Admission Standards

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To learn about the standards that apply to you, click on the item below which describes your situation:

I am a high school graduate and I am not yet 21 years old

(prior to the first day of the semester you want to attend Boise State)

High school graduates under the age of 21 will be considered for admission according to Boise State’s Admission Index using their combined high school grade point average (GPA) and ACT composite or SAT (Math and Critical Reading) scores.

For instance, if your GPA is 3.0 and your highest ACT composite score is 22, you are an excellent candidate for admission.

Boise State Admission Index


This table does not include the complete Admission Index. If your GPA or test score is not shown, contact the Boise State Admissions Office for specific information.

Once you are determined admissible according to the index, your high school course work will be examined. If you completed all courses in the Idaho College Admission Core (see below), you will be considered for general admission.

If you meet the requirements of the Boise State Admission Index but have not completed the Idaho College Admission Core Classes, you will be considered for provisional admission.

Idaho College Admission Core Classes

  • English – 8 semesters
    Composition, Literature
  • Mathematics – 6 semesters
    Applied Math I, Applied Math II, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Analytic Geometry, Calculus, Statistics, Trigonometry. At least 4 semesters must be taken in grades 10 through 12.
  • Natural Science – 6 semesters
    Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology, Physiology, Physical Science, Physics, Zoology. Selected applied science courses may count for up to 2 semesters. At least 2 semesters must be in courses which include a laboratory science experience.
  • Social Science – 5 semesters
    American Government, Geography, U.S. History, World History, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology
  • Humanities/Foreign Language – 2 semesters
    Literature, History, Philosophy, Foreign Language, and related study of 2 or more of the traditional humanities disciplines.
  • Other College Prep – 3 semesters
    Speech, Studio/Performing Arts (Art, Dance, Drama, Music), additional Foreign Language. Up to 2 semesters of approved vocational courses may apply; consult your high school counselor.


I am a high school graduate and I am over 21 years old

(prior to the first day of the semester you want to attend Boise State)

If you graduated from high school prior to 1989 and never attended college, you will be considered for general admission.

If you graduated from high school in 1989 or later and earned at least a 2.50 cumulative high school grade point average (GPA), you will be considered for general admission. In addition, you must have completed all courses in the Idaho College Admission Core. If you did not complete all core classes, you will be considered for provisional admission.

Idaho College Admission Core Classes

  • English – 8 semesters
    Composition, Literature
  • Mathematics – 6 semesters
    Applied Math I, Applied Math II, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Analytic Geometry, Calculus, Statistics, Trigonometry. At least 4 semesters must be taken in grades 10 through 12.
  • Natural Science – 6 semesters
    Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology, Physiology, Physical Science, Physics, Zoology. Selected applied science courses may count for up to 2 semesters. At least 2 semesters must be in courses which include a laboratory science experience.
  • Social Science – 5 semesters
    American Government, Geography, U.S. History, World History, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology
  • Humanities/Foreign Language – 2 semesters
    Literature, History, Philosophy, Foreign Language, and related study of 2 or more of the traditional humanities disciplines.
  • Other College Prep – 3 semesters
    Speech, Studio/Performing Arts (Art, Dance, Drama, Music), additional Foreign Language. Up to 2 semesters of approved vocational courses may apply; consult your high school counselor.


I graduated from a home school program or unaccredited high school

If you graduated from an unaccredited high school or home school program and did not complete a GED, you will be considered for provisional admission with an ACT composite score of at least 17 or SAT combined Math and Critical Reading score of at least 830 and the following minimum scores on the full COMPASS exam – 46 on Algebra, 68 on Writing and 85 on Reading. If you are over 21 years of age, you do not need to submit ACT/SAT scores.

If you are under 21 years of age and demonstrate exceptional scores on the ACT or SAT, the COMPASS exam requirement may be waived. To qualify for the COMPASS waiver you must have at least a 23 ACT composite or SAT combined math and critical reasoning score of at least 1050. In addition, you must place into college level English (with at least an 18 on the ACT English section or 450 on the SAT critical reasoning section) and college level math (with at least an 18 on the ACT math section or 430 on the SAT math section).

If you are still unsure about your status, please call the Admissions Office at (800) 824-7017 or (208) 426-1156, and our staff will gladly assist you.


