Admission

Freshman Requirements

Generally, applicants will qualify for consideration for first-time freshman admission if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Have graduated from high school, have earned a Certificate of General Education Development (GED) or have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE); and
  2. Have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index (see section on Appendix A - Eligibility Index ), and
  3. Have completed with grades of C or better each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirements also known as the “a-g” pattern (see “Subject Requirements”).

Eligibility Index

The eligibility index is the combination of the high school grade point average and scores on either the ACT or the SAT. Grade point averages (GPA) are based on grades earned in courses taken during the final three years of high school. Included in calculation of GPA are grades earned in all college preparatory “a-g” subject requirements, and bonus points for approved honors courses. Up to eight semesters of honors courses taken in the last three years of high school, including up to two approved courses taken in the tenth grade can be accepted. Each unit of A in an honors course will receive a total of 5 points; B, 4 points; and C, 3 points.

A CSU Eligibility Index can be calculated by multiplying your grade point average by 800 and adding your total score on the mathematics and critical reading scores of the SAT. For students who took the ACT, multiply the grade point average by 200 and add ten times the ACT composite score. Persons who are California high school graduates (or residents of California for tuition purposes) need a minimum index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT. The Eligibility Index Table illustrates several combinations of required test scores and averages. The University has no current plans to include the writing scores from either of the admissions tests in the computation of the CSU Eligibility Index.

Persons who neither graduated from a California high school nor are a resident of California for tuition purposes, need a minimum index of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT). Graduates of secondary schools in foreign countries must be judged to have academic preparation and abilities equivalent to applicants eligible under this section. An applicant with a grade point average of 3.00 or above (3.61 for nonresidents) is not required to submit test scores. However, all applicants for admission are urged to take the SAT or ACT and provide the scores of such tests to each CSU to which they seek admission. Campuses use these test results for advising and placement purposes and may require them for admission to impacted majors or programs. Impacted CSU campuses require SAT or ACT scores of all applicants for freshman admission.

Subject Requirements

The California State University requires that first-time freshman applicants complete, with grades of C or better, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units. A “unit” is one year of study in high school.

  • 2 years of social science, including 1 year of U.S. history, or U.S. history and government.
  • 4 years of English.
  • 3 years of math (algebra, geometry and intermediate algebra).
  • 2 years of laboratory science (1 biological and 1 physical, both must include laboratory instruction).
  • 2 years in the same language foreign language (subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence).
  • 1 year of visual and performing arts: art, dance, drama/theater, or music
  • 1 year of electives: selected from English, advanced mathematics social science, history, laboratory science, foreign language, visual and performing arts or other courses approved and included on the UC/CSU “a-g” list.

Foreign Language Subject Requirement
The foreign language subject requirement may be satisfied by applicants who demonstrate competence in a language other than English equivalent to, or higher than, that expected of students who complete two years of foreign language study. Consult your school counselor or any CSU campus Admissions or Outreach and Recruitment Office for further information.

Substitution for Students with Disabilities
Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to complete college preparatory course requirements if possible. If you are judged unable to fulfill a specific course requirement because of your disability, you may substitute alternative college preparatory courses for specific subject requirements.

Substitutions may be authorized on an individual basis after review and recommendation by your academic adviser or guidance counselor in consultation with the director of a CSU program for students with disabilities. Although the distribution may be slightly different from the course pattern required of other students, students who qualify for substitutions will still be held for 15 units of college preparatory study. You should be aware that failure to complete courses required for admission may limit your later enrollment in certain majors, particularly those involving mathematics. For further information and substitution forms, please contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities at your nearest CSU campus.

Honors Courses
Grades in up to eight semester courses designated as honors courses in approved subjects and taken in the last two years of high school receive additional points in grade point average calculations. Each unit of A in approved courses will receive a total of 5 points; B, 4 points; and C, 3 points.

College Preparatory Courses Recommended
Most academic advisers agree that preparation for university study includes preparation in subjects beyond English and mathematics. Bachelor’s degree curricula build upon previous study in the natural sciences, social sciences, visual and performing arts, foreign languages, and the humanities. Students who plan to major in mathematics, the sciences (including computer science), engineering, premedicine, other science-related fields, business, or economics should complete four years of college preparatory mathematics. Students in the social sciences and preprofessional fields of study should include at least three years of college preparatory mathematics in their studies. Further, all students should include English and mathematics in the final year of high school.

