International Admissions / First-Time Freshman

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First-Time Freshman


The application requirements are different if you are coming from a high school in the United States or outside the country. Please select the correct option below for details on how to apply to Cal State Fullerton.

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General Application Requirements

Below are the general requirements for applying to the University as a freshman international student:

  • Coursework equivalent to senior high school in the U.S.
  • Subject requirements (see details below)
  • English language proficiency (see details below)
  • Above-average class standing
  • Explanation After High School Letter (only if it has been six months or more since you graduated high school; for example, if you graduated high school in May and are applying for Fall, you will need to submit the letter)

There are four majors that have additional requirements to what is listed below: Computer Engineering Integrated BS/MS, Dance, Music and Nursing. 

The University does not accept applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree (with the exception of Nursing).

Requirements for a Freshman from a U.S. High School

If you have been attending a high school in the United States and want to apply to Cal State Fullerton, please use the information below to complete your application.

Receive a “C” or better in the following college-preparatory subjects:

Subject Area Required Years Required Classes
Mathematics 3 years required; 4 years recommended Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
Laboratory Science 2 years required; 3 years recommended 1 year of Biology and 1 year of Chemistry or Physics
English 4 years required N/A
U.S. History and Science 2 years required 1 year of U.S. History; or 1 semester of U.S. History and 1 semester of Civics or American Government and 1 year of Social Science
Visual and Performing Arts 1 year required N/A
Electives 1 year required N/A

SAT/ACT test scores are required for students attending high school within the U.S. Scores need to be received no later than December.

You may qualify for a TOEFL waiver (and will not need to take an English proficiency test) if you attended a U.S. high school for at least three years. If you are eligible, complete the TOEFL Waiver Form and send it in with your other admission materials. if you are not eligible for the toefl waiver you will need to submit proof of english proficiency.

If some of your high school/secondary school has been completed at a foreign school, then submit a minimum English Proficiency Exam score of 500 TOEFL pBT, 61 TOEFL iBT, 5.5 IELTS, or 43 PTE. Request official score (must be valid within the last two years) to be sent to Cal State Fullerton, Institutional Code: 4589.

Cal State Fullerton does not offer financial aid or assistance to international students. International student applicants must submit the following items. An I-20 cannot be issued until these forms have been received and approved.

Please visit our Tuition and Fees page to view estimated education and living costs for international students.

After applying to the University, you will be asked to send transcripts showing proof of your previous education. This includes high school/secondary school transcripts, as well as proof of high school graduation (if completed). Please note that:

  • Official transcripts are required from each school listed on the CSU application.
  • Emailed, faxed and opened transcripts are not considered official.
  • All academic records received become official records of the University and cannot be returned or reissued.
  • If documents are not in English, you should submit the official, original-language transcript or mark sheets, as an official English translation.

If you are currently in the final year of high school, submit your fall grades (through the end of December) so that an admission decision can be made. Once your final high school grades are released, you will be required to submit the final results.

For more information on which documents are required for each country, please visit our Academic Documents page.

Requirements for a Freshman from a Foreign High School

If you have been attending a foreign high school and want to apply to Cal State Fullerton, please use the information below to complete your application.

You must receive a “C” or better in the following subject requirements:

Subject Area Required Years Required Classes
Mathematics 3 years required; 4 years recommended Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
Laboratory Science 2 years required; 3 years recommended 1 year of Biology and 1 year of Chemistry or Physics
Social Sciences 2 years required; 3 years recommended History, Social Studies, Civics

Students with IGCSE/“O” Levels: You must provide scores for at least five subjects with a score of “C” or higher. Students in the new grading system are required to obtain a score of 4 or higher. Subjects must include English, Mathematics, Social Science, one Biology and one Physical Science (Chemistry or Physics). IGCSE/”O” Levels can be replaced by “A” Level or “AS” Level subjects.

Students in the IB System: You are required to complete at least six subjects with grades of 4 or higher. Subjects should include Math and Laboratory Sciences (Biology and Chemistry or Physics).

SAT scores are not required for students attending high school outside the United States, but are strongly encouraged.

Regardless of citizenship, all applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit proof of English proficiency before an admissions decision can be made. Please review chart for minimum requirements:

Test Minimum Requirement
TOEFL, paper test 500
TOEFL, internet-based test (iBT) 61
IELTS 5.5
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) 43
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Requirement (TOEFL): To request your score report, visit the TOEFL website (Cal State Fullerton’s Institutional Code is 4589). The University does not accept institutional TOEFL scores other than its own.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): IELTS is accepted in place of TOEFL as a standardized test of English proficiency. Visit the IELTS website to learn more.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE): Pearson PTE is accepted in place of Toefl as a standardized test of English proficiency. Visit the Pearson website to learn more.

TOEFL Waiver

You may qualify for a waiver (and will not need to take an English proficiency test) if you attended a full-time international educational institution at the secondary level or above for at least three years, where English is the native language of the country. Those are Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Canada (except Québec), Ghana, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, South Africa, Trinidad, the United Kingdom, Virgin Islands and Wales.

Case-by-case assessments are made for Norway and Singapore. Cal State Fullerton no longer waives on the basis of “Medium of Instruction in English.”

If you meet any of the above mentioned requirements, complete the TOEFL Waiver Form and send it in with your documents.

Cal State Fullerton does not offer financial aid or assistance to international students. International student applicants must submit the following items. An I-20 cannot be issued until these forms have been received and approved.

Please visit our Tuition and Fees page to view estimated education and living costs for international students.

After applying to the University, you will be asked to send transcripts showing proof of your previous education. This includes high school/secondary school transcripts, as well as proof of high school graduation (if completed). Please note that:

  • Official transcripts are required from each school listed on the CSU application.
  • Emailed, faxed and opened transcripts are not considered official.
  • All academic records received become official records of the University and cannot be returned or reissued.
  • If documents are not in English, you should submit the official, original-language transcript or mark sheets, as an official English translation.

If you are currently in the final year of high school, submit your fall grades (through the end of December) so that an admission decision can be made. Once your final high school grades are released, you will be required to submit the final results.

For more information on which documents are required for each country, please visit our Academic Documents page.

AMSE director Dr. Bin Cong

“I have so much confidence in my future thanks to all the skills and knowledge I have gained during my college years at CSUF.”

- Sophia Nguyen, BA in Business Management Student from Vietnam

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Available Majors

California State University, Fullerton offers over 100 degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. You can view all majors on our University Catalog. You can also learn search programs by visiting the catalog page for the University’s eight colleges:

Meet with a University Admissions Advisor

Our International Admissions Advisor can meet with you in person or online to discuss any questions you have about applying to the University. Please use our online scheduler to make your appointment.

What’s your next step?

Contact us with any questions or join our email list. By joining the International Admissions email list, we will send you important University and application updates.

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