Future Students

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How to Apply - Transfer

If you've decided to transfer to SF State, you've made an excellent choice. With advising support, orientation programs, and other student services, we are here to help you make a smooth transition to one of the nation's leading public urban universities. At SF State you can discover yourself and develop your talents in a city rich with culture and opportunity. Here, as an undergraduate, you will take classes from faculty members whose first priority is excellent teaching. Welcome to San Francisco State!

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Kinds of Transfer Students

If you have completed college units after graduation from high school, you are considered a transfer student.

Lower Division

SF State is not currently accepting applications from lower division transfer students. Freshman and sophomore students who have completed fewer than 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) are considered lower-division transfer students.

Upper Division

Junior and senior students who have completed 60 or more transferable semester units (90 quarter units) are considered upper-division transfer students.

Second Baccalaureates

SF State is not currently accepting applications from second baccalaureate students. Second Baccalaureate students are those who earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning and are seeking another baccalaureate degree. (Exception: Students with a bachelor's degree may apply to the BSN Nursing program. Visit www.nursing.sfsu.edu for more information).

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Getting Started

How to Apply

Apply online through Cal State Apply; it's the easiest and fastest way to apply.

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 December 15 of the previous year, but be sure to check our Dates + Deadlines section for application deadlines that may be extended beyond the priority filing period in any given year.

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 that may be extended beyond the priority filing period in any given year.

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Am I Eligible?

For a printable .pdf that outlines transfer eligibility requirements for Fall 2017, go to: www.sfsu.edu/future/apply/transfereligibility2017.pdf

You are eligible to be reviewed by SF State if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are an upper division transfer student (no lower division transfer and no second baccalaureate applications will be accepted)
  2. You meet the following criteria:
    • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
    • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
    • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
    • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
      • 1. One course in oral communication
      • 2. One course in written composition
      • 3. One course in critical thinking
      • 4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite
        • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.

Choice of major and application review

It is suggested that applicants carefully select their intended majors. Transfers may not choose "undeclared."

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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 www.sfsu.edu/future/apply/impacted.html for more information on all impacted majors, including deadlines and any required supplemental applications.

Supplemental Criteria - Impacted Majors

Certain impacted majors require a supplemental application from all transfer applicants. Transfer applicants may be requested to submit additional information and should be prepared to meet all associated deadlines. All transfer applicants compete for admission to impacted majors and are assessed and ranked according to grade point average and supplemental course criteria.

Have a back-up plan!

Applicants to SF State impacted majors should have a back-up plan at an alternative campus that offers their desired major.

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Ensuring a Quick Admissions Decision

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Apply online at www.calstate.edu/apply during the priority filing period (see above).
  • Pay the $55 (non-refundable) application fee by credit card online to further speed processing or complete the online fee waiver available with the Cal State application.
  • Answer all questions on the application completely and accurately; quick admission is based on self-reported information.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, send a copy of your immigration documentations such as your Visa or Alien Registration (“green”) Card
  • SF State communicates with students via e-mail. Make sure to read all e-mail messages and pay careful attention to transcript deadlines.
  • When the Office of Undergraduate Admissions requests them, send official transcripts to SF State by the established deadline in the email request from all colleges you've attended. Transcripts for coursework in progress should be sent after grades are on record.
  • 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 applicants will be made in January or February.
  • Most fall admissions decisions for impacted majors will be made by April.
  • Spring admissions decisions for most applicants will be made in October.

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Transferable Units

All California community colleges have lists of their courses that will transfer to CSU campuses. ASSIST is California's official online service to help you determine transfer credit for courses you've already taken, and how those courses apply to admissions requirements. You may also consult your college counselor or transfer center for assistance in determining which courses will be accepted for transfer credit.

If you are transferring from a four-year college, most college level courses will be transferable, but if you need assistance determining if a course will meet transfer requirements, consult the Student Outreach Services Department at 415-338-2355 or outreach@sfsu.edu.