Provisional Admission of Transfer Students
Cal State L.A. may provisionally or conditionally admit transfer applicants based on their academic preparation and courses planned for completion. The campus will monitor the final terms to ensure that those admitted complete all required courses satisfactorily. All accepted applicants are required to submit an official transcript of all college level work completed. Campuses may rescind admission for any student who is found to be ineligible after the final transcript has been evaluated. In no case may such documents be received and validated by the University any later than a student’s registration for their second term of CSU enrollment.

Transcript and Test Score Requirements
First-time freshman applicants should not request high school transcripts to be sent to the University until the date of high school graduation is posted on their high school transcript, or unless requested by the University to do so. Transcripts must be sent directly from the high school to Cal State L.A.’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment. All transcripts become University property and will not be released or copied, except for students who request that their application be redirected to another CSU campus.For fall applicants graduating from high school in June, the final high school transcript with date of high school graduation posted must be received by July 15, or the term’s specified transcript deadline date, to ensure enrollment and to prevent the offer of admissions from being cancelled. For applicants with a final calculated high school grade point average of less than 3.00, an SAT or ACT score is required which generally is included on the high school transcript.

Foreign High School Graduates
Applicants who are graduates of secondary schools in foreign countries will have their records assessed for academic preparation and equivalence to those of eligible California high school graduates. The SAT and/or ACT is not an admission requirement from these individuals, except when specifically requested to do so.

Applicants who have graduated from U.S. high schools abroad will be held to academic requirements as those who have graduated from high schools outside California. Please refer to the transcript and test score requirements as noted in the above paragraph.

Transfer Policies of CSU campuses

Most commonly, college level credits earned from an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency are accepted for transfer to campuses of the CSU; however, authority for decisions regarding the transfer of undergraduate credits is delegated to each CSU campus.

California Community Colleges and other authorized certifying institutions can certify up to 39 semester (58.5 quarter) units of General Education-Breadth (GE-Breadth) or 37 semester (55.5 quarter) units of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) for transfer students to fulfill lower-division general education requirements for any CSU campus prior to transfer.

“Certification” is the official notification from a California Community College or authorized institution that a transfer student has completed courses fulfilling lower-division general education requirements. The CSU GE-Breadth and the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) certification course lists for particular community colleges can be accessed at www.assist.org.

CSU campuses may enter into course-to-course or program-to-program articulation agreements with other CSU campuses and any or all of the California community colleges, and other regionally accredited institutions. Established CSU and CCC articulations may be found on www.assist.org. Students may be permitted to transfer no more than 70 semester (105 quarter) units to a CSU campus from an institution which does not offer bachelor’s degrees or their equivalents, for example, community colleges. Given the university’s 30-semester (45-quarter) unit residency requirement, no more than a total of 90-semester (135-quarter) units may be transferred into the university from all sources.

Transfer Requirements

Applicants who have completed fewer than 60 transferable semester college units (fewer than 90 quarter units) are considered lower-division transfer students. Applicants who have completed 60 or more transferable semester college units (90 or more quarter units) are considered upper-division transfer students. Applicants who complete college units during high school or through the summer immediately following high school graduation are considered first-time freshmen and must meet the CSU minimum eligibility requirements for first-time freshman admission. Transferable courses are those designated for baccalaureate credit by the college or university offering the courses and accepted as such by the campus to which the applicant seeks admission.

Lower Division Transfer Admission Requirements

Generally, applicants will qualify for CSU admission consideration as a lower-division transfer if they have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C or better) in all transferable units attempted.

  1. Will meet the freshman admission requirements (grade point average and subject requirements) in effect for the term to which they are applying (see “Freshman Requirements” section); or
  2. Were eligible as a freshman at the time of high school graduation except for missing college preparatory subject requirements, have been in continuous attendance in an accredited college since high school graduation, and have made up the missing subject requirements with a 2.0 or better GPA.

