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A first-time freshman applicant is a prospective student who has not taken college courses after the summer following their high school graduation.

Admission eligibility criteria:

  • Are, or will be, a high school graduate or have completed a GED.
  • Has met the CSU admissions eligibility index based upon GPA in college preparatory classes and scores from the ACT or SAT Reasoning exam. Calculate your eligibility index.
  • Has completed required courses with grades of "C" or higher in the "a-g" college preparatory subjects by the end of spring. See the list of a-g courses.

For fall admission, all requirements and high school graduation must be completed by the end of the spring term. Courses completed in the summer after graduation will not be considered in the admissions evaluation.

Applicants Outside of Local Admission Area (Impaction)

Prospective students from outside of CSUSM's local admission area are welcome to apply for admission during the priority application period. However, because we receive more applicants than we have available spots, they will only be considered if enrollment space is available after local admission area applicants have been accommodated. Read more about local and non-local admission area, impaction criteria and impacted majors.

Apply for Admission

  • October 1 - November 30: Submit an application and the $70.00 application fee to Cal State San Marcos on Cal State Apply . You will receive an email confirmation once your application has been submitted.

Apply to CSUSM!

  • Before February 15: Submit official ACT or SAT test scores to CSUSM.

Check your Application Status on MyCSUSM

MyCSUSM is an online student portal which provides you access to the status of your application for admissions, your student records, transcripts, and other admissions materials.  Shortly after you submit your application, you will receive an email from the Student Technology Help Desk with instructions on how to access MyCSUSM.

If you are having trouble logging into MyCSUSM, please contact the Student Technology Help Desk at

Visit MyCSUSM and check your emails frequently for important information and updates.

Maintain Your Eligibility

Admission is based on self-reported information from your application. Once you are conditionally admitted, we verify this information against your official transcript. Please make sure to report accurate information.

Your admission may be rescinded for any of the following reasons:

  • Your GPA or course grades are lower than what you reported on the application
  • Your eligibility index falls below what was required for admission
  • You miss any admissions deadlines
  • You earn D or F grades in any coursework needed to meet the a-g course requirements
  • You misreport or do not complete a required course

Update Your Email and Mailing Address

Important information from CSUSM will be communicated to you via email. It is imperative that we have your correct email and mailing addresses. To update your information, go to your Student Center in MyCSUSM and under 'General Information' edit account details.