Prospective students, applying for part-time or full-time undergraduate programs of study, in day or evening classes, must file a complete undergraduate application as described in the undergraduate admission booklet. The $55 nonrefundable application fee should be in the form of a check or money order payable to The California State University and may not be transferred or used to apply to another term. An alternate campus and major may be indicated on the application, but applicants should list as an alternate campus only a CSU campus that also offers the major. Generally, an alternate major is considered at the first choice campus before an application is redirected to an alternate choice campus.

Impacted Programs

The CSU designates programs as impacted when more applications are received in the first month of the filing period than can be accommodated. Some programs are impacted at every campus where they are offered; others are impacted only at some campuses. Students must meet supplementary admissions criteria if applying to an impacted program.

The CSU will announce before the opening of the fall filing period which programs are impacted and the supplementary criteria campuses will use. That announcement will be published in the "CSU Review," distributed to high school and college counselors. Information about the supplementary criteria is also sent to program applicants.

Students must file an application for admission to an impacted program during the first month of the filing period. Further, students who wish to be considered for an impacted program at two or more campuses must file an application to each.

Supplementary Admission Criteria

Each campus with impacted programs uses supplementary admission criteria in screening applicants. Supplementary criteria may include ranking on the freshman eligibility index, the overall transfer grade point average, and a combination of campus-developed criteria. If a student is required to submit scores on either the SAT I or the ACT, the test should be taken no later than December if applying for fall admission.

The supplementary admission criteria used by the individual campuses to screen applicants appear periodically in the "CSU Review" and are sent by the campuses to all applicants seeking admission to an impacted program.

Unlike unaccommodated applicants to locally impacted programs who may be redirected to another campus in the same major, unaccommodated applicants to systemwide impacted programs may not be redirected in the same major but may choose an alternate major either at the first choice campus or another campus.


Test Requirements

Freshman and transfer applicants who have fewer than 56 semester or 84 quarter units of transferable college credit must submit scores, unless exempt (consult Eligibility Index below), from either the Scholastic Aptitude Test of the College Board (SAT) or the American College Testing Program (ACT). If applying to an impacted program and test scores are required, the applicant should take the test no later than early December if applying for fall admission. Test scores are also used for advising and placement purposes. Registration forms and the dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from the campus Testing Office. Or, write to or call:

The College Board (SAT I) American College Testing Program (ACT)
Registration Unit, Box 592 Registration Unit, P.O. Box 168
Princeton, NJ 08541 Iowa City, IA 52240
(609) 771-7588 (319) 337-1270

TOEFL Requirement. All undergraduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction must present a score of 500 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Systemwide Tests Required of Most New Students

The CSU requires all new students to be tested in English and mathematics as soon as possible after they are admitted but prior to their first semester of enrollment. These are not admission tests, but a way to determine if the student is prepared for college work and, if not, to counsel him/her on how to strengthen the preparation. A person might be exempted from one or both of the tests if he/she has scored well on other specified tests or completed appropriate courses. (Consult Index for page reference on Entry Level Mathematics [ELM] Examination and English Placement Test [EPT].)


A student qualifies for regular admission as a first-time freshman if s/he:

Eligibility Index--The eligibility index is the combination of the high school grade point average and the score on either the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I). The grade point average is based on grades earned during the final three years of high school (excluding physical education and military science) and bonus points for approved honors courses. (See Honors Courses below.)

A student can calculate the index by multiplying the grade point average by 800 and adding the total score on the SAT I. Or, if the student took the ACT, multiply the grade point average by 200 and add ten times the ACT composite score. A California high school graduate (or a resident of California for tuition purposes), needs a minimum index of 2900 using the SAT I or 694 using the ACT; the Eligibility Index Table illustrates several combinations of required test scores and averages. If a student neither graduated from a California high school nor is a resident of California for tuition purposes, a minimum index of 3502 (SAT I) or 842 (ACT) is needed. (See Eligibility Index Table.)

Applicants with grade point averages of 3.00 or above (3.61 for nonresidents) are exempt from submitting test scores. However, applicants are urged to take the SAT I or ACT since campuses use test results for advising and placement purposes.

A student qualifies for regular admission when the university verifies that s/he has a qualifiable eligibility index and will have completed the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subjects and, if applying to an impacted program, meets supplementary criteria.

Graduates of secondary school in foreign countries must be judged to have academic preparation and abilities equivalent to applicants eligible under this section.

Honors Courses--Up to eight semesters of honors courses taken in the last two years of high school can be accepted. Each unit of A in an honors course receives a total of 5 points; B, 4 points; and C, 3 points.

NOTE: A grade point average of 3.00 and above qualifies with any score on the ACT or SAT I. A grade point average of below 2.00 does not qualify for regular admission.

Subject Requirements

The California State University requires that first-time freshman applicants complete, with grades of C or better, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling fifteen units. A "unit" is one year of study in high school. Within the fifteen units completed, up to one unit (one year) in visual and performing arts or foreign language may be missing and offset by a college preparatory course(s) in other areas. The missing unit of visual and performing arts or foreign language must be completed either prior to, or by the end of, the first year of CSU enrollment. This provision is effective through the 2000-2001 academic year.