Applicants who graduated from high school prior to 1988 should contact the admission office to inquire about alternative admission programs.

For admission, Cal State L.A. requires an official final transcript prior to a specified date to verify successful completion of English composition and college level mathematics if either or both courses are “in progress” or “planned” at the time of application. Refer to your letter of admission for additional information.

Lower-division applicants who did not complete subject requirements while in high school may make up missing subjects in any of the following ways:

  1. Complete appropriate courses with a C or better in adult school or high school summer sessions.
  2. Complete appropriate college courses with a C or better. One college course of at least three semester or four quarter units will be considered equivalent to one year of high school study.
  3. Earn acceptable scores on specified examinations, e.g., SAT subject tests.

Please consult with the CSU campus admission office, to which you are applying for further information about alternative ways to satisfy the subject requirements. (Due to increased enrollment demands, many CSU campuses do not admit lower-division transfer applicants.)

Upper Division Transfer Admission Requirements

 Generally, applicants will qualify for consideration for upper-division transfer admission if they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C or better) in all transferable units attempted;
  2. They are in good standing at the last college or university attended; and
  3. They have completed at least sixty (60) transferable semester (90 quarter) units of college level coursework with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and a grade C or better in each course used to meet the CSU general education requirements in written communication, oral communication, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning, e.g. mathematics.

The 60 units must include at least 30 units of courses, which meet CSU general education requirement including all of the general education requirements in communication in the English language (both oral and written) and critical thinking and the requirement in mathematics/quantitative reasoning (usually 3 semester units) OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements in English communication and mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning.

Associate Degrees for Transfer (AA-T or AS-T) established by the Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) Act (SB 1440)

The Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) degrees offered at the California Community Colleges (CCC) are designed to provide California Community College students a clear transfer preparation and admission pathway to those CSU degree majors deemed similar. Those students who complete these transfer degrees and who are admitted to a similar CSU major program or option for that discipline will be able to complete the Baccalaureate Degree within 60 semester or 90 quarter units providing that all remaining required courses are completed successfully without a break in attendance and providing that no supplemental courses for minors or areas of emphasis are undertaken.

California Community College students who earn an associate degree for transfer (AA-T or AS-T) are guaranteed admission with junior standing to the California State University but not to any particular campus or program. Because several CSU campuses are receiving more transfer applications from eligible students than can be accommodated, these campuses have declared impaction resulting in higher admission criteria. See more on impaction at www.calstate.edu/SAS/impactioninfo.shtml. However, transfer students who earn the AA-T or AS-T degrees, are given priority admission over other transfer applicants when applying to a non-impacted CSU campus or to a non-impacted program from a community college within the local admission area of the campus. These students are also given priority admission consideration when applying from a community college that is outside the local admission area of an impacted CSU campus or when applying to a similar program that is impacted at any CSU campus. A current list of CSU degree programs that have been deemed similar to the associate degrees for transfer can be found at www.calstate.edu/transfer/adt-search.

Those students who earn associate degrees for transfer and apply to a CSU campus but cannot be admitted due to impaction will be redirected to another CSU campus and offered admission for the same term. In order to qualify for the priority admission guarantee, transfer applicants must be conferred an approved Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) by a California Community College, must apply for admission to California State University campuses for an open term by the published deadline, submit all requested transcripts and documents, meet CSU admission eligibility requirements for the campus and/or program, and must comply with any other prescribed admission requirements.  It is the responsibility of these transfer students to provide documentation about the completion of the degree to each CSU campus that has received an application for admission.

For more information contact your Community College Transfer Center or review these resources:
http://www.sb1440.org/
http://adegreewithaguarantee.com/

Test Requirements

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Test (ACT)

Freshman and transfer applicants who have fewer than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credit are strongly encouraged to submit scores, unless exempt (see “Appendix A - Eligibility Index ” ), from either the ACT or the SAT of the College Board. Persons who apply to an impacted program may be required to submit test scores and should take the test no later than November or December. Test scores also are used for advising and placement purposes. Registration forms and dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from a CSU campus testing office located in the Library, Rm. 2098, (323) 343-3160. Or students may write to or call:

The College Board (SAT)
Registration Unit, Box 6200
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6200
(609) 771-7588
www.collegeboard.org

ACT Registration Unit
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
(319) 337-1270
www.act.org

English Language Requirement

All undergraduate applicants whose native language is not English and who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction must present a score of 500 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some majors may require a score higher than 500. Some majors and some campuses may require a higher score. A few campuses may also use alternative methods of assessing English fluency: Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP).
Each campus will posts the tests it accepts on its website and will notify students after they apply about the tests it accepts and when to submit scores.

