International Freshman Application and Admission

You are considered an international freshman applicant if you:

  1. Require a 'F visa' (or I-20) to study at Cal State LA;
  2. Will have attained a high school diploma, or its equivalent, by the end of Spring; and
  3. Have not earned college credit beyond the summer immediately following high school graduation.

Important Information For Fall 2020 Admission

Cal State LA receives thousands of applications from qualified freshman applicants each year. As a result, freshmen must meet minimum Cal State LA admission requirements to be considered. Be sure to review the information on this page carefully as our admission policy changed effective Fall 2020.

What Are The Minimum Cal State LA Eligibility Requirements?

To be considered for admission to Cal State LA, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

Eligibility Criteria U.S. High School Graduates Foreign High School Graduates*

Course Preparation

You must have completed each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirement ("a-g" courses) with a grade of 'C' or better, prior to high school graduation.

Your secondary education must be in an academic track, intended for college/university preparation and be deemed similar in preparation to what is required of U.S. high school graduates.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must have achieved a minimum 2.70 GPA in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subjects (the 'A-G' courses);


You must have the minimum "CSU Eligibility Index" to be considered. The "Eligibility Index" is the result of a formula that combines your grades in high school college preparatory courses with the results of the SAT or ACT. Refer to the CSU Eligibility Index for details of how this index is calculated. We will use your highest ACT composite, or SAT (Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) test scores in this determination.

Have a minimum 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) in academic courses of the last 3 years of high school/secondary education.

High School Completion

You must graduate from high school, or earn a GED, by the end of the Spring term prior to Fall enrollment.

You must graduate from high school/complete your secondary education by the end of the Spring term prior to Fall enrollment

College Admissions Testing

Take the SAT or ACT by December.

If offered in your country, it is strongly encouraged that you take the SAT or ACT by December.

English Language Proficiency

If at least 3 years of your high school coursework was not taken at a school where English is the only language of instruction, you will have to satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement.

*Additional admission consideration methods:

  • Students in UK Secondary System: Must complete 2 A-Levels (grades D or higher) and 3-O Levels (grades C or higher) OR 4 AS-Levels (grades D or higher) and 3-O Levels (grades C or higher) in academic subjects. For additional information, please refer to Cal State LA's profile on the Cambridge International Examinations website.
  • Students in the IB System: IB Diploma required, with at least 6 subjects and an overall average of 4 or higher. Must complete 3 HL and 3 SL subjects.
  • Predicted exam scores must be submitted to the Admissions Office from:
    • Students in the IB System
    • Students earning the Senior School Certificate from India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh

How Will Students Be Considered For Admission?

Cal State LA is a very popular campus. We receive thousands of applications annually for a limited number of seats.

Based on CSU and campus policy, preference for freshman admission is offered to applicants who are considered 'local' based on their high school of graduation, or military status. International students studying in the Los Angeles area may qualify for 'local preference'. 'Local' freshman applicants will be offered admission if they meet the minimum Cal State LA Freshman Admission requirements as stated above.

Freshman applicants who are not considered 'local' will be ranked by their GPA in the college preparatory courses and offered admission based on space availability in the major or college. Admission to Cal State LA is very competitive for non-local applicants. As a result, many eligible applicants will not be offered admission. We strongly recommend that all applicants have a back-up plan.

Admission to some Cal State LA majors will be to a 'pre-major' status. Continuation in the major will be subject to meeting specific lower division course and GPA requirements at Cal State LA that indicate the student's ability to successfully complete the major and graduate.

In addition to applying to Cal State LA, we encourage you to also apply to other colleges, so that you will have alternatives in the event that you are not offered admission.

Information For Students Interested In Nursing

Admission to the Nursing program at Cal State LA is very competitive. Freshman applicants must first gain admission to the Pre-Nursing program, and then meet the program admission requirements during their first two years at Cal State LA.

