Student studying in The Lodge

First-Year Students

Are you a student who is going to graduate from high school soon (or has already graduated) and will be attending college for the first time? This page has been designed especially for you. Even if you have taken college classes while in high school, you've come to the right place. Follow the links below to learn more about Northern Michigan University and all we have to offer. You'll be glad you did!

Test-Free Admissions

NMU does not use ACT or SAT scores in making admissions or scholarship decisions. We will review your high school grades, starting with your 9th grade year. Research shows that GPA is a better indicator of success in college.

  • If you have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.25 or higher, you will be admitted to NMU.
  • If your GPA is below 2.25, we will look at your courses and grades, your grade trend, the academic program you selected, and any other information provided, which could include test scores if you choose to provide them.  You may be admitted conditionally or, for some certificate and associate degree programs, admitted only to that specific program. If you are admitted “conditionally” it means you may enroll with the condition that you participate in required academic success programming.

See NMU's Test-Free Policy FAQ for more information. 

Applicants who have not attended any college or university after high school are considered first-year or freshman applicants.

See below for Application Instructions and Admission Requirements.  

Application Instructions

  1. Application - Complete the undergraduate application for admission
    Students who are applying to be dually enrolled at NMU while still attending high school should complete the dual enrollment application.

    Helpful Tip: When completing the application for admission, enter the e-mail address you check most frequently. If you are currently in high school it's best not to use a high school e-mail address since schools often prevent some messages from reaching you and also expire upon graduation.
  2. Transcripts - Request your official high school transcript(s) be sent to the Admissions Office.  If you have earned a G.E.D. or equivalent, request an official score report be sent to NMU.

  • Official transcripts are those sent directly to NMU by the issuing school, college or agency. They can be mailed (paper copies) or transmitted electronically through a secure transcript service the school may use (such as Parchment, Scoir, National Student Clearinghouse, Naviance and others).  The application does not have a transcript upload feature. Transcripts should not be sent as e-mail attachments as these are not secure and will not be considered official. 
  • If you have been enrolled at a college while you were in high school, request an official college transcript be sent to NMU. This is not required for admission purposes, but is required upon course completion so NMU course credit may be granted.
  • Transcripts from non-U.S., non-Canadian institutions must be sent to an external agency for evaluation. Transcripts not issued in English must be accompanied by an English translation. See additional details under "Transcripts" here

*NMU has an alternate procedure regarding acceptable documentation for applicants with extenuating circumstances. Applicants with extenuating circumstances should contact the Admissions or Graduate Admissions Office for more information. 

If you would like to provide additional information about your educational history or extenuating circumstances, you may include comments on your application. We also welcome information from high school counselors.

Admission Requirements

Baccalaureate Program Admission: First-year applicants seeking admission to a baccalaureate degree program will be admitted if they meet the following requirements:

  • Will graduate from high school with a cumulative grade point average of 2.25 or higher.
  • Successfully complete core course work for secondary school preparation. Students who have earned a GED are also considered for admission.

Non-Baccalaureate Program Admissions: First year applicants seeking admission into associate, certificate, or certification programs will be admitted if they meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants may submit records verifying the achievement of the admission standards for baccalaureate programs; or
  • Applicants must submit records verifying that they meet the specific admission requirements listed here.

High School Grade Point Averages - NMU will use the overall cumulative GPA reported on the high school transcript.  If a high school computes more than one GPA (e.g. weighted and unweighted), we will use the higher of the two.

Secondary School Academic Preparation - Michigan students should follow the Michigan Merit Curriculum, and it is preferred that all students take core courses as follows: four years of English; four years of college preparatory mathematics; four years of social studies; four years of science; two years of language. Credits (1 semester = .5 credits) from these areas should total 12-16 by the end of the senior year. Beyond these core courses, students are encouraged to take courses or get experience in the arts and information technology.