Office of Admissions
Maxwell Hall (800.DIAL.WSU or 507.457.5100)
170 W. Sanborn St.
The Office of Admissions is responsible for recruiting prospective students to WSU, evaluating and approving applications for admissions, recommending newly admitted students for scholarships, facilitating student transfer to WSU from other post-secondary institutions, evaluating international transcripts for WSU equivalency, and verifying eligibility for veterans’ assistance.
Winona State University has a variety of visit options for interested students throughout the year, offered in both a virtual and in-person format. During the academic year (late August to early May), WSU has group in-person, on-campus visits most weekdays at 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm, and virtual visits one evening each week. In the summer (Mid-May to Mid-August), in-person visits are offered at 9 am, 1pm, and 3pm, as well as 5 pm Thursdays and 11 am Fridays. In-person and virtual campus tours are also available on select Saturdays throughout the year. View latest campus visit information, including COVID-19 visit protocols. For more information or to request materials, contact the Office of Admissions at the telephone number or web address above or via the U.S. mail at:
Winona State University - Office of Admissions
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987-5838
Admission Requirements and Procedures
Students can apply for admission for any term during the academic year. WSU requires students applying for admission to meet certain entrance requirements.
Winona State does not require ACT/SAT scores for admission; however, first-year and transfer students with less than 24 transferable credits are encouraged to send scores if available. ACT/SAT scores help determine placement in Math, English and Foreign Language courses and may help students qualify for certain scholarships.
How to send WSU test scores:
- Select WSU at test site: ACT code 2162 / SAT code: 6680
- Ask ACT or SAT to send official score to WSU
Even if they have not graduated from high school, students can be considered for admission if they have a High School Equivalency Certificate based on successful completion of the GED test.
New First-Year Student Admission
High School Preparation Requirements
WSU prefers that students complete the following high school curriculum in grades 9-12:
- Four years of English (including composition, literature, and speech).
- Three years of mathematics, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry.
- Three years of science, including one year of biology and one year of either chemistry or physics. All courses should include laboratory experiences.
- Three years of social studies, including one year of U.S. History and one year of geography or its equivalent is highly recommended.
- Two years of a single world language (including non-English native languages and American Sign Language).
- One year of specified electives chosen from the following: World culture (including world cultures, area studies, and cultural or ethnic studies); the arts (including visual arts and the performing arts of theatre, music, dance, and media arts); and computers.
Students coming directly from high school may apply as outlined below. Applicants are encouraged to submit all admissions material as early as possible during their senior year.
- WSU requires a $20 application fee that can be paid online or by calling the WSU Cashier at 507.457.5076 from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays. A student may request a fee waiver or apply during the MinnState free application dates.
- Request that your official high school transcript be forwarded to the Office of Admissions.
First-year applicants coming directly from high school who do not meet the admission requirements because of challenging situation or circumstances may be considered for admission by special appeal. If unusual circumstances exist, the student should first complete the regular application process. Then, if the student is denied admission to the University, they should submit the following:
- A written personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation from high school academic teachers and/or guidance counselor
- If grades have improved, send an updated transcript or recent grade report
Send completed information to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Winona State University Admissions Appeals Committee
P.O. Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987-5838
The Admissions Appeals Committee will review and submit a recommendation to the Director of Admissions.
For more detailed information, view the Undergraduate Appeal Process page.
Transfer Student Admission
Preparation for Transfer to WSU
Minnesota’s community and technical colleges, and universities are working to make transfer easier. Students can help by planning ahead, asking questions, and using pathways created by transfer agreements. Students who are enrolled in a college or university should first discuss their plans with a campus transfer specialist on their own campus. Whether currently enrolled in school or not, a student considering transferring to WSU should contact the WSU Office of Admissions and consult the Minnesota Transfer website. The student may request the following materials and information:
- Transfer brochure
- Information about admission criteria and materials required for admission (e.g., transcripts, test scores). Note that some majors have limited enrollments or their own special requirements such as a higher grade point average.
- Information about financial aid (how to apply and by what date)
Admission Requirements for Transfer Students
The following information applies to students who are transferring from a community college or a four-year college with regional accreditation for college-parallel courses:
- Students are admitted if they have completed 24 transferable academic credits and have a cumulative 2.40 GPA for all colleges attended.
- Students may be considered for admission to WSU if they have completed 24 transferable academic credits and have a cumulative GPA of 2.20 to 2.39 for all colleges attended. Students who meet these criteria will receive a phone call or email for further review.
