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 (see “Eligibility Index”), from either the ACT or the SAT of the College Board. Persons who apply to an impacted program may be required to submit test scores and should take the test no later than November or December. Test scores also are used for advising and placement purposes. Registration forms and dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from a CSU campus testing office, including the CSUN Testing Center. Or students may write to, call or email:
The College Board (SAT)
Registration Unit, Box 6200
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6200
ACT Registration Unit
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
English Language Requirement
All undergraduate applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction, must present a score of 61 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some majors and some campuses may require a higher score. A few campuses may also use alternative methods of assessing English fluency: the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP). Each campus will post the tests it accepts on its website and will notify students after they apply about the tests it accepts and when to submit scores.
CSU minimum TOEFL standards are:
For the tests and minimum scores accepted by CSUN, see the International Admissions website.
Systemwide Placement Test Requirements
The CSU requires that each entering undergraduate, except those who qualify for an exemption, take the CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) examination and the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrollment. These placement tests are not a condition for admission to the CSU, but they are a condition of enrollment. These examinations are designed to identify entering students who may need additional support in acquiring college entry-level English and mathematics skills necessary to succeed in CSU baccalaureate-level courses. Undergraduate students who do not demonstrate college-level skills both in English and in mathematics will be placed in appropriate remedial programs and activities during the first term of their enrollment. Students placed in remedial programs in either English or mathematics must complete all remediation in their first year of enrollment. Failure to complete remediation by the end of the first year may result in denial of enrollment for future terms. Students register for the EPT and/or ELM. CSUN may establish deadlines by which new students must register for and/or take placement exams as a requirement for enrollment. Questions about test dates and registration materials may be addressed to:
CSUN Testing Center
Bayramian Hall (BH) Room 190
English Placement Test (EPT)
The English Placement Test (EPT) is designed to assess the reading and writing skills of students entering the California State University. The CSU EPT must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including developmental courses. Students who score 147 or above on the EPT will be placed in college-level composition classes.
Exemptions from the EPT are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:
- A score of 500 or above on the critical reading section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test.
- A score of 22 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) English Test.
- A score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition or Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program.
- Completion of a course that transfers to a CSU and satisfies the requirement in Qualitative Reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of “C” or better.
- A result of Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU college-level coursework in English on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam.
The following Conditionally Ready statuses require students to continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved English course with a grade of “C” or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.
- 460-490 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT Reasoning Test.
- 19-21 on the English portion of the ACT Test.
- A result of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college-level coursework in English on the CAASPP exam.
Students with an EPT score of:
- 139 or below enroll in Stretch Composition 113A followed by 113B and corresponding mandatory Supplemental Instruction (SI) labs.
- 140-146 enroll in Stretch Composition 114A followed by 114B.
- 147 or above enroll in 115.
Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Examination
The Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Examination is designed to assess and measure the mathematics skills acquired through three years of rigorous college preparatory mathematics coursework (Algebra I and II, and Geometry) of students entering the California State University (CSU). The CSU ELM must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including developmental courses. Students who score 50 or above on the ELM will be placed in college-level mathematics classes.
Exemptions from the ELM are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:
- A score of 550 or above on the Mathematics section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test.
- A score of 550 or above on a College Board SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2).
- A score of 23 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) Mathematics Test.
- A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC exam.
- A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics examination.
- Completion and transfer to CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of “C” or better.
- A result of Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU college-level coursework in mathematics on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam.
The following Conditionally Ready statuses require students to continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved math course with a grade of “C” or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.
- 490-540 on the Mathematics portion of the SAT Reasoning Test.
- 20-22 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT exam.
- A result of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college-level coursework in mathematics on the CAASPP exam.
Students with an ELM score of:
- 32 or below take two (2) developmental mathematics courses at CSUN.
- Above 34 but below 50 take one (1) developmental mathematics course at CSUN.
- 50 or higher place into college-level mathematics courses at CSUN.
A score of 50 or above on the ELM Examination or a grade of credit in the appropriate developmental mathematics courses is one of the requirements for enrollment in most university-level Mathematics courses at CSUN, as well as CHEM 100 and CHEM 103, and PHSC 170. ELM exemption based on SAT, ACT or Advanced Placement Test scores, as listed above, also will meet this requirement. However, students who wish to qualify for enrollment in university-level Mathematics courses at CSUN on the basis of a transfer course can do so only if the transfer course is an approved mathematics course above the level of intermediate algebra.
Liberal Studies majors who are credential candidates should be aware that the ELM requirement must be met in order to enroll in either MATH 210 or MATH 310. A transfer course equivalent to MATH 210 will not enable students to enroll in MATH 310 at CSUN unless they also have met the ELM requirement for enrollment.