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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!

2021 Information

NMU’s freshman admission policy is under review. As we consider a permanent change to our policy, we have temporarily changed standardized test score requirements.  We will not consider SAT or ACT test scores in our review and admission decisions. This is often called “test-blind” admissions.

Freshman applicants for winter, summer or fall 2021 terms are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission consideration. We will review your high school grade point average (GPA) only for general admission. 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.

You may need to provide your ACT or SAT score for certain limited programs and for scholarships. 

See NMU's Test-Blind 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 also complete the dual enrollment-permission to enroll form.
     
  2. Application Fee - Applicants may pay the non-refundable $35 application fee online, or by phone (1-800-682-9797 or 1-906-227-2650) or may mail a check or money order.
    Application fee waivers and exceptions may be available.
     
  3. 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. 
    NMU accepts official transcripts sent electronically through secure transcript providers such as Parchment, eSCRIP-SAFE and others.

    If you are currently in high school, and you would like to provide additional information about your educational history or extenuating circumstances, you may include comments on your application, or your counselor may provide information by letter or the counselor form or Parchment eSSR.

    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. Post-secondary transcripts from foreign post-secondary institutions must be sent to an external agency for evaluation. Transcripts not issued in English must be accompanied by a same format, word for word English translation.  
     
  4. Test Scores - Request ACT or SAT scores to be sent to NMU. These may be on the official high school transcript or directly from the testing agency.
    Exempt: Students who have been enrolled in 12 or more semester hours of college-level credits taken after high school; persons who completed high school at least three years prior to semester of intended enrollment; and applicants to many diploma, certificate, and associate degree programs; international students (except Canada). Students applying for an education major should submit test scores regardless of exemption.

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.
  • Have attained a minimum 19 ACT composite score or 990 SAT Total Score.  
  • 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 in the "notes regarding admission."

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.

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.

Standardized Achievement Testing - NMU will accept either the ACT or SAT results and will always consider the highest ACT composite or SAT Total Score from a single test date for admissions and scholarship purposes if a student submits multiple test results. Writing scores are not required or considered.