- Students with fewer than 24 transferable credits must meet the admission criteria for first-year students, including high school preparation requirements, class rank, and any available ACT/SAT test scores.
- Students receive credit for courses taken at accredited institutions in which the grades A, B, C, D, P, or the equivalents were attained.
- Technical College Students: Students transferring from a technical college can receive up to a 16-credit general elective package of their technical courses. General education courses will be accepted on a course-by-course basis. To apply, students must send their official high school and technical college transcripts and any available ACT/SAT test scores.
- Students also may be considered for admission by special appeal if they do not meet the above requirements because of special and unique circumstances. The student should write a letter of appeal to their Transfer Counselor, outlining the unique circumstance. The letter should be supported by appropriate documentation and two letters of recommendation from high school or college faculty.
Transfer students should be eligible to return to their former colleges or universities. An official transcript, including a statement of withdrawal if the student formally withdrew, is required from each college attended. Students should request that the registrar at each college attended send an official transcript directly to the WSU Office of Admissions. If a transfer student has previously attended a MN State campus, WSU will retrieve the transcripts electronically. Students are subject to suspension if they fail to comply with the transcript requirement and are inadvertently admitted to WSU.
Most credits earned at a community or junior college may be accepted in transfer; remedial classes are not transferable. Transferred credits should have at least a D grade to transfer.
Transfer Application Process
- Students should submit an online transfer application and $20 application fee as early as they can before the deadline, which is 45 days prior to the semester in which the student expects to begin.
- Students should request an official transcript from every institution they have attended. If a transfer student has previously attended a MN State campus, WSU will retrieve the transcripts electronically. Students also might be required to provide a high school transcript or GED test scores. WSU does not make an admission decision until all the required documents are on file.
- An evaluation of credits that will transfer is enclosed with the acceptance letter. The degree audit tells students which courses transferred and how they apply to the degree program.
- Students who have questions about the evaluation degree audit should contact the Office of Admissions and ask to speak with a transfer specialist. Students can appeal if they are not satisfied with the evaluation.
Transfer Student Rights and Appeal Process
Students have the right to:
- A clear, understandable statement of an institution’s transfer policy.
- A credit review and an explanation of why credits were or were not accepted.
- A review of their eligibility for financial aid or scholarships.
- A copy of the formal appeals process. Usually the appeals procedure is as follows:
- Students submit a completed appeals form: Degree Audit & Transfer Credit Request (available in WarriorSpace). Students are encouraged to attach supplemental information such as a syllabus, a course description, or a reading list.
- A department or committee reviews the form.
- Students receive notification, in writing, of the committee decision.
- Students then have the option of appealing the decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (211 Somsen Hall).
Note: If a student is not satisfied with the college or university transfer appeal decision, the student may appeal to the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs at the Office of the MN State Chancellor.
General Education Program and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
The Minnesota Transfer Curriculum is a cooperative transfer program in which all the public colleges and universities in Minnesota participate. If a new transfer student’s former school certifies that he or she has completed all ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, he or she is deemed to have satisfied the general education requirements of her or his new school. The ten goal areas are written and oral communication; critical thinking; natural sciences; mathematics/symbolic systems; history and the social/behavioral sciences; humanities-the arts; literature and philosophy; human diversity; global perspective; ethical and civic responsibility; and people and the environment. Information is available on the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum website and the Minnesota State Transfer Pathways website.
If the former school of the student transferring into Winona State University certifies that she or he has completed the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, the student will be deemed to have satisfied WSU General Education Program requirements.
WSU’s physical development and wellness basic skill category has no corresponding Minnesota Transfer Curriculum goal area.
High School Special Admission
Office of Admissions
106 Maxwell Hall (507.457.5100)
High school juniors and seniors may be eligible to apply with individual circumstances to enroll in courses during the academic year. This option is also open for summer enrollment by completing the High School Special application. Students must submit the application, the $20 application fee, and a current high school transcript. Acceptance is based on the same standards set for incoming first-year students. Contact Admissions for more information.
Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) Program
Office of Admissions
106 Maxwell Hall (507.457.5100)
Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows Minnesota high school juniors or seniors to take courses at Winona State University for dual high school and college credit.
Students who have completed the 10th grade may be considered as applicants if they are currently enrolled in high school and have demonstrated an unusually high ability and/or achievement and are recommended by a high school counselor or principal. To be eligible, high school juniors must be in the top 25 percent of their class or have an ACT of 25+ or 3.5 GPA; seniors must be in the top 40 percent of their class or have an ACT of 23+ or 3.3 GPA.
