Academic Catalog 2010–2011

Applicants for admission to Gustavus are considered by the Admission Committee on the basis of course selection and achievement in secondary school, letters of reference, and an application essay or writing sample. An interview with an admission counselor is recommended.

Successful applicants to Gustavus typically have taken a college-preparatory program in high school, and rank in the top third of their graduating class. The middle 50 percent of students admitted to Gustavus scored between 24 and 28 composite on the ACT, or between 1100 and 1340 composite on the SAT. Applicants for admission have the option to submit standardized test scores. Students who feel their test scores accurately reflect their academic ability and potential should submit test scores. Additionally, students should take the ACT or SAT in order to explore all options and practice for the standardized tests required for entrance to graduate school.

The Application Process

To apply for admission to Gustavus, complete the following steps:

  1. Submit the Gustavus Application for Admission or the Common Application and Gustavus Supplement.
  2. Submit a transcript complete through the most recent semester.
  3. Submit scores from the ACT or SAT if they accurately reflect your academic ability and potential; otherwise reporting your scores is optional.
  4. Submit one letter of reference from a teacher.
  5. Submit a school report from a guidance counselor.

Common Application: In addition to our own application, Gustavus Adolphus College uses the Common Application, a standardized application accepted by many colleges. Students may obtain copies of the Common Application from their high schools, the Admission Office, or online at

Admission Dates: Candidates for admission who have completed their entire application by November 1 will be notified of an admission decision by November 20. Applicants who complete their file by December 1 will be notified of an admission decision by December 20. Applicants completing their files after December 1 will be notified on a rolling basis beginning January 20.

Application Deadline: Students who apply after April 15 should recognize that available residence hall space and a preferred size of the entering class will be considered as applications are processed.

Accepting an Offer of Admission: Gustavus requires that applicants reply to an offer of admission by May 1. To accept an offer of admission, submit a non-refundable $300 Advanced Registration Deposit. This non-refundable deposit is applied to the fall semester payment.

Post Secondary Enrollment Options

Students wishing to apply for full-time student status under the PSEO program must submit the regular application for admission, including ACT or SAT scores.
A personal interview is required. Individuals admitted as full-time PSEO students will be required to live in campus housing. PSEO applicants who intend to complete their degree at Gustavus will receive priority consideration for admission.

Students interested in part-time enrollment through the PSEO program are required to submit the high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores and come to campus for an interview. Successful candidates generally have a high school GPA of 3.5 or better and/or an ACT composite of 26 or higher.

Registration for part-time students occurs in mid-August for the fall semester and mid-January for the spring semester. Students may register for one or two courses as a part-time PSEO student. Space availability will determine which courses are open for enrollment. Part-time PSEO students have lowest priority when seeking enrollment in closed or wait-listed courses.

College Credits Earned in High School

Candidates accepted for admission may earn no more than the equivalent of eight Gustavus course credits (32 semester or 48 quarter credits), including Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/Post Secondary Enrollment Options/College-in-the-Schools/online coursework. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam results will be reviewed first for advanced standing credit.

Candidates who score four or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination or four or more on the higher level exams of the International Baccalaureate are given advanced placement with college credit.


Minnesota law requires that all students born after 1956 and enrolled in a post-secondary school be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella. Students who do not meet state immunization requirements may have their enrollment cancelled. A complete medical history form and a physical examination are required of all first-year and transfer students. These are kept on file in the Student Health Service. Meningitis vaccination and flu vaccination are offered annually and students can receive vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and tetanus/diphtheria in the Student Health Service, along with Mantoux testing for tuberculosis.


All new students attend an orientation program before classes begin. Activities include auditions, meetings with faculty advisers and Collegiate Fellows, and workshops designed to ease the transition to college.

Transfer Students

Students may transfer to Gustavus if they meet the following conditions:

  1. Honorable standing at the previous college, including eligibility to return to the previous college in good standing;
  2. Evidence of normal progress toward a degree;
  3. A recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 2.4 (on a 4.0 scale).

Transfer applicants must complete and submit the Common Application for Transfer Students, available from the Admission Office or online at In addition to high school transcripts and test scores, transfer applicants must also submit transcripts from each college attended, a Dean of Students Reference, a

Teacher Recommendation, and an immunization record. The Dean of Students Reference and the Teacher Recommendation forms are provided in the transfer application.

Courses at Gustavus are considered to be the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours. Credits accepted in transfer are based on this formula. A minimum of 136 semester hours or 204 quarter hours is required for graduation at Gustavus. Two years (17 courses minimum) are required in residence, including the senior year. Acceptance of specific courses and their application to a Gustavus degree is the province of the Registrar and the chairpersons of the appropriate academic departments. Only coursework graded C– or better is transferable; the GPA from the previous college does not transfer.

Students may transfer to Gustavus at the beginning of the academic year or during the year at January Interim or spring semester.

International Student Admission

An international student is any candidate who wishes to enroll in a non-immigrant visa status (i.e., F-1, J-1, H-4). International students, including those currently attending schools in the United States, should apply to the Center for International and Cultural Education by submitting an International Student Application for Admission and supporting documents. Students who are U.S. citizens (including those living outside of the United States), who are legal permanent residents, who have refugee status or have been granted asylum, or who are undocumented are not considered international students and should apply through the Office of Admission.

International student application information and forms can be found at International students should send applications, supporting documents, and admission inquiries to Jeff Anderson, Center for International and Cultural Education, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN 56082-1498, U.S.A.; phone 507-933-7493; e-mail

To apply for admission to Gustavus, please submit the following:

  1. International Student Application for Admission.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from teachers or school officials.
  3. Original or certified copies of secondary and postsecondary credentials signed by the proper authority indicating courses taken and grades earned.
  4. Proof of English language proficiency (minimum TOEFL score of 80 or IELTS score of 7.0)
  5. Certified financial documents verifying the amount of funding available for your education.
  6. If you wish to apply for financial assistance, you must submit a completed International Student Financial Aid Application.
  7. Scores from the ACT or SAT if they accurately reflect your academic ability and potential; otherwise reporting your scores is optional.

Application Deadline: To be considered for admission for fall semester, the Center for International and Cultural Education should receive all of the above by March 1, if applying for financial aid, or by April 1 if financial aid is not required.

Academic Placement: Applicants who have successfully completed a three-year European gymnasium program or have passed the British GCE Advanced Level exams normally are credited with eight or nine courses toward the Bachelor of Arts degree at Gustavus. Applicants who score four or more on the higher level exams of the International Baccalaureate normally are credited with one course for each exam.

No credit is given for subsidiary level exams.

Credits earned in this manner are awarded only after successful completion of the first semester of study at Gustavus. However, even with a year of advanced standing, some students who lack native ability in English may need more than three years to complete their program at Gustavus.

International students whose first language is not English and who meet minimum admission standards on the TOEFL exam are recognized as having met the language requirement at Gustavus.

Orientation: A three-day international student orientation precedes the orientation for all new students. The international student orientation is designed to help students in their cultural and academic transition, and introduce them to the campus, community and resources.

International Student Services Coordinator: A coordinator is available to assist
with cultural transition issues, academic questions and concerns, immigration,
and with adapting to college life. Contact Jeff Anderson at 507-933-7493 or