Future Students

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How to Apply - First-Time Freshmen

If you have decided to attend SF State, you've made an excellent choice. A first-time freshman is a student who has earned no transferable college credit after the summer immediately following high school graduation.* If that's you, you're in the right place. If you completed college units after graduation from high school, you are considered a transfer student and must meet those requirements

*Note: You may enroll in college courses the summer after high school graduation before you enroll at SF State the following fall.

On This Page . . .

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Getting Started

How to Apply

Apply online through CSUMentor.

When to Apply

The earliest you can begin applying to San Francisco State depends on the semester in which you'd like to begin attending classes.

Fall Semester

The priority filing period is October 1 through November 30 of the previous year, but be sure to check our Dates + Deadlines section for application deadlines specific to the semester you are applying for.

Spring Semester

The priority filing period is August 1 through 31 of the previous year, but be sure to check our Dates + Deadlines section for application deadlines specific to the semester you are applying for.

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Am I Eligible?

For a printable .pdf that outlines freshmen eligibility requirements for Fall 2014, go to: www.sfsu.edu/future/apply/fresheligibility2014.pdf

You are eligible to have your application reviewed by SF State if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a high school graduate, or equivalent
  2. You complete the required high school courses with grades of "C-" or better in:
    • a. History/Social Science - 2 years required- including one year of US History or US History/US Government.
    • b. English - 4 years required - Composition and Literature.
    • c. Mathematics - 3 years required (4 years recommended) - Algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra; or integrated mathematics.
    • d. Laboratory Science - 2 years required (3 years recommended) - One year of biological and one year of physical science both with lab.
    • e. Language Other Than English - 2 years required - Study in the same language.
    • f. Visual and Performing Arts - 1 year required - Select a year-long course from art, theatre/drama, music or dance.
    • g. Elective - 1 year required - Select from the areas a-f or from other approved college prep "a-g" courses.
  3. Take and submit your SAT or ACT test scores
  4. You meet or exceed the minimum eligibility index
    • The eligibility index is a weighted combination of high school grade point average during the final three years of high school and a score on either the SAT or ACT. To make a preliminary admission decision, all grades earned in "a-g" courses taken in 10th through 11th grades are used to calculate the high school grade point average (GPA).
    • Graduates of California high schools or residents of California, as defined for tuition fees purposes, must have a minimum eligibility index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT. Nonresidents who are not graduates of a California high school must have a minimum index of 3502 using the SAT or 842 using the ACT
    • The CSU eligibility index is calculated by using either the SAT or ACT as follows:
      • SAT (scores in mathematics and critical reading) + (800 x GPA)
      • -or-
      • (10 x ACT composite score without the writing score) + (200 x GPA)

Residents of California Minimum Eligibility

GPA 2.00 2.50 2.80 2.99 3.00+
SAT 1300 900 660 510 Must submit test scores. Eligible for consideration with GPA above 3.00 and necessary course requirements.
ACT 30 20 14 10 Must submit test scores. Eligible for consideration with GPA above 3.00 and necessary course requirements.

Choice of major and application review

SF State is an impacted campus, therefore eligibility for admission is based on:

  1. Minimum CSU eligibility standards for local area applicants.
  2. Non-local applicants may be held to a higher standard.

Applicants should carefully select their intended majors.

Have a back-up plan!

Out of area applicants to SF State should have a back-up plan at an alternative campus that offers their desired major.

If you are applying for fall admission, all requirements must be completed by the end of the spring semester. Work completed during the summer session immediately following high school graduation cannot be used to meet admission requirements for the fall term.

For additional information and planning, go to the CSU Mentor, Plan for College website.

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Campus Impaction

Local Applicants

SF State is committed to giving residents in six local area counties priority in the admission process. Local applicants are students who have a local address and who graduated from a high school within Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Clara counties. Fall admission decisions for most local area applicants will be made in December or January. Local applicants are guaranteed admission provided they apply by 11:59PM PST on November 30th, comply with all posted deadlines and meet CSU eligibility requirements for a non-impacted program by the end of the spring term. CSU-eligible local applicants who are not accommodated in impacted majors will be offered admission in their declared "alternate non-impacted major" listed on their CSU Mentor application.

Non-Local Applicants

Non-local applicants are encouraged to apply. SF State will have space for out-of-area applicants and we encourage them to apply. Out-of-area applicants will be offered admission based on the overall space available and may require a higher eligibility index. Out-of-area applicants should expect to receive fall admissions decisions in February or March.