PSEO students receive tuition, fees and textbooks at no cost to them. Normal room and board costs apply for students who choose to live on campus. PSEO students who are taking 12 credits or more will be provided with a laptop through the eWarrior Digital Life and Learning Program. If a PSEO student is taking less than 12 credits, they may participate in the laptop program by paying the standard fee.
Steps to Apply
- Apply to WSU. Contact Kim Gresham at email@example.com or 507.457.5102 with questions about the WSU application.
- Complete the MN Department of Education Notice of Student Registration Form. This will need to be completed by the student and the high school.
- Submit official high school transcript to WSU Admissions.
- Submit ACT score report (if using this for criteria) to WSU Admissions.
- To continue in the PSEO program, a student must re-apply for every term of enrollment, meet eligibility standards and maintain good academic standing at WSU.
International Student Admission
International Student & Scholar Services
132 Gildemeister (507.457.5303)
Prospective international students who will hold F-1 visa status are welcome to apply for admission to Winona State University. Application information is available on the International Student & Scholar Services website. International admission documents must be sent to the International Student & Scholar Services Office (ISSS) via MoveItSecurely. Applicants can communicate with ISSS by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Prospective international students should follow these procedures:
- Apply online.
- Submit a $20 application fee (payable in U.S. dollars by check, money order or online). All application documents must be received by July 1 for fall admission and by November 1 for spring admission.
- Submit an official certified copy of academic records for all schools, colleges, and universities attended. Official academic records are issued directly by the school, college, or university, or certified by a legal organization, such as Education U.S.A. Documents must be in a sealed envelope and bear an official stamp. If the original transcript is not in English, send a certified translation of the document.
- To receive credits for work completed at another institution, an official course by course evaluation report is required. The evaluation report should be sent to Winona State University’s International Student & Scholar Services office before the start of the semester. We accept evaluations from any of the members of these organizations: NACES and AICE.
- Request that one of the following test results is sent to Winona State University: TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, PTE Pearson, SAT, or ACT. The WSU SAT and TOEFL code is 6680. ACT school code is 2162. A list of minimum test score requirements is available on the International Student & Scholar Services website.
- An official bank statement with the required minimum balance is required. The bank statement must be dated within six months of the application date and should include information such as bank information, balance, currency, name of the person. If a student has a sponsor, the sponsor must state the relationship to the student and sign and date the financial information form.
- Students must also provide a copy of their passport. If a passport is not available, another type of official document (example: birth certificate) is acceptable.
International students should be aware of the following information regarding admission to Winona State University:
- The Cross-Cultural Scholarship is available to all international students accepted for admission. Based on the English proficiency score, the Presidential Honor Scholarship is available to students who come to the university as first-year students with no transfer credits. More information on the scholarships is available on the International Student & Scholar Services website.
- Failure to supply official mark sheets/certified true copies from all schools previously attended is considered fraud and grounds for canceling admission or enrollment to the university.
- The financial support statement submitted during the admission process is scrutinized carefully because very little financial aid is available to students who are not U.S. citizens. Upon enrollment at the university, all financial obligations, including tuition, fees, room and board, laptop program, and health insurance must be paid by the due date.
- In most cases, immigration regulations prohibit students from applying for or accepting employment outside the campus community.
- WSU cannot assume responsibility for emergency situations that may arise while international students are attending the university.
- WSU requires international students to have health insurance; in most instances, this insurance must be purchased through the university.
- The university also requires all F-1 visa holders to complete an on-campus English placement exam unless the student is transferring to WSU with English composition credits accepted by the university. The English test, administered during orientation week, determines the appropriate English placement.
International students must report to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services upon arrival to campus to present their immigration documents and update their student record.
Special Admissions Categories
Adult Entry Process
Adult & Continuing Education (ACE)
209 Somsen Hall (507.457.5080)
The Adult Entry Process for undergraduate students serves the educational needs of adult learners starting or returning to college. This admission process serves adults who want to pursue an Associate in Arts or a baccalaureate degree. To qualify, applicants must process with a high school diploma or GED and have to have been out of high school for a minimum of four years. If the student has attended a post-secondary school there must be a minimum of one year since last enrollment. For more information, contact Adult & Continuing Education or Admissions.
