This page contains the specific academic requirements for admission as a freshman at ETSU. If you have any questions or problems, don't hesitate to ask an admissions counselor or contact our office.

Required High School Courses
If you are under age 21, and applying as a freshman, you must have completed, or be in the process of completing, the following high school courses. Note: Requirements may vary for GED students, non-degree students, and international students. If you graduated high school prior to 1989, you are not subject to the required high school units.
Subject Area Units


Algebra I and II


Geometry or other advanced math


Natural/Physical Science including at least one unit, with lab, of biology, chemistry, or physics


Social Studies, including one of the following: world history, world geography, ancient history, European history, or modern history


United States History


A single foreign language


Visual or Performing Art


Additional courses are recommended in the arts, mathematics, and foreign languages.

ACT or SAT Requirements

If you are under age 21, you must provide an official score report from the American College Testing Program (ACT) or The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). If you have not completed one of the examinations, we recommend you contact your high school counselor. You may complete ACT testing in the ETSU Testing Center, if necessary.

If you are 21 or older when you apply as a freshman, you are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores. However, if admitted to ETSU you must complete the COMPASS examination in order to identify subjects in which you may need additional coursework.

Grade Point Average and Test Scores
If you are under age 21 and applying as a freshman, you must meet one of the following standards:

  • Minimum grade point average of 2.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum ACT composite score of 19 (or equivalent SAT score)
What if I don't meet the Test Score or GPA requirements?

Applicants who do not meet the requirements as outlined above may be eligible for alternative admission. Alternative admission is available to a limited number of qualified applicants.

Residents of Tennessee must present

  • a high school GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
    --- OR ---
  • an ACT composite score of at least 17 (or equivalent SAT score)

Residents of other states must present

  • a high school GPA of at least 2.3 on a 4.0 scale
    --- OR ---
  • an ACT composite score of at least 19 (or equivalent SAT score).

Can I get Non-Traditional Credit for things like service in the Armed Forces, Advanced Placement or CLEP?

Undergraduate, degree-seeking students enrolled at ETSU may establish advanced standing credit through a number of non-traditional means. Read more about our non-tradition credit options.

What if I am missing some required High School Units?

Admission as an Exception will be considered for those applicants who are missing required high school units and meet the following:

  • ACT composite score 21 or higher (or equivalent SAT score) with no more than two high school unit deficiencies
  • ACT composite score 19 or 20 (or equivalent SAT score) and high school GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale with no more than two high school unit deficiencies.
What if I did not graduate High School, but took the GED?

Applicants 18 years of age or older who are not high school graduates may be considered for admission by completing the GED (the American Council on Education, General Education Development Test). Those who submit a GED who are under age 21, must provide ACT or SAT scores and partial high school records if completed. Please consult the current ETSU catalog for required GED scores.

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