Application Tips

Completing the Cal State Apply application accurately is a very critical step in being considered for admission. We understand that you may have questions as you go through the application. To help you with completing the application, please review the tips below:

General Application Tips

Allow Pop-Ups from Cal State Apply

In order to view additional instructions for a question, your web browser must allow pop-ups from the Cal State Apply application.

If pop-ups are being blocked by your web browsers, you may see the following messages:

  • Google Chrome – An icon and message saying "Pop-up blocked" will appear on the right side of the URL/search bar.
  • Mozilla Firefox – An icon will be displayed on the right side of the URL bar and a message saying "Firefox prevented this site from opening a pop-up window" in a yellow box will be shown at the top of the page.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)/Edge – A message will be displayed at the bottom of the browser saying "Microsoft Edge blocked a pop-up from"

Pop up block icons and messages for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge

To allow for pop-ups to appear for the Cal State Apply application, please do the following:

  • Google Chrome
    1. Click on the pop-up blocked icon.
    2. Select the "Always allow pop-ups from" radio button.
    3. Click on the Cal State Apply instructions link again to have it display.
  • Mozilla Firefox
    1. In the yellow notification bar, click the "Options" button on the right side.
    2. Click the "Allow pop-ups for" option.
    3. The instructions page should automatically load in a new tab.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)/Edge
    1. In the pop-up blocked message, click either the "Allow once" or "Always allow" button.
    2. The instructions page should automatically load in a new tab.

Use the Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center

The first place that you should look for help is the online Instructions and FAQs in the Cal State Apply application.

After creating an account, you may access this help section by clicking the blue question mark icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and select "Instructions and FAQs" from the dropdown list.

Help menu on the Cal State Apply online application

In the Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center, you will be able to access pages and sections detailing various parts of the application, from creating an account, to clarifying how to answer specific questions in the application, through to submitting your application. A link to a "Live Chat" is also available in a blue box located on the lower right corner of the page.

Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center

Filling Out Your Cal State Apply Application

This page provides instructions on how to complete each section of the Cal State Apply application.

Help filling out the Cal State Apply online application page

For more information, please click on the specific section of the application:

Select the correct Application Term

Before starting the application, please make sure you have logged into the application for the correct term.

Cal State Apply opening webpage

What does "Delivery Format" mean?

When you are selecting your program/major in Cal State Apply, you will see a field called “Delivery Format.”

Program Delivery Format

Delivery format explains how your classes will be taught:

  • Face To Face: This program is primarily taught in-person, face-to-face in a classroom.
  • Online: This program is taught entirely online.
  • Hybrid: This program requires both in-person and online instruction.

The Online Application Fee Waiver

In case of financial hardship, the CSU allows for a limited number of undergraduate application fee waivers for residents of California. For students without lawful immigration status, who qualify for an AB-540 non-resident tuition exemption, fee waivers may also be available. If you file the admission application via Cal State Apply, the fee waiver request is included in the online system as part of the application process. You will be notified at the time you apply online if you qualify for the fee waiver. If granted a fee waiver, it may be used for up to 4 campuses for each application term.
To learn more about the CSU Application Fee Waiver for undergraduate applicants, view the Application Fee Waiver Checklist.
Be aware: Application fee waivers are not available for residents of other U.S. states, international students, and Graduate/post-bac program applicants.

Freshman Applicants

High School Coursework

Transfer Applicants

Cal State Apply Transfer Student Application Guide

For instructions on how to complete the Cal State Apply application as a transfer student, review the Cal State Apply Transfer Student Application Guide.

Transcript Entry

Applicants to a Major with Major-Specific Criteria

Certain majors have additional major-specific criteria for admission. Please see the Major-Specific Criteria Page for more information and the specific program requirements.

Programs that have major-specific criteria will ask you to report your progress in the completion of prerequisite courses, and answer a few additional questions. This supplemental information will be requested in the Program Materials tile of the Cal State Apply application.

Cal State Apply application dashboard

Before you start working on the Program Materials tile, please make sure you have already completed the following:

  • Added every college or university that you have attended in the Colleges Attended question.
  • Fully completed the Transcript Entry question, which includes listing all courses taken (or in progress, planned) for each college/university attended. You must also report credit earned from examinations/tests (AP, IB, CLEP, etc.) and repeated coursework. Refer to the Cal State Apply Transfer Credit Entry Guide for instructions on entering courses into the application.
  • Double check everything on your application. You will not be allowed to make edits once it is submitted. Any false or incorrect information may negative affect your admission eligibility.

Once you are confident the first three tiles (Personal Information, Academic History, and Supporting Information) have been accurately completed, click the Program Materials tile, and find the name of the Cal State LA program to which you are applying, and click on it.

In the Program Materials tile, you should find the following additional tabs:

  • Home tab – Read the information carefully before moving on to the next steps.
  • Prerequisites tab
    • You must have already entered your college courses in the Transcript Entry section of the Academic History tile.
    • Read the instructions at the top of the screen before proceeding.
    • We strongly encourage you to report your progress and complete the applications process. While applicants who have met all the required components will be offered admission first, others will be considered based on their progress if space is available.
  • Questions tab – Answer all supplemental questions accurately.