Adult Undergraduate Guest & Visiting Student Program
Second Floor, Maxwell Hall (507.457.2800)
Adult Undergraduate Guest Student
Individuals who wish to enroll in undergraduate coursework but are not formally admitted to a WSU degree, licensure, or certificate program can fill out an Adult Undergraduate Guest Student Registration Agreement. A system college or university may allow a student who is not currently admitted as a student at any system college or university to enroll for the maximum number of credits allowed by its enrollment policy in any semester without submitting an application for admission. High school students and individuals intending to enroll in a formal WSU program must apply through the WSU Undergraduate Admissions office.
Adult Undergraduate Guest Student Provisions
- Undergraduate Guest Student Status is only valid for one term. Individuals must re-apply each term.
- Guest students shall satisfy course prerequisites of the system college or university where a course is to be taken. All students enrolling in courses requiring prerequisites must provide the appropriate documentation (e.g., transcript).
- Guest Students are responsible for all WSU deadlines, policies, and procedures published in the WSU online catalog, and are responsible for all tuition and fees associated with their registration. Failure to attend class does not constitute
a valid drop, withdrawal, or cause for refund. Information regarding course registration, withdrawal or drops are available on WSU’s registration website.
- Guest Student status is not an alternative to the official WSU admission process. A maximum of six credits can be taken per semester, and a maximum of 12 credits can be transferred to a degree program.
- System colleges and universities may deny enrollment as a special student to individuals who have an active enrollment hold due to conduct or satisfactory academic progress reasons or outstanding financial obligations at any system college or university.
- Guest Student registration is on a space available basis only - after new, transfer, and continuing degree-seeking students have had the opportunity to register for courses.
Undergraduate Visiting Student Status
A system college or university shall allow a student who is currently admitted at another system college or university to enroll as a visiting student. A visiting student shall not be required to submit an application for admission, and is not a candidate for a degree, diploma or certificate at the system college or university attended in visiting student status. A visiting student may enroll for the maximum number of credits allowed by each college’s or university’s enrollment policy; provided, that the student’s total number of enrolled credits at all system colleges and universities shall not exceed twenty-two in any semester. Visiting students should use their home school online registration portal to register for WSU courses and must contact their home school’s Financial Aid office regarding consortium agreements and financial aid eligibility. Financial aid from WSU is only available to students formally admitted to a WSU approved program.
Undergraduate Visiting Student Provisions
- Visiting students shall satisfy course prerequisites of the system college or university where a course is to be taken.
- State universities may restrict enrollment in visiting student status to students who have earned twenty-four Minnesota Transfer Curriculum credits with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and at least a 67% completion rate at a system college or university.
- System colleges and universities may deny enrollment as a visiting student to any student who has an enrollment hold due to conduct or satisfactory academic progress reasons at any system college or university.
- System colleges and universities shall deny enrollment as a visiting student to any student who has an enrollment hold due to outstanding financial obligations at any other system college or university.
- Each system college and university shall establish a registration window for visiting students that provides a reasonable opportunity to register for courses.
- System colleges and universities may limit enrollment of visiting students in courses that historically have enrollment requests exceeding available seats.
Previous Undergraduate Degree Students
Students are classified as Previous Undergraduate Degree students if they have a baccalaureate degree and are taking additional undergraduate courses to satisfy a second major, minor, or certificate. Applicants must submit the following to the Office of Admissions:
- A Previous Bachelor’s Degree Application
- A $20 non-refundable application fee (unless they have attended WSU and paid the fee previously)
- Transcripts of previous college work and proof of baccalaureate degree
WSU students who have not attended the University for one semester (summer excluded) are classified as returning students. Returning students must complete Re-Enrollment form. The Registrar’s Office then evaluates the student’s record for possible re-admission.
Students who intend to take further coursework at WSU are considered to be returning transfer students if they have attended another college or university (summer excluded) since they last attended WSU. Official transcripts are required for all college/university attendance. Returning transfer students must complete the WSU Application for Transfer and Returning Transfer Admission form, which is available in the Office of Admissions. The Office of Admissions evaluates the transcripts for possible re-admission.
Returning students who have been academically suspended should refer to the Academic Policies & University Requirements section for guidelines concerning re-admission under the University’s suspension policy. Under some circumstances, a returning student may petition to have a portion of his or her prior WSU transcript set aside and the GPA recalculated. See the Academic Policies & University Requirements section concerning the academic pardon policy.