English: 4 years

Mathematics: 3 years of algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra

U.S. History or U.S. History and Government: 1 year

Science: 1 year with laboratory (biology, chemistry, physics, or other acceptable laboratory science)

Foreign Language: 2 years in the same language (subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence)

Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year in art, dance, drama/theater, or music

Electives: 3 years selected from English, advanced mathematics, social science, history, laboratory science, foreign language, visual and performing arts, and agriculture

Alternate Admission Criteria--UC Prepared Applicants. Beginning with the academic year 1995-96 and continuing through 1998-99, the CSU will conduct an admission experiment that will permit campuses to admit applicants who have completed either the CSU or all of the UC college preparatory (a-f) requirements.

Subject Requirement Substitution for Students with Disabilities. Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to complete college preparatory course requirements if at all possible. If an applicant is judged unable to fulfill a specific course requirement because of his or her disability, alternate college preparatory courses may be substituted for specific subject requirements. Substitutions may be authorized on an individual basis after review and recommendation by the applicant's academic adviser or guidance counselor in consultation with the director of a CSU disabled students services program. Although the distribution may be slightly different from the course pattern required of other students, students qualifying for substitutions will still be held for fifteen units of college preparatory study. Students should be aware that course substitutions may limit later enrollment in certain majors, particularly those involving mathematics. For further information and substitution forms, please call the director of the Disability Resource Center at this campus.

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 a school counselor or the campus admissions office or Student Outreach Services for further information.

Provisional Admission

San Francisco State University may provisionally admit first-time freshmen applicants based on their academic preparation through the junior year of high school and planned for the senior year. The campus monitors the senior year of study to ensure that those so admitted complete their senior year of studies satisfactorily, including the required college preparatory subjects, and graduate from high school.

High School Students

Students still enrolled in high school are 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.

Re-entry Students

San Francisco State University offers a Re-entry Admissions Program (R.A.P.) to facilitate university entrance for individuals who would not otherwise qualify for regular admissions. Additionally, students must: be twenty-five years of age or above; be high school graduates or equivalent (through either the Tests of General Educational Development or the California High School Proficiency Examination); have not been enrolled as full-time students for more than one academic term within the last five years; and have at least a C average in any college work completed within the last five years. Contact the Advising Center at 338-2101 to attend the Re-entry Orientation Workshop to be considered under this program


Transfer Requirements

A person qualifies for admission as a transfer student if she/he has a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better in all transferable units attempted, is in good standing at the last college or university attended, and meets any of the following standards:

Applicants who graduated from high school in 1988 or later:

Applicants who graduated from high school prior to 1988:

Transferable courses are those designated for baccalaureate credit by the college or university offering the courses.

Making Up Missing College Preparatory Subject Requirements

Undergraduate applicants who did not complete the subject requirements while in high school may make up missing subjects in any of the following ways.

Please consult with any CSU admissions office for further information about alternative ways to satisfy the subject requirements.

NOTE: All entering undergraduate students must take the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) and the English Placement Test (EPT) after admission but prior to their first term of enrollment unless otherwise exempt. (Consult Index for page reference under Test requirements.)


Applicants not admissible under one of the above provisions (First-time Freshman or Undergraduate Transfer) should enroll in a community college or other appropriate institution. Only under the most unusual circumstances are such applicants permitted to enroll in the campus. Permission is granted only by special action.


Advanced Placement

San Francisco State University grants credit toward its undergraduate degrees for successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Students who present scores of three or better will be granted up to six semester units of college credit.

The university also recognizes advanced placement courses undertaken by high school students in conjunction with a collegiate institution in those instances where the collegiate institution has recommended credit. For additional information, the student may call or write the Admissions Office.

Credit From Accredited Colleges

Credits earned in accredited colleges are evaluated and advanced standing allowed on the basis of the evidence submitted on official transcripts. Credit toward the fulfillment of graduation requirements is allowed insofar as the courses satisfactorily completed meet the standards and requirements of the university.

Credit From Unaccredited Colleges

Credits earned in unaccredited colleges may be accepted as a basis for advanced standing only when an applicant can demonstrate by examination, after she/he has enrolled in the university, that a satisfactory degree of proficiency has been attained in the courses in question. Further information will be found in the paragraph Credit by Examination, in this section.

Credit for Community College Courses

Credit earned in accredited community colleges will be evaluated by the Admissions Office in accordance with the following provisions:

1. Community college credit is allowed up to a maximum of 70 semester units. Credits and grades earned after the student has the maximum allowable may be used on approval only to satisfy subject and grade point requirements but under no circumstances may they be applied toward the total units required for graduation from the university.
2. No upper division credit may be allowed for community college work.
3. Credit for one course may be transferred from a community college for a course in the introduction to education. No other credit is allowed for professional courses in education.

Credit By Examination

San Francisco State University grants credit to those students who pass examinations that have been approved for credit systemwide. These include the Advanced Placement Examination and some CLEP examinations.

Students may challenge courses by taking examinations developed at the campus. Credit shall be awarded to those who pass them successfully. See Credit by Examination or Evaluation (consult Index for page reference) for additional information.

Credit for Non-Collegiate Instruction

San Francisco State University grants undergraduate degree credit for successful completion of formal instruction appropriate to the baccalaureate in non-college settings, either military or civilian, that has been recommended by the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education. The number of units allowed are those recommended in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services and the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

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Last modified July 03, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu