California State University System (CSU)

Transfer Center

The CSU is the largest system of four-year public higher education in the United States.

The CSU is the largest system of four-year public higher education in the United States. California State University System LogoWith 23 campuses statewide, it provides a variety of choices for transfer students.  The CSU has historically played a critical role in preparing students to enter the job market.  Offering degrees in business, engineering, health, education, nursing, and public administration, the CSU offers more than 60 percent of all degrees in these fields.  Nearly half of all bachelor’s degrees are awarded by the CSU.

Campuses:  See below…

Degrees Offered:

  • Baccalaureate (B.A., B.S.)
  • Master’s (M.A., M.S., M.B.A.)
  • Doctoral  (Ed.D. only); Select Campuses only;  Ph.D jointly conferred with the UC system (Chico, San Diego, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Francisco).
  • Credentials and Certificates

ACADEMIC CALENDAR:  16 campuses are semester system, 7 are quarter system.
Application deadlines: October 1 – November 30 for Fall term entry; June 1-30 for Winter term entry;  August 1-30 for Spring term entry.  Not all campuses accept applications for winter/spring.

California State University System Campuses

Ranging from Humboldt near the Oregon border to San Diego on the Mexican border, the twenty-three campuses of the California State University, with an enrollment exceeding 300,000 students and more than 1,600-degree programs, constitute one of the largest systems of higher education in the world. CSU Campuses are located in:

Cal State Long Beach logo Cal State Fullerton Logo Cal State San Marcos logo

California State University System Campuses locations

How to Transfer to the CSU

How to Complete the CSU International Application PDF

  1. Start completing “The Golden Four “as soon as you can.  Complete one course in each of the four areas below:
    1. Speech Communication
    2. English
    3. Critical Thinking
    4. Math
  2. Complete 60 transferable semester units with a minimum 2.0 GPA.  The GPA for admission can be significantly higher because of the major, campus, and/or applicant pool.
  3. Complete coursework in the major along with your General Education (GE) requirements.  To satisfy GE, you have two choices: IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth.  Talk to a counselor to determine which option is the best.
  4. Apply on time. All CSU’s begin accepting applications in October for the following Fall. Some CSU’s will accept applications after the filing period.  The sooner you apply, the better your chances are for admission.

CAUTION:  Check on for a list of “impacted” majors.  “Impacted” usually means you need to apply early, complete coursework in the major and have a strong GPA.

On-line application ( Application Term

Application 1st Accepted

Fall Semester/Quarter  2013 October 1 – November 30, 2012
Summer Semester/Quarter 2014 February 1, 2013
Winter Quarter 2014 June 1, 2013
Spring S/Q 2014 August 1, 2013

Note:  Not all campuses are open for Winter or Spring term. Please check with each individual campus for more information.  S=Semester  Q=Quarter


This Certificate of Achievement is designed for students who intend to transfer to a California State University campus.

Students who complete this certificate will meet all lower division general education requirements for CSU.

Students must complete a minimum of 9 additional upper division general education units after transfer. Courses on this list are approved for a specific academic year. A course can be used only if it is on the list when it is taken. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of this list at the time of publication; however, additions or deletions sometimes occur during the year. Students are encouraged to see a GWC counselor and check the ASSIST website ( regularly for the most current information about approved courses. ASSIST is the official repository of course articulation for California’s public colleges and universities.

To receive this certificate, a minimum of 12 residency units must be completed at GWC.

Students must complete a minimum of 39 units of coursework from Areas A through E including the specific requirements listed for each Area. A grade of “C” or better is required for all courses in Area A, the mathematics course in Area B4 and at least 30 of the units completed in Areas A through E. Grades of “credit/pass” can be used if equivalent to a “C” grade. One course may not be used to satisfy more than one general education requirement.

Note: Honors course credit limitation – Duplicate credit will not be awarded for both the honors and regular versions of a course. Credit will only be awarded for the first course completed with a grade of “C” or better.

Note: Students who are awarded this Certificate of Achievement must also request CSU GE Breadth certification at the Admissions and Records Office when sending their final transcript to the four-year school.

Note: This list was current at the time of printing. See a GWC counselor for the most up to date transfer information.