Minimum Scores for Undergraduate Admissions:

TOEFL  61 ibt Internet  500 paper  
        based
IELTS  Band 5.5 or higher
PTE  44 or higher  


To obtain TOEFL registration materials, locations and test dates, write to:

Educational Testing Service
P. O. Box 6154
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151
www.toefl.org

You also may contact the U. S. embassy in your country for TOEFL information. Request that your TOEFL test results be sent directly to California State University, Los Angeles (institution code 4399).

Systemwide Placement Test Requirements

The California State University requires that each entering undergraduate, except those who qualify for an exemption, take the CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) examination and the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrollment.

These placement tests are not a condition for admission to the CSU, but they are a condition of enrollment. These examinations are designed to identify entering students who may need additional support in acquiring college entry-level English and mathematics skills necessary to succeed in CSU baccalaureate-level courses. Undergraduate students who do not demonstrate college-level skills both in English and in mathematics will be placed in appropriate remedial programs and activities during the first term of their enrollment. Students placed in remedial programs in either English or mathematics must complete all remediation in their first year of enrollment. Failure to complete remediation by the end of the first year may result in denial of enrollment for future terms.
Students register for the EPT (www.csuenglishsuccess.org/ept) and/or ELM (www.csumathsuccess.org/elm_exam). The campus may establish deadlines by which new students must register for and/or take placement exams as a requirement for enrollment.

Students register for the EPT and/or ELM at their local CSU campus. Questions about test dates and registration materials may be addressed to the Cal State L.A. Testing Center, Library, Palmer Wing 2098, (323) 343-3160.

All nonexempt undergraduates must complete the EPT and ELM after admission and before first enrollment in courses at Cal State L.A.

English Placement Test (EPT)

The English Placement Test (EPT) is designed to assess the reading and writing skills of students entering the California State University. The CSU EPT must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including developmental courses. Students who score 147 or above on the EPT will be placed in college-level composition classes.

Exemptions from the EPT are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:

  • A score of 500 or above on the critical reading section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 22 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) English Test
  • A score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition or Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program
  • Completion of a course that transfers to a CSU and satisfies the requirement in Qualitative Reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better  
  • A result of Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU college-level coursework in English on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam

The following Conditionally Ready statuses require students to continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved English course with a grade of C or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.

  • 460-490 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT Reasoning Test
  • 19-21 on the English portion of the ACT Test
  • A result of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college-level coursework in English on the CAASPP exam

The results of the EPT will not affect admission eligibility, but will be used to identify students who need special help in reading and writing to complete college-level work. Information bulletins for the EPT may be obtained at the Cal State L.A. Testing Center, Library, Palmer Wing 2098, (323) 343-3160.

Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Placement Examination

The Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Examination is designed to assess and measure the mathematics skills acquired through three years of rigorous college preparatory mathematics coursework (Algebra I and II, and Geometry) of students entering the California State University (CSU). The CSU ELM must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including developmental courses. Students who score 50 or above on the ELM will be placed in college-level mathematics classes.

Exemptions from the ELM are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:

  • A score of 550 or above on the Mathematics section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 550 or above on a College Board SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)
  • A score of 23 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) Mathematics Test
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC exam
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics examination
  • Completion and transfer to CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better
  • A result of Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU college-level coursework in mathematics on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam

The following Conditionally Ready statuses require students to continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved math course with a grade of C or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.

  • 490-540 on the Mathematics portion of the SAT Reasoning Test
  • 20-22 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT exam
  • A result of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college-level coursework in mathematics on the CAASPP exam 

Information bulletins for the EPT and ELM examinations may be obtained from the Cal State L.A. Testing Center, Library, Palmer Wing 2098, (323) 343-3160.

