Freshman Application and Admission

You are considered a freshman applicant if you will have attained a high school diploma or GED by the end of Spring 2020, and have not earned college credit beyond the summer immediately following high school graduation. If you are an international applicant who will need a 'F' visa to study in the U.S., please see the International Freshman webpage.

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:

  • You must have completed each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirement (the 'A-G' courses) with a grade of 'C' or better, prior to high school graduation.
  • You must meet 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.
  • You must have achieved a minimum 2.70 GPA in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subjects (the 'A-G' courses) courses.
  • You must graduate from high school, or earn a GED, by the end of the Spring term prior to Fall enrollment.
  • You must satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement if at least 3 years of your high school coursework was not taken at a school where English is the only language of instruction.

How Will Students Be Considered For Admission?

Cal State LA is a very popular campus. We receive more applications than can be accommodated. Cal State LA has a long history of commitment to access, the local community, and social upward mobility.

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. '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 comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subjects (the 'A-G' 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 'B' or better grades 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 'Undeclared with an Interest in 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 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
  4. Submit official transcripts or other documents only if requested

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

Freshman applicants may either select a specific major, or apply as undeclared. 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 November 30. 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.

Cal State LA makes 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, you must take the SAT or ACT, preferably by the end of October but no later than December prior to the Fall admission term. You must request that your score results be sent directly to Cal State LA from the testing agency.

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 your application information is complete, we may have sufficient information to determine your eligibility for admission. 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. Please do not send your high school transcript prior to your high school graduation, unless we request it.

Additional documents may be required in certain circumstances:

  • For purposes of determining California residency, some students may be required to submit additional documents. Review the Residency webpage for information regarding the establishment of California residency for CSU tuition purposes.
  • Veterans of the United States Armed Forces should submit discharge papers (Form DD 214). This should include descriptions of the types of training you received while in the service. Such training, in some cases, may count as credit transferable to Cal State LA. Veterans and active-duty military personnel also must be sure to include any military transcripts (e.g., AARTS and SMART) displaying additional course work that may be transferable.

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 calstatela.edu domain as a safe sender in your email account.

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 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.

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:

Financial Aid: Check out Financial Aid to explore the programs that can assist in making Cal State LA affordable. Be sure to review the application procedures and priority deadlines.

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 Freshmen.

Early Start: The CSU Early Start Program is designed to prepare students for the first semester of college and to help them improve their skills in quantitative reasoning (Math) and written communication (English). This program takes place in the summer before Fall classes, and students who require additional support in English and/or Math will be required to participate in the Early Start Program. For more information, see Early Start.

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.