Admission of Freshmen

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To be eligible for admission, you must be a graduate of a recognized high school. Graduates of non-recognized high schools may be admitted to the University by submitting an acceptable entrance examination score. If you have not completed high school, you may be considered for admission by passing the GED test, HiSET test, or the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.

Freshmen students will be admitted directly to the academic unit in which their major field of study is offered if they qualify for that program. Students who are undecided about their major field of study will be admitted and advised by Exploratory Student Advisement or the selected unit with an undecided major.

Students admitted as beginning freshmen, but who enroll at another college or university prior to their enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale may face a change in their admission status. It will be necessary for students to report work in progress and forward the official transcripts after completion of the coursework.

Beginning freshmen are considered for admission on the basis of high school performance. In addition, students entering the University are required to have completed selected high school courses to qualify for unconditional admission. All students granted admission while in high school are required to graduate from high school and to meet the Course Subject Pattern Requirements listed below.

Course Subject Pattern Requirements. This policy applies to beginning freshmen and transfer students who have completed fewer than twelve credit hours of transferable credit.

High school units in excess of the required number of units in social studies or science may be redistributed among the other categories by applying no more than one unit to any of the following categories: social studies, science, or elective. Elective subjects cannot be substituted for required courses in English, mathematics, science or social sciences. A prospective student with two or more deficiencies in English or mathematics may be subject to denial.

Beginning freshmen may satisfy a course pattern deficiency by achieving a sub score on the ACT or SAT, which is equivalent to the sixtieth percentile on the College Bound Norms. CLEP scores or AP scores that qualify the student for credit may also fulfill deficiencies. The tests must be in the area that is deficient.

Students who have course pattern deficiencies but qualify for admission based on high school grade point average, test scores and transfer grade point average, will be admitted to the University on the condition that deficiencies will be satisfied through the academic advisement process.

Selected applicants are exempt from the course subject pattern requirements. These include students whose high school grade point average and ACT/SAT test scores are at the seventy-fifth percentile, participants in the high school/concurrent enrollment program until the time of their high school graduation, and transfer students who have earned at least 12 credit hours of transferable credit.

Requirements for Admission of Freshmen

High school graduation and fulfillment of mandated course subject pattern requirements are required for admission. 

Additionally, applicants meeting any of the following criteria will be automatically admitted to the University. Exceptions to this rule are those programs that have established additional admission requirements beyond the University’s minimum standards for admission, and recommendations of the Campus Violence Prevention Committee that deny or place conditions on admission.

ACT composite score at or above 23 or New SAT total at or above 1130
High school grade point average at or above a 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale).
High school class rank in the top 10% of the high school class

All other applicants who meet the course subject pattern requirements will undergo a holistic review to determine potential admissibility. Admission of students who do not meet automatic admission requirements may be subject to conditions.

The preferred deadline for completed applications is December 1st, for entry in the following fall credit. The secondary deadline is May 1st. A completed application consists of an Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships and receipt of all necessary credentials, including test scores and transcripts. All completed applications received by the preferred deadline will be guaranteed a decision by February 1.

Course Subject Pattern Requirements for Admission

Course Required Units High School Courses That Complete the Area
English 4 Emphasizing written and oral communication and literature.
Social Studies 3 Emphasizing history, government, sociology, psychology, geography, etc.
Mathematics 3 Algebra I and II, and a proof-based geometry course. A fourth unit is
highly recommended: trigonometry
and precalculus, or statistics, depending on the student’s area of interest
Science 3 Laboratory sciences.
Electives 2 Foreign language, art, music, or vocational education. If a foreign language is taken, it must include two semesters of the same language.
Total 15 – 15.5