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Post-Secondary Enrollment Option

Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) is a state of Minnesota program that allows Minnesota high school students in grades 11 and 12 to enroll, full time or part time, in Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota's courses and receive high school and college credit at the same time. All tuition and book charges are covered by the program, so no fees are passed along to the students – except for transportation and any additional costs the student chooses to incur as a PSEO student (such as school supplies, meal plans, private lessons and commuter parking passes).

Saint Mary’s University limits the number of PSEO students to 25 per year, with priority being given to students who intend to enroll full time at Saint Mary’s University for the completion of their college education. Limiting the number of PSEO students helps Saint Mary’s to better serve that population of students, as every effort is made to ensure that PSEO students can enroll in courses they need for high school graduation. However, because course "guarantees" cannot be made, some courses may actually need to be taken through the corresponding high school.

By law, it is the responsibility of the school district, to inform students of the PSEO program. In return, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the school district of his/her intent to enroll in courses at Saint Mary's. In order to inform the state of Minnesota that a student is actually attending Saint Mary’s University, students are required to submit the State of Minnesota PSEO form to the Admission Office before the University’s academic year begins. Prior to submission, this form must be completed by the student and the student’s high school. Students are required to select courses that will fulfill their high school graduation requirements prior to the beginning of the semester. In addition, all PSEO students are required to maintain a 3.000 cumulative GPA at Saint Mary’s University or the student may not be eligible to return for subsequent semesters.

Saint Mary’s University sets a deadline of January 31 for application to the PSEO program for the upcoming academic year. Because our spots fill up so quickly; now is the time to begin thinking about your application for next year’s PSEO program at Saint Mary's!

Please note: Should any PSEO positions become available for second semester, we will offer those spots to students on our waiting list. In order to be a member of our waiting list to receive consideration for second term PSEO status, your application file needs to be complete by November 1 of the current academic year!

Admission Requirements & Process

Saint Mary's Admission Requirements for PSEO

Admission standards for PSEO students are set by each university, and vary from college to college. Therefore, Saint Mary’s University considers PSEO applicants who…

  • will be a high school junior or senior by next fall
  • have at least a 3.5 high school G.P.A.
  • have submitted the Saint Mary’s application form
  • have submitted a copy of their most recent high school transcripts
  • have submitted a copy of their most recent ACT test score or PLAN equivalent of 24 or higher
  • have submitted the State of Minnesota PSEO form
  • have submitted two letters of recommendation
  • have submitted an essay on why they are interested in PSEO at Saint Mary's
  • have submitted all (above listed) required materials by January 31

How to Begin the PSEO Process

  1. Students need a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and be a junior or senior at the time they would attend.
  2. Students get a SMU application form from their high school guidance counselor or can apply online at The completed Saint Mary’s University application form needs to be submitted by January 31.
  3. The student’s high school transcripts need to be sent by January 31.
  4. The student’s ACT score needs to be sent with the high school transcripts by January 31.
  5. The State of MN PSEO Form, which can be obtained from the high school, needs to be completed and sent (with the transcripts and test scores) by January 31.

    Any application file not complete by the January 31 deadline will automatically be put on our waiting list.

    Once we receive the above-mentioned materials, the application file will be complete; and the following process begins…

  6. We process the application forms, and if the student meets our initial criteria, we send them a letter that tells them to set up an interview by the second week of February with the PSEO Coordinator.
  7. We make all PSEO decisions by the end of February and accept no more than 25 students (which includes the number of students returning to Saint Mary’s for their senior year of PSEO). All interviewed applicants for PSEO will receive official notification by the middle of March.

Additional Links

Apply to Saint Mary's

Resources/pdf/Admission/PSEO_Form.pdfDownload the State of Minnesota PSEO form (PDF – requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

VIsit the Minnesota Department of Education for more information about PSEO options and college readiness.

Frequently asked questions about PSEO

Q: What is the deadline to apply to Saint Mary's PSEO program?
A: January 31 of each year for the upcoming year’s program.

Q: What if I apply for the PSEO program after Saint Mary’s application deadline has passed?
A: Any application for PSEO received after the January 31 deadline will automatically be put on the waiting list. Should any further positions become available, we will contact students on the waiting list.

Q: Can PSEO students live on campus?
A: No, PSEO students are considered commuter students and are unable to live in residential housing on campus.

Q: How many classes can I take as a PSEO student?
A: Post Secondary students who are considered juniors at their high school are allowed to attend Saint Mary's part-time only; students who are considered seniors at their high school may have the option of attending Saint Mary's full-time.

Q: Do I need to maintain a certain GPA in my Saint Mary's courses?
A: Yes, all PSEO students must maintain a 3.000 cumulative GPA at Saint Mary’s University or the student may not be eligible to return for subsequent semesters.

Q: What are the admission requirements for PSEO students?
A: Students interested in the PSEO program must be in their junior or senior year of high school, have a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), complete the Saint Mary's admission application form, complete that State of Minnesota PSEO form, and submit their most recent ACT test score of 24 or higher, essay and two letters of recommendation – by the January 31 deadline. Students that fit our initial criteria will be invited in for a personal interview. PSEO decisions are made based on the student’s academic profile in core coursework and the personal interview results.

Q: Are there any course restrictions for PSEO students?
A: PSEO students are able to take any course that is available to our Saint Mary's  freshman, as long as the prerequisite for the course is met. However, specific courses may have special fees attached that are the responsibility of the student. In the case of Music courses, the program will cover the cost of music "classes;" however, the Saint Mary's PSEO program will not cover the cost of private music "lessons."

Furthermore, PSEO students will want to ensure that the courses chosen actually meet grad standards for high school graduation; and we leave THAT responsibility up to the PSEO students. So, we encourage students to discuss this information with their high school counselor right now, so they know what courses will be needed (to fulfill high school graduation requirements). In addition, course selection can sometimes be limited, as PSEO students register last – after our regular student population. So, if we can't get a PSEO student into a course needed for high school graduation, we encourage the student to take that course from their high school, and fill their Saint Mary's schedule with other courses that do fulfill requirements.

Q: Will I be treated differently because I am a PSEO student?
A: In short, no. We consider you to be no different than any other new student to campus. As Saint Mary's students, you are held to the same academic and disciplinary standards as the rest of our students. Therefore, you are entitled to the same privileges as our Saint Mary's students, except that you cannot participate in NCAA sports and you may not live on campus while in high school. All other campus activities, program, and clubs are available to you. So, no one will know that you are a PSEO student, unless you decide to tell them.

Q: Are there any fees that I will have to pay as a PSEO student?
A: The money to fund the program comes from the state of Minnesota, to the school district, and on to Saint Mary's. So, all tuition and book charges are covered by the program. Therefore, no fees are passed along to the students – except for transportation and any additional costs the student chooses to incur as a PSEO student (such as school supplies, meal plans, private lessons and commuter parking passes).