International Freshman Application and Admission

You are considered an international freshman applicant if you:

  1. Require a ‘F visa’ 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.

What is new for Fall 2018 admission?

As you review the information below, please take note of the following:
  • All freshmen applicants graduating from a U.S. high school must submit official SAT or ACT results. The test must be taken no later than December 2017. While SAT or ACT scores are not required of applicants attending high schools outside of the U.S., these exams are strongly encouraged.
  • The CSU has launched a new application system called Cal State Apply. You can find helpful CSU information at Cal State Apply.
    • When filing out the application, make sure to select 'Non-Resident' for U.S. Citizenship Status.
    • For some additional tips on how to complete the application, visit our Application Tips webpage.
  • Freshmen applicants applying to majors with 'Major-Specific Admission Requirements' will be offered admission to a 'pre-major.' Students who accept the offer of admission and enroll will pursue required lower division coursework, and then may declare the major when they complete the major-specific criteria.

International Freshman Admission Eligibility

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. graduates.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must have a minimum “Eligibility Index” to be considered. The “Eligibility Index is the result of a formula that combines your achievement in high school college preparatory courses with the results of the SAT or ACT. Refer to 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 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 your high school coursework was not taught in English, 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.


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 freshmen 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’ freshmen applicants will be offered admission if they meet the minimum Cal State LA Freshmen Admission requirements as stated above. 

Freshmen applicants who are not considered 'local' will be ranked by the CSU Eligibility Index 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 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.

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 transcript or other documents only if requested

Explore and choose a major to declare on your application

Freshmen applicants must select a specific major. 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.

Apply online by the deadline

Applicants must apply during October 1 – March 31 for Fall admission. To apply to Cal State LA, visit Cal State Apply. Once the application is submitted, we will send you a notification by email to acknowledge the receipt of your application.

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 attending high schools outside the U.S., they are strongly encouraged.

  • 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.

Submit official transcript 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 within 2 weeks of submitting your application.

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.

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!

Do I need to respond to an acceptance notification?

Absolutely! In addition to submitting documents to verify the admission decision, newly admitted freshmen are required to accept their admission offer and pay a non-refundable $100 Enrollment Confirmation Deposit by May 1st in order to reserve a spot in the class. 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 submit a separate application with that campus during the initial filing period as many campuses have early application deadlines.

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.

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, please 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 Services 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 March to students who have accepted the offer of admission. For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Orientation webpage.