Undergraduate Applicants: How to Apply

The information below applies both to domestic and international undergraduate applicants.

Application Materials  

All applicants for admission must submit an online application and academic transcripts. Freshman/first-year applicants are required to submit a personal statement. The optional Academic Explanation section is strongly encouraged for applicants to provide context for their performance and/or enrollment history as prompted within the application. The Office of Admissions may request additional information before completing a full review of an applicant’s application file.

Refer to the appropriate application guides for details.

Application Fee or Fee Waiver

Colorado students apply to Colorado State University for free. For non-Colorado students, an application fee or fee waiver request is required as part of a complete application; a decision cannot be rendered without it. (Fee waivers can be granted when payment of the application fee presents a financial hardship.)

Refer to the Office of Admissions website for the application fee refund policy.

High School Transcript and proof of graduation (or equivalent)

High school performance, as reflected on a student's transcript(s), is an essential component of the admission decision for all freshman/first-year applicants and for transfer applicants with fewer than 30 post-high school credits.

High school transcripts for transfer applicants with more than 30 post-high school credits are considered only when needed to satisfy the admission requirement in mathematics.

All freshman/first year applicants and all transfers with fewer than 60 post-high school college credits must submit proof of high school graduation or equivalent prior to the start of their first semester of enrollment. Students who do not graduate from high school prior to enrolling must contact Admissions to establish a new timeline to enter CSU to avoid having admission rescinded or being disenrolled from CSU.

ACT/SAT Results and Recommendation(s)

ACT or SAT test scores and recommendations are not required. Our review process is individualized. It includes a range of academic and personal factors, and emphasizes students’ efforts and achievement demonstrated over 3-4 years.

Test scores are not given much weight in the admission decision and are not considered at all for scholarships. Students who wish to have their scores considered in the admission decision should email admissions@colostate.edu with this request. Admissions does not consider test scores unless expressly requested by applicants. ACT/SAT results can be used for composition placement purposes by any incoming student if submitted before orientation/registration.

Recommendations will be considered if submitted but will not be given much weight in the admission decision, and are not considered at all for scholarships.

College Transcript(s)

Freshman/first-year applicants typically are required to submit an official college transcript at the point of application only if college enrollment is being used as their full-time high school curriculum (such as early college, ASCENT and fifth-year programs, and some homeschool curricula). Refer to College-Level Courses Completed by High School Students for additional information.

Transfer applicants must submit an official college transcript from each college attended, regardless of the type of institution, amount or type of credit earned, and age of the credential, even if the work will be reflected in transfer on another transcript. No part of the previous collegiate record may be disregarded. Failure to include all institutions previously attended may result in the rescinding of admission, loss of credit, or disenrollment. Transcripts reflecting courses taken at vocational-technical institutes or colleges that are not regionally accredited can be helpful documentation and may be required, though they do not qualify an applicant for transfer applicant status or advanced-standing credit. 

Second Bachelor applicants are only required to submit an official transcript from the college/university from which they earned their first (or most recent) bachelor's degree. Official transcripts from other colleges/universities attended (if applicable) are encouraged if an applicant is seeking a competitive major or to demonstrate explicit pre-requisites for their new degree program.

Advanced standing credit (transfer credit) is only awarded from an official transcript.

International Applicants: Additional Requirements

In addition to the documents outlined above, applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the US also may be prompted to submit the following:

  • A certified English translation of any academic credentials not in English
  • Evidence of English Proficiency to be considered for direct admission
  • An Immigration Information Form, financial support documentation and a copy of the passport identification page for immigration documentation

Application Timelines 

Students can begin their enrollment during fall semester (August start), spring semester (January start) or summer term (May/June start; not recommended for freshman/first-year students).

Applicants are encouraged to apply 6-12 months prior to the start of the term. Freshman/first-year applicants must have completed at least 75% of their high school curriculum (through junior year equivalent) before a decision can be rendered; transfer applicants must have no more than one academic term in progress when a decision is rendered. Second bachelor’s/post-bachelor candidates must be finished with their first degree or in their final term of enrollment with degree pending for a decision to be rendered.

Refer to the appropriate application guides for more detail about application dates and timelines.