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Get a jump-start on your future.

Through Minnesota’s Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) program, you can get a jump start on earning college credit by completing college courses while still in high school. High school juniors and seniors can enroll in college courses for free – saving significant time and money. Plus, PSEO courses may fulfill course requirements toward your high school diploma.

As a PSEO student at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, you have the flexibility to choose between attending classes online or in person at our Winona Campus. This unique opportunity allows you to begin your college journey early and ahead of other incoming first-year students. Take the first step by connecting with your high school counselor and submitting a free Saint Mary’s PSEO application. Your future can start as soon as today!

Free

Cost of taking PSEO course

$59.8M

Saved by Minnesota PSEO students in 2021-22

Free

Cost of books for PSEO students

Online

or

In-person

on our Winona Campus

Free

Cost of taking PSEO course

$59.8M

Saved by Minnesota PSEO students in 2021-22

Free

Cost of books for PSEO students

Online

or

In-person

on our Winona Campus

Requirements and Applying

Discover a faster path to college and reach your goals even sooner. If you’re a high school student, learn how and when to apply to get started in the program.

    • Be a junior or senior in high school by the time you begin classes at Saint Mary’s
    • Have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0
    • Be a resident of the State of Minnesota

    • Submit a free Saint Mary’s PSEO application to Admissions. The PSEO application opens for admission and enrollment: 
      • November 15, 2023 for spring semester 2024
    • Submit the NOSR form and transcript to the Director of Early College Programs via email at dsharroc@smumn.edu.
    • Fall materials deadline: August 15
    • Spring materials deadline: January 1

Courses

These courses are specially selected to ease you into the college experience, meet high school requirements, and fulfill college general education needs. Courses at Saint Mary’s count toward both high school and college credit. Best of all, they are free!

  • PSEO students may choose from many 100 and 200-level courses in the Saint Mary’s course catalog and class schedule. Choices of general education courses that may be potentially used to meet high school requirements should be thoroughly reviewed by PSEO students and their high school counselors. Theology or developmental courses, such as academic success courses, may not be taken for PSEO credit.

  • Each course — 3 credits

    • B150 Biological Connections
    • EC261 Principles of Microeconomics
    • BU243 Business Computer Applications
    • M145 Finite Math
    • COM150 Social and New Media
    • E130 First-Year Writing
    • H152 The Modern World
    • L102 Beginning Latin II
    • PY111 General Psychology

  • Life Sciences — 4 credits each

    • B105/B221 Gen. Biology/Biology Field Experience
    • B212/B223 General Biology/Lab
    • C131/C133 General Chemistry I/Lab

    Art and Communications — 3 credits each

    • COM111 Intro to Mass Communication
    • COM 202 Communication Fundamentals
    • COM 204 Public Speaking for the Professional
    • E130 First-Year Writing
    • AR101 Art Appreciation

    Math and Computer Sciences — 3 credits each (except M148)

    • CS101 Computer Science Fundamentals
    • CS110 Intro to Programming
    • AC222 Accounting Concepts
    • ST132 Reasoning with Statistics
    • ST232 Intro to Probability and Statistics
    • M148 Calculus with Pre-Calculus, Part I (4 cr.)

    General and Introductory Courses

    • N150 Intro to Professional Nursing – 2 cr.
    • PY111 General Psychology – 3 cr.
    • CJ111 Intro to Criminal Justice – 3 cr.

On the fast track to med school.

Matthew Schell, a recent graduate of the PSEO program at Saint Mary's, always had the lofty goal of medical school. However, he wanted to accelerate his career, and the PSEO program was an obvious choice. “My experience at Saint Mary’s helped me balance coursework and extracurriculars. And learning that experience early on helped me get ahead of my classes at the beginning of my first year in college,” he said.

Read more

Earn your way.

Explore other ways to earn college credit at Saint Mary’s and get a head start on completing your degree while also saving on college costs.

PACC

Cardinal Virtual Academy

FAQ

Saint Mary’s is committed to the success of all students, including PSEO students. Likewise, Saint Mary’s expects students to make a serious commitment to their education. Regular class attendance, completion of coursework, and regular communication with faculty and Dual Credit staff at Saint Mary’s are expected of all PSEO students. Students must maintain a 3.0 university GPA to remain in the PSEO program.

Textbooks are paid for by Saint Mary’s. The textbooks belong to Saint Mary’s and must be returned to the university on the last day of the term. If students do not return their textbooks, they will be billed for the books or their transcript may be withheld, as with any other outstanding financial commitment at the university.

No, PSEO students must consult with their high school counselor to be sure that a university course satisfies a high school requirement. Saint Mary’s will provide a university transcript to their high school counselor after courses are completed.

Yes, college courses are more challenging than high school courses. They may require more reading, study, and writing, depending on the subject.

Yes, credit for courses completed with passing grades at Saint Mary’s may be transferred to other colleges or universities. The receiving college or university decides how the credit can be used, as in general education, electives, a minor, or a major.

Yes, PSEO students are encouraged to continue participating in high school activities and commencement.

Yes, if a university course is also needed to fulfill a high school requirement for graduation and is not successfully completed, students may not have enough credits for high school graduation. Courses should be carefully chosen after consultation with both the student’s high school counselor and university academic advisors. Students should remember that a college transcript is a permanent record and will show all grades from college courses at a given college or university.

Yes, students may use debit or credit cards (no cash) to purchase meals and refreshments in the main student cafeteria and restaurants in the Toner Student Center. Commuter meal plans are also available for students to arrange in advance at their expense. Vending machines are available throughout the campus and accept both cash and cards.

No, PSEO students are listed on the class list like other admitted first-year or sophomore students. However, a PSEO student may feel free to self-disclose their status as a PSEO student.

Tuition and college fees are covered by the PSEO program, which is funded by the state of Minnesota. Transportation to campus and any other additional expenses, such as meals, school supplies, private lessons, commuter parking passes, etc. are paid by the student.

First, students must meet with their high school counselor each semester to choose college courses that help fulfill requirements for their high school diploma. Second, students meet with Saint Mary’s academic advisors to make final choices of courses that are appropriate for both high school and college before registering.

Generally, for each hour spent in class, students should plan on studying and reading for an additional two hours. For example, a class that meets three hours a week will generally require about six hours of study time.

Junior and senior students must apply to Saint Mary’s by May 15 for priority admission and registration for fall semester PSEO courses. The application deadline for spring semester is just prior to the start of the semester. Students not meeting these deadlines will be placed on a waiting list.

Yes, Saint Mary’s encourages PSEO students to fully participate and enjoy extracurricular activities to become more of a part of the university community.

PSEO students may take anywhere from a single course worth 1-4 credits up to a full load of 12 credits. However, this must be decided upon in consultation with the student’s high school counselor and an academic advisor at Saint Mary’s. Counselors and advisors will work with the student to fit both high school and university courses together into a cohesive schedule for the student. Students should consider taking fewer credits in their first semester at Saint Mary’s as a PSEO student to determine how much work and time are needed to complete university courses.

Yes, students must provide their own transportation to campus by city bus or car. However, the Minnesota Department of Education has provisions for reimbursement for mileage for families that meet specific income qualifications.

Yes, students are encouraged to discuss parking and complete the application process for a parking pass when they initially get their student ID at Campus Security in the Toner Student Center.

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