Please familiarize yourself with our entrance requirements prior to requesting a program application.
High School Courses
To be considered for the HPME, you must have 16 units of high school credit. A unit represents one year of work in a subject. Within those 16 units, the following must be included:
- Mathematics: 4 units (Before beginning the HPME, students must take a year of calculus, including differential and integral calculus. If your high school does not provide such a course, you must take a suitable course prior to completing high school.)
- Chemistry: 1 unit (AP Chemistry is strongly recommended. If a student does not take AP Chemistry and is admitted into the program, they must take the Northwestern Chemistry placement exam the summer before they matriculate to Northwestern. )
- Physics: 1 unit
- Biology: 1 unit
- English: 4 units
- Foreign Language: 2 units (3 or 4 units of the same language are preferred)
No substitutions for course requirements. All are mandatory. While we realize that high school curricula often vary, a high level of performance in chemistry, mathematics, and English is most important.
Applicants are required to take the SAT Reasoning Exam and SAT Subject Exams in Math Level 2 and Chemistry. The ACT with writing may be substituted for the SAT Reasoning Exam. There are no substitutions for the Math Level 2 and Chemistry Subject Exams.
While there are no minimum standardized test scores required for the HPME, we do anticipate that our applicants will have scored well on their college entrance exams. The average test scores from the previous application cycle are listed below:
Average Test Scores from 2016–2017 Application Season
SAT Reasoning Exam
- SAT Critical Reading: 790
- SAT Critical Math: 792
- SAT Critical Writing: 770
ACT with writing
- ACT Composite: 34
SAT Subject Exams
- SAT Chemistry: 769
- SAT Math Level 2: 785
Due to the variation in GPA calculation among high schools, HPME does not have a minimum required GPA for applicants. It should be noted, however, that students admitted into the program are generally at or near the top of their class.