California State University Admission Requirements
The most up-to-date information about admission to CSU is available at www.csumentor.edu.
Lower Division Transfer Requirements
If you have completed 59 or fewer semester or 89 or fewer quarter transferable units by the time you plan to enter a CSU, you are considered a lower-division applicant. To make admission decisions, CSU admission offices look at the following:
- High school requirements (see below),
- Your college courses and grades,
- Whether you are in good standing at the last college or university attended.
Some campuses will also expect you to complete, with a grade of “C” or better, general education classes in English composition and general education mathematics prior to admission.
High School Requirements:
- The courses you completed in high school.
- Your high school grades and test scores.
- Graduation from high school.
If you did not complete the 15-unit pattern of college preparatory subjects required for freshman admission while in high school, you must make up the deficiencies.
If you are a lower-division student and do not meet the eligibility index from high school, CSU recommends that you continue your education at a California community college and complete 60 or more transferable semester units (90 or more quarter units) before attempting to transfer to a CSU campus.
Please be aware that some CSU campuses do not admit lower-division transfer students.
Students who completed college units before they graduated from high school or during the summer between high school graduation and CSU enrollment are considered first-time freshmen and must meet those admission requirements.
Upper Division Transfer Admission Requirements
If you will have at least 60 semester (or 90 quarter) transferable units completed by the time you enter a CSU, you are considered an upper-division applicant. To make admission decisions, CSU admissions offices look at three factors:
- Your college grades
- The college coursework you have completed, especially in general education
- Whether you are in good standing at the last college or university attended-i.e., you are eligible to re-enroll
The better you prepare at IVC and prior colleges, the more likely you will meet admission requirements at your first-choice CSU campus.
Grades are an important factor in your admission as an upper-division transfer. It is important to note that there are different ways grades are used in the admission process.
You must have a minimum of 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units. Your overall grade point average must be at least 2.0 (2.40 for California nonresidents.) The GPA is calculated using all transfer units attempted.
Within the transferable courses, there must be 30 units of general education work. Typically you complete at least 10 general education courses. In the case of high-unit majors, you may have less than 30 semester (or 45 quarter) units, but the campuses will be looking at your general education grades. If you are applying to a high-unit major, be sure to check with the CSU campus for their requirements in this area.
Finally, general education courses in the written communication, oral communication, critical thinking and mathematics sections of general education must be completed with a grade of “C” or better for each course. These four courses are part of the 30 semester units of general education.
Remember these are minimums, and in the case of high-demand majors and campuses a 2.0 GPA may not be high enough to be admitted.
Important! Be sure to complete the four minimally required courses listed above with a grade of “C” or better- English composition, oral communication, critical thinking, and math, as well as 60 transferable units-by the end of the spring semester at the very latest for fall admission and by the end of summer for spring admission to be considered for admission at most CSU campuses. To be competitive, it is advised to take these courses as early as possible.
General Education Requirements
For most students who transfer to the CSU, completing general education classes should be a priority along with premajor coursework.
The CSU provides California community college transfers with two options for fulfilling CSU lower division general education requirements: CSU General Education (GE) Breadth and the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). A college counselor can help you determine which option is best for you. The forms are available at the following links - see a counselor for the most current versions of these forms:
Most CSU campuses require students to complete a minimum of 30 semester (or 45 quarter) units of the CSU GE-Breadth or the IGETC. Within either pattern, the highest-priority classes are the three courses in the English language-oral communications, English composition and critical thinking-along with a general education course in mathematics.
Completion of general education courses prior to transfer is usually the most efficient path. You can complete a minimum of 39 semester units of CSU GE Breadth before transferring to a CSU.
If you are pursuing a high-unit major such as engineering, some math-based fields, science, or other technical majors, you will need to work closely with a counselor to plan which classes you should take for upper-division transfer. CSU campuses do allow high-unit majors to take fewer general education courses before transfer. Ultimately you will need to meet the general education requirements in order to graduate from CSU. So if you enroll at CSU with few general education units, completion of your baccalaureate program may take longer than expected. Good planning with your counselor is essential if you enroll in a high-unit major.
Good Standing Requirement
In order to transfer to the CSU, you must be in “good standing” at your prior college. In simple terms, good standing means you are eligible to reenroll at your last college or university.
For most students this is not a problem, and generally if you meet the other requirements for admission you would also meet this requirement. If you are not in good standing, you will have to resolve any issues with that college or university.
Placement Tests in English and Math
Upper-division transfer students who have completed English composition and college-level math courses with grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” or “P” are exempt from the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry-Level Mathematics Test (ELM). Upper-division transfer students must complete both English composition and college-level mathematics prior to enrolling at a CSU campus.
Incomplete Admissions Requirements
As transfer applicants, students are required to submit final transcripts prior to attending CSU. A final review will be done to verify the student’s successful completion of the courses. If applicants did not complete the courses needed for admission, the CSU campus to which they applied may delay or cancel their admission or enrollment.
The deadline for submitting transcripts varies from campus to campus. It is the student’s responsibility to check with each campus for transcript deadlines. Failure to adhere to deadlines may result in denial of admission.
Students should request that official transcripts be sent from all colleges and universities that they attended previously, even if no coursework was completed. If students are transferring with fewer than 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units completed, they must also submit their high school transcript. Transcripts must be received in sealed envelopes directly from each institution the student attended.
Online Application Filing Periods
The priority filing period for fall admission is October 1-November 30 the year prior to transfer. The filing period for spring admission is August 1-August 31. It is essential to check with the campus to ensure that it is accepting applications for the spring semester. Students should plan to submit their applications early in the filing period.
PLEASE NOTE: The CSU campuses may be limited in their ability to accommodate winter and spring transfers due to budget uncertainties. Students should not count on midyear transfer. Consult with a counselor for the best possible transfer plan.