Undergraduate Admission Requirements

First Year Freshman Applicants

Applicants who received their secondary education outside the U.S. must have the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4 point scale (a "B" average). While neither SAT nor ACT scores are required, students with slightly lower GPA's may submit SAT or ACT scores, which if high enough may be used as a balancing factor.

Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants must have the equivalent of a 2.0 GPA in all transferable post-secondary work. Secondary school work is not considered.

Transfer students with fewer than 60 semester units or 90 quarter units must have completed high school with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a minimum 2.0 GPA in all university-transferable units. 

How to Transfer Coursework from a Non-U.S. College or University

Academic Records

Secondary and Post-Secondary Work Outside the United States

The California State University must evaluate the credentials of all international applicants to determine if they have the equivalent of a California high school diploma with appropriate grades. Because the educational institutions of each country differ, evaluations are done on a case by case basis. Applicants must provide official sealed transcripts, in English, from all secondary and post-secondary institutions attended.  These records must be sent directly by the schools to the CSU San Marcos International Admissions Office. Copies provided by applicants are not acceptable.

Special Rules for Nursing Program

For the consideration to enter any of our Nursing Programs, the School of Nursing requires that any coursework completed outside of the United States must first be evaluated by one of the approved evaluation companies.  The original transcripts and an official copy of the Evaluation must be submitted to the School of Nursing for all Pre-Nursing and Nursing Program applicants. Please be aware that the University never accepts coursework completed outside of the U.S. to meet the Area A requirements, which are part of the CSU Pre-Nursing Core. Go to the School of Nursing website for complete information about the application process.

Transfer from U.S. Institutions

International Students currently attending a community college or four-year higher education institution in the United States should have all academic transcripts from those institutions sent to CSU San Marcos. The Admissions Office will determine the extent of transfer credit that will be allowed.

TOEFL/IELTS Requirement

A TOEFL score of 61 iBT or above (173 computer-based; 500 on the paper-based examination) with a score no lower than 19 on the Writing section, and no section score below 14, or 5.5 on the IELTS, is required for undergraduate admission. Applicants do not have to submit a score if they have attended a secondary or post-secondary school full time for at least three years (not including time spent in an English language program) where English was the principal language of instruction. Students currently attending higher education institutions in the United States who were admitted with scores below the requirement must retake the TOEFL or IELTS and score a minimum to be admitted to CSU San Marcos.

Upper-division transfer students who have completed all lower-division general education requirements at a California Community College and come to San Marcos "GE Certified" are not required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score.

Students with a TOEFL score below 61 or an IELTS below 5.5 who are cleared for admission by CSUSM' s American Language and Culture Institute Intensive English Program are admitted without a TOEFL score report.

SAT/ACT Scores

International applicants are not required to submit these scores, but they are helpful in admissions decisions. Therefore, if you plan to take these examinations, please report the scores to the admissions office.

Financial Resources

All international applicants are required to submit a financial affidavit that certifies they have the financial resources to provide for all expenses as indicated under Expenses. This form is part of the application for admission.