Tips for Admission to the California State University (CSU) System

The California State University (CSU) application is a bit more straightforward than the University of California (UC) system, which does include a series of Personal Insight Questions (PIQs) to answer.

Consider this list of background information and tips to be aware of as you navigate through the CSU application:

1. Similar to the UC system, the CSU application ( has a single application system for ALL 23 CSU campuses. You’ll need the following to apply:

  • When you go to the application portal, scroll down until you see the “Select a Term to Apply For” drop-down menu. Select “Fall 2022”.
  • As you create your account, you’ll enter a few questions about what type of application you plan to submit. If you’re a high school senior, then you will select:
    • First Bachelor’s Degree;
    • Graduating High School Senior or equivalent; and
    • If applicable, Yes or No if you are taking or have taken college courses

2. Once you create your account, you’ll be taken to the landing page for all schools and their respective majors. There’s a search engine at the top of the page that you can use to filter either campuses and/or majors/programs.

3. After you add your respective schools and majors/programs, you will have to complete four major sections:

  • Personal Information: This is similar to the Profile section that you complete for the Common Application or the UC application, where you provide Biographic, Contact, Citizenship, Race & Ethnicity, Parent/Guardian, Financial and Parental, and Other information.
  • Academic History: This is where you’ll spend the majority of your time completing this application. You have to import your coursework from all high schools that you have attended. Students who have a “California Colleges” account ( can easily link their high school and coursework. Make sure to have your unofficial/official transcripts from all your secondary schools to add any courses that have fulfilled your A-G requirements. You must indicate the course name (which now indicates which A-G requirement it fulfills), the level of the course (Honors, AP, IB, or None/Regular), and grades across both semesters.
  • Supporting Information: This section is not really applicable unless you are applying to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
  • Program Materials: Depending on the campus and major/program chosen, there may be items to read and respond to on the Program Materials section.

4. Validation. What is Validation? The CSU admissions allows for a certain amount of flexibility when evaluating whether a student has completed a particular subject and gained the requirements necessary to enter college. Validation is the process that allows students that fail a course in a specific subject in the 1st semester to receive a full year’s worth of credits if they get a passing grade of “C” or better in the second semester.

  • CSU Validation applies to: Math, Language Other Than English (LOTE), and Chemistry.
    • Math: C or better in the 2nd semester of Geometry will validate the first semester; C or better in the 1st semester of Algebra II validates both semesters of Algebra I; Statistics will validate Algebra I and Algebra II, but will not validate Geometry; advanced math validates the entire sequence.
    • Language Other Than English (LOTE): C or better in a semester of a higher-level course validates a lower-level course.
    • Chemistry: C or better in the 2nd semester of Chemistry validates the first semester.

The last step is to do a Submission Review and double check that all of your information is accurate. Remember to address any “Warning Review” that the application portal may present to you.

Congrats on making it this far in completing your CSU application!

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