Credit for Nontraditional Learning Experiences

Credit for certain nontraditional learning experiences may be used in determining eligibility and credit allowances of undergraduate applicants. These nontraditional credit allowances are listed and described below. A more detailed analysis of each category appears later in this chapter under Evaluation of Transfer Credit.

Categories and Credit Allowances

  • Baccalaureate-level course credit certified by the Defense Activities in Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) yields a maximum of 24 semester units.

  • Advanced Placement examinations of the CEEB with scores of 3, 4, or 5 yield 6 semester units for each examination.

  • For credit allowance for standardized external examinations, including CLEP, Advanced Placement, the CSU English Equivalency Exam, the American Chemical Society Cooperative Examination, see the explanations later in this chapter.

  • For basic training military service, 6 semester units of lower division elective credit are awarded for 1 year or longer of active duty with an honorable discharge, and 3 semester units for 6 months to one year with an honorable discharge.

  • Civilian and military courses and schools recommended for credit by the American Council on Education’s Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials yield a maximum of 8 semester units.

International (Foreign) Student Admission Requirements

The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, “foreign students” include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.

The California State University uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of foreign students. Verification of English proficiency (see the section about the English Language requirement for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are all important considerations for admissions. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least 60 days before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.

Foreign applicants and all others who are not permanent U.S. residents will be admitted to Cal State L.A. only if they meet one of the following sets of requirements:

  • Completion of two years  (56 semester units or equivalent)of acceptable college work with a minimum 2.4 grade point average as evaluated by the University (A=4.0), an acceptable course in English composition, speech, critical thinking and mathematics with a minimum grade of C in each course, and a minimum 500 paper-based, 173 computer-based, 61 internet-based score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); or
  • Graduation from a foreign high school where the language of instruction was not exclusively English (with a minimum 3.0 grade point average as evaluated by the University), a minimum 2.4 grade point average in any college work attempted (as evaluated by the University), and a minimum 500 paper-based, 173 computer-based, or 61 internet-based TOEFL score (refer to the section about the TOEFL requirement). The academic eligibility requirement is the same as for graduates of high schools outside California, although submission of ACT or SAT scores is not necessary, unless specifically requested by the University. Foreign high school equivalencies are determined by the University; or
  • Graduation from a foreign high school where the language of instruction was not exclusively English(with a minimum 3.0 grade point average as evaluated by the University) and a minimum 500 paper-based, 173 computer-based , or 61 internet-based TOEFL score (refer to the section about the TOEFL requirement). The academic eligibility requirement is the same as for graduates of high schools outside California, although submission of ACT or SAT scores is not necessary, unless specifically requested by the University. The University determines foreign high school equivalencies.

Undergraduate applicants who have attended full time, for at least three years, either an accredited U.S. college or university or a foreign high school, college, or university where the principle language of instruction was English are exempted from the TOEFL requirement.

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) requires that F-1 visa undergraduate students carry a minimum study load of 12 quarter units. Visa students must have advance proof of adequate financial resources, be in good health, and comply with all Cal State L.A. and BCIS regulations. Consult International Programs and Services, (323) 343-3170, for information about visas, housing, and related matters. International students may apply online at www.csumentor.edu.

General Guidelines for Foreign Records
Applicants with foreign academic work are required to submit official copies of academic records, along with a certified English translation. Academic records should include: secondary school records; yearly records from each college or university attended that indicate the number of hours per semester or year devoted to each course and the grades received; and official documents that confirm the awarding of the degree that include the title and date.

All official documents submitted become the property of the University. The University will determine the acceptability of any foreign work.

Insurance Requirement
Effective August 1, 1995, as a condition of receiving an I-20 or DS2019 form, all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants must agree to obtain and maintain health insurance as a condition of registration and continued enrollment in The California State University. Such insurance must be in amounts as specified by The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and NAFSA, Association of International Educators. The campus president or designee shall determine which insurance policies meet these criteria. Further information may be obtained from the College of Extended Studies and International Programs at (323) 343-4900.