Undergraduate Admission Requirements
Admissions and Outreach
Lassen Hall Lobby - Room 1102
The following section outlines the requirements for admission to Sacramento State and other CSU campuses. Prospective applicants should contact a high school or community college counselor or the Admissions and Outreach Office at California State University, Sacramento if they have further questions.
Generally, first-time freshman applicants will qualify for regular admission if they meet the following requirements:
- Have graduated from high school, have earned a Certificate of General Education Development (GED), or have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination;
- Have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index (see section on Eligibility Index); and
- Have completed with grades of “C” or better each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirements also known as the "a-g" pattern (see “Subject Requirements”).
Up to eight semesters of approved honors courses taken in the last two years of high school including up to two approved courses taken in the tenth grade, can be accepted toward students' high school GPA (see "Eligibility Index"). Each unit (one year) of grade “A” in an honors course will receive 5 points; grade “B,” 4 points; and grade “C,” 3 points.
All Freshman applicants regardless of grade point average, must submit scores from either the SAT or the ACT. Freshman and transfer applicants who have fewer than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credit are strongly encouraged to submit scores, unless exempt from either the ACT or the SAT (see "Eligibility Index"). Students who apply to an impacted program may be required to submit test scores and should take the test no later than November or December during the year prior to application. Registration forms and dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from a CSU campus testing office. Test scores may additionally be used for advising and placement purposes.
The California State University requires that first-time freshman applicants complete, with grades of “C” or better, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units (a “unit” is one year of study in high school).
- 2 years of social science, including 1 year of U.S. history, or U.S. history and government
- 4 years of English
- 3 years of math (algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra)
- 2 years of laboratory science (1 biological and 1 physical, both must have laboratory instruction)
- 2 years in the same foreign language (subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence)
- 1 year of visual and performing arts: art, dance, drama/theater, or music
- 1 year of electives: selected from English, advanced mathematics, social science, history, laboratory science, foreign language, visual and performing arts or other courses approved and included on the UC/CSU "a-g" list.
Note: All admission requirements (i.e., grade point average, test scores, and subjects) must be completed by the end of the spring term for a fall enrollment and the end of summer for a spring enrollment.
Sacramento State grants credit toward its undergraduate degrees for successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board or courses taken by students while in high school.
- Students may be granted up to 6 units for each Advanced Placement (AP) examination for which a score of 3, 4, or 5 is earned.
- Transferable college courses completed as a high school student will be evaluated for possible college credit upon receipt of an official college transcript.
The foreign language subject requirement may be satisfied by applicants who demonstrate competence in a language other than English equivalent to or higher than expected of students who complete two years of foreign language study. Consult with a school counselor or any CSU admissions office for information.
Sacramento State recognizes completion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program as satisfying the college preparatory subject requirements for admission.* The applicant’s high school GPA and score on the ACT or SAT I will also be used in determining eligibility for admission.
*See Academic Policies/Credit by Examination/Sacramento State Equivalencies for IB Exams.
The eligibility index is the combination of the high school grade point average and scores on either the ACT or the SAT. Grade point averages (GPA) are based on grades earned in courses taken during the final three years of high school. Included in calculation of GPA are grades earned in all college preparatory “a-g” subject requirements, and bonus points for approved honors courses. Up to eight semesters of honors courses taken in the last three years of high school, including up to two approved courses taken in the tenth grade, can be accepted. Each unit of “A” in an honors course will receive a total of 5 points; “B”, 4 points; and “C”, 3 points.
A CSU Eligibility Index (EI) can be calculated by multiplying a grade point average by 800 and adding the total score on the mathematics and critical reading scores of the SAT. For students who took the ACT, multiply the grade point average by 200 and add ten times the ACT composite score. Persons who are California high school graduates (or residents of California for tuition purposes) need a minimum index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT. The University has no current plans to include the writing scores from either of the admissions tests in the computation of the CSU Eligibility Index.
Persons who neither graduated from a California high school nor are a resident of California for tuition purposes, need a minimum index of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT). Graduates of secondary schools in foreign countries must be judged to have academic preparation and abilities equivalent to applicants eligible under this section. An applicant with a grade point average of 3.0 or above (3.61 for nonresidents) is not required to submit test scores. However, all applicants for admission are urged to take the SAT or ACT and provide the scores of such tests to each CSU to which they seek admission. Campuses use these test results for advising and placement purposes and may require them for admission to impacted majors or programs. Impacted CSU campuses require SAT or ACT scores of all applicants for freshman admission.
Registration forms and the dates for either test may be obtained from school or college counselors or from a campus Testing Office. Testing information is also available at the Sacramento State Web site, www.csus.edu/testing or by writing to:
College Board (SAT)
Registration Unit, Box 6200
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6200
(609) 771-7600 www.collegeboard.org
American College Testing Program (ACT)
Registration Unit, P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, Iowa 52243
(319) 337-1270 www.act.org
Applicants will qualify for regular (non-provisional) admission when the University verifies that they have graduated and received a diploma from high school, have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index, have completed the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory “a-g” subjects, and, if applying to an impacted program or campus, have met all supplementary criteria.*
Graduates of secondary schools in foreign countries will be judged to have academic preparation and abilities equivalent to applicants eligible under this section.
*Refer to Application to Sacramento State/Undergraduate/Impacted Programs.
The CSU uses only the ACT score or the SAT mathematics and critical reading scores in its admission eligibility equation. The SAT or ACT writing scores are not currently used by CSU campuses.
Applicants with disabilities are strongly encouraged to complete college preparatory course requirements if at all possible. If an applicant is judged unable to fulfill a specific course requirement because of his or her disability, alternate college preparatory courses may be substituted for specific subject requirements.