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Conditional Admission

SF State may offer you conditional admission based on information you provided on your admission application. You will be required to submit a transcript showing final grades to verify the completion of all admission requirements before you begin attending classes. If you do not submit final transcripts and do not clear all admission requirements, your offer of admission to SF State will be rescinded.

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Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

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 Cal State's EOP information page for more details on how to apply.


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

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. For questions regarding the submission of Immunization records please contact the Registrars Department at records@sfsu.edu

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California Residency

If you currently live in California or plan to make the state your permanent home for the forseeable future you may be classified as a resident for tuition purposes. California residents pay lower tuition and mandatory fees than non-residents at California's public colleges and universities.

You are eligible for resident status only if:

  1. You have established and maintained residence in California at least one year prior to the following residence determination dates: January 25 for Spring semester; June 1 for Summer semester; September 20 for Fall semester.
  2. You are a U.S. citizen, a legal immigrant, or you hold a visa which allows you to establish permanent residence in the country.
  3. AND you can demonstrate that you intend to make California your permanent home.

Read more about California Residency for Tuition Fees Purposes.

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California Community Colleges Transfer AA Degrees

Student Transfer Agreement Reform Act (SB 1440 - Padilla)

The Student Transfer Agreement Reform Act (SB 1440 - Padilla), signed into legislation on September 29, 2010, enables the California Community Colleges and California State University to collaborate on the creation of Associate in Arts Degree (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) Degree transfer programs. Students who earned the AA-T and AS-T degrees from California junior colleges and are pursuing similar degrees offered by the CSU will be given priority consideration for admissions and will only be required to complete 60 additional prescribed units to qualify for similar baccalaureate degrees once admitted. To get more information about this important new program, visit www.adegreewithaguarantee.com.

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.

Upper division undergraduate transfer students from a U.S. university/college who have met the CSU admission subject requirements, which include the English courses Oral Communications, Written Communication and Critical Thinking may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.

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Placement Tests

Upper-division transfer students who have completed transferable English composition and college-level math courses with a grade of C or better as stated above are exempt from the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics Test (ELM).

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SF State E-Mail Account

Admitted students who accept their offer of admission 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 Cal State Apply application.

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Accept Admission Offer & Enrollment Deposit

Newly admitted students who plan to attend San Francisco State must accept their Admission Offer and pay a non-refundable Enrollment Confirmation Deposit by the posted deadline in order to enroll in classes at SF State.

For more information, including deadlines and frequently asked questions, please go here.

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Frequently Asked Questions by Upper Division Transfer Students

Where can I take the required course work to be eligible as an upper-division transfer?

Any California community college has a list of courses that will satisfy CSU admission requirements. Consult the ASSIST web site or your community counselor or transfer center for more information.

When will I hear about my application?

You will receive confirmation with your assigned San Francisco State Student ID Number sent via e-mail to the address submitted on your application within approximately 10 business days of submitting the Cal State Apply application.

How soon will I know if I'm admitted?

SF State may offer conditional admission based on the information you self-report on your application. Otherwise you may be asked to submit college transcripts reflecting all work completed to date for review by an admissions counselor.

If I'm applying as an upper division transfer, do I need my high school transcript and test scores?

No, applying as an upper division transfer does not require information about high school. However, the university grants credit towards its undergraduate degrees for students who successfully completed (scored 3 or higher) the College Board's Advanced Placement Exams as part of their high school experience.

When do I need to submit my transcripts?

Submit official transcripts when SF State Undergraduate Admissions requests them. Pay careful attention to any final transcript deadlines published by Undergraduate Admissions and adhere to those.

How will I know if my course work transfers to SF State?

Applicants who have attended any California community college can check the ASSIST Web site. The site will tell you if the course transfers, counts for general education requirements, or counts toward major requirements.

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 December 9 for spring semesters. To accept your Admission Offer at SF State, go to your Student Center on the SF State Gateway. 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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