First-Time, First-Year Student Application Process

As an entering first-time, first-year student (freshman) to CSULB, you will need to complete the following steps to successfully apply to CSULB and start as a first-time, first-year student if accepted to the university.


First-time, first-year applicants may either select a specific major or apply as undeclared. Since the major you select will impact the way in which you are considered for admission, we suggest that you review the majors offered at CSULB paying careful attention to the courses required to earn a degree. Check out the University Catalog for this information. CSULB makes admissions decisions based on intended majors only.

Applicants must apply during the CSU initial filing period (October 1 – November 30 for fall admission). Refer to current application deadlines to see if CSULB is open to applications for a specific term and the deadline to apply. To apply to CSULB, visit Cal State Apply. Once submitted, we will send you a notification by email to acknowledge receipt of your application. Students may only be considered for one application per academic term. 

CSULB makes admission decisions based on self-reported information from the application, so it is extremely important that coursework (including grades and test scores) are entered accurately and completely. Admitted students who intend to enroll at CSULB will be required to submit official transcripts in order to verify eligibility and high school graduation. Admission decisions may be withdrawn for students who misreport academic information or who have not met the terms of the admission offer.

Students are NOT required to take the SAT and/or ACT for admission. If you have already taken the SAT and/or ACT, we request that your score results be sent directly to one CSU from the testing agency and all CSU’s will receive them. You can use your results for English and math placement. Test scores must be received on or before January 12. 

  • For the SAT, use the CSULB institution code of 4389 
  • For the ACT, use the CSULB institution code of 0302.

If your application information is complete, we may have sufficient information to determine your eligibility for admission. Once we review your application, we will notify you by email with instructions and deadlines if we need any additional documents, including transcripts. Please do not send your high school transcript prior to your graduation unless we request it.

Additional documents may be required in certain circumstances:

  • For purposes of determining California residency, some students may be required to submit additional documents. For additional information regarding the establishment of California residency for educational purposes, refer to Residency.
  • Veterans of the United States armed forces should submit discharge papers (Form DD 214). This should include descriptions of the types of training you received while in the service. Such training, in some cases, may count as credit transferable to CSULB. Veterans and active-duty military personnel also must be sure to include any military transcripts (for example, AARTS and SMART) displaying additional coursework that may be transferable to CSULB.

How do I check my application status?

CSULB uses email as the official means of communication. Applicants are required to maintain a current email address on file with the university and to check their email regularly. You may update your email address or check the status of your application for admission at any time by visiting applicant self-service. Offers of admission are normally made in March for fall admission. All offers of admission will be provisional and subject to verification based on official transcripts. Admission offers may be withdrawn if the GPA, completed courses, or course grades are lower than what is reported or if you miss any admission deadlines. Please be sure to report accurate information on your application!

What if I am not offered admission to CSULB?

In addition to applying to CSULB, we hope you have considered applying to other colleges so that you will have alternatives in the event that you are not admitted to CSULB. If you are interested in pursuing another CSU as your backup, it may be in your best interest to file a separate application with that campus during the initial filing period, as many campuses have early filing deadlines.

Do I need to respond to an acceptance notification?

Absolutely! In addition to submitting documents to verify the admission decision, newly admitted first-time, first-year students are required to accept their admission offer and pay a nonrefundable enrollment deposit by May 15 in order to reserve a spot in the upcoming fall class. The enrollment deposit may be waived for students receiving state or federal need-based grants or full financial assistance. The deposit will offset a portion of the student’s State University Fee.

How do I accept admission and pay the enrollment deposit?

To accept your offer of admission:

  1. Log in to CSULB Single Sign-On and select MyCSULB Student Center. Throughout your time as a student, you'll use MyCSULB Student Center to review your financial aid information, register for classes, check your account balance, and more.
  2. In the Admissions section, select “Accept/Decline.”
  3. Follow the instructions to Accept/Decline Admission Offer.

When you accept your admission, you must pay the enrollment deposit, unless you qualify for a waiver. You can pay the enrollment deposit via credit card (MasterCard, American Express, Visa, and Discover are accepted) or electronic check. If you qualify for a waiver, the online process will automatically notify you. Once you accept your admission offer, you will receive an immediate confirmation that your acceptance and deposit have been accepted.

What is the enrollment deposit?

First-time, first-year and transfer students are required to pay a nonrefundable enrollment deposit to accept their admission. The enrollment deposit is required in order to reserve a space in our class. The admission acceptance and deposit must be received by the deadline. The deposit will offset a portion of your tuition for the first semester.

What are the conditions for receiving a waiver for the enrollment deposit?

The enrollment deposit will be waived for students receiving state or federal need-based grants or full financial assistance. If you qualify for the waiver, you must still accept your admission by the deadline. You qualify for the waiver if:

  • You have received a Federal Student Aid Report with an Expected Family Contribution of $0.
  • You are a candidate for an Athletic Scholarship.

When do I pay the enrollment deposit?

You must pay the enrollment deposit at the time you accept admission to our campus. The deadline to accept your admission offer for the fall semester is May 1.

What is Provisional Admission?

Provisional admission indicates that admission requirements are in progress and must be successfully completed prior to enrollment at CSULB. Most first-time, first-year applicants are still attending high school at the time of application (October – November for the following fall), and admission decisions are normally made in March. Therefore, offers of admission made to first-time, first-year applicants are almost always provisional and remain provisional until the following admission requirements are met:

  • Completion of all senior year courses with a grade of C or higher.
  • Completion of all CSU A-G subject requirements with a grade of C or higher by the end of the Spring semester prior to enrollment.
  • Graduate from High School by the end of the Spring semester prior to your enrollment.

Failure to meet these conditions will result in the rescission of the admission offer. If enrollment is desired in the future, a new application must be submitted for that term and applicants must meet all of the admission requirements in effect at that time.

How will I know if I have met all of the conditions of admission?

Your final official high school transcript showing the date of graduation must be submitted no later than July 15. After receipt of the final transcript, the admission decision will be audited to ensure all conditions have been met. An email will be sent with the results of the review either confirming the admission offer or notification that the offer of admission has been rescinded.

Students are allowed to attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) and register for classes prior to the audit of their admission decision. Some students may be required to self-report their senior grades at check-in to ensure they are on track for completion of the admission requirements. If the admission offer is rescinded after orientation, the classes will be administratively dropped.

Denials of admission are made only after an extensive review of academic qualifications and weighing those qualifications against the competitive nature of our applicant pool; therefore, these decisions are rarely overturned and appeals are considered only for extraordinary reasons beyond the control of the applicant. We review every application for maximum consideration. 

For an appeal to have merit, it must contain new, serious and compelling information that clearly shows you to be academically stronger than you had been earlier evidenced. Mistakes made on the application are not basis for an appeal or the reversal of a decision. Additionally, the prospect of a stronger academic performance in a current term is not sufficient basis for an appeal. 

Submit an Admissions Appeal


  1. Complete the Admissions Appeal Process form requesting we reconsider your application. The form must come from you (the applicant) and be submitted no later 15 days after receipt of your original admissions decision. Appeals submitted via hard-copy letter, email or fax are not acceptable, and will not be considered.
  2. Your submission must clearly outline your reason for appealing the decision and the information you present should be new and compelling. 
  3. You must include supporting documentation.
  4. Letters of recommendation and personal statements or essays are not considered in the admissions process at CSULB and cannot be submitted as part of your appeal.
  5. You may not appeal the decision to be placed on the Wait List.

We will notify you by email within 4 to 6 weeks of our response to your appeal request. Only one appeal may be submitted for an academic term so your appeal packet must be clear and compelling when submitted.