Transfer to One of the 23 Campuses of the California State University

Planning to transfer to a CSU? There are five main components for transfer to one of the 23 campuses of the California State University:

The Transfer Basics

1. What is a transfer student to the CSU?

If you have completed college units after the summer immediately following your graduation from high school, you are considered a transfer student.

2. What is the CSU definition of a CA Community College Transfer Student?

  • Students who have completed 60 or more transferable semester college units (90 or more quarter units) at the CA community college are considered upper-division transfer students to CSU.
  • Students are urged to come to the CSU fully GE certified and with lower-division major requirements completed.
  • Students who have completed less than 60-semester units are considered lower-division transfer students and must meet requirements similar to those students coming from high school. See www2.calstate.edu for limitations and guidelines. Contact your campus of choice to determine whether there are limits on admission as a lower division transfer.

3. What are the minimum admission requirements as an upper-division transfer to the CSU from a community college?

You are eligible for admission with 60 or more transferable semester units if you:

  1. Have a college grade point average of 2.00 or better (2.0 for nonresidents of California) in all transferable college units attempted
  2. Are in good standing at the last college or university attended, i.e., you are eligible to re-enroll.
  3. Complete or will complete prior to transfer at least 30 CSU transferable semester units of GE with a grade of C or better as part of the 60 transferable semester units required to be an upper-division transfer.

The 30 transferable semester units of GE include each of the following courses completed with a C ( 2.0 ) or better:

  • A1. ORAL COMMUNICATON: ESL 79, SPCH 1A, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, or 20
  • A2. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: ENGL 1A
  • A3. CRITICAL THINKING: ENGL 1B, 1C, PHIL 2, 4, or 40, SPCH 2
  • A4. MATHEMATICS & QUANTITATIVE REASONING: ECON 5, ET 50, MATH 70, 75, 80, 90, 92, 95, 97, 100A,100B, 110A, 110B, 110C, 115, 120, 125, 130, PHIL 12A, OR PSYC 5

Note: Submit a CSU application and fee in a timely manner.  Apply on-line at www2.calstate.edu/apply.

The filing period for Fall begins Oct 1 of the academic year prior to transfer. Oct 1-Nov 30 is the priority application filing period. If you are applying for an impacted major, you must apply during this window of time. (Application filing periods can vary from year to year)

It would be to every student's advantage to apply between Oct 1-Nov 30 for the following fall, so that the application gets priority. While some campuses which are not impacted remain open after this initial filing period, some are setting hard deadlines because of the state budget crisis. Always check the Application Filing Status Report for the campus and term to which you are applying at www2.calstate.edu/apply.

4. Why do I need to apply online?

Applying electronically ensures applicants complete all questions on the application and that they do so with greater accuracy. Applying online also decreases the time between submission and receipt by the campus and improves the application processing time required by the campus.

5. What if I don't have access to a computer to apply online?

Computers are available at the Transfer Center and at other City College labs and at public libraries. However, if there is a serious reason for not applying online, a paper copy of the application can be printed from the following page of Cal State Apply. However, this approach could slow down the processing of your application considerably.

CSU Application

6. If I fulfill these minimum requirements for admission will I be guaranteed admission to the CSU?

You will most probably be admitted to one of the CSU campuses--however, not necessarily to the CSU of your choice. With the California state budget situation, it is getting more competitive at every level, including the transfer level.  See CSU Impacted Campuses & Programs for additional admission criteria.

7. If I complete these minimum requirements for admission will I have to submit my high school transcript for review?

If you have completed the minimum eligibility requirements for admission as an upper-division transfer student to the CSU, you will not have to submit your high school transcript (unless requested by the college).

8. When should I send college transcripts?

The campus to which you are applying will inform you when to submit official transcripts. At that time request official transcripts to be sent directly from all colleges and universities that you previously attended, even if no coursework was completed. Transcripts must be received in sealed envelopes directly from each institution you attended.

9. How do I know which CSU campuses are open for admission?

10. What advice can you give me regarding the admission requirement to the CSU?

  • Complete English and Math as early as possible
  •  While completing minimum admission requirements, focus on completing major preparation course work whenever possible.
  • For Fall transfer, complete all required courses by end of spring semester.

