The following definitions apply to all U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants. The International Admissions section includes additional details specific to international applicants and U.S. citizens/permanent residents educated outside the U.S.
You are a freshman/first-year applicant if you've never attended college OR all of your college credits were earned prior to high school graduation (or equivalent).
- Refer to instructions for dual/concurrent enrollment if you’ve taken college course work during or as your high school curriculum.
- Details for students who did not graduate from high school, homeschooled, graduated early, or completed an online high school diploma are below.
- Freshman decision factors also apply to transfer applicants with fewer than 30 post-high school credits at the point of application.
Refer to the freshman/first-year application guide on the Admissions website for details.
Specialized Freshman/First-Year Populations
This information applies to freshman/first-year applicants and transfer applicants with fewer than 30 post-high school credits at the point of application.
See the Admissions website for dual/concurrent enrollment applicants.
Applicants whose only college course work has been completed during high school or as their high school curriculum are considered freshman/first-year applicants with dual/concurrent enrollment.
While high school credentials still are the primary basis for the admission decision for dual/concurrent enrollment students, college performance can be considered in the admission decision and is considered a demonstration of academic rigor comparable to completion of Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) work. Courses will be evaluated for advanced-standing credit after an applicant is otherwise deemed admissible.
Dual/concurrent enrollment students are eligible for freshman/first-year scholarships and are required to live in the residence halls.
See the Admissions website for Non-High School Graduates.
We’re committed to making an exceptional college education accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds. Differences in educational background are a welcome part of the mix. Students who did not graduate from high school are welcome to apply with evidence of high school equivalency earned through GED, HiSet or TASC. To be eligible for admission, non-high school graduates must present qualifying high school equivalency test results in addition to demonstrating other evidence of academic readiness through transcript(s), ACT/SAT results (if applicable), and support documents.
Applicants who have completed a state-approved completion exam other than the GED, HiSet or TASC are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Note: For transfer applicants with more than 30 but fewer than 60 college-credits completed since earning high school equivalency, GED/HiSet/TASC is used for verification of completion only; scores are not considered in the admission decision.
See the Admissions website for homeschooled applicants.
Homeschooled applicants are welcome at CSU and are evaluated for admission according to general admission criteria; there are no special requirements for applicants who have homeschooled.
We recognize that homeschooling can allow for customized teaching methods, curricula, and learning environments that may differ from “traditional” education models. Our comprehensive, individual review process is designed to accommodate unique backgrounds as long as we can assess core academic factors in our review of credentials.
Your homeschool transcript can take any form as long as we can determine 1) how you completed the recommended high school course work and 2) how you were graded, assessed, or considered to have “mastered” content to move on in your chosen curriculum. If you did not follow a traditional academic calendar or age-based instruction, if you were not assessed using traditional letter or percentile grades, or if you have otherwise customized your homeschool experience so that something other than a traditional transcript with courses and grades is necessary to understand your college preparation, we encourage you to include with your application a description of the learning environment, a list of courses and brief statement about course content, and an explanation of how your content-mastery was assessed.
Be sure to reference information for dual/concurrent enrollment applicants if you are using college enrollment as your homeschool curriculum (i.e., completing community college work as your junior/senior year equivalent).
See the Admissions website for early high school graduates.
Freshman/first-year applicants who complete high school in fewer than four years are evaluated for admission according to general admission criteria. Admission preference is given to students who maximize their high school experience by taking accelerated and/or academically rigorous course work such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and/or dual enrollment college courses in order to satisfy the recommended high school course work.
Whether you are graduating high school one semester or one year early, fall entrance is strongly recommended. Students who leave high school one semester early are not eligible for spring semester entry if the date of graduation that will appear on the final high school transcript is May/June (end of spring semester).
See the Admissions website for online high school students.
Applicants who complete all or part of their high school curriculum online are evaluated for admission according to general admission criteria. Admission preference is given to students who maximize their high school experience by taking accelerated and/or academically rigorous course work such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and/or dual enrollment college courses in order to satisfy the recommended high school course work, so online high school completion programs that include strong college-prep rigor are encouraged.
While we are flexible in our recognition of online high school completion programs and do not require a specific type of accreditation, regional accreditation typically is a good indication of alignment with our admission criteria.
You are a transfer applicant if you have enrolled in any amount of college-level course work at a regionally-accredited college/university after high school graduation or equivalent. If you will have completed 30 or fewer post-high school college credits at the point of application, the admission decision also will include consideration of your high school credentials. Learn more about Transfer and Test Credit here.
Refer to the transfer application guide on the Admissions website for details.
You are a second bachelor’s/post-bachelor applicant if you will have completed an undergraduate degree, you wish to begin a new undergraduate degree and/or complete additional undergraduate course work, and you have never attended CSU as a degree-seeking undergraduate student.
Refer to the second bachelor's application guide on the Admissions website for details.
Follow the returning student application guide if you've ever attended CSU as a degree-seeking undergraduate student.
You are a returning student if you were previously enrolled at CSU as an admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate student, you left for at least one fall or spring semester while your degree was in progress or you completed your CSU degree, and you wish to return as an admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate student to finish a degree in progress or to begin a new CSU degree program.
Refer to the returning student application guide on the Admissions website for details.