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I have applied as a Freshman

Cal State San Marcos welcomes applications from first time freshman applicants for fall semesters. We utilize minimum CSU eligibility requirements for local admission area applicants, impaction criteria may be used for applicants from outside the local admission area.

Initial admission decisions will be based on the course information you reported on your application and official test scores received. Admission as a first time freshman is solely based on completion of college preparatory courses (a-g course list), grade point average in college preparatory courses and scores from the ACT (American College Testing) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) reasoning exams.

California State University San Marcos will have limited space for fall admission due to the CSU systemwide enrollment management directives. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to multiple institutions. Please read impaction criteria for first time freshman applicants.

Steps you can take through this process:

  1. Use your User Name and password (sent to your email from within 2 weeks of submitting your application) to login to MyCSUSM to regularly check your admission status, and to check for any items noted on your "To Do" list. Send us any items listed by the posted deadlines.
  2. Review the testing requirements for all incoming freshman at CLASS (Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services). First time freshman applicants must submit scores from the SAT or ACT exams. Exams must be taken by the December test date of the senior year. Scores must be received by Cal State San Marcos by the end of the following January. If you have taken an AP (Advanced Placement) exam and scored 3 or better, submit an official score report as well. CSUSM's SAT I code is 5677; CSUSM's ACT code is 272.
  3. Apply for student housing on the student housing website.

Local Admissions Area School Districts

Admitted first-time freshmen from outside CSUSM's local admission area will be required to live on campus.

Orange County: Capistrano Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified and private or independent high schools within these boundaries.

Riverside County: Hemet Unified, Lake Elsinore Unified, Murrieta Valley Unified, Perris Union High School District, San Jacinto Unified, Temecula Valley Unified, Val Verde Unified and private or independent high schools within these boundaries.

San Diego County: Bonsall Union High School District, Borrego Springs Unified ,Carlsbad Unified, Escondido Union High School District, Fallbrook Union High School District, Julian Union High School District, Oceanside Unified, Poway Unified, Ramona Unified, San Dieguito Union High School District, San Marcos Unified, Valley Center Pauma Unified, Vista Unified, Warner Unified and private or independent high schools within these boundaries.


Your application, application fee and test scores are the only items intially required. CSUSM does not review other documents at the time you apply (unless specifically asked of you), including:

  • transcripts of any type
  • letters of recommendation
  • portfolios

Changing info on your CSUSM application?

You must notify us in writing by sending an email to: for the following reasons:

  • Changes to your planned "a-g" coursework in your senior year
  • Unsatisfactory grades, such as D or F, in your senior year
  • Failure to meet the terms of the provisional contract after being offered admission as a freshman

In the subject line, please state "Changes to my application." In the body of your email, please include your CSUSM Student  ID number and your name as it would appear on your application. Please include specific changes that you would like to make on your application. This information will then go to the appropriate admissions officer to include in the evaluation of your application.

Denied Admission

If you are denied admission and you feel you have extenuating circumstances, you have the right to appeal.  Read about the appeal process.