Generally, applicants will qualify for consideration for first-time freshman 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 (CHSPE).
- Have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index (see Eligibility Index).
- 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).
The Eligibility Index is the combination of the high school GPA and scores on either the ACT or the SAT. GPA is based on grades earned in courses taken during the final three years of high school. Included in the 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 can be calculated by multiplying a GPA by 800 and adding the total score on the SAT exam (mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.) For students who took the ACT, multiply the GPA by 200 and add 10 times the ACT composite score. Persons who are California high school graduates (or residents of California for tuition purposes) need a minimum index of 2950 or 694 using the ACT. The Eligibility Index Table illustrates several combinations of required test scores and averages. 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 3570 or 842 using the 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 3.00 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 campus 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.
CSUN may provisionally admit first-time freshman applicants based on their academic preparation through the junior year of high school and planned coursework for the senior year. The campus will monitor the final terms 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 the 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 to be ineligible 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 high school diploma, have earned 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.
The CSU uses only the ACT composite score, the mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores on the new SAT in its admission eligibility equation. The SAT or ACT writing scores are not currently used by CSU campuses.
For more information, see CSUN Provisional Admission.
The CSU 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; four years recommended)
- 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