Freshman Admission Requirements

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Alternative to the RAI due to Standardized Test Cancellations

High school seniors applying for Fall 2021: Due to the many standardized testing issues caused by the COVID pandemic, the University of Northern Iowa will offer test-optional admissions for Fall 2021 applicants. The Iowa Board of Regents has issued a temporary, one-year waiver to the ACT/SAT testing requirement due to the ongoing pandemic concerns.

Students applying for Fall 2021 now have two options:

  1. Students who self-report their test scores when they apply will be admitted as normal based upon the Regent Admission Index (RAI) score.   
  2. Students not submitting a test score (test-optional) will be reviewed using holistic review.  The review will include factors such as your high school GPA and core course selection.  

Regents Admissions Index

Students who wish to enter the University of Northern Iowa directly from high school will be considered for admission based on their completion of minimum high school course requirements and their Regent Admission Index (RAI). 

RAI Formula 

   ACT Composite x 3

+ Cumulative GPA x 30

+ Number of years of high school core courses x 5

Your RAI

Note: For purposes of calculating the RAI, ACT composite score has a top value of 36 (SAT scores will be converted to ACT composite equivalent); high school GPA is expressed on a 4-point scale; and number of high school courses completed in the core subject areas is expressed in terms of years or fractions of years of study.

Applicants who achieve at least a 245 RAI score and who meet the minimum high school course requirements are guaranteed admission. Applicants who achieve less than a 245 RAI score but meet the minimum high school course requirements will be considered for admission on an individual basis.

To calculate your unofficial Index score use the online RAI Calculator.

Minimum High School Course Requirements for Admission

Students who wish to enter the University of Northern Iowa directly from high school must also meet the minimum high school course requirements for admission as indicated below:

Subject Requirement Description
English 4 years May include one year of speech, communications and/or journalism.
Mathematics 3 years Must include equivalent of algebra, geometry, and algebra II.
Science 3 years General science, biology, chemistry, earth science and/or physics are acceptable. Laboratory experience is highly recommended.
Social Studies 3 years Anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, psychology and/or sociology are acceptable.
Electives 2 years Additional courses from subject areas identified above are acceptable. May include foreign language* and/or fine arts**.


Check with your school counselor for your high school's Core Courses Approved for RAI for the Iowa Regent Universities. For students from out-of-state, UNI uses the NCAA's List of Approved Courses as the primary resource in determining whether a course is acceptable toward high school course requirements. To view your high school's list of Approved Courses, go to this website:

*Two years of one foreign language in high school with a C- or above in the last course meets the university graduation requirement. The university highly recommends that students fulfill this requirement while in high school.

**Fine arts courses count toward meeting the 15 minimum core course requirements, but are not counted in the RAI calculation.


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