To be considered for admission to the Pre-Nursing program, freshman applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Meet Cal State LA freshman admission requirements as stated above.
  • Have a minimum 3.50 GPA in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subjects (the 'A-G' courses).
  • Have earned 'B' or better grades in the following year-long high school courses:
    • Intermediate Algebra, Algebra II, or Integrated Math III
    • Biology with lab
    • Chemistry with lab

Be Aware: Each term of the year-long course must be completed with a grade of 'B' or better. If AP, IB, or Honors courses are taken in these areas, applicants must also earn a 'B' or better grade in the course.

Applicants who meet the above criteria will be ranked for admission and offered admission to Pre-Nursing based on spaces available. Students who enroll as a Pre-Nursing student will follow a very prescribed roadmap at Cal State LA, and must meet specific course grade and GPA requirements to continue in the program.

Local applicants who meet Cal State LA admission standards but are not offered admission to Pre-Nursing, will be offered admission to 'Exploring Health Professions.' Those who accept the offer of admission to this program will explore other majors that can lead to a career in related fields.

Students admitted to Cal State LA as Exploring (Undeclared), or as a major other than Pre-Nursing, will not be able to change their major to Pre-Nursing or Nursing during their tenure at Cal State LA.

Application Process

  1. Explore and choose a major to declare on your application
  2. Apply online at Cal State Apply by the deadline
  3. Submit SAT or ACT test scores (if graduating from a U.S. high school)
  4. Submit official transcripts or other documents only if requested

STEP 1: Explore and choose a major to declare on your application

International freshman applicants must select a specific major. Applicants interested in Nursing should review the important information above. Admission to some majors will be to a 'pre-major' status. Continuation in the major will be subject to meeting specific lower division course and GPA requirements at Cal State LA that indicate the student's ability to successfully complete the major and graduate.

STEP 2: Apply online at Cal State Apply by the deadline

Applicants must apply between October 1 to March 31. To apply to Cal State LA, visit Cal State Apply. For some tips on how to complete the application, visit our Application Tips webpage. Once the application is submitted, we will send you a notification by email to acknowledge the receipt of your application.

If you are attending a U.S. high school, be aware that Cal State LA may make admission decisions based on self-reported information from the application so it is extremely important that coursework including grades and test scores are entered accurately and completely. Admitted students who intend to enroll at Cal State LA will be required to submit an official transcript in order to verify eligibility and high school graduation. Some applicants may be required to report Fall grades when available or submit additional information as needed. Admission decisions may be withdrawn for students who misreported academic information, or do not meet the terms of the admission offer.

STEP 3: Submit SAT or ACT test scores

To be considered for admission, students graduating from U.S. high schools must take the SAT or ACT, no later than December. You must request that your score results be sent directly to Cal State LA from the testing agency. While SAT or ACT scores are not required of applicants graduating from high schools outside of the U.S., they are strongly encouraged.

For Fall 2020 admission, the SAT/ACT must be taken no later than December 2019. Official test scores must be sent to the Admissions Office no later than January 15, 2020.

  • For the SAT:
    • If you are only applying to Cal State LA, use the institution code of 4399.
    • If you are also applying to other CSU campuses, use the CSU institution code of 3594 – this will allow any CSU campus to retrieve your score.
  • For the ACT, use the Cal State LA institution code of 0320.

For more information on these tests, check out the College Board or ACT websites.

STEP 4: Submit official transcripts or other documents only if requested

If after reviewing your application, it is determined we need additional information, including transcripts, we will notify you by email with instructions and a specific deadline. International students not attending U.S. schools will be required to submit official academic records (with the institution's grading scale) to be considered for admission. For a timely decision, please send your high school transcript as soon as the requested term's grades are posted, or within 2 weeks of submitting your application, whichever is later. For Fall 2020 admission eligibility review, transcripts must include grades through the Fall 2019 term.

Admissions Notifications

Cal State LA uses email as the official means of communication with applicants. Applicants are required to maintain a current email address on file with the University, and to check their email regularly. You may update your email address at any time by visiting your Golden Eagle Territory (GET) Self-Service Student Center.

