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I want to apply as a Freshman

How Freshman Applicants Are Considered

We consider freshman applications on the basis of the following criteria.

Completion of A–G Courses: as a first-time freshman applicant you must complete, with grades of C or higher, the 15-unit comprehensive pattern of college preparatory courses.

Eligibility Index (GPA and test scores): the eligibility index is the combination of your high school grade point average and your SAT/ACT test scores. All California State University campuses use the eligibility index as part of the admission decision. Calculate your eligibility.

The major to which you apply: some majors are competitive, meaning some majors have more applicants than available slots (the CSU calls this impaction). Major of choice does not impact the admissions decision for first year applicants. Cal State San Marcos has three academic programs that are impacted at the upper-division level: Business Administration, Kinesiology, and Nursing/Pre-Nursing (Basic Nursing Program). See Impaction.

List of A-G Courses

As a first-time freshman applicant, you must complete, with grades of C or higher, the 15-unit comprehensive pattern of college preparatory courses.

A–G SUBJECT YEARS SPECIFICATIONS
A Social Science 2 years required Must include one year of U.S. history and government.
B English 4 years required Literature and/or composition courses are acceptable
C Mathematics 3 years required;
4 recommended
Courses acceptable include algebra I, algebra II, geometry, and other advanced courses that require algebra and geometry as prerequisites. Computer programming courses do not fulfill the math requirements.
D Laboratory Science 2 years required; 3 recommended Must include one year of biology and one year of physical science. Both must have a laboratory component.
E Foreign Language 2 years required Must be the same language. (Subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence.)
F Visual and Performing Arts 1 year required Must be a year-long visual and performing arts course in a single area. Visual art, dance, drama/theatre, or music.
G Electives 1 year required College preparatory courses selected from English, advanced mathematics, social studies, history, laboratory science, agriculture, and foreign language.

Eligibility Index

All California State University campuses use the eligibility index as part of the freshman admission decision. The eligibility index is the combination of your high school grade point average and your SAT/ACT test scores.

Test Scores

For fall admission, you must take one of the two major college admission tests by December.

  • Practice SAT and ACT exams available online for no cost at HETS -- select this option again after new page loads:
Glae Database

Grade Point Average

Your official GPA for admission to any California State University, including CSUSM, may be different than the GPA on your high school transcript. This is because we calculate your high school GPA using your 10th–12th grade A-G courses.

Also, honors points for A, B and C grades are awarded for a maximum of eight semester courses taken in 11th and 12th grades, including up to two IB or AP courses, or honors courses with 11th or 12th grade content taken in the 10th grade.

Estimate your GPA using the CSU Grade Point Average Calculator.

Eligibility Index Calculator

Your eligibility index using your reported SAT Reasoning Test score is:

Your eligibility index using your reported ACT score is:

Freshman Admission Dates

  • October 1 – November 30: apply to CSUSM at the CSU Mentor website
  • October 1– March 2: file FAFSA (financial aid application) for priority consideration
  • February 15: intial document, fee and test score deadline
  • April: last month to register online for the May EPT/ELM tests, which are the final test dates for admitted freshmen before fall registration begins
  • May 1: deadline to submit the "Intent to Enroll" and non-refundable $150 deposit
  • May:  FRESHMAN ONLY - Placement exam completion (EPT/ELM)
  • July 15: deadline for receipt of final transcripts with spring grades.  NOTE: This is not a postmarked deadline