What is the California State University System?
The CSU is the country's largest four-year university system with 23 campuses located throughout the state of California. The campuses offer excellent educational opportunities at affordable costs. Please see Explore the System for more information.
Where do I obtain information about admissions?
Please visit CSUMentor, a comprehensive guide to the California State University's 23 campuses. Also visit the Students section of our website and the Student Academic Support section for more information.
Where can I get information about admission status?
The status for admission into particular programs may be found in the Application Status Report. The best way to find out the most current information, however, is to contact the admissions office at a specific campus.
Must I submit an essay with my admissions application?
An essay is not a requirement for admission to the California State University system. However, it may be an option at campuses that are defined as impacted or in majors that are impacted. Consult the campus admission office to which you are applying to verify whether your major is impacted and to find out whether or not an essay is required. Campuses may be located on our campus map.
I want to apply for admission to different CSU campuses. Can I submit a single application to cover multiple campuses?
You must submit an individual application for each campus for which you wish to apply. Current application fee is $55 per application. Dates for submission of applications are listed on CSU's monthly application status report.
Where can I find calendar information about a campus such as term beginning and ending dates, registration dates, and when final examinations are scheduled?
Please contact individual campuses for additional information.
Can I apply for admission via the Internet?
Prospective students should visit the CSUMentor website at CSUMentor. It provides a user-friendly process for selecting a CSU campus, planning to meet CSU entrance and academic requirements, applying for admissions and financial aid, understanding financial aid eligibility and opportunities, establishing an electronic communications link between the student and CSU campuses.
Are programs available for distance learning?
CSU campuses support a variety of technology-delivered courses and programs. Some technology delivered programs require campus attendance or are subject to campus residency provisions. Other technology-delivered programs may be completed in a remote setting. Registrants are encouraged to check with their academic advisor or campus Extended/Continuing Education Office for details. Also see CalstateTEACH.
Where can I find information about faculty work schedules?
Please contact the Human Resources department or by telephone at (562) 951-4400.
How can I locate a particular student, staff, or faculty member of the CSU?
While this website does not have a systemwide directory available, each campus has a personnel locator available that can assist you. Please see the Campus Locators page.
Can I use the CSU Logo for a project I'm working on?
The CSU has a strict policy regarding the use of its logos and trademarks. The policy of the CSU Board of Trustees of the CSU is that the seal, logos and images used on the CSU website may not be used by persons and organizations other than the CSU. If you have any questions contact Marketing Communications for the Chancellor's Office at (562) 951-4670 or by e-mail
The only official marks of the CSU are the CSU Seal (black or blue on a white background or white on a dark blue background) and the words "The California State University." Use of any other representations such as the block letters "CSU" with the horizontal bar across the top of the letters is not permitted.
I'm not certain if I've reached the correct California higher education system. Can you help me?
We are the California State University (CSU), a public state university system with an emphasis on teaching and teacher and workforce preparation. All of our campuses, except for the California State University Maritime Academy, have the "State University" identification their name, such as San Diego State University and California State University Sacramento.
The University of California (UC) is also a public state university system with an emphasis on research. All UC campuses can be identified through the "University of California" identification in their name, such as the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private university.
By: Susanna Cerasuolo, M.Ed.
Palm trees and movie stars. Beaches, convertibles and suntans. For college? Sign me up! If you dream of In-n-Out burger and the Sunset Strip almost as much as you dream of getting a college diploma, consider one of the California colleges. To apply to be a California college student in a California state college, you need to understand the difference between the three-tier public education systems in Cali: the UC system, the Cal State system, and the California Community Colleges.
University of California system
The UC system consists of 10 campuses enrolling 191,000 students:
Cal State University system
The Cal State system consists of 23 campuses enrolling 414,000 students.
Because of increased applications from qualified applicants, the following 16 have implemented higher admissions standards:
- Chico State
- Fresno State
- Cal State Fullerton
- Humboldt State (for freshman only, popular with out-of-state students, too)
- Cal State Los Angeles
- Cal State Long Beach
- Cal State Northridge (for freshman only)
- Cal Poly Pomona
- Sacramento State
- Cal State San Bernardino
- San Diego State (very popular with out-of-state students, too)
- San Francisco State
- San Jose State
- Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (very popular with out-of-state students, too)
- Cal State San Marcos
- Sonoma State
The currently un-impacted campuses include: Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Maritime, Monterey, Stanislaus.
Notes on the two systems
In the 3 tiered state public education system, the UC schools and CSU schools give admissions preference to students transferring from California Community Colleges. Because of the 3 tiered system, the UC schools are considered the research universities, awarding BA, MA and PhDs; the CSU system focuses on teaching, awarding BA and MA degrees, and the Community Colleges award two year degrees as a stepping-stone to either the UC or CSU system. The UC schools attempt to admit California students in the top 1/8th of their graduating classes; the CSU schools attempt to enroll students in the top 1/3rd of their classes. All students can attend Community College.
Special Considerations with UC/CSU applications
Something that out-of-state applicants need to be aware of is that both systems have very small windows for applying: the applications open on October 1 and close on November 30. There are no exceptions and no late applications are accepted.
Out-of-state students who are interested in applying to the UC and CSU schools should also be aware that both systems require a full year of a visual or performing art (VPA) in the SAME art. You do not need to take the two semesters of art in the same year, as long as they are in the same discipline. For example: Beginning Photo and Advanced Photo, Beginning and Advanced Ceramics, Choir, Band, Drama, etc–you need one, full, total year. Yearbook and Journalism do not count as a VPA. Check the requirements on the UC admissions page.
The UC schools require two essays which share a 1,000 word limit total between them. CSU schools do not require essays.
UC and CSU schools do not require transcripts be sent until June, after acceptance, to verify each application. No rec letters are required. You can do one application for all UC schools. You can do one application for all CSU schools.
Eligibility Index and Applying for for CSU schools
On the main CSU website you can run the Eligibility Index to see if your grades and test score make you eligible for admissions. Do this before you apply. CSU undergraduate admissions are based on applicants’ GPAs and test scores and course rigor, and generally do not consider items such as personal statements, SAT Subject Test scores, interviews, or recommendation letters.
Does 9th Grade Count?
For both the UC system and the CSU system only “a-g” courses taken in sophomore and junior year are used for preliminary GPA. You cannot include freshman year classes. However, 9th grade will be calculated in class rank. This is important for the UC system because if you are a California state citizen and you rank in the top 9% of the state OR in the top 9% of your high school you are guaranteed admission to a UC. Also, remember that when you send your transcript, your freshman year grades will be visible to the colleges although they will not be taken into consideration.
California is a state that offers two world class public school systems, so spend some time researching the different personalities and vibes of these esteemed public institutions of higher learning. No matter what your major and style, there is certainly a school for you in sunny California!Google+