Applying as an International Freshman or First-Year Student
Each year we search for students with diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives to challenge and support each other on our campus.
Our primary goal is to ensure your academic success, and we do that by viewing your application and supporting materials as a window into your life. The results of our review process and of the quality of our education speak for themselves, and we hope we can count you among the thousands that will do their best to be part of our community this year.
WHEN TO APPLY
DEADLINES, DATES AND TIMELINES
Securing a student visa can take at least six weeks, so you’re encouraged to apply early.
Fall Semester (begins in August)
First-year freshman students typically enter CSU during the fall semester. The application for fall semester opens August 1, one year prior to the start of the term.
Spring Semester (starts in January)
While spring semester is not the traditional starting date for first-year freshman students, it is possible to begin in the spring. The application for spring semester opens in March, ten months prior to the start of the term.
Summer Session (begins in May)
Summer Session is not a recommended entry term; course expectations are more rigorous and campus services can be more limited. Contact the international team if your circumstances require a summer start.
What we need
THE KEY PARTS OF A COMPLETE APPLICATION
Your application and supporting documents tell the story of your accomplishments, challenges, goals, and passions. We review what you’ve submitted fully and thoughtfully as part of understanding your potential for academic success and anticipating what you’ll contribute to our community. We recommend you submit your application before your required documents for quickest completion of your records.
Your application will be reviewed once we receive all these required items.
All first-year freshman students apply using the Common Application.
Application fee or waiver
First-year freshman students must submit either:
- $50 application fee
- Application fee waiver
You will be prompted to submit your application fee or waiver while submitting your Common Application.
What we call a “personal statement” is called the “personal essay” in the Common Application. This short writing piece is your opportunity to help us understand what makes you unique, to share a talent or element of your identity that’s important to you, to describe what you are passionate about, or to highlight an accomplishment you’re proud of.
See our writing prompts and instructions for more guidance.
- Submit your most recent transcripts or mark sheets. We will ask for additional materials if necessary.
- All decisions are provisional until a final, official transcript verifying graduation is received.
- Only transcripts sent directly from the school or stamped and sealed are considered official.
- If a record is not in English, a certified literal English translation must accompany the transcript.
If you need a student visa, you must submit the following items in order to secure an I-20 or DS-2019:
- Immigration Information Form
- Copy of the identification page of your passport which must be valid for at least six months beyond the first day of classes.
- Financial support documents demonstrating the ability to meet or exceed your estimated expenses. Because none of our institutional scholarships cover the full cost of attendance, you must be able to show outside funding.
Immigration information is not considered in the admission decision.
While the personal statement allows you to address your strengths, passions and goals, the academic explanation is your opportunity to reflect on your past performance and help us understand your experience. It is recommended for students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 or with D/F grades.
- You will be prompted to indicate whether you are seeking direct admission or conditional admission:
- If you wish to be considered for direct or clear admission, we’ll ask how you intend to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.
- Applicants who do not present sufficient evidence of English proficiency can be considered for conditional admission and will be referred to the Intensive English Program.
- Applicants from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom whose first language is English are exempt from this requirement.
We do not require a letter of recommendation for admission or scholarship purposes. Recommendations, if submitted, are not given much weight in our review.
SAT or ACT Scores
CSU does not require SAT or ACT scores. If you submit scores, they will be added to your application, but they will only be reviewed if you email us at email@example.com to request that your scores be considered. Even when requested, scores are not given much weight in the decision. Test scores are not used as the basis for declining an application or for consideration in the scholarship award process.
Who we look for
THE TYPE OF STUDENT WHO MAKES A RAM
Every incoming class looks different, though every class reflects our commitment to maintaining high academic standards and providing access to higher education as part of our land-grant mission.
In general, students with a 3.0+ GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and a steady or upward trend in grades are admitted to CSU.
Factors we consider
Research at CSU and across the country has suggested that grade point average (GPA) is the single most predictive factor of a student’s potential for success at the college level, and that’s why we feel comfortable noting that a 3.0 GPA is a great first step in being well qualified for admission here. We know you’re more than your GPA, however, which is why we consider a range of factors when considering your application.
Some competitive majors require specific course work and/or a higher grade point average in order to be admitted.
Freshman class profile
Strong students are motivated to apply to CSU. This data reflects the middle 50% of freshmen admitted for Fall 2022. This means 75% of the students we admitted have scores in this range or higher, and 25% of the students we admitted have scores below this range.
What to expect
THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
You’re in control
Completing the online application typically takes 30-45 minutes, not including the time you spend crafting your personal statement.
Within two days after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email with instructions to check your application status online. Check your status regularly for nearly real-time information, including the decision on your application.
We’ll use email to keep you updated, too. Check your email at least once a week throughout the admission process.
How decisions work
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Most students will receive a decision within four weeks after submitting a complete application with required documents.
Check your email and online status regularly; decisions are announced electronically before anything is mailed. If a student visa is not required, the official admit packet is mailed within four weeks. If a student visa is required, the official admit packet is express mailed only after all immigration information has been received, reviewed and verified.
Notifications generally fall into one of these categories:
After a decision has been made
Admitted students receive additional communications from the Office of Admissions and the Office of International programs outlining the confirmation and enrollment processes. To stay on track to enroll, admitted students are expected to check email regularly and make sure to complete the next steps for admitted students.