Applying to college is a time consuming task, but thankfully, the California State University (CSU) system makes it easy to apply to many schools at once using one system. Whether you’re applying as a freshman or a transfer student, you’ll fill out your application at www.csumentor.edu. Their online tutorial can help answer any questions you have as part of that process as well.
Freshman Applicant Requirements
The CSU system requires a minimum of 15-unit pattern of courses for first time freshman. Each unit is the equivalent of one year of study in the subject. There are seven different subject areas, known as the “a-g courses”, and you must have a grade of C or better in every course you are using to meet the requirements. These subjects are:
a. History and Social Science (2 years)
b. English (4 years)
c. Math (3 years)
d. Laboratory Science (2 years)
e. Language other than English (2 years)
f. Visual and Performing Arts (1 year)
g. College Elective (1 year)
More detail about each requirement can be found here.
You are also required to take a standardized test as part of your application unless you have a grade point average (GPA) of over 3.0. For those with a GPA over 3.0, the standardized test may indicate that you don’t need to take math or english placement tests after you are admitted, so it is still useful to take. CSU campuses accept both the ACT and SAT, so take whichever test you believe you may be more comfortable with. The CSU Mentor website has a short description of each test if you’re not sure, as well as links to each tests’ websites.
One final requirement for Freshman applicants is graduation from high school and a high school diploma. Passing the California High School Proficiency Examination, or getting a GED are both equivalent to a diploma.
Transfer Student Requirements
Requirements for Transfer Students are split into upper and lower division transfers. A majority of transfers are upper division transfers, and some CSU campuses don’t accept lower division transfers. Check with the campuses you want to attend if you’re planning to apply as a lower division transfer.
Upper division transfers must complete either 60 semester or 90 quarter transferable units, while lower division transfers must complete fewer than 59 semester or 89 quarter transferable units. Both types of transfer applications require a GPA of over 2.0 and good standing at your last attended college. Additionally, upper division transfers are required to complete 30 semester or 45 quarter units of the General Education Breath Requirement or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum.
When to Apply
The application process begins at different times depending on when you want to start. This website gives you the days the application process opens for different terms. If you want to start in the Fall term, the application opens on October 1st, with some campuses closing beginning on November 30th.
Each application costs $55. If you can’t afford the fee, an online fee waiver request can be filed with your application, and you will be notified online if you are eligible.
When You Know You’ll be Admitted
Each campus has a separate timeline for notifying students of whether they are accepted or not. Some begin notifying applicants of admission soon after the application and other documents are submitted, while others wait a few months. Typically, by March most CSUs will have let applicants know.