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Freshman Admissions

 What will you do at Southeast Missouri State?

The better question is – what won’t you do? Southeast is filled with people who have the tenacity and heart to find success. We believe in groundbreaking academics. In giving you the support you need. And, in making sure you're ready for what the future job market brings.

Currently, Southeast has suspended on-campus visits due to the evolving nature of coronavirus (COVID-19). But there's still plenty of resources for incoming freshmen on this page and at our new virtual campus visit experience! Or never hesitate to reach out to an admission counselor for questions, information, or just a little reassurance on your college journey.

 We want to get to know you

This is your journey. You need to find the school that’s the right fit, that excels in the programs you want to study, and that helps you achieve your goals. At Southeast, we believe our personal support gives you confidence to exceed your potential. An admission counselor is ready to talk, answer questions, and provide you one-on-one guidance.

Admission Criteria

A traditional beginning freshman applicant is evaluated on ACT/SAT score (if taken), high school cumulative grade point average (GPA), class rank, and high school core curriculum courses. We offer test-optional admission and superscore the ACT and SAT.

Cumulative HS GPA on a 4.0 Scale ACT SAT (ERW+M) or Superscore
3.5+ and No ACT or <18 or No SAT or <960
2.75+ and 18+ or 960+
2.5+ and 19+ or 990+
2.0+ and 21+ or 1060+

We understand that you may be ready for college, but do not meet the standard requirements listed here. Review these  alternative admission options or consider transferring to Southeast in the future.

Southeast Missouri State University ACT Superscore Calculator

Required 17 Units of High School Core Courses

  • English: 4 units (two emphasizing composition or writing skills; composition, English I-IV, literature and one unit of speech or debate acceptable)
  • Mathematics: 3 units (Algebra I, Algebra II/Intermediate Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Math Analysis acceptable)
  • Social Studies: 3 units (one unit of American history and one semester of government required; contemporary issues, business law, economics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, world history also acceptable)
  • Science: 3 units (general science does not count; select from physical science, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, astronomy, environmental science, earth science or anatomy & physiology; one must be a laboratory course)
  • Visual/Performing Arts: 1 unit (art, dance, music, or theatre)
  • Additional: 3 units (foreign language and/or combination from the above areas)

Home-schooled students should submit the home-school transcript with each course listed by academic year and grade. A cumulative GPA is also required. The home-schooled educator should sign the official transcript. When course titles do not clearly reflect subject content, please include a description. Include an estimated graduation date. If your home school is using a transcript service, have the service send an official transcript. Please note that once a transcript is submitted, it is considered the official record of the student's completed work up to that date and cannot be resubmitted with modifications.

Students who have earned dual credit/early college credit in high school should apply as beginning freshman. If you paid the application fee as a Southeast dual credit/early college credit student, you won't pay it again. You should apply for beginning freshman admission and meet the published deadlines to be considered for admission and scholarships. For information on how your dual credit/early college credit will transfer to Southeast, visit our transfer course equivalency page.

Students completing the Missouri Options Program must have a score of 500 on each of the five sections of the GED or a HiSET score of 15 or higher in each of the five subsections and an ACT of 18 or higher. Missouri Options students are not allowed to enroll in classes until after the date of their high school graduation has passed. An official high school transcript and copy of GED/HSE scores must be submitted. Note: HSE admission criteria are subject to change.

GED recipients under the age of 21 must have a GED score of 2500 or higher and an ACT of 18 or higher. Students with GED scores are not allowed to enroll in classes until after the date of their high school graduation has passed.

Missouri High School Equivalency (HSE) recipients under the age of 21 must have a HiSET score of 15 or higher in each of the five subsections and an ACT of 18 or higher. Students with a HSE are not allowed to enroll in classes until after the date of their high school graduation has passed. Note: HSE admission criteria are subject to change.

Applicants who are non-traditional for the purpose of admission are 21 years of age or older, married, supporting a dependent child or a veteran with qualified armed forces active duty. Documentation is required. High school transcripts with proof of graduation or completion of the GED/HSE must be submitted.

GED recipients may enroll full time with a GED score of 2500 or higher. High school equivalency (HSE) recipients may enroll full time with a Missouri HiSET score of 15 or higher on each of the five subsections. High school graduates will be evaluated based on cumulative GPA and core curriculum to ensure academic preparedness. In addition, a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA is required for full-time enrollment.

Students who do not meet these guidelines will be restricted to part-time enrollment (9 credit hours) during their first semester. Regional campus students (Kennett or Sikeston) may utilize the fall semester Step Up Program to gain full-time enrollment. Students can also choose to apply to the Cape College Center.

 Cost and Scholarships

We want to invest in you. Our new Copper Dome Scholarship and Will To Do Award programs, combined with affordable tuition rates makes Southeast one of the most affordable universities in Missouri.

Freshman Application Checklist

  • Application for Admission
  • Official ACT or SAT (optional)
  • Official 6th or 7th semester high school transcript

 Next Steps

Once you have applied for admission, what's next? Follow these steps.


  • If you haven’t yet, you and a parent (if you are a dependent student) should create an FSA ID. The FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information online and allows a parent of a dependent student to sign a child's FAFSA electronically.
  • Complete the FAFSA by January 15 to meet Southeast's priority processing deadline of February 1. This will improve your chances of receiving federal grant funds, Federal Work Study, and financial aid from the state of Missouri.
  • Financial aid award information will be emailed to your Southeast email account in mid-December.
  • Visit our Veterans and Military Services site for information on using veterans benefits.
  • All full-time Southeast students live on campus for the first two years unless exemption criteria are met.
  • After you’re admitted to Southeast, you may complete the Contract for University Housing online via the My Southeast admitted student portal. A $150 housing deposit is required at the time of submission.
  • Complete your housing contract as soon as possible. December 1 is the recommended housing contract completion date.
  • Learn more about the room and roommate selection process.
  • First STEP Orientation is a one-day program required for all beginning freshmen. During First STEP you will learn about class offerings, register for classes, and learn about financial aid, housing, and student life at Southeast.
  • First STEP information will be included in your admission packet. You may reserve your date online.

*Note: Admission to the University does not indicate admission to programs that have additional admission criteria and/or specific prerequisites. For information on admission to programs, refer to our Undergraduate Bulletin. 

Admissions Office Contact

Office of Admissions
Phone: (573) 651-2590
Fax: (573) 651-5936
Meet the Staff

Southeast Missouri State University
Office of Admissions
MS 3550
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701-4710


Academic Hall 100D
Office of Admissions
One University Plaza, MS 3550
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701