Note: Some CSU campuses will admit transfer students based on courses "in progress," and some will not.  Please consult the specific campus(es) or their published or electronic materials for specific campus information.

11. Do transfer students have to take placement tests in English & Math at the CSU?

Upper-division transfer students who have completed English composition (English 1A at City College) and a college-level math course (see list above) with grades of C or better are exempt from the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry-Level Mathematics Test (ELM). Upper-division transfer students must complete both an English composition and college-level mathematics prior to enrolling at a CSU campus.

Lower-division transfer students (those with 59 or fewer transferable semester units) will be required to take the tests if they are not exempt based on their SAT or ACT scores (see the freshman requirements section on EPT/ELM exemptions at www2.calstate.edu) or if they have not completed the appropriate English composition and college-level math course with grades of C or higher.

NOTE: The following is not a transfer requirement, but is helpful information. At San Jose State all students must complete SJS's English 1B before taking the WST (a writing exam required to enroll in any upper-division General Education classes). If CCSF students take either ENGL 1B at CCSF,, the SJS English 1B prerequisite to taking the WST will be waived.

12. Do the CSUs offer a Guaranteed Admission Program to students?

No, the CSU system does not offer TAG programs.

13. What advice can you give me regarding filling out the application as a transfer student to the CSU?

  • Read the entire application; there are notes about completing certain sections
  • Do not work from memory; work from transcripts 
  • Report all course work attempted or completed after high school
  • Apply to several CSU 's (the filing fee is per campus and is nonrefundable and may not be transferred to another term at any campus; fee waivers are available to those who qualify)

14. When is the application filing period for the CSU?

  • The filing period for Fall begins Oct 1 of the academic year prior to transfer. Oct 1-Nov 30 is the priority application filing period. If you are applying for an impacted major, you must apply during this window of time. (Application filing periods can vary from year to year)
  • It would be to every students advantage to apply between Oct 1-Nov 30 for the following fall, so that the application gets priority. While some campuses which are not impacted remain open after this initial filing period, some are setting hard deadlines because of the state budget crisis. Always check at CSU application filing status for the latest enrollment opportunities

15. What are the CSU admissions policies for international students?

Click here for information about applying as an international student.

1. What is CSU Major Preparation?

  • In addition to completing the admission requirements for the CSU, it is essential that you complete the Freshman and Sophomore requirements in your major.
  • Many majors will not accept you if you have not completed these courses which prepare you to be a true "junior-level transfer".
  • Major Preparation is particularly critical for the sciences and engineering majors, and highly selective majors and campuses.

2. Where can I find the lower division requirements for my Major?

  • These major agreements can be accessed at www.assist.org.
  • If a CSU or major is not available at this web site, work with a counselor at City College or at the university to choose courses that fulfill your lower-division major requirements.
  • In addition, lower division requirements in the major are listed in the CSU catalogs at www.collegesource.org*
    • *This is a paid service, however, you have a free trial option. Iif you choose to continue usage, a subscription will be required. Most CSUs post their catalogs on their campus web sites also.

3. What is ASSIST?

  • ASSIST is the official California state repository of articulation of courses among public post-secondary educational institutions.
  • ASSIST includes articulation (equivalencies) for majors, general education and course-to-course.

ASSIST

4. Which CSU campuses offer my major?

 Go to: Student-Campus Matching Assistant or Explore Majors

5. What should I do if I am not sure of my major?

  • Start researching major/career options immediately. Do not procrastinate.
  • Enroll in courses of interest that fulfill general education (G.E.) requirements. Talk to instructors about their fields of study.
  • Explore universities/majors by visiting CSU web sites - click on the name of the campus
  • Meet with a Counselor in the Career Center to discuss your choice of major
  • Choose a program that interests you (usually that means that you are good at it!)

6. Can I transfer to the CSU with an undeclared major?

  • Most CSU campuses allow you to apply as an "undeclared" major if you are not sure about the career path you want to follow. However, as the admissions process becomes more competitive, it would definitely be to your advantage to decide on a major as soon as possible and complete the lower division requirements in your major before transfer .
  • Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California Maritime Academy and Channel Islands require applicants to choose a major and will not accept students who do not declare a major.

