GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale in all high school courses.

And complete the following required courses with a cumulative grade of "C" or higher (GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale):


Four years of English

  • OR ACT English sub-test score of 18 or above OR AP English score of 3 or above

Three years of advanced mathematics*

  • OR ACT math sub-test score of 20 or above OR AP calculus score of 3 or above

Three years of laboratory science**

  • OR ACT science reasoning sub-test score of 17 or above OR AP science score of 3 or above

Three years of social science

  • OR ACT social studies/reading sub-test score of 17 or above OR AP social studies score of 3 or above

One year of fine arts

  • OR AP fine arts score of 3 or above


At the time of admission, it is expected that students will have basic keyboarding skills and have had experience in using computer word processing, database and spreadsheet packages and in using the Internet or other wide-area networks.

These expectations may be met by high school coursework. Effective fall 2006, entering students who have not taken such high school coursework must complete a specified computer course addressing these skills and competencies within the first 42 credit hours attempted.

* Advanced mathematics includes algebra or any higher level of math.

** Laboratory science includes biology, chemistry, physics or other approved science courses in which there is a weekly lab period scheduled.

Application Process
Take the ACT and/or SAT Tests

List Northern State University (ACT code 3916/SAT code 6487) to request that your test scores be sent directly to NSU.

Submit Your Official Transcripts

Contact your high school and any post-secondary schools you've attended to request that an official transcript be mailed directly to NSU Admissions.

Register for Classes

Visit Freshman HOWL Registration for details!

Send Us Your Transcript

Arrange for official transcripts from all schools you've attended to be sent to NSU Admissions.

Check for Credit Transfer

Determine how your credits may transfer to NSU with the Transfer Credit Calculator.

Immunization Records

Send updated immunization records to NSU's Health Services Office, 605-626-7694.

Submit Your Application

Complete the Online NSU Application or mail the completed application form (below) and $20 non-refundable application fee to NSU International Admissions.

Printable NSU Application Form (PDF)

Submit Your Test Score

International students may take an English language or academic proficiency test. Please choose one of the following tests and have the testing center send results directly to Northern State University:

TOEFL IBT (61-70 or above)

TOEFL PBT (525 or above)

IELTS (5.5 or above)

PTE Academic (41 or above)

SAT (CR + M = 870 or above) School Code #6487

Submit Transcripts

Send a copy of your high school transcripts translated in English to admissions@northern.edu. Post-secondary school transcripts from foreign universities must have a catalog match evaluation from ECE or WES. U.S. university transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to Northern State University by U.S. postal mail.

Declare Finances and Obtain Visa

If admitted to Northern State University, you'll complete a Declaration of Finances form to ensure that you have the finances to support your program.​

Once you receive your I-20 SEVIS document from Northern State University, please apply for a student visa at your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information and assistance, please visit Study in the States.

Talk To Us

If you've taken college classes in the past - but didn't complete a degree - you can finish here on campus, or online through NSU Online & Continuing Education.

Get the Details

Visit Returning Students for important details. Your degree is only steps away!

Determine Requirements

Application requirements vary according to your student status: degree-seeking, international, non-degree-seeking, provisional or undergraduate. See Graduate Admission for details.

Apply for Admission
Send Us Your Transcript(s)

Send official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate credits to the NSU Graduate Studies Office.