California State University, Fullerton

Admission Requirements


Students Walking into a building


High School Graduates

You will qualify for regular admission as a first-time freshman if you

  1. have graduated from high school, have earned a Certificate of General Education Development (GED), or have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination; and

  2. have a qualifiable eligibility index (see section regarding eligibility index), and

  3. have completed for admission with grades of “C” or better in each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college-preparatory subjects, also known as the “a-g” pattern (see Subject Requirements):

    English: 4 years

    Mathematics: 3 years including Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II

    U.S. History and Social Science: 2 years

    Science: 2 years of laboratory science (1 biological and 1 physical; both must include laboratory instruction)

    Foreign Language: 2 years in the same language

    Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year

    Electives: 1 year

  4. Subject matter requirements must be met with a “C” or better and may not be completed during the summer term immediately preceding fall admission.

Subject Requirements
The California State University requires that first-time freshman applicants complete, with a C or better, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units. A “unit” is one year of study in high school. Please refer to the CSUmentor website at for further information on subject unit requirements

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 expected of students who complete two years of foreign language study. Consult with your school counselor or any CSU campus admission or relations with schools office for further information. Please consult with any CSU admissions office for further information about alternative ways to satisfy the subject requirements.

Substitutions for Disabled Students
Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to complete college preparatory course requirements. If a qualified applicant is judged unable to fulfill a specific course requirement because of a disability, alternative college preparatory courses may be substituted for specific subject requirements. Substitutions may be authorized on an individual basis after review and recommendation by an academic adviser or guidance counselor in consultation with the director of CSUF’s Disabled Student Services. 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 CSUF’s Disabled Student Services.

Provisional Admission
The university may provisionally admit first-time freshman applicants based on their academic performance through the junior year of high school and planned for the senior year. California State University, Fullerton will monitor the senior year of study of those provisionally admitted to ensure that those so admitted complete their senior year of studies satisfactorily, including the required college preparatory subjects, and graduate from high school. A final, official high school transcript should be forwarded to the Admissions Office as soon as final senior grades and the graduation date have been posted. A campus may rescind admission decisions, cancel financial aid awards, withdraw housing contracts, and cancel any university registration for students who are found not to be eligible after the final transcript has been evaluated.

High School Students
Students still enrolled in high school will be considered for enrollment in certain special programs if recommended by the principal and the appropriate campus department chair and if preparation is equivalent to that required of eligible California high school graduates. Such admission is only for a given program and does not constitute the right to continued enrollment.

Adult Reentry Students
Adult reentry students are expected to meet the requirements for regular admission. However, an applicant who is twenty-five years of age or older may be considered for admission outside of normal parameters if he or she has not been enrolled in college as a full-time student for more than one term during the last five years. Consideration for exceptional admission will be based upon the judgment as to whether or not the applicant is as likely to succeed as a regularly admitted freshman or transfer. This judgment will include an assessment of basic skills in the English language and mathematical computation including, but not limited to, completion of English composition and a transferable college-level math course. Interested adult students should contact the Office of Adult Reentry at 657-278-3889.

Back to Top

You will qualify for admission as a transfer student in a non-impacted major if you have a grade point average of 2.5 or better in all transferable units attempted, (2.0 with the majority of units from an Orange County community college) are in good standing at the last college or university attended (eligible to re-enroll) and meet additional criteria below depending upon your status as a lower-division or upper-division transfer applicant.

Please note that former CSU students who are seeking readmission after academic disqualification must meet the GPA standards in place for their major at the time of reapplication.

Lower-division transfer admission requirements (completed less than 60 transferable college units)

  1. Meet the admission requirements for a first-time freshman or have successfully completed necessary courses to make-up deficiencies you had in high school if you did not complete the 15-unit pattern of college preparatory subjects and

  2. Meet the eligibility index required of freshmen and

  3. Have completed or will complete prior to transfer GE English composition and general education mathematics.

Please note: due to enrollment constraints, the campus may choose not to consider any applicants for admission as lower-division transfers. Please refer to the application filing status area at for current filing information.

