First-Year Students


In evaluating applications, the Office of Admission interprets grade point average and class rank in relation to the quality of the curriculum that the applicant has pursued in high school. For example, a standard high school program in preparation for college should include the following:

  • English: four years
  • Mathematics: three years: (algebra, two years; and geometry, one year)
  • Foreign Language: two years
  • Social Studies: two years
  • Laboratory Sciences: two years
  • Fine, Visual, or Performing Arts: one year
  • Electives: three years (selected from the areas listed above, as well as courses in computer science, speech, and debate.)
Minimum Entrance Requirements

Two years of college preparatory mathematics (exclusive of computer science) with an average grade of C or higher, or an approved course at the college level, or demonstrated equivalent proficiency.

  • Two years of college preparatory mathematics means two years of high school algebra or one year of high school algebra and one year of high school geometry. Taking the algebra and/or geometry courses in middle or junior high school is acceptable provided they are high-school-level courses.
  • If a student is admitted to PLU with a deficiency in mathematics, that deficiency is removed after completion of approved courses as determined by the PLU math placement exam.

Two years of one foreign language in high school, with an average grade of C or higher, or one year at the college level or demonstrated equivalent proficiency. Courses in American Sign Language may fulfill this requirement.

Students who have not satisfied one or both of these requirements may still be admitted but must make up the deficiency as an additional degree requirement.

Additional study of both mathematics and foreign language is advisable for certain areas in the arts and sciences and in some professional programs. Those who follow the above preparatory program will find most curricular offerings of the university open to them and may also qualify for advanced placement in some areas.

Students are admitted to either the Fall or Spring Semester. Acceptance to the fall term carries permission to attend the previous Summer Sessions. Acceptance to the spring term carries permission to attend the previous J-Term session. The following application priority dates are recommended: Fall Semester-February 15; Spring Semester-December 15.

Mathematics Department Minimum Entrance Requirements

The Office of the Registrar determines whether a student meets the minimum entrance requirements by following the above rules. When a student has a deficiency, after taking the Math Placement Test, the student will receive a recommendation about how to remove the deficiency based on the test results.

If the test result shows that a student is qualified to take MATH 115 or a higher numbered math course at PLU, then the deficiency will be removed when the student successfully passes such a course. In addition, the student will receive Math Reasoning (MR) General Education Program credit. Please be aware that credit from taking MATH 105 or MATH 107 or any non-math course which carries the MR attribute does not remove a math deficiency.

If the Math Placement Test result shows that the student is not qualified to take MATH 115 or a higher numbered math course, the student will have to take a course at a community college to remove the deficiency in his or her minimum mathematics entrance requirement. The course content should be equivalent to or more difficult than high school algebra or geometry, and it must be approved by the Mathematics Department.


Students planning to enter as first-year students may submit application materials any time after completion of the junior year of high school. Admission decisions are made beginning October 1. Candidates are notified of their status as soon as their completed applications have been received and evaluated.

Credentials required are:

  • Formal Application: Submit the PLU Application for Admission or the Common Application online at or The PLU online applications are free.
  • $40.00 Paper Application Fee: The application fee will be waived for a student who applies online. A $40 fee must accompany the paper application or be mailed separately. This nonrefundable service fee does not apply to the student’s account. Make check or money order payable to PLU Office of Admission.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts must be submitted for all high school and college course work. Transcripts must be sent directly from the school to PLU. All accepted students must submit a final high school transcript that indicates satisfactory completion of high school and attainment of a diploma. The university accepts the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) for those students who may not have completed a traditional high school program. Transcripts become the property of PLU and may not be returned or forwarded.
  • Recommendation: One academic recommendation must be completed. The form is available online.
  • Test Requirement: All entering first-year students must submit scores from either the College Board, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), or the American College Test (ACT) Assessment. Registration procedures and forms are available at high school counseling offices.
  • Personal Essay: Applicants will also include one essay with their application. Choice of topics is included in the application.
  • PLU Scholarship Opportunities: Included in the application is information on Merit Based and Artistic Achievement Scholarships. Students are also encouraged to indicate their intent to apply for financial aid via the FAFSA. Qualified first-year students are encouraged to apply for PLU’s top academic and leadership Presidential Scholarships.

Qualified first-year students interested in accelerating their formal education may begin work toward a degree after completion of the junior year or first semester of the senior year of high school. Exceptional students who wish to enroll before completing all required units in high school must have a letter submitted by a recognized school official who approves early college admission and gives assurance that a high school diploma will be issued after completion of specified college work. Only students highly recommended for Early Admission will be considered. Generally these students rank near the top of their class and present high aptitude test scores.