AdmissionAcademic Catalog: 2019–2020

Applicants for admission to Gustavus are considered by the Admission Committee on the basis of course selection academic achievement in secondary school, ACT or SAT scores (Test Optional available), letters of reference (recommended, but not required), 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 score between 25 and 30 composite on the ACT, or have an average combined verbal and math score of 1300 on the SAT. Applicants for admission have the option to submit standardized test scores, known as the “Test Optional” admission policy. Students who feel their test scores accurately reflect their academic ability and potential should submit test scores. Additionally, students should take the ACT and/or SAT in order to explore all options and practice for the standardized tests required for entrance to graduate school.

Students who matriculate must have a high school diploma, GED, or a passing ATB score. In order to be eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid funds, students must have one of these three proofs of high school completion.

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 ACT or SAT test scores. Test scores are required from all applicants unless you select “No” on the “Should Gustavus consider your standardized test scores in the admission process” question on the application. For more information about our test-optional admission policy, visit
  4. Submit one letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor (optional).

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 15. Rolling Admission applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning November 15.

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 May of a student’s junior year of high school. Admission decisions are generally made after April 1. 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 one of the PSEO registration events. Part-time PSEO students should not apply for admission; the PSEO registration event 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 first-year admission may earn a maximum of the equivalent of eight Gustavus course credits (32 semester or 48 quarter credits), including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Post Secondary Enrollment Options, and College in the Schools coursework. The exception to this will be incoming first year students who have earned an associate degree while enrolled in high school.

Incoming first-year students who have earned an associate degree while in high school may earn a maximum of 16 Gustavus course credits (64 semester or 96 quarter credits), including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Post Secondary Enrollment Options, and College in the Schools coursework. These students must provide documentation of an earned associate degree in the form of an official transcript prior to first-year registration. Students will retain first-year status and be required to enroll in either a First Term Seminar or the Three Crowns Curriculum.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam results for all students 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 postsecondary 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 standard degree progression;
  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, 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, 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.

International Student Admission

An international student is any candidate who wishes to enroll with 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, who have been granted asylum, or who are undocumented are not considered international students and should apply through the Office of Admission.

Please refer to for detailed information regarding the international admission application process.

Application Deadline: To be considered for admission for fall semester, the admission office should receive all of the above by March 1.

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: An 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: An advisor is available to assist with cultural transition issues, academic questions and concerns, immigration, and adapting to college life. Contact Jeff Anderson, the Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services, at or 507-933-7545.