Academic Catalogs

California State University Admission Requirements

The California State University has 23 campuses throughout the state and offers bachelor's, master's, and limited doctorate degree programs as well as credentials for teaching and other professions. Each campus serves the local community and has unique programs and majors to that campus. CSU campuses seek to advance and extend knowledge, learning, and culture, especially throughout California.

Students intending to transfer to the CSU should be prepared to complete minimum entrance requirements for admission, and focus their time at the community college completing general education and lower-division coursework in the major. Most all students transfer at the junior level after completing 60-semester or 90-quarter units, and most campuses will offer admission in the fall and spring terms. Courses numbered G100 - G299 are transferable to the CSU. Most campuses will accept only upper-division transfer students. Detailed admission information is available at the Transfer Center or at CSU Apply (www.calstate.edu/apply). Be aware of timelines! Priority filing periods are posted in the Transfer Center. Due to impaction at most campuses, many CSU campuses cease accepting applications for admission after the end of the initial application filing period.

Upper Division Transfer

In order to be eligible for admission to a CSU campus as an upper-division (Junior-level) transfer, students must complete the following:

  1. Complete at least 60 transferable semester or 90 quarter units,
  2. Complete at least 30-semester units (45 quarter units) or courses equivalent to general education requirements with a grade of C or better. The 30 units must include all of the general education requirements in:
    1. Communication in the English language (English composition, oral communication, and critical thinking) and
    2. One course of at least 3-semester units in college-level mathematics.
      These four courses are commonly referred to as the “golden four.”
  3. Have a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better in all transferable units attempted (nonresidents must have a grade point average of 2.4),
  4. Be in Good Standing at the last college attended prior to transfer.

A maximum of 70 semester (105 quarter) units earned in a community college may be applied towards the bachelor’s degree. No upper-division unit credit is granted for courses taken in a community college. Visit the website for CSU Admissions at: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply or the Transfer Center for more information about CSU Transfer admission.

Lower Division Transfer 

To be admitted to the California State University as a lower-division transfer (LDT) student, students must:

  • Have completed "A-G" course requirements in high school;
  • Have graduated from high school (received a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate);
  • Meet the Eligibility Index required of a first-time freshman;
  • Have achieved an overall college GPA of at least 2.0 (This GPA is calculated using all transfer units attempted. In case of high-demand majors and campuses, a GPA of 2.0 may not be sufficient to be admitted);
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university you attended. (In simple terms, “good standing” means you are eligible to re-enroll at your last college or university); and
  • Have completed, with a grade of C- or better, a course in GE Section A2 in written communication and a course in GE section B4 in mathematics or quantitative reasoning.

Note: While all CSU Campuses welcome a large pool of junior-level transfers, most admit only a limited number of lower-division transfers.

Impacted Campuses and Programs

Many campus and individual majors may be impacted at CSU campuses. Impaction means that a campus has received more applications from qualified candidates during the initial filing period than can be accommodated. In such cases, campuses use supplementary admissions criteria such as residency requirements, grade point average, required lower-division coursework, or test scores to screen applications. Applications for admission to an impacted program must be filed during the initial admission application filing period of October or November for the fall term or August for the spring term. Applicants to an impacted program at one campus are encouraged to apply to an alternate campus that offers the same program but which is not impacted.

Information about screening criteria is available in the Transfer Center or Counseling Office. See http://www.calstate.edu/sas/impactioninfo.shtml for information regarding impaction: http://www.calstate.edu/sas/impactioninfo.shtml.

Associate in Art for Transfer (AA-T) Or Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T)

The Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) guarantees a community college student who completes this degree admission to a California State University (CSU) campus. The Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing these degrees (AA-T or AS-T) are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus. Additionally, the ADT major and the university major must be deemed "Similar" to be accepted in lieu of local campus requirements for the degree. In order to earn an Associate Degree for Transfer, students must complete 60 CSU-transferable semester units with a minimum grade point average of 2.0, earn "C" grades in each course in the major, and at least 30 units of general education, including coursework in Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics. Students transferring to a CSU campus that accepts the AA-T or AS-T will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree (unless the major is a designated “high-unit” major). This degree may not be the best option for students intending to transfer to a particular major within a CSU campus or to the University of California (UC) campuses. The Associate Degree for Transfer also provides guaranteed admission to several private/independent colleges and universities in California, and select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Students should consult with a GWC counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

California State University General Education Requirements

As part of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree, all students must meet general education requirements. A minimum of 48-semester units is required for general education: 37-39 lower division and at least nine upper-division units. All of the lower division courses for general education may be completed at a California Community College before transferring to a CSU campus.

There are two general education patterns that California Community College students can complete:

  1. CSU GE Breadth: The CSU GE Breadth Requirements is a lower division 39-unit pattern. Students must take specified courses in Areas A-E, and upon completion, can receive the Certificate of Achievement for CSU GE Breadth.

