How we review each application packet and render an admission decision is informed by CSU's undergraduate admission philosophy. Every incoming class looks different, but we always work to maintain high academic standards while providing access to higher education as part of our land-grant mission.

Freshman/First-Year Profile and Decision Factors 

Fall 2015 freshman class profile

The class profile reflects the middle 50 percent of freshmen admitted in Fall 2015. That means students were admitted with credentials distributed on either side of the range presented, which should give a general sense of admissibility.

Middle 50% GPA: 3.2-3.9 (4.0 scale)

Middle 50% ACT Composite: 23-28

Middle 50% SAT CR/M Combined*: 1050-1250

*These reflect scores on the version of the SAT that was administered through February 2016.

Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR) and CSU's Recommended High School Course Work Minimums 

To be considered for admission, freshman/first-year applicants and transfers with fewer than 30 post-high school credits are advised to complete at least 18 high school units to meet the Colorado Department of Higher Education HEAR guidelines and institutional course work recommendations (1 unit = 1 year high school or 1 semester college).

The minimum passing grade is D; however, grades of D may not be competitive in a selective admission environment, and grades of C- or better are preferred.

Competitive Majors

A few undergraduate majors have more competitive entrance requirements and/or enrollment caps; entrance to these programs is limited to students presenting the strongest academic credentials, and early application is recommended.

Details about factors considered in the admission decision are in the freshman application guide.

Transfer Admission Profile and Decision Factors 

Fall 2015 Transfer Profile

The class profile reflects the middle 50 percent of transfers admitted in Fall 2015. That means students were admitted with credentials distributed on either side of the range presented, which should give a general sense of admissibility.

Middle 50% Transfer GPA: 2.8-3.5 (4.0 scale)

Middle 50% Transfer Credits: 28-67

To be considered for admission, transfer applicants must present a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (4.000 scale) from all institutions attended and must have completed the admission requirement in mathematics. Completion of college composition is preferred but not required. Until a transfer applicant has more than 30 post-high school college credits complete, the admission decision also includes review of high school credentials according to our freshman/first-year admission guidelines.

According to federal financial aid requirements, ALL transfer applicants with fewer than 60 credits in transfer must demonstrate high school graduation (or equivalent). Because the formal transfer evaluation is not completed until after an applicant has been admitted, all transfer applicants are required to submit proof of graduation (or equivalent) as part of a Complete Application. 

Competitive Majors

A few undergraduate majors have more competitive entrance requirements and/or enrollment caps; entrance to these programs is limited to students presenting the strongest academic credentials, and early application is recommended.

Transfer Admission Guarantee

Students who have completed an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree from an accredited Colorado community or junior college after high school graduation (or equivalent) will be guaranteed admission to the University providing that it is the last institution attended and that a cumulative 2.00 GPA (on a 4.000 scale) has been achieved from ALL institutions attended. Entry into a specific major may depend on completion of appropriate prerequisite courses and enrollment limitations of the major.

Details about factors considered in the admission decision are in the transfer application guide.

Second Bachelor/Post-bachelor Decision Factors 

To be considered for admission, second bachelor/post-bachelor candidates must present a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (4.000 scale) from all institutions attended. Applicants must be seeking a degree program that does not duplicate their first degree, and entering CSU as an undeclared student is not an option at this level. Details about factors considered in the admission decision are in the second bachelor's application guide.

Competitive Majors

A few undergraduate majors have more competitive entrance requirements and/or enrollment caps; entrance to these programs is limited to students presenting the strongest academic credentials, and early application is recommended.

Returning (Former) CSU Students 

Comprehensive details for returning students are available in the returning student application guide.

The admission decision for students returning to complete a degree in progress is based primarily on their previous CSU performance and their academic standing upon leaving CSU. Students who left the University in good academic standing generally are cleared to return without restrictions. Students who left the University in a probationary or dismissed status should refer to the Scholastic Standards Policy for additional information about qualifying to return to CSU.

Competitive Majors

A few undergraduate majors have more competitive entrance requirements and/or enrollment caps; entrance to these programs is limited to students presenting the strongest academic credentials, and early application is recommended. Returning students must have satisfied particular CSU course work and earned specific grades/GPA to be admitted to a major with competitive entrance requirements.

If you are returning to CSU to begin a second undergraduate degree, refer to the admission decision factors for second bachelor’s/post-bachelors.

English Proficiency Requirement 

Strong English language skills are important to academic success at CSU. To support student success, we require all students whose first language is not English to demonstrate a high level of English proficiency regardless of their citizenship. Applicants from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom whose first language is English are exempt from this requirement.

TOEFL, PTE Academic or IELTS Academic results are the preferred indicators of English proficiency. For applicants seeking direct admission to CSU, the requirements are as follows:

English Proficiency Exam Clear Admission
TOEFL IBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test) 79
TOEFL PBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Paper Based Test) 550
IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing Services) 6.5
PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English) 53

Conditional admission will be offered to students who are academically competitive but have not achieved the necessary score for direct admission or have not submitted a TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS score. Conditionally admitted students are enrolled in the INTO CSU Academic English Program (AEP). Until the Academic English Program is completed or the required TOEFL, PTE Academic or IELTS score is achieved, enrollment in regular University academic courses is at the discretion of the AEP.

Alternative measures of English Proficiency:

  • Successful completion of the INTO CSU Academic English Program (conditional admission may be offered to AEP students studying at the advanced level)
  • SAT Critical Reading score of 500 or higher
  • ACT English/Reading score of 21 or higher
  • A grade of 5 or better in the International Baccalaureate (IB) HL English course
  • An IGCSE or A-level result of C or better on the English/First Language exam. Test results must be official and not predicted to be considered for direct admission.
  • Completion of a U.S. diploma and/or two or more years of secondary transcripts reflecting the progress towards the U.S. diploma from a regionally accredited organization as defined by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Completion of at least two semesters of U.S. post-secondary/university course work in English, including college composition and speech with grades of C or better. Courses must have been taken at a regionally-accredited college/university to be considered for clear admission.
  • Gaokao/NCEE English score of 105 or higher AND an online interview with an international admissions counselor

TOEFL/PTE Academic/IELTS exemptions not listed above may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Refer to the English proficiency information on the Admissions website for details.

Students with Disabilities

All applicants are evaluated according to the same University admission standards. We recognize, however, that not every student’s personal or educational background is the same.

Disclosure of the presence of a disability is voluntary. Applicants may use components of the application such as the academic explanation, personal statement, or recommendation(s) to identify their disability and to discuss the impact of the disability on their academic record (if any). While this information can be considered if disclosed, it will not be the sole basis for the admission decision.

Colorado State University’s Resources for Disabled Students offers admitted students the full range of support services to help students achieve academic success.