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After Admission: Placement & Other Tests

​​English Language Examination

Regardless of citizenship, all undergraduate applicants whose native language is not English – or who have not attended school at the secondary level or above for at least three years of full-time study at an institution where English is the principal language of instruction – must demonstrate English competency by receiving a minimum score on an approved English proficiency exam or must present a score of 500 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Approved exams may vary by campus, but examples include: the TOEFL, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Campuses specify the conditions for meeting the requirement of three years of full-time English language instruction (Title 5, Sections 40752.1 and 40802.1). Individual campuses establish TOEFL scores based on campus-specific factors, such as the nature of instruction offered, the availability of instruction in English as a Second Language and student demand. Some campuses require a score higher than 500. The CSU minimum score for the internet (iBT) version of the TOEFL is 61; campuses may require a higher score. Contact the specific CSU campus for the most current minimum score requirements.

Students who have attended a secondary level of educational institution full-time for at least three years where English was the principal language of instruction will not be held to the TOEFL admission requirement. Applicants for a second bachelor’s degree must have a TOEFL score of 550 for the paper version or 80 on the internet version.

As a guide to 2020-2021 admission, the following table lists the minimum exam scores established by CSU campuses for admission during the academic year 2019-2020.


Placement Measures for First-Year General Education (GE) Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Courses

Freshman skills assessment and placement for general education written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning shall be based on systemwide skills assessment standards that include the Early Assessment Program/ Smarter Balanced Achievement Levels, ACT scores and/or SAT scores, high school coursework, high school GPA and math GPA. 

Skills assessments are not a condition for admission to the CSU; they are a condition of enrollment. 

These skills assessments are designed to inform entering freshmen of placement in appropriate baccalaureate-level courses based on their skills and needs. 

First-time freshmen in need of support as determined by the skills assessment will be placed in supported instruction. Supported instruction is designed to assist students in creditbearing courses. 

Students may also be required to participate in the Early Start Program. The Early Start Program gives students the opportunity to earn college credit in written communication and mathematics/ quantitative reasoning the summer before their first term.


Assessments and Placement for GE Written Communications

Has Fulfilled the GE Subarea A2 English Requirement

The student has met the requirement via completion of one of the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) Test

  • 3 or above: AP Language and Composition
  • 3 or above: AP Composition and Literature

College Transfer Coursework

  • Completed a college course that satisfies CSU GE Area A2 (written communication) with a grade of C- or better

Placement in a GE Subarea A2 English Course

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via one of the criteria below:

CAASPP/EAP English Test:

  • Standard Exceeded
  • Standard Met (Level 3) and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong English course** with a grade of C- or better

English New SAT Test*:

  • 550 or above
  • 510–540 and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong English course** with a grade of C- or better

English ACT Test:

  • 22 or higher
  • 19-21 and completed 12th grade approved yearlong English course (ERWC, AB, IB, Weighted Honors) with grade of C- or better

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted GPA 3.3 or above
  • GPA 3.0 or above and completed an approved senior yearlong English course** with a grade of C- or better
  • GPA 3.0 or above and completed Honors English
  • GPA 3.0 or above and five or more years of high school English

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea A2 English Course

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via one of the criteria below:

*English New SAT Test:

  • 510–540 and four or more years of high school English

ACT Test:

  • 19-21 and four or more years of high school English

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted GPA 3.0 or above and four or more years of high school English

*SAT score conversion for scores prior to March 2016 (old SAT)

**12th grade approved yearlong English course: CSU ERWC, AP, weighted honors English

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea A2 English Course and Participation in the Early Start Program Required

Based on multiple measures evaluation, student needs additional academic support including participation in the Early Start Program. Learn about the Early Start Program.


Assessments and Placement for GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: Non-Math Intensive Majors (Algebra and Statistics Disciplines, Non-STEM and Undecided Majors)

Has Fulfilled the GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

The student has met the requirement via completion of one of the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) Test:

  • 3 or above: Calculus AB, Calculus BC, AP Statistics
  • 3 or above on AP Calculus BC
  • 3 or above on AP Statistics
  • 3 or above AP Computer Science Principles

International Baccalaureate (IB) Test:

  • 4 or above on Math Higher Level (HL)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP):

  • 50 or above on: Calculus, College Algebra, College AlgebraTrigonometry, Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry

College Transfer Coursework:

  • Completed math/quantitative reasoning college course with a C- or better that satisfies CSU GE Area B4

Placement in a GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via one of the following criteria:

CAASPP/EAP Math Exam:

  • Standard Exceeded (Level 4)
  • Standard Met (Level 3) and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better
  • Standard Met (Level 3) and completed four or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning

*New SAT Math Test:

  • 570 or above
  • 550 or above on Subject Test in Math Level 1 or 2
  • 520–560 and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better

ACT Math Test:

  • 23 or above
  • 20-22 and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better

*SAT score conversion for scores prior to March 2016 (old SAT)


High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.0 or above and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better
  • Weighted math GPA 3.0 or above and five or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.7 or above
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.5 or above and four or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via one of the criteria below:

High School GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.3 or above
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.0 or above

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement and Participation in the Early Start Program Required

Based on multiple meas​ures evaluation, student needs additional academic support, including participation in the Early Start Program. Learn about the Early Start Program.


Assessments and Placement for GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: Pre-STEM/STEM and Other Math Intensive Majors

Has Fulfilled the GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

The student has met the requirement via completion of one of the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) Test:

  • 3 or above on AP Calculus AB
  • 3 or above on AP Calculus BC
  • 3 or above on AP Statistics
  • 3 or above on AP Computer Science Principles

International Baccalaureate (IB) Test:

  • 4 or above on Math Higher Level (HL)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP):

  • 50 or above on: Calculus, College Algebra, College AlgebraTrigonometry, Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry

College Transfer Coursework:

  • Completed math/quantitative reasoning college course with a grade of C- or better that satisfies CSU GE Area B4

Placement in a GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via one of the following criteria:

CAASPP/EAP Math Exam:

  • Standard Exceeded
  • Standard Met (Level 3) and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better

*New SAT Math Test:

  • 570 or above
  • 550 or above on Subject Test in Math Level 1 or 2
  • 520–560 and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better

ACT Math Test:

  • 23 or above
  • 20-22 and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.5 or above and completed a 12th grade approved yearlong math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better
  • Weighted math GPA 3.5 or above and five or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.7 or above

*SAT score conversion for scores prior to March 2016 (old SAT)


Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via the following criteria:

High School Math GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.3 or above

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement and Participation in the Early Start Program Required

Based on multiple measures evaluation, student needs additional academic support including participation in the Early Start Program. Learn about the Early Start Program.​


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