7. What is an impacted major or program?

When more applications are received in the initial filing period (Usually Oct 1-Nov 30 for the following fall) from CSU eligible applicants than can be accommodated by the campus. If you are interested in an impacted major, you must apply during the initial filing period. You will be subject to supplementary admission criteria.

8. Which CSU campuses have impacted majors?

These are the CSU Impacted Majors and Programs

9. Where can I find more information regarding transfer to the CSU?

1. What is General Education to the CSU?

The California State University System (CSU) wants most applicants to follow a general education (GE) pattern of courses (IGETC or CSU GE) as part of the required 60 transferable semester units for transferring as a Junior. The pattern consists of a variety of courses from a broad range of disciplines designed to give you breadth in your education.

2. What is IGETC?

  • IGETC is the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum which students can use to transfer to either the UC or the CSU. (There are a few requirements on the pattern that pertain to only the UC or CSU.) Not all colleges and majors accept IGETC, although all will use most of its courses for credit towards a GE pattern.
  • IGETC is appropriate for majors that do not require an extensive amount of lower-division course preparation. (Some high unit majors prefer that you concentrate mainly on the lower division major preparation rather than a full GE pattern. This type of information can usually be found in the university catalog under your choice of major.)
  •  IGETC is primarily for students who have not decided on a system, campus and/or a particular major

3. What is CSU GE?

The California State University (CSU) System approves a pattern of courses at the Community College that will be accepted for the lower division GE requirements at any one of their 23 campuses. See CCSF's CSU GE pattern below.

4. How do I know which GE Pattern to follow?

Your unique circumstance (previous college work, major focus) will determine which plan is best for you. Some majors prefer that you do not concentrate on general education. Meet with a counselor to determine which plan meets your needs.

5. What are the specific City College courses which fulfill the requirements for CSU GE or IGETC?

Note: The links below take you to our archive site until the content can be reviewed for accessibility.

1. What does 'eligibility to the CSU' mean?

Meeting minimum requirements for CSU admission

2. What does 'selection to the CSU' mean?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements may not be sufficient for you to obtain entrance to the campus or major of your choice.
  • Each CSU campus establishes screening (selection) criteria designed to make selections where there are more applicants than spaces available (see links below).

3. Where can I find screening criteria?

Screening criteria are listed in a variety of places:

  • CSU Websites
  • CSU Impacted Campuses and Programs
  • academic programs on campus web sites (see below)
  •  catalogs (hard copy--or electronic at www.collegesource.org* )
    • *This is a paid service, however, you have a free trial option. If you choose to continue usage, a  subscription will be required. Most CSUs post their catalogs on their campus web sites also.
  • articulation agreements on www.assist.org

4. Does preparation in the major serve as part of the selection criteria?

Yes, the completion of all or most of the lower division major preparation is frequently a type of selection criteria.

1. What are CSU electives?

CSU electives are transferable courses that can be selected to reach the goal of the required 60 CSU transferable semester units. These courses are listed at
CSU Transferable Course List (Baccalaureate List)

2. Does every transfer student take electives?

Most transfer students take electives. However, students with high unit majors may not need to take electives because preparation work for their major (along with minimum eligibility requirements) reaches or exceeds the required 60-semester units.

3. What criteria should I use in choosing electives?

The choice is entirely up to the student as long as the course is transferable to the CSU and stays within guidelines and limitations listed on the CSU Transferable Course List. Some suggestions are:

  • obtaining skills for the job market
  • increasing the depth and breadth of your major
  • preparing for a minor at the university
  • improving speaking, writing, reading, organizational, personal skills
  • learning a second language
  •  balancing your study load
  • interest, fun, health

4. How do electives fit into the overall educational plan for the CSU?

A student must complete at least 60 transferable semester units (including admission requirements, preparation in the major, selection criteria, general education and electives) in order to transfer successfully to the CSU as a Junior. Courses numbered 1-799 at City College generally transfer to CSU - however, there may be exceptions to this numbering system, so check the CSU Transferable Course List on ASSIST.