Winthrop University: Office of Admissions - Undergraduate Catalog: Freshman

Freshman Applicants

A freshman applicant is a person who has not attended a regionally accredited college or university after high-school graduation. Note: A student who takes a course in summer school immediately after high school graduation or through dual enrollment while in high school is classified as a freshman applicant.

Freshman Admission Criteria

Freshman applicants are evaluated using the following criteria:

Primary criteria - will always be considered

  • high school performance (with emphasis on grades earned on the required high school prerequisites)
  • level of course work
  • completion of high school course prerequisites
  • standardized test scores, SAT or ACT (The results of the writing component from either examination are requested but will not be used to make the admissions decision.)

Secondary criteria - will be considered if submitted, but do not carry as much weight as primary criteria

  • letter(s) of recommendation
  • factors (extenuating circumstance) affecting performance in classes
  • essay or personal statement
  • extracurricular activities
  • interview

The admissions review process includes the evaluation of each individual student's application and academic credential. The most important factor is achievement in high school courses, including the type of courses a student has completed and the grades earned, followed by performance on the SAT or ACT (excluding the results of the writing tests). Students must also complete the 19 course prerequisites required by the State of South Carolina (see list below). Recommendations and extracurricular activities are also considered, but high school performance is the most important factor when rendering admissions decisions.

Students who have been out of high school for five or more years are not required to take the SAT or ACT. Applicants must meet the applicable South Carolina Commission on Higher Education's high school course prerequisites if they graduated from high school after 1987.

All students who enroll in a baccalaureate degree program must possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate. With the exception of students who are home schooled, Winthrop does not accept experience in lieu of a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate.


Required High School Courses for Freshman Applicants for Fall 2011

English: 4 units. At least two having strong grammar and composition components, at least one in English literature, and at least one in American literature. (Completion of college preparatory English I, II, III, & IV meets these requirements.)

Mathematics: 4 units. These include Algebra I (for which Applied Mathematics I and II may count together as a substitute, if a student successfully completes Algebra II), Algebra II, and Geometry. A fourth higher-level mathematics course should be selected from among Algebra III/trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, statistics, discrete mathematics, or a capstone mathematics course and should be taken during the senior year.

Laboratory Science: 3 units. Two units must be taken in two different fields and selected from among biology, chemistry, or physics. The third units may be taken from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, or physics) or from any laboratory science for which biology and/or chemistry is a prerequisite. Courses in earth science, general physical science, or introductory or general environmental science for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite will not meet this requirement. It is strongly recommended that students take physical science (taught as a laboratory science) as a prerequisite to the three required units of laboratory science as outlined in this section.

Social Science: 3 units. One unit of U.S. History is required; a half unit of economics and half unit of government is strongly recommended

Foreign Language: 2 units. Two units of the same foreign language.

Physical Education or ROTC: 1 unit.

Fine Arts: 1 unit.  One unit of appreciation of, history of, or performance in one of the fine arts.

Electives: 1 unit. One unit must be taken as an elective .  A college preparatory course in computer science (one involving significant programming content, not simply keyboarding), English, fine arts, foreign languages, humanities, laboratory science (excluding earth science, general physical science, general environmental science or other introductory science courses for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite), mathematics above the level of algebra II, and social sciences.

Please contact the Office of Admissions if you graduated from high school prior to 2011.


Home Schooled Applicants

Home schooled applicants should submit the following credentials: official transcript (or other record of completed work) which shows the name of the completed courses, credit earned and grades earned; and an official copy of SAT or ACT scores.

Students who are home schooled must complete the high school courses prerequisites required by South Carolina (see section above). Applicants will be evaluated on an individual basis using the following credentials: course selection, earned grades and SAT or ACT score. Letters of recommendation, an essay or personal statement, and/or a personal interview will also be considered if submitted.


Last Updated: 4/7/23