Freshman Applicants (Fall term only)

A first time freshman applicant is a prospective student who has never attended a college or university after the summer following high school graduation.  First-time freshman applicants are determined to be CSU-eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Are or will be a high school graduate or completed a GED.
  2. Meet the CSU admissions eligibility index based upon GPA in college preparatory classes and scores from the ACT or SAT Reasoning exam.
  3. Have completed required courses with grades of "C" or higher in "college-preparatory subjects":
  • English (four years)
  • Mathematics (three years including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II)
  • U.S. History and Social Science (two years)
  • Laboratory Science (biological science and physical science with laboratories)
  • Language Other Than English (two years in the same language)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (one year)
  • College Preparatory Elective (one year)

First-Time Freshmen and Eligibility Index/Grade Point Average

Your grade point average (GPA) is based on the grades you earn in the aforementioned courses in your 10th, 11th, and 12th grade years. Courses not listed above will be excluded from the GPA calculation. The Eligibility Index is a combination of the high school GPA and that score on either the ACT or the SAT Reasoning exam, excluding the writing subscore. Calculate the eligibility index by either:

  • SAT: multiplying your GPA by 800 and adding your total SAT scores for Critical Reading and Mathematics or
  • ACT: multiplying your GPA by 200 and adding 10 times your ACT Composite score.

The minimum eligibility index is 2900 (with SAT) or 694 (with ACT) for California residents. The minimum eligibility for non-residents is 3502 (with SAT) or 842 (with ACT).  To assist you in determining your eligibility, you can find an eligibility calculator online at CSU Mentor.

Transcripts and Test Information

Official transcripts are not required of freshman applicants at the time of application; however a final transcript is required after high school graduation.  First time freshman applicants must submit scores from the SAT or ACT exam. Exams must be taken by the December test date of the Senior year.  Scores must be received by CSU San Marcos by the end of the following January. If you have taken an Advanced Placement exam and scored 3 or better, submit an official score report. CSUSM's SAT I code is 5677; CSUSM's ACT code is 272.

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For fall 2014 admission, CSU San Marcos will be using impaction criteria for first time freshman admission.  Learn more...

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