Admissions Standards

All first-year applicants are evaluated using standards determined by both the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the university.

First-year students entering in fall 2023 had:

  • an average GPA of 3.690 and,
  • an average combined Evidence Based Reading and Math SAT score of 1265 (ACT equivalent 28)

Along with all other public universities and colleges in the Massachusetts system, UMass Lowell is not using the Writing Score.

Admissions counselors and policy makers are sensitive to the factors that may result in accomplished students having a lower-than-expected GPA or SAT score. The applications of students who don’t meet the standards, but for whom UMass Lowell otherwise seems like a good match, are reviewed individually.

As a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), UMass Lowell adheres to NACAC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices while conducting all recruitment and yield admissions activities. As outlined in the code of ethics, “members will not be compensated by commissions, bonuses or other incentive payments based on the number of students referred, recruited, admitted or enrolled.” At all times, the admissions staff strives to provide college counseling that is in the best interest of the students.

No Test Option

Applicants have the option to decide whether to have standardized test scores used in the evaluation process. Applicants should carefully read our No Test Option Frequently Asked Questions before they select this option.

Academic Requirements

Starting in your sophomore year of high school, it will be helpful to know the academic requirements of the colleges that interest you. Knowing these requirements will allow you to select and complete these required courses before you graduate from high school. 

Successful UMass Lowell applicants will have completed the following college preparatory level courses by the end of senior year:

  • English: 4 Courses
  • Mathematics: 4 courses (Algebra I &II and Geometry or Trigonometry, or comparable coursework) including mathematics during the final year of high school
  • Sciences: 3 courses (drawn from Natural Science and/or Physical Science and/or Technology/Engineering), including 3 courses with laboratory work
  • Social Sciences: 2 Courses (including 1 course in U.S. history)
  • Foreign Language: 2 Courses (in a single language)
  • Electives: 2 Courses (from the above subjects or from the arts & humanities or computer sciences)


  • If you are interested in studying math, science or engineering, it is strongly recommended that you take four years of science.
  • Students who have documented learning differences may not need to fulfill the foreign language requirements if appropriate paperwork is submitted.

Alternative Admissions Programs

At UMass Lowell, there are several special entrance programs that provide non-traditional admission pathways to students who do not meet the standard admissions requirements.

  • Mass Transfer 
  • Reserved Placement Program
    The Reserved Placement Program (RPP) is a special enrollment program that guarantees your entry to our UMass Lowell freshman class in the spring semester, contingent on one semester of successful full-time study at a partner community college.
  • CERNET at UMass Lowell (for students from China)
    Students admitted to UMass Lowell’s CERNET program spend one or two semesters at the Massachusetts International Academy (MAIA) in Marlborough, Massachusetts, 30 miles (50 km) from Boston. MAIA assists students in improving English language skills and becoming accustomed to the American education style, and provides a dynamic extracurricular program. Students become comfortable in environments similar to those they will encounter during their university experiences. Contact or visit the MAIA website.