Non-residents of California and international applicants must meet higher minimum standard, regardless of major.

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Impacted Programs

A major is designated impacted when more applications are received in the priority filing period than can be accepted. Only upper division transfers may apply to certain impacted majors. Visit http://www.sfsu.edu/future/apply/impacted.html for more information on all impacted majors, including deadlines and any required supplemental applications.

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Ensuring a Quick Admissions Decision

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Apply online at www.csumentor.edu/AdmissionApp/ during the filing period (see above). Applications received electronically can be processed much more quickly, giving you a faster admissions decision.
  • Pay the $55 (non-refundable) application fee by credit card online to further speed processing or complete the online fee waiver available with the CSUMentor application.
  • Answer all questions on the application completely and accurately; quick admission is based on self-reported information.
  • Submit official SAT or ACT test scores. Only your official scores are compared to your self-reported high school GPA.
  • SF State communicates with students via e-mail. Make sure to read all e-mail messages and pay careful attention to transcript deadlines.
  • Check your application status to ensure all supporting materials have been received.

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San Francisco State University will communicate admissions decisions, deadlines and other important information regarding your application status via email. Remember to check your email often for important admissions messages from SF State.

  • Fall admissions decisions for most local area applicants will be made in December or January.
  • Fall admissions decisions for out-of-area applicants should expect to receive admissions decisions in February or March.
  • Most fall admissions decisions for impacted majors will be made by April.

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Early Admissions

SF State may offer you early, conditional admission based on your work completed through your junior year of high school and coursework in progress for your senior year. You must submit a transcript showing final grades and graduation from high school before you begin attending SF State classes, to verify that you meet all admission requirements. If the University does not receive your transcript and all other required documents by the deadline, your admission to SF State will be rescinded.

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Required Placement Tests

CSU applicants are required to take placement tests prior to enrollment. All CSU undergraduates except those who meet certain exemption requirements must complete both the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) and English Placement Test (EPT) by the published deadline.

Please note you may take your required placement tests at any CSU campus; you do not need to test specifically at SF State. However, you will need to designate your scores to be sent to SF State.

Sign up to take the ELM/EPT tests:

  • For information and to sign up to take the ELM/EPT test at SF State, please visit the SF State Testing Center website at http://www.sfsu.edu/~testing.
  • For information about all CSU testing sites, please visit the California State University Placement Tests section of the ETS website: http://www.ets.org/csu. Click on "Test Administration," then "Test Dates."

ELM/EPT Resources:

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Early Start Program (ESP)

The CSU wants to help first-time freshmen applicants get an "Early Start" in their preparation for college level work. Freshmen who are not ready for college-level English and/or math must start remediation no later than the summer before their first term at SF State.

If students need remediation in either English or math or both, they must take extra steps to address this requirement to be able to enroll at SF State or other CSU Campuses. Students will be notified throughout the process of application, admission, and registration if they must satisfy this requirement.

Find out more information about the Early Start Program at www.sfsu.edu/~advising/esp/home.html.

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Early Assessment Program (EAP)

The EAP program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.

The goal of the EAP program is to have California high school graduates enter the CSU fully prepared to begin college-level study.

EAP Math Statuses

In order to validate your exemption for the ELM, students who have taken part in the Early Assessment Program (EAP) and have received their results on the STAR Student Report, can provide this information. Students can also determine their EAP Status Online.

Below are the EAP math statuses:

  • Ready for CSU College-Level Mathematics Courses
    • Your score met the ELM requirement.
  • Ready for CSU College-Level Mathematics Courses - Conditional
    • Students designated as "Ready for CSU College-Level Mathematics Courses - Conditional" can meet the ELM Requirement by taking an approved year-long math course in their senior year and getting a grade of C or better. Provide official transcripts in order to prove that you have met the exemption. The following high school courses have been approved:
      • Trigonometry and Math Analysis
      • Pre-Calculus
      • AP Calculus AB
      • AP Calculus BC
      • AP Statistics
      • AP Physics
  • Not Yet Demonstrating Readiness for CSU College-Level Mathematics Course
    • Your score did not meet the ELM requirement
    • Check the ELM Requirement page to see all possible ways to meet it
  • Incomplete
    • You did not indicate the test type (Algebra, Algebra II Summative Math, etc...) on your EAP math test, and received an "Incomplete" EAP math status
    • Check the ELM Requirement page to see all possible ways to meet it.