To help prevent these important emails from being flagged as spam/junk mail by your email provider, please mark the domain as a safe sender in your email account.

Be aware, we discovered that the following email hosts have blocked Cal State LA emails. If you currently have an email account with one of these email hosts, we strongly encourage you to create a new email account with an alternate email host (e.g.,,,, etc.).


Offers of admission are normally made in February and March for Fall admission. All offers of admission will be provisional and subject to verification based on official transcripts and test scores. Admission offers may be withdrawn if the GPA, completed courses, course grades, or test scores are lower than what is reported, or if you miss any admission deadlines. Please make sure to report accurate information on your application!

How do I accept the offer of admission?

To accept the admission offer, newly admitted freshmen must pay the non-refundable $100 (USD) Enrollment Confirmation Deposit (ECD) by May 1st. The deposit will offset a portion of the student's State University Fee.

What if I am not offered admission to Cal State LA?

In addition to applying to Cal State LA, we hope you have considered applying to one or two other colleges so that you will have alternatives in the event that you are not offered admission. If you are interested in pursuing another CSU as your backup, please also apply to that campus during the initial filing period, as many campuses have early application deadlines.

An alternate path to the CSU is also available through the California Community College (CCC) system. You may begin your college journey at your local community college, complete an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), and then transfer to a CSU campus. To make it even better, if your ADT is in a deemed similar program, you will only need to complete an additional 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units) at a CSU campus to earn a bachelor’s degree! For more information about the ADT pathway, visit

Can I appeal my admission decision?

Denials of admission are made only after an extensive review of academic qualifications and weighing those qualifications against the competitive nature of our applicant pool; therefore these decisions are rarely overturned and are considered only for extraordinary reasons beyond the control of the applicant. Failure to provide complete and accurate information on the admission application will not be considered as a basis for appeal.

Appeals must be submitted in writing within 15 days of the date on the denial notification and must include a basis for the appeal, and supporting documentation. We will notify you by email within 4 to 6 weeks, with a response to your appeal request. Only one appeal may be submitted for an academic term so the packet must be clear and compelling when submitted. For additional information, review the Appeal Process.

Next Steps

Here are some important items to consider if you are offered admission and decide to attend Cal State LA:

Applying for your I-20 or SEVIS transfer: Applicants holding or applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa must complete and submit the online New Student I-20 Verification Form with signatures and appropriate documentation to show proof of funding. If you are interested in attending Cal State LA, please do not wait for your admission decision before submitting these documents. The advance submission of the verification form, and financial documentation, will help expedite the issuance of the I-20; if your I-20 paperwork is complete, the International Programs Office can issue the I-20 immediately after your admission to the University.

If you are currently studying in the US, please request to transfer your SEVIS to Cal State LA by completing and submitting the Transfer to Cal State LA Form. Please do not transfer the SEVIS until you receive the offer of admission, and you know that you plan to attend the University for the admit term. 

For other important information, including the deadline for the I-20/SEVIS transfer process, contact the International Programs Office at (323) 343-3170,, or visit the International Office.

Campus Housing: If you plan to live on-campus, Cal State LA offers apartment-style residence halls that are within walking distance to classrooms, sports facilities, and the library. For more information, visit the Housing and Residence Life webpage.

Admitted Student Information: If you have already been offered admission, refer to the Information for Newly Admitted International Freshmen.

College Credit: Students who are eligible to receive credit based on Advanced Placement, CLEP, or International Baccalaureate assessments will need to send official test scores sent to Cal State LA. Be aware that credit granted by another institution does not 'transfer' to Cal State LA for test credit. Students who took college courses at an accredited 2-year or 4-year institution while in high school should submit official college transcripts including earned grades for evaluation as some credits may count toward the bachelor's degree.

Orientation, Advising, and Registration: To help ensure a smooth transition to Cal State LA, new freshmen are required to participate in a one day Golden Eagle Orientation during the summer. Additional information will be sent beginning in April to students who have accepted the offer of admission. For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Orientation webpage.