Completing the Prerequisite Tab

  • To assign a course(s) to the prerequisite(s), click the Assign Course button.

Unassigned prerequisite on Cal State Apply

  • On the prerequisite selection screen, you can assign which of your college courses will meet the prerequisite. Click the + button next to the course, or courses, to indicate which courses are being used to satisfy the specific prerequisite.
    • If you have not taken any courses by the required term that satisfies the prerequisite, click the I Am Not Matching Any Courses to this Prerequisite button near the top of the page.
    • If you have taken your courses at a California community college, please use the ASSIST website to match your community college courses to the Cal State LA prerequisite course codes.
    • If you are unable to find an equivalent course in ASSIST, please review the Determining Course Equivalencies section of this tips page to learn how to determine which of your courses may be used to satisfy a prerequisite.

Cal State Apply application prerequisite course assignment

  • Once you are finished assigning your course(s) to the current prerequisite, click the Save and Exit button to go back to the main prerequisite page. Repeat this process for each prerequisite listed.
  • When all prerequisites have been assigned or skipped, a green checkmark icon will be displayed in the Prerequisites tab.

Cal State Apply Quadrant 4 section tabs

Completing the Questions Tab

  • Answer all questions and click the Save My Responses button at the bottom of the page.
  • Once saved, you will see the following green checkmarks, and will have completed the Program Materials section of the application!

Cal State Apply Quadrant 4 completed

Determining Course Equivalencies for Major-Specific Criteria

Be Aware: A California Community College Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) in a major deemed similar may be used in lieu of the specific required and recommended preparation courses.

To determine if a course you have taken is equivalent to a specific prerequisite course, you may:

  • Use ASSIST to look up course equivalencies; or
  • If major articulation is not available for your school in ASSIST, you should compare course descriptions to determine if a course is reasonably similar to the Cal State LA prerequisite course.

Using ASSIST for courses taken at a California Community Colleges, UC, or another CSU campus

  1. Under Explore Transfer Information, select your institution.

    Selecting a California community college in Assist dot org
  2. Select California State University, Los Angeles to search for course transfer agreements.

    Selecting a Cal State L A major in Assist dot org
  3. Search for course matches by:
    • Major

      Selecting a Cal State L A major in Assist dot org

      Viewing matching courses report based on major on Assist dot org

    • Cal State LA course department

      Selecting a Cal State L A department in Assist dot org

      Viewing matching courses report based on department on Assist dot org

    • C-ID Designators, if available (noted in Cal State Apply Prerequisite Description)

      Prerequisite with a C I D course code on Cal State Apply

      Selecting a department to view associated C I D courses on Assist dot org

      Viewing courses at a community college associated with a C ID on Assist dot org

Comparing Course Descriptions for institutions not in ASSIST

Students who are transferring from institutions where formal articulation does not exist, or if a match is not available in ASSIST, must compare course descriptions to determine whether a course 'reasonably' matches the specified Cal State LA course.

  • Cal State LA "Course Descriptions" can be found in the University Catalog.

    Cal State L A online course catalog
  • When comparing course descriptions, it is important to pay attention to the following key information:
    • Does the course cover the key content areas of the Cal State LA course?
    • Does the course have the same or higher prerequisites to enroll in the course?
    • Does the course contain a lab or other required activity?
    • Are the unit values the same or greater at the student's current institution?

    Chemistry course descriptions for Cal State L A and University of La Verne

    The courses have similar topics, both require labs, and same unit value – the two courses are reasonably similar; may be considered equivalent for Major-Specific Criteria prerequisite reporting.
  • Additional Tips for Comparing Courses
    • The course should normally count for at least as many units as the course at Cal State LA. If the other institution is a quarter based school, multiply the quarter units by 0.66 to convert to Cal State LA semester units.
    • Many Cal State LA courses have stated prerequisites. Check the prerequisites for the course of the other institution to ensure that they are similar. A course that requires Calculus as a prerequisite is probably at a higher level than a course that only requires College Algebra as the prerequisite.
    • Look for similarities between the two course descriptions:
      • Do they use some of the same vocabulary?
      • Do they cover the similar content areas?

Be Aware: Although students may be admitted with coursework that reasonably meets the Cal State LA course objectives, additional coursework may be required for graduation should the course be deemed not fully equivalent upon formal review.

Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Applicants

Colleges Attended

In the Colleges Attended section, please accurately and completely report your degree information and dates that you attended each institution. Without this, you may not qualify for graduate admission.

Cal State Apply college and university entry

International Applicants

Cal State Apply International Student Application Guide

For detailed instructions on how to complete the Cal State Apply application as an international student, review the Cal State Apply International Student Application Guide.

U.S. Citizenship Status

In the Application Profile section, you will be asked to indicate your U.S. Citizenship Status. To be considered an International Applicant, please:

  1. Select Non Resident, and;
  2. Answer the "Do you have or will you require a Visa to study at CSU?" question, as appropriate.

Cal State Apply U.S. Citizenship Status for International Applicants

Third Party Release

If you are (or will be) a 'F/J' visa student, and would like to allow another individual to contact the Admissions Office about your application, please complete the "International Additional Questions" section within the 'Personal Information' tile.


Third Party Release information for International Applicants