Admission Criteria for PSEO

1. Applicants must have exhausted the curriculum available at their high school in the area they wish to pursue at Macalester. We will consider applications from students who have exhausted the curriculum available at their high school in any one of these five areas: science, mathematics, social studies, English, and foreign language. For example, in order to take an international studies course at Macalester, students would have to exhaust all of the social studies classes available at their high school. In order to take a physics course at Macalester, students would have to exhaust all of the science (not just the physics) courses available at their high school.

2. Macalester is not able to provide coursework meant to supplement a student’s high school curriculum. We consider supplementary coursework to include classes in physical education, dramatic arts, dance, music, fine arts, and computer science. Again, we will consider applicants who are applying to courses in one of the five core subject areas previously listed.

3. Applicants must be in the 11th or 12th grade and of traditional high-school age.

4. Students must have a competitive academic record (generally top 10% of the class) in a strong curriculum including honors and Advanced Placement course work (if available).

5. Students must have competitive standardized test scores (PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT). A letter of recommendation may be accepted in lieu of the SAT or ACT for junior applicants only.

6. Students must demonstrate college-level writing ability. The PSEO application requires 2-4 pages of written academic work from a recent high school class. It does not need to be related to the subject that the student is applying to take at Macalester. However, it MUST be an essay. Math proofs, poetry, or art will not be accepted.

7. Juniors and first-time PSEO applicants are allowed to take only one course their first semester. Two courses may be approved for returning seniors.

8. Continuing Macalester PSEO students must have completed the previous Macalester course with a B or better and maintained solid academic performance at their high school. Students must re-apply for PSEO every semester.

9. Final approval for PSEO enrollment is on a “space-available” basis and is contingent upon the professor’s approval. Macalester’s priority is to first meet the registration needs of our full-time, four-year students. If space is available, we will do our best to enroll you in PSEO coursework prior to the first week of classes, but we may not know if space is available until that time.

Choosing a Course

The Macalester College PSEO Application requires that applicants submit the course title, number, and section of the course(s) they intend to take. Please consult our Academic Course Schedule at

PSEO Deadlines

Application deadline Decision from Macalester
Spring 2016 December 1, 2015 January 4, 2016
Fall 2016 June 1, 2016 July 1, 2016
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