How to Apply

Apply as a freshman or transfer student in three easy steps

When you submit your application, we’ll automatically consider you for our merit awards which could earn you thousands in scholarships. All with no extra forms or essay. 

When to apply

Our application opens on Aug. 1.

  • Incoming freshmen - Apply by Dec. 1 for priority consideration for university scholarships.
  • Transfer students - Apply by April 1 for summer/fall semesters; by Dec. 1 for spring semester.

Admission requirements

A solid academic background will help prepare you for success at the college level. We recommend you take: 

  • 4 years of English, Mathematics, Biological or Physical Sciences, History or Social Sciences; and 
  • 2 years of a foreign language and fine arts electives; and
  • 1 year of hands-on computer experience.

No essay required

An admissions essay is not required but you may submit additional information that you wish to be considered. You may want to include extracurricular and leadership activities, employment or explanations of unique situations that impacted your academic record.

What do I need to apply?

  • Application for admission
  • Application fee
  • High school transcript (official or unofficial)

Step 1: Apply to CMU

Our application opens on Aug. 1. During the application process, you'll need to submit a $40 application fee. You may be eligible to have your fee waived.

Apply now

You can also apply using the Common Application.


You may apply as early as Aug. 1 of your senior year, and we recommend applying by Oct. 15 to be considered for all competitive scholarship programs. Priority consideration for first-come, first-served merit scholarship funds is given to applications completed by Dec. 1. Applications are accepted until classes begin, but there are advantages to applying early, such as the ability to register for your classes and select your housing options earlier. 

Students applying to start in the spring semester are also encouraged to apply by Dec. 1.


Submit all your application materials by March 1 for the summer/fall semesters, and Dec. 1 for the spring semester, to get priority consideration for our merit scholarships. Applications are accepted until classes begin, but there are advantages to applying early, such as registering for classes and selecting housing options earlier

How can I waive the application fee?

    • My school counselor or a school official provided me with a code because I meet known guidelines to have my fee waived. I have submitted my FAFSA and I am eligible to receive a federal Pell grant.
    • I can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer or community leader.
    • My family receives public assistance.
    • I live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or am homeless.
    • I am part of one or more of the following initiatives: Upward Bound or another TRIO program, KCP or Detroit Promise.
    • I currently or previously attended CMU as an undergraduate student, I intend to enroll and complete my program or earn a second degree.
    • I have been provided an application processing fee waiver code.
    • I have been approved by my Michigan K-12 school district for the Grow Your Own (GYO) Program School Staff Pell Grant and have been provided an application processing fee waiver code.

    All U.S. military veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members are eligible to have their application fee waived. You must provide one of the following to CMU with your application:

    • DD-214 form verifying service.
    • Service verification letter from your command indicating your current duty station.
    • VA Certificate of Eligibility (CoE).
    • Active military ID if you are applying in person at a CMU satellite location (do not copy and submit your military ID card).

    Have questions about applying to CMU as a veteran or active-duty service member? Visit our frequently asked questions page or explore the Veterans’ Resource Center.

    Step 2: Send us your official transcript(s)

    Students may submit unofficial or official transcripts for admission and scholarship purposes. An official transcript is a list of courses you've taken in high school and/or college, and the grades you've earned in them. It is submitted to us at your request directly from your prior school(s). We must receive your official transcripts prior to your enrollment. 

    • Incoming freshmen: Submit your unofficial or official high school transcript(s).
    • Transfer students: Submit your unofficial or official college transcript(s).
      • If you have earned fewer than 24 college credits, you will also need to submit your high school transcript(s).
    • Early/middle college or dual enrollment participants: Submit unofficial or official transcripts from each college you attended. Official transcripts must must be received to earn transfer credit.
    • Military/veterans: Request your military transcripts from Request Official Joint Services Transcript and Air Force.

    Keep us updated with new transcripts at the end of each semester. It may result in a higher scholarship.

    Sending your transcripts

    Email your unofficial transcripts to, or ask your high school counselor or college (usually the Registrar's office) to email your official transcripts to, or mail them to:

    Central Michigan University
    Transcript Department
    802 Industrial Drive
    Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

    Please note: We do not accept copies or hand-delivered transcripts as official transcripts. Official transcripts must be sent electronically or mailed to us directly from your prior school(s).

    Step 3: Submit your test scores (optional)

    Grade point average has always been emphasized in our application review process as a strong predictor of college success. This is why you can earn admission, and even merit scholarships on GPA alone. However, submitting your test scores may enhance your likelihood of being admitted or earning a higher merit scholarship.

    There’s no real downside to including your test scores, since it will only ever increase your merit award.

    If you are homeschooled or attend a high school that does not provide grades, an ACT/SAT test score is required.

    Sending your test scores

    If you do choose to submit a test score, you can have your official score report sent to us at, or mark CMU as a recipient on your exam with the following codes:

    • SAT code: 1106
    • ACT code: 1973

    Applying to the Honors Program

    A group of Central Michigan University Honors Program students stand together in front of Powers Hall.

    Are you interested in joining Central Michigan University’s Honors Program? Visit their homepage and learn more about the program and its application.

    Application frequently asked questions

      The incoming freshman class at CMU has an average high school grade point average of 3.5. For those that choose to submit a test score, the average SAT score is 1095 (equivalent to a 22 ACT). Some students are admitted with higher scores, and some have lower scores.

      CMU Online classes start six times throughout the year. Choose the term you wish to start your classes and where you want to take them (online or at one of our satellite centers) when you fill out your online application. Applying at least one month in advance of your intended start date is encouraged.

      Official transcripts are a list of courses and grades sent to CMU directly from your high school, college or university. Your counselor or transfer advisor will be able to help you with this.

      Unofficial transcripts are a list of courses and grades submitted by you to CMU. You can use these to apply, and even earn merit awards, but you will need to eventually follow up with your official, final transcripts.

      We would be happy to help you complete your application. Contact us at 989-774-3076 or