Self-advocacy statement

Self-Advocacy Statement Form (please read the text below first)

In an effort to allow students the opportunity for a more holistic review, we are allowing students to submit an optional Self-Advocacy Statement.

The Self-Advocacy Statement is a way for students to provide additional context and information regarding their academic performance, describe their plan for success in the computer science major, and how they have contributed to the community, department, or field of computer science.

This statement is NOT required for application to the major. Anyone can submit this form, but we highly encourage those students whose technical GPA is currently below, at, or within .2 of the most recent admission cutoff to apply. Our admission decision will still be based on your technical GPA, with exceptions based on this Self-Advocacy Statement. Students at or above a 3.2 technical GPA will be guaranteed admission to the major. Students who do not pass the prerequisite courses needed for admission to computer science programs will be denied (a Self-Advocacy Statement won't change this decision). See the chart below for a historical reference of our lowest admitted technical GPA.  Note that the cutoff is the same for BA and BS applicants, and we will not know this semester's GPA until after the deadline.

Semester applied (admit start)

Lowest Technical GPA admitted

Fall 19 (Spring 20 start)


Spring 20 (Fall 20 start)


Fall 20 (Spring 21 start)


Spring 21 (Fall 21 start)


Fall 21 (Spring 22 start) 2.4

To include a Self-Advocacy Statement with your application to the computer science major, please complete the Self-Advocacy Statement in addition to the official application to the major for the CLA CSCI BA program and the CSE CSCI BS program.

Self-Advocacy Statement Details

In 400 words or less, please explain your plan for success in the major, any barriers you faced, and what you’ll contribute to the department. In your response, include and consider the following:


  • Your plan for success. Specifically, what actions you will take and resources you will use to succeed in your coursework - i.e. using tutoring services, attending office hours, etc.


  • Explain any extenuating circumstances that led to a lower technical GPA - i.e. death in the family, medical issue, etc.
  • Explain any systemic barriers that contributed to your lower technical GPA - i.e. lack of representation, barriers to being properly supported, etc.
  • Describe any engagement and contributions to the community (department, college, university, Minneapolis, St. Paul, or your local community)
    • TA, RA, student group involvement
    • Volunteer work
    • Social justice activism/advocacy work
    • Leadership roles
  • Anything else you find relevant.

What should not be included in your statement?

  • Medical documentation
  • Other documentation (financial statements or bills, death certificates, anything containing sensitive information like a social security number)
  • Letters of recommendations

How should you format your statement?

  • Narrative statement (essay)
    • 400 words or less