For High School Students

High School Preparation for STEM Success

A passion for science and mathematics and commitment to hard work are key to success in STEM majors. Solid high school preparation in science and mathematics classes is essential.

Cal State Long Beach strongly recommends that applicants to STEM majors complete additional math courses (pre-calculus or higher) beyond the minimum required for the CSU to improve the likelihood of success in the major and timely graduation. In recent years about 70% of College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) incoming freshmen have placed in calculus 1 or higher in their first semester.

While we strongly encourage you to complete pre-calculus or higher prior to applying, we recognize that math and science preparation can vary widely among high school graduates and we offer appropriate mathematics pathways for all admission-eligible students.

Math and Chemistry Placement for Incoming First-Year Students

We understand that students arrive at CNSM with different academic experiences and skill levels. CNSM majors are organized in a sequence, meaning that course material will build on itself as students progress through major coursework. Therefore, it is critical that we work with you, the student, to make sure you are placed spot in the course sequence that will maximize your success.

To place you into appropriate math and chemistry courses in your first semester, the following criteria are taken into consideration:

  • Math High School GPA
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • AP Credits
  • ALEKS PPL Math Placement and ALEKS Chemistry Placement Scores

We encourage you to complete placement assessments as soon they are assigned to avoid over-placement or under-placement.

For more information, please see:

Events and Outreach

We provide a number of opportunities for prospective or admitted students to get to know us and what we do here at Cal State Long Beach. Many of these events are geared towards helping incoming students prepare ahead of their first semester at college.

CNSM First-Year Showcase

The CNSM First-Year Showcase is for incoming Fall first-year students accepted to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) and their families. The event gives an in-depth look at the academic experience within our college.

The event date for incoming Fall first-year students is typically in early March.

Summer Series Webinars

Through the Summer Series Webinars, the CNSM Academic Advising Center is committed to providing first-time first-year students with opportunities to learn more about the excellent programs and resources that the CNSM has to offer. These optional webinars include information about:

  • chemistry and math placement
  • advising and registration
  • health professions advising
  • learning communities

The webinars typically run from May through August. Please see the Guidance for Incoming CNSM First-Time First-Year Students.

Ready to Apply?

Please see How to Apply for more information about applying to California State University, Long Beach.