I have a GED or High School Equivalency

Admission with a GED is based on the following:

2014 GED
If you earned the GED in 2014 and will be over the age of 21 prior to the first day of classes, you will be considered for provisional admission with a minimum score of 170 on each test. In addition, you must place into college level math and English (see below for placement test score requirements).
If you earned the GED in 2014 and will not be 21 years of age prior to the first day of classes, you will be considered for provisional admission with a minimum score of 170 on each test. In addition, you must have a composite score of at least 17 on the ACT (or SAT combined Math and Critical Reading score of 830) and place into college level math and English (see below for placement test score requirements).

2002 to 2013 GED
If you earned the GED between 2002 and 2013 and will be over the age of 21 prior to the first day of classes, you will be considered for provisional admission with a Standard Score Average of at least 550 and at least a 500 on each sub test. In addition, you must place into college level math and English (see below for placement test score requirements).

If you earned the GED between 2002 and 2013 and will not be 21 years of age prior to the first day of classes, you will be considered for provisional admission with a Standard Score Average of at least 550 and at least a 500 on each sub test. In addition, you must have a composite score of at least 17 on the ACT (or SAT combined Math and Critical Reading score of 830) and place into college level math and English (see below for placement test score requirements).

2001 or earlier GED
If you earned the GED in 2001 or earlier, you will be considered for provisional admission with a Standard Score Average of at least 55 and at least a 50 on each sub test. In addition, you must place into college level math and English (see below for placement test score requirements).

College Level Placement
English Math
COMPASS  Writing  68 or higher COMPASS Algebra 40 or higher
ACT English 18 or higher ACT math 18 or higher
SAT critical reasoning 450 or higher SAT math 430 or higher

A student who is admitted with provisional status is required to complete 14 college credits in specified classes with a grade of C- or higher in each course. This requirement must be completed within three semesters.

If you are still unsure about your status, please call the Admissions Office at (800) 824-7017 or (208) 426-1156, and our staff will gladly assist you.


I have earned college credit

Transfer admission is based on the following:

If you have earned 14 or more transferable semester credits, have a cumulative 2.25 GPA or higher, and were in good academic standing at the current/last institution you attended, you will be admitted with regular admission.

If you have earned an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science or are core certified from a regionally accredited academic institution, and have a cumulative 2.00 GPA or higher you will be admitted with regular status.

If you have more than 14 credits, but have not yet earned an Associate degree or core certification, and have a cumulative GPA range from 2.00 to 2.24, your application will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine potential for academic success.

If you have fewer than 14 transferable semester credits, the following items may be required and considered in the admission decision:

  • High school transcript (or GED results).
  • ACT or SAT results (not required for students who are 21 or older prior to the first day of classes).

If you have less than a cumulative 2.00 GPA, you will not be eligible for degree-seeking admission. You may choose to attend Boise State as a non-degree seeking student.

If you were dismissed from a college or university within the last semester, you are not eligible to attend Boise State until sitting out at least a fall or spring semester.


I have a bachelor’s degree

If you have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, admission to Boise State as a second degree seeking undergraduate student will be based on your cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and good academic standing at the last institution attended.


I want to be a non-degree seeking student

To be eligible for non-degree seeking admission, applicants must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED.*
  • Not have been dismissed from a college or university within the last semester.

*If you have not earned a high school diploma or GED, the following scores are needed on the COMPASS test:

Pre-Algebra – 25
Reading – 62
Writing – 47

As a non-degree seeking student during the fall or spring semester, you can register for any combination of courses totaling seven or fewer credits; or a maximum of two courses, even if these courses total more than seven credits. Please be aware that students taking seven or fewer credits per semester pay part-time fees; those taking eight or more credits pay full Boise State fees and, if deemed not a resident of Idaho, nonresident tuition.

Non-degree seeking students are not eligible to receive federal financial aid no matter when classes are taken. In addition, transfer students will not receive an evaluation of their transfer credit until they apply and are admitted as degree seeking students. Any credits earned as a non-degree seeking student can be applied toward a degree at a later date.


I want to be a Jump Start/Concurrent Enrollment student

Admission to Boise State for students seeking dual enrollment will be based on the following:

I am a high school student

  • You must be at least 16 years of age or have successfully completed at least one half of the high school graduation requirements.
  • You have the required cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to take academic courses.
  • You have the signed approval of your high school principal or guidance counselor and your parent/guardian.

I am a home school student

  • You must be at least 16 years of age and score at least a 68 on Writing and 85 on Reading (Compass Exams) to take academic courses.
  • You can contact the Boise State Assessment Center at 208-426-2762 to learn about cost and available testing times.
  • You have the signed approval of your parent/guardian.