Substitutions may be authorized on an individual basis after review and recommendation by the applicant’s academic advisor or guidance counselor in consultation with the director of a CSU disabled student services program. Although the distribution may be slightly different from the course pattern required of other students, students qualifying for substitutions will still be held accountable for 15 units of college preparatory study.
Students should be aware that course substitutions might limit later enrollment in certain majors, particularly those involving mathematics. For further information and substitution forms, please call the director of disabled student services at the nearest CSU campus.
Sacramento State may provisionally admit first-time freshman applicants based on their academic preparation through the junior year of high school and planned for the senior year. The campus will monitor the final two years of study to ensure that admitted students complete their secondary school studies satisfactorily, including the required college preparatory subjects, and graduate from high school. Students are required to submit an official transcript after graduation to certify that all coursework has been satisfactorily completed. Official high school transcripts must be received prior to deadline set by the University. In no case may documentation of high school graduation be received any later than the census date for a student's first term of CSU enrollment. A campus may rescind admission decisions, cancel financial aid awards, withdraw housing contracts, and cancel any University registration for students who are found not to be eligible after the final transcript has been evaluated.
Applicants will qualify for regular (non-provisional) admission when the University verifies that they have graduated and received a diploma from high school, have a minimum eligibility index, have completed the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory "a-g" subjects, and, if applying to an impacted program, have met all supplementary criteria.
The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, “foreign students” include those who hold U.S. temporary visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.
The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of "foreign students". Verification of English proficiency (see the section on TOEFL Requirement for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least 8 weeks before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.
Foreign visa students graduating from U.S. high schools after three years of attendance will be admitted as freshmen under the same requirements as graduates of California high schools by use of the eligibility index. Those graduating from foreign high schools (or from California high schools after less than three years of attendance) may be admitted if their achievement is equivalent to that of eligible California high school graduates. They also may need to complete the TOEFL requirement.
Priority in admission is given to residents of California. There is often little likelihood of nonresident applicants, including international students, being admitted either to impacted majors or to those majors or programs with limited openings.
**Refer to Application to Sacramento State/ International Students/TOEFL Requirement.
As an alternative to regular admission criteria, an applicant who is twenty-five years of age or older may be considered for admission as an adult student if he or she meets all of the following conditions:
1. Possesses a high school diploma (or has established equivalence through either the General Educational Development or California High School Proficiency Examinations).
2. Has not been enrolled in college as a full-time student for more than one term during the past five years.
3. If there has been any college attendance in the last five years, has earned a "C" average in all college work attempted.
Consideration will be based upon a judgement as to whether the applicant is likely to succeed as regularly admitted freshman or transfer student and will include assessment of basic skills in the English language and mathematical computation
EOP, a special admission and support program for students who possess the potential and motivation to succeed, is designed to improve access and retention of low-income and educationally disadvantaged students among California residents who wish to pursue a college education.*
*See Centers for Academic Support/EOP.
Veterans of United States active duty military service with honorable discharges applying for admission within four years of their date of discharge who are also California residents may be admitted as first-time freshmen, even though such applicants are not otherwise eligible. Veterans who wish to be admitted under this provision should contact an admission counselor.*
*See also Application to Sacramento State/CSU Impacted Programs/Supplemental Criteria, as well as the Veterans Success Center website at http://www.csus.edu/vets/ .
Applicants over 18 years of age who have not graduated from high school are considered for admission only when their preparation in all other ways is such that Sacramento State believes their promise of academic success is equivalent to that of eligible California high school graduates. These applicants may be required to submit ACT or SAT scores. Applicants who have not graduated from high school should consult with an admissions counselor concerning eligibility for admission.
Admissions and Outreach
Lassen Hall Lobby
High school students may be considered for enrollment in certain special programs if recommended by the principal and the appropriate campus department chair and if preparation is equivalent to that required of eligible California high school graduates. Such admission is only for a given specific program and does not constitute a right to continued enrollment.
These programs include:
1. Accelerated College Entrance (ACE) for talented students who can benefit from accelerated academic studies, available by phone at (916) 278-7032;
2. Capitol Center MESA for underrepresented students in CSU mathematics, engineering, and science programs, available by phone at (916) 278-6699.
Students accepted into these programs qualify for reduced fees.
High school students other than those accepted into the above programs may also enroll concurrently in college courses without fee reduction upon approval of parents, high school principal, and appropriate Sacramento State academic department chairs.
Applicants not admissible under one of the above pro visons should enroll at a community college or another appropriate institution in preparatory courses to meet eligibility requirements. Only under the most unusual circumstances and only by special action will such applicants be admitted to Sacramento State.
Admissions Appeal - Section 89030.7 of the California Education Code requires that the California State University establishes specific requirements for appeal procedures for a denial of admission. Each CSU campus must publish appeal procedures for applicants denied admission to the University. The procedure is limited to addressing campus decisions to deny an applicant admission to the University.
Admissions appeal procedures must address the basis for appeals, provide 15 business days for an applicant to submit an appeal, stipulate a maximum of one appeal per academic term, provide specific contact information for the individual or office to which the appeal should be submitted, and indicate a time estimate for when the campus expects to respond to an appeal. The appeal procedures must be included in all denial of admission notifications to students, and must also be published on the campus website. Please click the "I was not admitted" link at www.csus.edu/admission for more information.
The University reserves the right to select its students and deny admission to the University or any of its programs as the University, in its sole discretion, determines appropriate admission action based on an applicant's suitability and the best interests of the University.