CSU Facts Introduction


With 23 universities and thousands of degrees to choose from, the CSU offers more choices and connections than any other public higher education institution in the nation. Students planning to enter the CSU can apply through the online application tool, Cal State Apply, at calstate.edu/apply. Due to the large number of applicants, some universities have additional admissions criteria for particular majors or for students who live outside the local campus area. Universities utilize local admission guarantee policies for students who graduate or transfer from high schools and community colleges that are historically served by a CSU in that region.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen Applicants

First-time freshmen applicants must meet the standards in each of the following areas:

  • Graduate from high school or equivalent
  • Complete required college preparatory coursework
  • Earn suitable grades in college preparatory coursework
  • Achieve a qualifying GPA

Transfer Applicants

There are many paths to attending the CSU, including the guaranteed Transfer Success Pathway program for recent high school graduates seeking to continue their education after no more than three years at a community college. Many transfer students enter as upper-division transfers and must complete at least 60 semester or 90 quarter units and required general education (GE) before transferring.

Students who have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) and are accepted to a similar degree program will be admitted to the CSU with junior status. Students can explore and plan for a successful transfer to any of the 23 California State Universities using the free online CSU Transfer Planner tool.

Graduate Applicants

To apply for admission to graduate or postbaccalaureate studies, a student must:

  • Earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with at least a 2.5 GPA.
  • Be in good academic standing while satisfactorily meeting the professional, personal, scholastic and other standards for graduate study. Learn more at calstate.edu/apply