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.

January 2018: Transfer Cal State Apply Application Update Tips

Who must update their application?

Applicants who attended U.S. colleges and universities must update their Cal State Apply application during the January Application Update window. This is a required step in the Fall 2018 Cal State LA admissions process, and it must be completed no later than January 31, 2018.
The accurate reporting of your Academic History is very important! Please review your Cal State Apply admission application, and make the necessary updates before the window closes. The required updates include:
  • Earned grades for courses completed through Fall 2017
  • Changes to planned Spring 2018 courses
  • Colleges Attended and attendance dates
  • Transferability of entered courses
  • Required General Education courses
  • If you applied to a major with Major-Specific Admission requirements, the Prerequisite courses section of the application.
Applicants to majors with Major-Specific Admission requirements must also review their reported Prerequisite courses for accuracy and completeness. If you need to (1) add a Spring 2018 course, or (2) correct a course match, in the Prerequisite section, you must take additional action and request Cal State Apply Support to re-open the Prerequisites section of the application.
To open the Prerequisites section, have your CAS ID ready, and do the following:
  1. Once you receive confirmation from Cal State Apply that the Prerequisite section has been opened, login to Cal State Apply, and select the Check Status page to access your Fall 2018 Cal State Apply application.
  2. Make the required updates to the Programs Material-Prerequisites section, and the other Academic Information sections (see below) as soon as possible.
  3. After the edits have been made, click on the Update Application button on the Cal State Apply Application Dashboard to submit the updated information.
Applicants who (1) applied to a major without Major-Specific Admission requirements, or (2) have no changes to make to the Prerequisite section, may review and update thier application without any additional action.
Be aware: If you do not submit the required updates during the Application Update window, we will assume you are no longer interested in Cal State LA, and we will withdraw your admission application. Requests for late updates will not be accommodated.

Review your currently submitted application

To view the information you submitted when you first applied to Cal State LA, log back into your Cal State Apply account, and download your application in PDF format. To find the pdf, go to the application dashboard, and:

  • Navigate to the Check Status tab and click the download button next to a program, or
  • Navigate to the Submit Application tab and click the download button next to a program.

How to find the Application PDF

After you download the application PDF, please review it for:

  • ACADEMIC HISTORY - Your reported schools
    • Did you report every college/university that you have attended?
    • Does the END date show CURRENT? If yes, it means you did not report a date for your “LAST SEMESTER” at that school.
    • If you plan to finish by the end of Spring 2018, please enter June 2018; or if you will also be taking Summer 2018 classes, enter August 2018.

View the colleges attended in the pdf

  • CALCULATED GPA – review your calculated transferable units and GPA
    • Graded Hours = Transferable Units
    • GPA Score = Transferable GPA
    • Does it look correct? If no, check your reported classes for accuracy, and confirm that your transferable courses are indicated as “transferable.”

View the transferable units and GPA in the PDF

  • GENERAL EDUCATION – Did you report the correct equivalent classes? If no, check your reported classes and make any necessary corrections.

View the reported General Education Courses in the PDF

  • DESIGNATIONS-PREREQUISITES – if you applied to a major with Major-Specific Criteria for admission, review your reported prerequisite courses.
    • Did you accurately report your courses? If not, please make the necessary updates.

View reported prerequisite courses in the PDF

Colleges Attended - Where have you attended college?

  • It is important that we have your complete college history. Please report all colleges/universities that you have attended, and plan to attend prior to enrolling at Cal State LA.

Review all colleges attended

  • As part of the history, we need the attendance dates. For each college/university, report the date of your FIRST term at the college, and the date of your LAST term at the college.
    • If you will be transferring from that school to Cal State LA, and plan to finish by the end of Spring 2018, please enter June 2018; or if you will also be taking Summer 2018 classes, enter August 2018.
    • Please disregard the “Check, if you are still attending this college” option.

Review Colleges Attended and edit Still Attending date

Make edit to College Attended dates

Transcript Entry - What courses will you complete before transferring to Cal State LA?

  • You must report grades earned for all college courses taken through Fall 2017 (December 2017).
To report “new” grades for courses already entered, you will need to click and edit the specific term.
Review reported in-progress and planned courses

Once in the edit mode, replace the “IP” grades with the actual earned grades, and then click ‘Save.’ Also, if you know a course is CSU Transferable, make sure the “Transferable” box is checked!

Edit course grades

  • In addition to entering the grades for completed courses, please review your reported Spring 2018 coursework, and add/delete courses as appropriate. If you know a course is CSU Transferable, make sure the “Transferable” box is checked!

Add planned courses

  • Do a second review of your courses - make sure all transferable college coursework is reported!

Review reported courses

  • Are you getting credit for all your transferable courses? Review your reported courses, including those that self-populated, and make sure all CSU transferable courses are marked as “Transferable.”

Review courses for transferable designation

Transcript Entry - Did you repeat any classes?

The CSU honors “the grading policies of the institution where credit was earned by accepting official transcript entries including those reflecting academic renewal, repeat, and incomplete grades.”

  • If the transcript identifies the course as repeated and excludes the course from the institution GPA, enter a grade of RP. This applies to district transcripts that may include repeats at different colleges within the district and note them on one transcript.
Do not mark repeats for in progress courses. If a repeat is in progress, the original grade is reported.

Enter RP repeat courses

  • If your college offers Academic Renewal, use a grade of AR for courses noted as such on the transcript.

Enter AR repeat courses

General Education - Did you match your GE courses accurately?

  • Check your reported courses, and verify that your reported an equivalent course (or qualifying AP or CLEP exam credit) for each GE subject area.
    • If you only attended U.S. colleges, do not select ‘I am not adding any General Education Courses.’
    • Do not leave one or more Subject areas incomplete.
  • Applicants with international coursework that cannot be entered select ‘I am not adding any General Education courses’. If credit history includes some U.S. credits that qualify for GE, designate credit towards the eligible subject categories.

Review and edit the General Courses

Program Materials - Making changes to the Prerequisite section

Be aware: If you need to (1) add a Spring 2018 course, or (2) correct a course match, in the Prerequisite section, you must take additional action and request Cal State Apply Support to re-open the Prerequisites section of the application.

If you applied to a major with Major-Specific Criteria for admission, and need to make changes to your reported prerequisite courses, do the following:

  1. Click on the “Program Materials” section;
  2. Click the “Prerequisites” tab; and
  3. Select the course(s) to edit, and reassign for the appropriate prerequisite.

For more information about how to match Prerequisite courses, see the TRANSFER APPLICANTS section below, and review the Determining Course Equivalencies for Major-Specific Criteria information.

View Cal State Apply Sections


Click on the Prerequisite tab


Need more help with how to report your Academic History - Colleges and Courses?

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 select the correct application term from the drop down menu and then click 'Apply'.

Cal State Apply Login Page - select the correct term from the drop down menu

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