Is It Hard to Get Accepted Into the University of Memphis?

Memphis offers students an affordable education in a vibrant cultural setting.
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The University of Memphis has about an average acceptance rate. It admitted 64.7 percent of applicants in 2012, compared to a nationwide acceptance rate of 67 percent. UM is more unusual, however, in guaranteeing admission to any student who meets four requirements. Students who don’t meet those standards can still apply if they have a certain GPA and composite ACT score.

1 High School Curriculum

Students need to complete specific high school coursework to guarantee their admission to UM. Four years of English are required, as well as at least three years of math, including geometry. The two years of natural and physical science courses that UM requires should include at least one lab-based course in biology, chemistry or physics. You should take one year of social studies, by which UM means a course in world geography or modern, ancient, world or European history, and one year of U.S. history. Two years of foreign-language coursework and one year of visual and performing arts round out the high school curriculum requirements.

2 High School GPA

To get guaranteed admission to UM, not only do you need to complete this list of courses, you also need to earn at least a 3.0 GPA as you do. According to the UM freshman admissions website, the average GPA for students admitted in 2011 was 3.34. Remember that your high school will likely require more courses than the ones that UM looks for, and those will also count toward your GPA.

3 ACT Scores

Your ACT scores are the final component in determining whether you qualify for automatic admission to UM. The school looks for a composite ACT score of at least 21, and it requires “college-level readiness” scores on the reading and English sections. According to the 2012 national report published by the ACT, these college benchmark scores are 18 for English and 21 for reading. These scores are comparable to or below the national average for ACT scores, included in the same report.

4 Admissions Index

Students who don’t meet the requirements for guaranteed admission can still apply to UM. For such applicants, the school uses an admissions index to determine whether to review the application. To calculate yours, first multiply your cumulative high school GPA by 30 -- if you have a 2.6 GPA, for example, you’d get 78. Then add your composite ACT score to that number. The UM admissions committee will consider applications with an admissions index of at least 95, but keep in mind that a 95 isn’t necessarily competitive.

Elissa Hansen has more than nine years of editorial experience, and she specializes in academic editing across disciplines. She teaches university English and professional writing courses, holding a Bachelor of Arts in English and a certificate in technical communication from Cal Poly, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Wyoming, and a doctorate in English from the University of Minnesota.