    Up to 39 lower-division, general education units can be transferred from and certified by a California Community College. Students who are certified with 39-semester units of lower-division general education units will be required to complete a minimum of nine-semester units of upper-division general education after transfer.

    It is important that students request that their California Community College certify completion of California Community College coursework that meets CSU general education requirements. Certification means that CSU will accept these courses to meet the CSU GE Breadth areas designated by their California Community College.
  2. The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC): IGETC is the other pattern that California Community College students can use to fulfill lower-division general education requirements at any CSU or University of California (UC) campus. The IGETC requires completion of a minimum of 37-semester units of lower-division course work with a C grade or better in each course (C- is not allowed). GWC does not use + or – grade option. This applies to courses from other colleges. If students complete all IGETC requirements and their courses are certified, they will be required to complete at least nine-semester units of upper-division general education after transfer to a CSU campus. IGETC for the CSU requires that the student complete all of Area 1, including 3 units in Area 1C: Oral Communication.

Because the IGETC is accepted by both CSU and the University of California, it is a good option if students are undecided about the school to which they will transfer.

Students should consult with their counselor to determine which general education program is most appropriate for their educational goals.

What Is Certification?

Courses taken at the community college may be used to satisfy general education requirements for graduation from CSU schools. However, such courses must be specifically identified and verified by the community college before they will be recognized by the CSU campus. This process is called certification.

Students must request certification from the GWC Records Office when the request for sending their final transcript to the CSU campus is made (Official Transcript Request Form). In order to complete the certification process, official transcripts from all colleges attended must be on file in the Records Office. If examinations, e.g. Advanced Placement, are used to meet IGETC requirements, official results must also be on file.

Students requesting GE Certification must complete at least 12 units at GWC.

Students who complete all of the requirements of the CSU/GE or IGETC Certificate of Achievement are considered to be fully certified by the community college (see the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum section for more information).

What Courses Can Be Certified?

Courses taken at any regionally accredited college or university may be certified. GWC students who complete all their general education courses at GWC can have those courses certified. Courses taken at another California Community College must be applied to the subject area in which they are listed by the college at which they were taken. For example, if a Psychology 100 course is taken at Orange Coast College where it is listed in Area D, it will be certified in Area D. This is referred to as “pass-along.” Also, courses can only be certified if they were on the college’s CSU GE Breadth or IGETC approved list at the time they were taken by the student. Students in the Coast Community College District who take courses at Golden West, Orange Coast and/or Coastline must make sure that the courses are in the areas they need to meet general education requirements. The general education patterns for all three district colleges are different.

CSU Locations 

CSU Bakersfield 
Student Services Building 47SA
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1099
(661) 654-3036
www.csub.edu

CSU Channel Islands 
One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012
(805) 437-8520
www.csuci.edu

CSU Chico 
400 West First Street
Chico, CA 95929-0722
(530) 898-6322
www.csuchico.edu

CSU Dominguez Hills 
Welch Hall Room C290
1000 East Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747
(310) 243-3645
www.csudh.edu

CSU East Bay 
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542-3035
(510) 885-2784
www.csueastbay.edu

CSU Fresno 
M/S JA57
5150 North Maple
Fresno, CA 93740-0057
(559) 278-2261
www.csufresno.edu

CSU Fullerton 
Langsdorf Hall Room 114
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92834-9480
(657) 278-3100
www.fullerton.edu

Humboldt State University 
One Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521-4957
(707) 826-4402
www.humboldt.edu

CSU Long Beach 
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-0106
(562) 985-5471
www.csulb.edu

CSU Los Angeles 
Student Affairs Bldg. Room 101
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8530
(323) 343-3901
www.calstatela.edu

CA Maritime Academy 
200 Maritime Academy Drive
Vallejo, CA 94590
(707) 654-1330
www.csum.edu

CSU Monterey Bay 
100 Campus Center
Seaside, CA 93955-8001
(831) 582-3738
www.csumb.edu

CSU Northridge 
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8207
(818) 677-3700
www.csun.edu

Cal Poly Pomona 
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768-4003
(909) 869-5299
www.cpp.edu

CSU Sacramento 
Lassen Hall 1102
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6048
(916) 278-7766
www.csus.edu

CSU San Bernardino 
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397
(909) 537-5188
www.csusb.edu

San Diego State University 
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7455
(619) 594-6336
www.sdsu.edu

San Francisco State University 
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132-4002
(415) 338-6486
www.sfsu.edu

San Jose State University 
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0009
(408) 283-7500
www.sjsu.edu

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 1
One Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
(805) 756-2311
www.calpoly.edu

CSU San Marcos 
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096-0001
(760) 750-4848
www.csusm.edu

Sonoma State University 
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 664-2778
www.sonoma.edu

CSU Stanislaus (4-1-4)
MSR 140
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3070
www.csustan.edu