Applications for admission can be sent electronically by accessing the Web at Applications for the fall semester are accepted beginning September 15 of the previous year. All complete applications received by February 1 will receive full consideration for admission. After February 1, applications will be considered on a space-available basis. Applications for spring semester are accepted beginning September 1 of the fall preceding that term.

To be considered for admission, individuals must submit the following items to the Admissions Office, UW-La Crosse, Cleary Center, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601 USA:

1. a completed UW System application (application at
2. an official high school transcript
3. a non-refundable application fee
4. official American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores sent directly from ACT/SAT  

Freshmen Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission as new freshmen must satisfy the following minimum requirements to be considered:
I. Graduation from a recognized high school or the equivalent.
A. A recognized high school is
    1) accredited by a regional accrediting association or state university
                    2) recognized or accredited by a state department of public instruction or its equivalent

B. An applicant who has not graduated from a recognized high school must provide evidence of satisfactory
            completion of the requirements for a high school equivalency certificate or a diploma from a recognized high
            school, school system, or state department of public instruction based on the GED examination, the Wisconsin
            High School Equivalency Diploma, or other established criteria. Applicants from alternative educational
            backgrounds, including home-schooled students, should contact the Admissions Office for specific information.
            Additional documents, testing, and a personal interview may be required.

II. Completion of the following 17 high school credits is minimal preparation and is required for admission consideration.
    Applicants are strongly recommended to take advanced courses beyond the required 17 high school credits.
A. Four credits of English
B. Three credits of mathematics, specifically algebra, advanced algebra and geometry
C. Three credits of natural science with two credits from biology, chemistry, physics, earth science or advanced 
            courses in these disciplines. (Integrated Science I and II courses will be counted on a one-for-one basis.)

D. Three credits of social science (i.e., anthropology, economics, history [U.S. or world], political science
[civics/government], psychology or sociology.)
E. Four academic credits from the above and/or in the arts, computer science, or other academic areas. Students
on the basis of a high school equivalency diploma are considered to have fulfilled these minimum subject
            matter requirements.
III. Submission of Wisconsin Regional Placement test scores in mathematics and English.

Candidates for admission must satisfy requirements I and II.

All applications receive a comprehensive review.  Due to enrollment limitations and the competitive nature of admission to the university, admission consideration will be primarily based on rigor of courses, high school rank, grade point average, and ACT/SAT scores. While academic preparation is the primary criterion used in the admissions review process, other nonacademic secondary factors may contribute to the strength of an application. These may include qualities such as demonstrated leadership, extracurricular involvement, content of personal statement and recommendations, and/or adding a diverse dimension to our campus community. Based on institutional and UW System objectives and the need to provide the social and cultural diversity essential to a comprehensive university, additional consideration may be given to provide admission opportunities for special populations including, but not limited to minority/disadvantaged students, international students, veterans, non-traditional students, and those with special talent.

The following is a general profile of our admitted freshmen for fall 2010. This is reported for the middle 50% range, so 25% of admitted freshmen fall above this range and 25% of admitted freshmen fall below this range.
    Class Rank: 75th to 91st percentile
    ACT Composite: 23 - 27

ACT/SAT Examination

Freshman candidates for admission must take the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  Scores must be sent to the Admissions Office directly from ACT or SAT. No admission decision will be made until official scores are received. High school students are recommended to take the exam in the spring of their junior year or early in their senior year.

Information concerning the test dates, locations, fees and application information may be obtained from any high school guidance office or by visiting the university Counseling and Testing Center Web site at The ACT/SAT requirement may be waived for non-traditional students.

Mathematics and English Placement  

Placement into the appropriate level of English and mathematics courses is determined by using scores earned on the Wisconsin Regional Placement Exams and the ACT/SAT. Students cannot take classes above their placement level. Course registration in either discipline is limited to those students who have demonstrated their competency through the examinations. ENG 050 and MTH 050 and 051 are courses designed for students whose test scores indicate a low probability for success in college-level courses. Any student may enroll in ENG 050 or MTH 050 or 051, but if you need ENG 050 and/or MTH 050 or 051, you must complete the requirement(s) prior to earning 30 degree credits. Placement exam results expire two years from the date of the exam after which the placement exam must be retaken.

Concurrent High School/UW-L Enrollment and Youth Options

UW-L offers enrollment options to high school students who wish to pursue university course work while completing their studies in high school. Applicants must have completed at least the ninth grade and preferably the eleventh grade before entering the university. Special admission is granted only to those highly qualified applicants who demonstrate that they can benefit from entrance into college and who have exhausted all high school course work in the educational disciplines for which they plan to enroll.

The Youth Options (Wisconsin Act 27) program stipulates that qualified Wisconsin high school juniors and seniors may attend post secondary institutions and the school districts may be responsible for tuition and fees for the course(s).

Registration for courses as a high school student is subject to course, program, and institutional enrollment limits.

Admission Requirements for Concurrent High School/UW-L Enrollment

1. High school seniors must rank in the upper 25 percent of their high school class or score in the upper 10 percent
    on the ACT/SAT (26 or higher ACT composite score or SAT of 1190 in Critical Reading + Math). High school
    sophomores and juniors must rank in the upper 10 percent of their high school class. (Youth Options does not
    include sophomores.)
2. Completion of appropriate preparatory high school course work for college courses
3. A personal interview may be required for sophomore candidates

Application Procedures

1. Submit a UW System application (available at Students apply as a “special non-degree”
            student. The application fee is not required.
        2. Submit a completed “High School/UW-La Crosse Enrollment and Youth Options Program” information sheet
            (available at )
        3. Submit an official high school transcript
        4. The UW System application (if not sent electronically), “High School/UW-La Crosse Enrollment and Youth Options
            Program” information sheet, high school transcript, and, if applicable, ACT or SAT I scores should be mailed to the
            Admissions Office,  UW-La Crosse, Cleary Center, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601 USA.

Credit by Examination and Retroactive Credit

Students may earn university credit through a variety of options. For specific information, admitted students should contact the Admissions Office and continuing students should contact the college or school in which they are enrolled.

The five options are:

1. Advanced Placement Program - Students who have participated in the College Board Advanced Placement program
    (AP) in high school and have received grades of 3, 4, or 5 will receive academic credit. Transcripts of your AP
    work must be submitted directly from the College Board to the Admissions Office for evaluation to determine how
    academic credit will be awarded.

2. College Level Entrance Program - The College Level Entrance Program (CLEP) is a national program administered
    through the College Board. UW-La Crosse follows the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines and
    recommendations for minimum scores for awarding credit in all subject examinations. Transcripts must be
    submitted directly from the College Board to the Admissions Office.

3. Departmental Credit by Exam - Each department will have on file an examination for each course the department
    determines to be introductory, including courses applicable to the skills component of the General Education

4. Retroactive Credit - Three departments, computer science, modern languages and mathematics, offer retroactive
    credit for previous course work. See those department pages for more information.
5. International Baccalaureate - Credit will be granted for “Higher Level” examination with a score of 4 or greater.
    Transcripts must be submitted directly from IB to the Admissions Office. 


Click here for specific credit by exam policies and procedures. Some departments include more information on their department pages.