Undergraduate Preparation

Department of Mathematics

High School Preparation

If you are planning to major in Mathematics, you should have a solid preparation in algebra, geometry, precalculus and trigonometry and should be ready to start calculus at UNL. Many students start at a higher level as a result of excellent high school preparation.

The Board of Regents has established a set of entry requirements for the three University of Nebraska campuses that offer undergraduate education—UNL, UNO and UNK. In addition to being graduates of an accredited high school, or equivalent, all freshman applicants and transfer applicants who graduated from high school in 1997 or after seeking entry to the university must have successfully completed a core of selected high school courses spread over a number of disciplines. Additionally, students are required to meet performance criteria by being in the top half of their graduating high school class OR must meet certain performance criteria, based on scores on national examinations. The entrance requirements incorporate a process for admitting students who do not meet one or more of the admissions criteria, yet show promise of academic success.

Core Course Requirements

In the following description of the 16 units of required academic courses, a unit is defined as a Carnegie unit, comprising high school study for a period of one year. Equivalent requirements or competencies may be substituted with the approval of the appropriate university campus.

4 units of English
All units must include intensive reading and writing experiences.
4 units of Mathematics
Students are required to have taken algebra, algebra II, geometry and one additional unit that builds on a knowledge of algebra. (It is not required that all students seeking entry to UNL take a trigonometry or pre-calculus course for their fourth unit of mathematics. Other courses that build on two years of algebra, such as discrete mathematics, may be taken to satisfy this requirement. However, trigonometry and precalculus are strongly suggested for those people planning on working toward a degree in the Department of Mathematics.)
3 units of Social Studies
One unit drawn from American and/or world history; one additional unit drawn from history, American government and/or geography; and a third unit drawn from any social science discipline.
3 units of Natural Sciences
At least two units selected from biology, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences; one of the units must include laboratory instruction.
2 units of Foreign Language
Both units must be in the same language. Students who are unable to take two years of foreign language in high school may still qualify for admission. Such students will be required to take two semesters of foreign language at the University of Nebraska. These students are still required to complete 16 units of academic courses for admission.
1 unit of Additional Academic Requirements
Students seeking admission to UNL will fulfill this requirement by completing the fourth unit of mathematics as indicated above (the additional unit that builds on a knowledge of algebra).

Performance Requirements

In addition to meeting the above core course requirements, traditional freshman students seeking admission must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • Be ranked in the 50th percentile or higher of their graduating class in an accredited high school.
  • Have received an ACT composite score of 20 or greater
  • Have received an SAT total score of 950 or greater.

Core Course Equivalencies by High School

The Office of Admissions has a list of Nebraska high school core courses, which identifies how that particular high school's core courses are counted toward the University of Nebraska core course requirements. All of the University of Nebraska campuses offering undergraduate education—UNK, UNL and UNO—agree to use the identified core courses as a foundation for the admissions process. The Lincoln campus is the reporting institution for the University of Nebraska system and updates the course lists as necessary.

Only Nebraska high schools are listed at this time. Out-of-state schools' lists of identified core course equivalencies will be added as they become available. If your high school is not listed and you would like to submit a list of courses offered at your school, for the purpose of identifying core course equivalencies, please contact:

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Office of Admissions
1410 Q Street 880417 Lincoln NE 68588–0417
Voice 402–472–2023 Voice 800–742–8800