New Freshmen Admissions

Applications for admission can be sent electronically by accessing the Web at The UW System paper application may be obtained from the Admissions Office. Application 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. Applications for spring semester are accepted beginning September 1 of the fall preceding that term.

Since enrollment is limited and competitive, it is advisable to apply for admission as early as possible. This requires submitting the following items to the Admissions Office, UW-La Crosse, 115 Graff Main Hall, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601:

  1. a completed UW System application (application at
  2. an official high school transcript.
  3. a nonrefundable application fee.
  4. official American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores sent directly from ACT/SAT (may be waived for nontraditional students.)

New Freshmen Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission as new freshmen must satisfy the following minimum requirements to be considered.

  1. Graduation from a recognized high school or the equivalent.
    1. A recognized high school is
      1. accredited by a regional accrediting association or state university
      2. is recognized or accredited by a state department of public instruction or its equivalent.
    2. 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 Examination, or other established criteria. Applicants from alternative educational backgrounds, including homeschooled students, should contact the Admissions Office for specific information. Additional documents, testing, and a personal interview may be required.

  2. Completion of the following 17 high school credits is minimal preparation and is required for admission. Applicants are strongly recommended to take advanced courses beyond the required 17 high school credits.
    1. 4 credits of English.
    2. 2 credits of algebra and 1 credit of geometry.
    3. 3 credits of natural science with 2 credits from biology, chemistry, physics, earth science or advanced courses in these disciplines. Unified and Integrated Science I and II courses will be counted on a one-for-one basis.)
    4. 3 credits of social science (i.e., anthropology, economics, history [U.S. or world], political science [civics/government], psychology or sociology.)
    5. 4 academic credits from the above and/or in the arts, computer science, or other academic areas.
    • Students admitted on the basis of a high school equivalency diploma are considered to have fulfilled these minimum subject matter requirements.

  3.  Submission of Wisconsin Regional Placement test scores in mathematics and English.

Due to enrollment limitations and the competitive nature of admission to the University, admission consideration will be prioritized primarily based on rigor of courses, high school rank, grade point average, and ACT/SAT scores.

Candidates for admission must satisfy requirements I and II along with high school class rank/cumulative grade point average and ACT/SAT score expectations for admission in good standing.

The following is a general profile of our admitted freshmen for fall 2007. 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: 78th to 93rd percentile

ACT Composite: 23-27

While academic preparation is the primary criteria 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, special talent, personal statement, recommendations, and/or adding a diverse dimension to our campus community.

Due to institutional and UW System priority objectives and the need to provide the social and cultural diversity essential to a comprehensive university, exceptions to the above policies may be made to provide admission opportunities for special populations including, but not limited to: minority/disadvantaged students, international students, veterans, nontraditional students, and those with special talent.

Concurrent High School/UWL Enrollment and Youth Options

UWL 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 juniors and seniors in high school may attend post secondary institutions and the school districts might be responsible for tuition and fees for the course.

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

Admission Requirements

  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 I of 1180). 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 nondegree" student. The application fee is not required.
  2. Submit a completed "High School/UW-La Crosse Enrollment and Youth Options Program" information sheet.
  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, 115 Graff Main Hall, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601.

Credit by Examination and Retroactive Credit

Students may earn university credit through a variety of options. For specific information, newly 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 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.
  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 program.
  4. Retroactive Credit Two departments, 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.

See the page on credit by examination and retroactive credit policy for specific credit by exam policies and procedures. Some departments include more information on their department pages.

ACT/SAT Examination

Candidates for admission as new freshmen must take the American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The ACT/SAT may be waived for nontraditional students. Scores must be sent to the Admissions Office directly from ACT or SAT. No official admission decision will be made until 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.

Complete information concerning the test dates and locations, fee payment and application forms, may be obtained from any high school guidance office or by visiting the university Counseling and Testing Center.

Mathematics And English Placement

Placement into English and mathematics courses is accomplished by using scores earned on the Wisconsin Regional Placement Exams and the ACT/SAT. 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.