General Tips On Getting Into A California State University

You Can Make It Happen!


A college degree can help you reach your dreams of being a teacher, an astronaut, a doctor or nurse, an athlete, an actress, or whatever you want to be.  Plan early and follow the steps in each grade level.

What Classes Do I Need to Take?

(9th through 12th Grades)


The California State University requires the following college preparatory pattern of classes (referred to as the “a-g” courses) for admission:


o   English: 4 years of college preparatory English composition and literature (take one each year)

o   Math: 3 years (4 years are recommended), including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or higher mathematics (take one each year)

o   History and Social Science: 2 years, including 1 year of U.S. History and Social Science: 2 years, including 1 year of U.S. history (or 1 semester of U.S. history and1 semester of civics or American Government) and 1 year of social science

o   Laboratory Science: 2 years with a lab class

o   Language (other than English): 2 years of the same language (American Sign Language is applicable)

o   Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year of dance, drama or theater, music, or visual arts

o   College Preparatory Elective: 1 year of any college preparatory subject

Note: More than 6,500 high school career/technical classes are accepted as fulfilling one of the a-g course requirements.  See “a-g Course Lists” at to find out which ones qualify.


Go to:




How Will I Pay for College?


o  CSU fees are approximately $3,800 a year among the lowest in the nation for a four-year public university.

o  You may qualify for financial aid (

o  If you earn good grades in high school, meet financial need requirements and aare a California resident, you are guaranteed a Cal Grant ( – for college that does not need to be repaid.




How Families Can Help Students Succeed


o  Help your child with homework and meet with teachers and counselors to discuss coursework that will prepare your child for college.

o  Talk to your children about careers that interest them and what college they would like to attend.

o  Research financial aid, scholarships and Cal Grants.  Consider opening a college savings account at ScholarShare (

o  Contact the CSU campuses you are interested in to schedule a tour and get information about programs, admission requirements and financial aid.


How Important Are Grades?


o   If your GPA in college preparatory courses taken in 10th through 12th grades is 3.0 or above, you automatically meet the minimum eligibility requirements for most programs and campuses of the CSU.

o   If your GPA is between 2.0 and 3.0, your eligibility also depends on your ACT (American College Test) or SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) results in combination with your GPA.  More information:

Note:  Some CSU campuses require higher GPAs and test scores for admission because the number of eligible applicants is greater than the campus can enroll.  More information:


What Will Help Me Succeed?


CSUMentor has information on admission, financial aid, majors, campus virtual tours, a student planner and more.

Early Assessment Program (EAP) –

o   The EAP helps high school students meet college readiness standards in English and mathematics.

o   EAP tests are optional and are given in the spring of the 11th grade as part of the required California Standards Tests (CSTs).  Eleventh graders will be notified of testing dates in early spring.


o   Students who take the EAP may be able to:


o   Skip the otherwise required CSU English and/or mathematics placement tests

o   Identify the need for additional preparation in English and math to succeed at the CSU while still enrolled in high school

o   Adjust senior-year coursework to prepare for the CSU

o   Avoid spending time and money in college remediation courses that do not count toward a bachelor’s degree


Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP) –

The MDTP is an assessment test that determines readiness for mathematics courses such as Algebra, Geometry and Calculus.  Find out if your school participates.


You Can Do It!



*Taken from