Upper-division and transfer admission requirements (completed 60 or more transferable college units)

  1. Have completed or will complete prior to transfer at least 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of courses equivalent to general education requirements with a grade of C or better. The 30 units must include all of the general education requirements in communication in the English language (English composition, oral communication and critical thinking) and at least one course of at least 3 semester units (4 quarter units) required in college-level mathematics, or

  2. Have completed the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) including requirements in English communication and mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning.

  3. Have completed the Lower-Division Transfer Pattern by Major (commencing for fall 2006 admission)

Based on Executive Order 918, a system-wide Lower-Division Transfer Pattern by Major includes at least 45 baccalaureate-level semester units but no more than 60 baccalaureate-level semester units. This transfer pattern will ordinarily include courses that fulfill the General Education-Breadth or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum requirements; United States history, Constitution, and American ideals requirements; and major-specific lower-division requirements.

Intrasystem and Intersystem Enrollment Programs
Students enrolled at any CSU campus will have access to courses at other CSU campuses on a space available basis unless those campuses or programs are impacted or admission to the desired program or admission categories is closed. This access is offered without students being required to be admitted formally to the host campus and sometimes without paying additional fees. Although courses taken on any CSU campus will transfer to the students’ home CSU campus as at least elective credit, students should consult their home campus academic advisers to determine how such courses may apply to their specific degree programs before enrolling at the host campus.

There are two programs for enrollment within the CSU and one for enrollment between CSU and the University of California or California community colleges. Additional information about these programs is available from the Office of Admissions and Records.

CSU Concurrent Enrollment - matriculated students in good standing may enroll on a space available basis at both their home CSU campus and a host CSU campus during the same term. Credit earned at the host campus is automatically reported to the home campus to be included on the student’s transcript at the home campus.

CSU Visitor Enrollment - matriculated students in good standing enrolled at one CSU campus may enroll on a space available basis at another CSU campus for one term. Credit earned at the host campus is reported automatically to the home campus to be included on the student’s transcript at the home campus.

Intersystem Cross Enrollment - matriculated CSU, UC or community college students may enroll for one course per term at another CSU, UC or community college and request that a transcript of records be sent to the home campus.

Back to Top

The university is pleased to accept applications from international students. 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 non-immigrant classifications.

The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of foreign students. Priority in admission is given to residents of California. There is little likelihood of nonresident applicants, including international students, being admitted either to impacted majors or to those with limited openings. Verification of English proficiency (see the section on the TOEFL Requirement for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are all important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least 8 weeks before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations. Freshman applicants applying directly from overseas should have outstanding academic qualifications and meet TOEFL score requirements.

Applicants who are graduates of foreign secondary schools must have preparation equivalent to that required of eligible California high school graduates. The university will carefully review the previous record of all such applicants and only those with promise of academic success equivalent to that of eligible California high school graduates will be admitted. Undergraduate transfers, who have completed a two-year program in an accredited institution of higher education, with a good academic record and satisfactory TOEFL scores, shall receive priority for admission.
Postbaccalaureate applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, with a strong academic record, and satisfactory TOEFL scores from an accredited institution may be considered for admission as graduate students.

The university has established deadlines to insure the timely processing of all applications and to enable admitted applicants to make arrangements to reach the U.S. and the campus prior to orientation and registration. Early application is strongly advised due to strong demand for programs. Newly admitted students are required to take an English Placement Examination prior to enrollment in classes (mid-August for fall semester and mid-January for spring semester).

Applications may be submitted according to the following schedule:

For Fall Semester
Apply beginning October 1 of the preceding year. Application must be completed with supporting documents by March 15. Completion dates may be changed at any time due to enrollment constraints.

For Spring Semester
Apply beginning August 1 of preceding year. Application must be completed with supporting documents by October 15. Completion dates may be changed at any time due to enrollment constraints.
All international student applicants must declare a major field of study when the application is filed. Campus programs of study that receive more applications than spaces are available or have been declared impacted are not open to nonresidents, foreign or domestic.

