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What is Impaction?

In order to manage enrollment while preserving the highest quality academic experience and services to students, the California State University (CSU) system allows campuses to declare impaction. Impaction allows each campus to manage enrollment of new students based on approved local criteria.

Cal State San Marcos will accommodate new first-time freshman and upper-division transfer applicants from its local admission area who apply during the CSU fall priority application period and meet all CSU minimum admission requirements. In addition to meeting CSU criteria, there will be requirments and deadlines specific to Cal State San Marcos. All requirements and deadlines must be met.

Which Majors are Impacted at CSUSM?

Cal State San Marcos has three programs that are impacted: Business Administration, Kinesiology, and Nursing/Pre-Nursing (Basic Nursing Program). Selection of a major does not affect the admissions decision for first-year applicants to Cal State San Marcos. Eligible applicants will be placed into the pre-major.

Impacted majors have more qualified students interested in declaring these majors than can be accommodated in current courses, therefore screening criteria is used to allow students to declare these majors after being admitted.

What is Screening Criteria?

Business Administration

Applicants are admitted as "Pre-Business" and then apply to a competitive process at Junior standing based upon GPA in pre-business core courses.


Applicants are admitted as "Pre-Kinesiology" and then apply to a competitive process for program options based upon GPA in major preparation courses.

Nursing/Pre-Nursing (Basic Nursing Program)

Freshman admitted to "Pre-Health Sciences" must meet criteria during first year to be selected for "Pre-Nursing". Transfer applicants must apply to the School of Nursing to enter a specific nursing program. Learn more at the School of Nursing website.

What about Out-of-Area Students?

Prospective students from our local admission area will be accommodated first. However, out-of-area students are welcome to apply and will be admitted if space is available, based on supplemental admissions criteria. Learn more on the CSU website.

CSU Fall Priority Application Period: October 1 - November 30