Download the Certificate of Achievement in CSU General Education Breadth 2014 – 2015 [PDF]

CSU Admissions Checklist
  1. Review your academic records by meeting with a GWC counselor and visiting university representatives in the Transfer Center to determine your eligibility, competitiveness as a transfer applicant, and application filing dates for admission.
  2. Research the CSU campus and major to determine selectivity. If your major is highly selective, find out what the admissions requirements are and when they should be completed, i.e. grade point average, major prep courses and any other supplemental materials such as portfolios, interviews or letters of recommendation.
  3. Attend an Admissions and Applications Workshop. The Transfer Center offers CSU Admissions and Applications Workshops in October and November.
  4. Do not delay taking the “Golden Four” courses required for admissions: transferable math, English composition, critical thinking and communications. Some CSU campuses require these courses to be completed by the previous Fall Term if applying for Fall admission.
  5. Complete 60 transferable units with a minimum 2.0 GPA (2.40 for non-residents). The GPA could be significantly higher based on the campus and major.
  6. Complete your General Education (GE) requirements, usually by completing the CSU General Education pattern.
  7. Take courses for your major. You will be more prepared as you enter the university. See transfer information available on
  8. Apply on time, apply to multiple campuses and observe all of the important application filing deadlines.

Term of Transfer

Initial Filing Period

Summer Feb 1-28/29 of current year
Fall October 1 – November 30 of preceding year
*Winter June 1 – 10 of preceding year
*Spring August 1-31 of preceding year

*Note: Some CSU campuses do not accept applications in the winter and spring. Apply online at

**Note: When requesting GWC transcripts to be sent to the CSU, make sure to select G.E. Certification on your transcript

Completing the CSU Application
Go to
Select Apply Online > Undergraduate Application > Fall term
  1. Create a user name and password
  2. Enrollment Section
    1. Select the term
    2. Select the campus in which you plan to apply
    3. Select your major
    4. Select teaching credential if you are applying to teaching majors.
    5. Entry status = Junior / Upper Division Transfer (60 – 89.9 units)
  3. Name and Address
    1. Enter legal name, permanent address, etc.
  4. Personal Information
    1. Enter Social Security number (if you don’t have one, leave this blank)
    2. Enter date of birth
    3. Residency information : Enter appropriate information
    4. Family Education, Income and Size Information: This information is required for all applicants interested in EOP or an admission application fee waiver. Your answers in this section will be used to help determine your eligibility for the application fee waiver and/or EOP.
  5. High School Preparation
    1. You are automatically exempt from this section when you indicate that you are an upper-division transfer student with 60 or more units. This should be “shaded” grey on your checklist.
  6. College Information
    1. Add “Golden West College” and any other campus attended, including Orange Coast College, Coastline College, etc. Also, include any other institution you haven’t attended yet but plan on taking classes in the next semester before transferring.
    2. Enter dates attended including start and end dates. For Example: If you started Fall 2006 and will end Fall 2010, enter from = 08/06 and to=12/10).
    3. Enter GPA
    4. Eligible to re-enroll at prior institutions. If you are eligible to re-enroll, put yes for all.
  7. Advanced Standing Credit
    1. If you have earned college credit based on exam results for International Baccalaureate (IB), College Board Advanced Placement (AP) or College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or from military credit earned through the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, or the Navy, please check the appropriate box or boxes.
  8. College Courses
    1. Enter coursework and units in progress.
    2. Enter courses planned for remaining term.
    3. General Education Requirements needed for entry (Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and College Mathematics).
  9. EOP
    1. Complete if you wish to be considered for EOP at the CSU
    2. MUST complete supplemental application (can be done online)
  10. Fee Waiver
    1. Complete if you wish to be considered for fee waiver
    2. Enter info and click “I understand, Calculate my fee waiver eligibility”
    3. If granted, you will be notified immediately on the screen and you will not be required to submit the $55 application fee per campus.
    4. If you do not qualify, you will need to provide either a Credit Card to complete payment or mail check immediately to the address provided in the application.
  11. If you need help – you can use the online resources or save your application and come into the Transfer Center for assistance (no appointment necessary).

Note: After you submit your application, please check with each individual university to which you applied to see when you need to submit transcripts. Make sure to request your final transcript with GE certification! Please contact your counselor or the Transfer Center at (714) 895-8794 or (714) 895-8348 if you have any questions or need help with the application.

Useful CSU Websites
  1. CSU Mentor
  2. CSU Application Fee Waiver
  3. CSU Homepage
  4. CSU Application Status
  5. CSU Admissions
  6. CSU Financial Aid Information