Admission Requirements—Entering Freshmen
To be admitted as freshmen, students need to fulfill each of the requirements (or alternatives to each) as specified in items 1-4 below.
1. High school graduation requirement. Must have graduated from a standard or accredited high school. Students who have not graduated from high school or from a standard or accredited high school may meet entry requirements through alternative testing. Alternative testing includes successful completion of one of the following:
- Test of General Education Development (GED):
- If you took the GED after January 1, 2014: earn an overall average score of 170 and a minimum score of 150 on each subject test
- If you took the GED between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2013: earn a minimum overall average score of 580 and a minimum score of 410 on each subject test
- If you took the GED prior to January 1, 2002: earn an overall average score of 46 and a minimum score of 40 on each subject test
- Minimum score of 15 on each subject test area and a 4/6 on the essay component of the Language Arts-Writing subject test
- Minimum score of 580 on Language Arts-Reading, 560 on Mathematics, 560 on Language Arts-Writing, and at least 6/8 on the Language Arts-Writing essay.
Students from non-accredited or non-standard high schools, or home-school students may meet the high school graduation requirement with a minimum score of 1120 or higher on the combined evidence-based reading and writing, and math portions of the SAT, or with a 22 on the ACT®. In addition to successfully meeting the criteria outlined for the SAT or the ACT®, students must also earn a minimum score of 470 or above (940 total) on two College Board SAT Subject Tests (Math Level I or IIc, and one additional subject test of the student’s choice). An examination in a second language is strongly recommended to qualify the applicant for admission by meeting the language proficiency requirements. Students who do not take an SAT Subject test in a second language must prove language proficiency through another approved process.
2. Subject requirements. Resident applicants must satisfactorily (grade of C- or above) complete at least 15 units (one year equal to one unit) of college preparatory work in the following areas, while non-resident applicants must satisfactorily (grade of C- or above) complete at least 13 units (one year equal to one unit):
High School and College Options
- a. English (4 units). Shall include the study of the English language, literature, speaking and listening, and writing, with emphasis on and frequent practice in writing expository prose during all four years.
- b. Mathematics (3 units). Shall include first-year algebra and two additional years of college preparatory mathematics selected from geometry (deductive or descriptive); advanced topics in algebra (through Algebra II), trigonometry, analytical geometry, finite mathematics, advanced applications, calculus, and probability and statistics, or courses that integrate topics from two or more of these areas. One unit is strongly recommended in the senior year. (Algebra and geometry taken prior to ninth grade will be accepted if posted on HS transcript.)
- c. Science (3 units). Shall include at least a year in fields of inquiry based college preparatory science such as biology, chemistry, physics, or earth and physical science. Science courses that are “inquiry based” provide students the opportunity to apply scientific reasoning and critical thinking to support conclusions or explanations with evidence from their investigations. It is strongly recommended that one year be taken as a laboratory science and that a total of three years of science be taken.
- d. Social Studies (3 units). Shall include analysis of societal issues and events. It is strongly recommended that study includes knowledge and use of geographic information, patterns of United States history, patterns of human history, structures and systems of US Government, and analysis of economic systems.
- e. Second Language (2 units). Shall include demonstrated proficiency equivalent to two years of the same high school-level second language. This requirement applies to anyone graduating from an Oregon high school in 1997 or any year after. Students may demonstrate proficiency by meeting one of the following options:
Proficiency-based Assessment Options
- Pass with a C- or better, two years of the same high school-level second language
- Pass with a C- or better, the third year of a high school-level second language
- Pass with a D- or better two quarters or two semesters of college-level second language
- Score of 2 or higher on an Advanced Placement Foreign Language Test
- Score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level Foreign Language Exam
- Score of 40 or higher on a CLEP Foreign Language Exam
- Score of 500 or higher on an SAT Foreign Language Subject Test
- Satisfactory performance on a college second-language departmental challenge exam
- Education satisfactorily completed through 7th grade in a school or country where English was not the language of instruction
- Satisfactory performance (P) on a Brigham Young Foreign Language Assessment (BYU FLATS)
- Score of novice-high or higher on the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP)
- Score of novice-high or higher on the ACTFL scale in American Sign Language (ASL)
- Score of novice-high or higher on a ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview
**American Sign Language qualifies as a second language.
Students failing to meet the Second Language Proficiency requirement at the time of admission may be admitted, but will not be able to earn an undergraduate degree at Portland State University until the second language requirement has been completed. Students must provide official high school or college transcripts to demonstrate the Second Language Proficiency Requirement has been met.
Alternatives to the subject requirements. (Any one of the following.)
Score an average of 470 or above (940 total) on the SAT II subject exams (English Composition, Math Level I or IIc, and a third test of the student’s choice).
Take make-up coursework for specific subject requirements missed in high school and achieve a passing grade. Note: Satisfactory completion of Math 95 or its equivalent (Intermediate Algebra) fulfills in total the subject requirement in mathematics. Take make-up coursework for specific subject requirements missed in high school and achieve a passing grade. Note: Satisfactory completion of Math 95 or its equivalent (Intermediate Algebra) fulfills in total the subject requirement in mathematics.
3. Grade point average requirement. High school students with a cumulative unweighted grade point average of at least 3.00 in all graded subjects taken toward high school graduation. Students who do not meet the 3.00 GPA requirement may be admitted based on a combination of GPA and test scores.