Academic Catalog: 2014–2015

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 25 and 29 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.
  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 find the Common Application online at

Admission Dates: Candidates for admission who have completed their Early Action 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 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 Enrollment Deposit. This non-refundable deposit is applied to the fall semester payment.

Post Secondary Enrollment Options

Full-time Enrollment: Students wishing to apply for full-time student status under Minnesota’s PSEO program must submit the regular online application for admission. Submission of ACT or SAT scores and a personal interview are also required. Only high school seniors may attend Gustavus as full-time PSEO students.

Full-time PSEO applications may be submitted as early as October or as late as April of a student’s junior year of high school. Admission decisions will be made after May 1, as soon as the size of the first-year class has been determined. Admission for full-time PSEO students is competitive; successful applicants typically have a high school GPA of 3.6 or higher and an ACT composite of 27 or higher. Full-time PSEO applicants who intend to complete their degree at Gustavus will receive priority consideration for admission. Individuals attending Gustavus as full-time PSEO students will be required to live in campus housing and pay for room and board.

Part-time Enrollment: Minnesota high school juniors and seniors interested in part-time enrollment through the PSEO program are required to bring a signed PSEO form from their high school/home school, a current high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores to campus for an interview with the PSEO coordinator. Part-time PSEO students should not apply for admission: the interview with the PSEO coordinator will suffice. Successful candidates typically have a high school GPA of 3.6 or higher and/or an ACT composite of 27 or higher.

Registration for part-time PSEO students begins in mid-August for the fall semester and mid-January for the spring semester. Part-time PSEO students typically register for one course, but may register for two courses pending academic qualifications and approval from the PSEO coordinator. Space availability will determine which courses are open for enrollment. Part-time PSEO students may not register for 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 advisors and Collegiate Fellows, and workshops designed to ease the transition to college.

Transfer Students

Transfer students should apply 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 either the Gustavus Transfer Application, available on the Gustavus website, or the Common Application's Transfer Application, available online at There is no application fee. In addition to high school transcripts and test scores, transfer applicants must also submit transcripts from each college attended, and the Gustavus Transfer Report. Students may transfer to Gustavus at the beginning of the academic year or during the year at January Interim or spring semester.

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 online using the Common Application. 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 students should submit the application and supporting documents, electronically to Alternatively, materials may be mailed to: Cynthia Yang, Admission Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN 56082-1498, U.S.A.

To apply for admission to Gustavus, please submit the following (documents can be scanned and sent electronically in pdf format):

  1. The online Common Application.
  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 6.5)
  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 the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
  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 up to eight 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 or IELTS exam are recognized as having met the non-English 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: An advisor is available to assist with cultural transition issues, academic questions and concerns, immigration, and with adapting to college life. Contact Jeff Anderson, the International Student Services Coordinator, at or 507-933-7545.