TOEFL Requirement
All applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is other than English are required to present scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before they can be admitted to the university unless they have attended for at least three years, full-time, an educational institution at the secondary level or above where English is the principal language of instruction. Undergraduate applicants must achieve a score of 500 on the paper-based TOEFL exam or 173 on the computer-based TOEFL or 61 on the Internet TOEFL; graduate applicants or second B.A. degree applicants a score of 550 on the paper-based exam or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL or 80 on the Internet TOEFL; graduate music applicants 560 or 220 or 83, respectively; MBA applicants 570 or 230 or 89, respectively; and graduate TESOL applicants a score of 573 or 230 or 89, respectively. Adequate performance on the TOEFL is mandatory for admission.

As circumstances warrant minimum requirements for TOEFL scores may be changed. Current information is available at

Applicants should obtain the TOEFL Bulletin of Information and registration forms well in advance. Copies of this bulletin and registration forms are often available at American embassies and consulates, offices of the United States Information Service, United States educational commissions and foundations abroad, bi-national centers, and several private organizations. Those who cannot obtain locally a TOEFL Bulletin of Information should write to:

Test of English as a Foreign Language, Educational Testing Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 08541-6151.

International student applicants must include a statement of financial support accompanied by a bank statement from their sponsor. Students sponsored by an international organization or home government agency must include a letter of scholarship support specifying this university and the students proposed degree and program of study.

Transcripts of all educational documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by translation into English certified by independent agencies. All academic records must be received directly from the issuing institutions and become official records of the university.

Student Visas
International student applicants who are admitted by the university will be issued form I-20 which is used to obtain an F-1 student visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas. Students transferring from a U.S. institution will use form I-20 to apply for transfer authorization through the Department of Homeland Security. Arrival, orientation and registration information from the Office of International Education and Exchange will accompany the admission materials mailed to new students.

Insurance Requirement
Effective August 1, 1995, as a condition of receiving an I-20 or DS-2019 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 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 Office of International Education and Exchange.

Back to Top

The American Language Program welcomes international students who want to improve their English language skills, increase their TOEFL score, and prepare for studying in a U.S. college or university.

The ALP application form is available online at or may be requested by calling 657-278-2909 or e-mailing your request to A complete application package includes the following items:

Applications should be received six weeks before each start date to allow the ALP office enough time to process the application, prepare the I-20 and mail it. Conditional admission requires an extra month. Students applying to both ALP and conditional admission to Cal State Fullerton should send all application documents to ALP.

Back to Top

See admission information in the “Graduate Regulations” section of this catalog.

Back to Top

A student admitted to the university for a given semester but who does not register in the specified semester will have the admission canceled. The student must file a new application form when again seeking admission and must follow the complete application procedure and meet the current admission requirements.

Back to Top

A student previously enrolled in the university, planning to return after an absence of more than one semester, must file a new application for admission. Unless a leave of absence was granted, catalog requirements at the time of readmission will apply. Please see the “Stop-Out Policy” section in the University Regulations section of this catalog for further information on applications for readmission.

Former Students in Good Standing
A student who left the university in good standing will be readmitted provided any academic work attempted elsewhere since the last attendance does not change his or her scholastic status. Additionally, students may be required, prior to readmission, to have fulfilled the basic subjects of General Education. Transcripts of the record of any work attempted in the interim are required.

Former Students Who Were on Probation
A student on probation at the close of the last enrollment will be readmitted on probation provided he or she is otherwise eligible. The student must furnish transcripts of any college work taken during the absence.

Former Students Who Were Disqualified
The readmission of a previously disqualified student is by special action only. Consideration for readmission is primarily based on evidence that the student has significantly raised the CSUF grade point average through grades in CSUF’s Extended Education program. Any work since disqualification at other accredited institutions affects the cumulative grade point average but not the CSUF grade point average.

Please note that former CSU students who are seeking readmission after academic disqualification must meet the GPA standards in place for their major at the time of reapplication.

Back to Top