EAP English Statuses

In order to validate your exemption for the EPT, students who have taken part in the Early Assessment Program (EAP) and have received their results on the STAR Student Report, can provide this information. Students can also determine their EAP Status Online.

Below are the EAP English statuses:

  • Ready for CSU College-Level English Courses
    • Your score met the EPT requirement and you are ready for college level English.
  • Not Yet Demonstrating Readiness for CSU college-Level English Courses
    • Your EAP score did not meet the EPT Requirement. You should check to see if you have met the EPT Requirement in another way.
    • Use the Exam Prep tools to prepare for the test.
  • Incomplete
    • You did correctly fill out all the components of the EAP English test. You should check to see if you have met the EPT Requirement in another way.
    • If you need to take the EPT test, use the Exam Prep tools to prepare for the test.

Find your EAP Results

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Educational Opportunity Program

For over 40 years, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at San Francisco State University has been a system-wide leader in both identifying students with the highest potential and providing a support system for their success. The Educational Opportunity Program is designed to improve access and retention of historically underserved (low income, first generation college) students by facilitating their matriculation into SF State. EOP students receive outreach, admission, academic and financial support. They also receive on-going advising, tutoring and workshops to make sure they successfully complete their degree requirements. EOP students can also apply for specific EOP scholarships. Some EOP students are eligible for additional EOP programs such as Summer Bridge, Guardian Scholars Program and Student Support Services-TRiO. Visit the CSU's EOP information page for more details on how to apply.

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SF State requires that all students provide proof of immunization against Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Hepatitis B before being allowed to register for classes.

Note: Students who were enrolled in a California public schools for the seventh grade or higher on or after July 1, 1999 will not have to provide proof of immunization.

For complete information concerning immunization requirements and to print a copy of the proof of immunization form, please go to the Student Health Service.

California Residency

If you're under the age of 19 and you and/or your parents currently live in California or your family has recently moved to the state and plans to stay here in definitely you may be eligible to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes. Please note that if you're under 19 your residency is based on your parents and your parents must have a citizenship, legal immigration or visa status in the US in order to be considered residents for tuition purposes at any CSU.

Read more about California Residency for Tuition Fees Purposes.

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TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all prospective students, regardless of citizenship, who have not attended schools at the high school level or above for at least three years of full-time study where English is the principal language of instruction.

Read more about TOEFL.

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SF State E-Mail Account

Spring 2014 admitted students should visit the SF State Gateway to create your SF State e-mail account. SF State will use this address to send you crucial e-mail reminders of the course of your life as a student at SF State. Fall 2014 admitted students will automatically have an SF State e-mail account generated for them. Information about your created account will be communicated to the email account submitted on your CSU Mentor application.

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Accept Admission Offer

Newly admitted students who plan to attend San Francisco State must accept their Admission Offer for the spring semester between November 1 - 20. For the fall semester between March 1 and May 1. Students admitted after the deadline will have three weeks after their date of admission to accept their Admission Offer. To accept your Admission Offer please go to the SF State Gateway.

For more information, including frequently asked questions, go to Accept Admission Offer.

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Frequently Asked Questions by First-Time Freshmen

When will I hear about my application?

You will receive an immediate confirmation via e-mail once you submit the CSU Mentor application. The Office of Undergraduate Admission will notify you via e-mail within five to 10 working days if you apply during the early to middle part of the priority filing period. If you apply later than that, it may take us a little longer because of the increased volume of applications.

How soon will I know if I am admitted?

SF State may offer admission based on the information you self-report on your application compared to your official SAT or ACT test scores. Otherwise you may be asked to submit a high school transcript reflecting all work completed to date for review.

When should I submit my high school transcript?

If you have already graduated from high school by the time you apply, submit the final transcripts showing evidence of graduation immediately. If you have not yet graduated from high school, SF State will notify you if we need an in-progress transcript. Otherwise you will be asked to submit a final transcript by a specific deadline showing the date of your graduation.

When do I have to tell SF State that I am planning to attend the University?

Newly admitted students must indicate their enrollment plans by May 1 for fall semesters and by November 20 for spring semesters. To accept your Admission Offer at SF State, go to the SF State Application Status Web site. The Accept Admission Offer process will enable SF State to know who is planning to attend the University during the upcoming year. For specific dates and other information about accepting your Admission Offer, go to the Office of the Registrar's Accept Admission Offer Q & A.

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Find forms online that are applicable to SF State applicants.

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