Incoming students with no college credit in English and/or mathematics will be placed in their initial English or mathematics class based on their ACT sub-scores. Students who are not satisfied with their ACT placement or who do not present ACT scores may take the Accuplacer® exams for placement. Additional information about the Accuplacer® exams is available on WSU’s Placement Information website. Information about specific dates, times, and locations of exams is available in Advising Services (Maxwell Hall, Third Floor; 507-457-5878) and on WSU’s Advising website.
Veterans Affairs Office
106 Maxwell Hall (507.457.5109)
WSU is approved by the State Approving Agency for Veterans Training. Students should present their eligibility certificates to the Veterans Affairs Office when they enroll.
Policies and Procedures
- A student’s application for veterans’ benefits can be submitted through the county Veterans Service Office or through WSU. Along with the application, students must submit a certified copy of their DD-214 form or a Notice of Basic Eligibility.
- Students should submit both copies of their Certificate of Eligibility for WSU when they apply for admission.
- Enrollment is certified only after students present their DD-214 forms to the Veterans Affairs Office (after they have been admitted to the University). Enrollment for full-time students is usually for the academic year. Summer sessions and/or workshops are separate enrollment periods. The date of students’ enrollment is based on the school calendar, workshop dates, or contract periods. Note: A mixture of graduate and undergraduate credits is allowed only under special arrangements.
- Students must report each change in academic load to the Veterans Affairs Office.
- Payments of benefits: Allowances are paid on a monthly basis, conditional on students’ satisfactory progress in an approved course and their conduct. Payments are released upon certification furnished by the school. Students must notify the Registrar’s Office and the Veterans Affairs Office when they complete a course, drop a course, or have an interruption in their course of training.
- Veterans with Dependents: The Veterans Administration (VA) requires students to submit certified copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates, and/or adoption papers for their dependents before they can receive payments based on their marriage and dependents. They are paid a single rate until these documents are on file with the VA. The WSU Veterans Affairs Office and the county Veterans Services Officer can help expedite this procedure.
- Re-enrollment: Students can re-enroll without a new Certificate of Eligibility. They must notify the WSU Veterans Affairs Office.
- Academic Load: Full-time training requires 12 undergraduate credits or 9 graduate credits. Three-fourths time training requires 9 undergraduate credits or 7-8 graduate credits. Half-time training requires 6-8 undergraduate credits or 6 graduate credits.
- Tutorial assistance: This program provides tutors to help students overcome a deficiency in any subject required for the satisfactory pursuit of an educational objective. It is available to Vietnam-era veterans. Contact the WSU Veterans Affairs Office for detailed information.
- Credit for military schools: Service schools and training are evaluated according to the recommendations of the American Council on Education’s Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services when students present an official Joint Service Transcript (JST) to the Office of Admissions.
- Waiver of physical education activity requirements: This requirement is waived if students have been on active duty for more than one year.
Title 38 Veterans Benefits
Section 103 of Public Law (PL) 115-407, ‘Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018,’ amends Title 38 US Code 3679 by adding a new subsection (e) that requires disapproval of courses of education, beginning August 1, 2019, at any educational institution that does not have a policy in place that will allow an individual to attend or participate in a course of education, pending VA payment, providing the individual submits a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under Chapter 31 or 33.
Pending Payment Compliance
In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679(e), Winona State University adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from VA. Winona State University will not:
- Prevent the student’s enrollment
- Assess a late penalty fee to the student
- Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding
- Deny the student access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution
However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:
- Produce the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the first day of class
- Provide a written request to be certified
- Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Office of Admissions
Maxwell Hall (507.457.5100)
The College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) is a College Board program that allows students to earn college credit by demonstrating their mastery of college-level material in introductory subjects. CLEP provides students of any age the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. CLEP exams do not relate to a specifically designed college-level course taught in high school. Rather, CLEP exams test mastery of college-level materials acquired in a variety of ways including general academic instruction, significant independent study, or extracurricular work.
CLEP exams cover material taught in courses that most students take as requirements in the first two years of college. A college usually grants the same amount of credit to students earning satisfactory scores (50 or higher) on the CLEP examination as it grants to students successfully completing the designated course.
Office of Admissions
Maxwell Hall (507.457.5100)
Undergraduate course credit will be awarded for scores 3 or higher on most Advanced Placement (AP) exams. For specific details, contact the Office of Admissions or use Transferology to find specific course equivalencies. Official AP test scores need to be sent to the Office of Admissions before credit will be awarded.