University Of Minnesota Essays

Undergraduate Application Options

Transfer and freshman students alike can apply using either the U of M application linked above, the Common Application, or the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application.

We do not have a preference for which application platform you use, but please submit only one application. Submitting more than one application will delay your admission decision.

Freshman and transfer definition:

  • You are a freshman applicant if you will graduate from high school in 2018. (Even if you will complete college credits while in high school.) You are also a freshman if you have graduated from high school, but have NOT enrolled at a college, university, or any other school after high school.
  • You are a transfer applicant if you are a high school graduate who has registered or enrolled at a college, university, or any other school after graduating from high school.

Note about Civic Engagement:

The University of Minnesota welcomes free speech. A student applying for admission to the University, who has been suspended for participation in a protest, would not be required to report such activities. In the application for admission, we do provide students with space to share more information about themselves and their particular beliefs and the activities in which they have engaged and feel are important. We are consistently in awe of the great work that high school students are accomplishing to make their community, state, and country better.

Other application links:

Application Checklists

We look at several pieces of information to make an admission decision. Be sure to use these application checklists to ensure your application is complete by the deadline!

Application Deadlines

Be sure to meet these important deadlines! Applications received or completed after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Application Tracker

You can use this tool to determine which application materials have been received, and whether a decision has been made on your application.

Admission Decisions

In approaching this prompt, try to think of it as straightforwardly as possible; the university wants to briefly know what your reasoning behind studying your major is, and whether you are considering other fields as well. You only have 150 words, so keep your answer succinct.


That being said, steer away from generic answers, such as “I like biology.” Write about why you enjoy a certain subject: Why do you have a personal connection to it? For instance, if an applicant were to write about biology, he or she could explain that biology is a way of understanding how the world works and functions, from an amoeba moving using pseudopods to a friend devouring a hamburger.


Explain why the subject is significant to you personally. Does it allow you to have a clearer understanding of your environment? Is it a way of expressing yourself and your thoughts? Does it allow you to understand others and yourself more fully? There are countless ways of thinking of why the topic is important to you and your life, as well as your surroundings. Avoid at all costs speaking about money or prestige — the admissions officers want to see that you are genuinely passionate about what you do or want to pursue.


If you have another major you are considering, split the 150 words to devote enough time to both subjects. Explain why both subjects are interesting to you, and if you have any space left, you may want to write about how the subjects relate to each other, and why studying one gives you a deeper understanding of the other. This will tie the essay together, and give a clearer picture to admissions officers as to why you would like to pursue both.


For instance, a student could first write about studying mathematics, then follow-up with writing about art as a second interest, and end with how mathematics influences art in symmetry, space, and perspective, and how the study of mathematics is necessary for creating art.


Remember, answer the question honestly and with what you genuinely want to study. There are no loopholes in the essay prompt — be direct, concise, and specific.


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