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Cal State Fullerton Application Essay

First-Time Freshmen

For Fall 2018, it is important to review the following First-Time Freshman Guide.

All first-time freshman applicants must apply during the initial admission application-filing period (October 1 through November 30 for fall) to be considered for admission. SAT or ACT scores are required regardless of GPA and must be received by CSU Fullerton. All subject matter requirements must have been completed by high school graduation. Subject matter requirements must be met with a C or better and may not be completed during the summer term immediately preceding fall admission.

Information on A-G high school course validation see Validation of High School Coursework.


Fullerton is an impacted campus for all first time freshmen. Impaction means that there are more applications for a campus than can be accommodated. In order to ensure that capacity is not exceeded, more rigorous standards are applied to the freshmen applicant pool. Impacted criteria may include local vs. out of local and major program impaction. This means that all freshmen applicants, whether in our local admissions area or outside of our local admissions area, and depending on major, must anticipate meeting higher levels of competition than the minimum

Eligibility Index required by the non-impacted campuses of the CSU. (The “Eligibility Index” is the result of a formula that combines your achievement in high school college preparatory courses with the results of the SAT I or ACT. Refer to Eligibility Index for details of how this index is calculated). The actual competition cannot be set until after the initial filing period has closed and we are able to assess the size and quality of the freshmen pool.

Areas of Impaction

There are three geographic areas of impaction:

  • The local area- includes all high schools in Orange County, Walnut, Whittier, Chino Valley, Corona, Norco and Alvord School districts.
  • Out of local area include all other areas of CA outside of those mentioned above.
  • Out-of-state students, non-CA residents and international students fall into the third area of consideration. Please note the local area guidelines and the other CA area guidelines pertain to CA residents.

Local Area

Local admissions area freshmen will need to present a strong high school record, with appropriate courses and grades and good SAT or ACT scores. Depending on major, local freshmen may anticipate meeting higher levels of competition than the minimum Eligibility Index required by the non-impacted campuses of the CSU. Admission preference will be given to local freshmen. Local area freshman applicants are high school graduates within the geographic purple area depicted below.

To view our list of local high schools, see CSUF Local High Schools.

Out Local Area

Out-of-local area applicants will need to meet an even higher threshold of competition. The competition for the incoming term may be more competitive or less competitive than previous admission terms.

Majors with Additional Requirements

Like last Fall, we anticipate the competition for the Fall of 2017 to be quite keen as it was last Fall.  Admission to all majors at CSU Fullerton is impacted and competitive as we continue to have more qualified applicants than available new student spaces. The most competitive majors for FTFs is Nursing and Computer Engineering integrated BS/MS.

Nursing Applicants:  Admission to the Nursing major at CSU Fullerton for First-Time Freshmen is very competitive as CSUF continues to have more qualified applicants than available space in the program. To be considered for admission to Nursing, please review the Admission requirements.

Computer Engineering integrated BS/MS Applicants: Admission to the integrated BS/MS in Computer Engineering is expected to be very competitive with limited space available. To be considered for admission, First-Time Freshmen applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • Successful completion of at least three (3) AP tests (scores of 3, 4, or 5) for a total of 10 semester units
  • One of the AP tests must be Mathematics/Calculus AB or Mathematics/Calculus BC (score of 4 or 5 is required)
  • Must meet CSU Fullerton Eligibility Index for the semester to which you are applying.

Music Applicants: Admission to the Music major is based on the performance of a successful Music Department Entrance Audition. Follow the link for detailed information about audition requirements, repertoire and scheduling of auditions. http://www.fullerton.edu/arts/music/students/prospective_undergrad_students.php

Dance Applicants: Admittance into the Department of Dance program (Bachelor of Arts in Dance,) includes passing a live dance audition. Auditioning for the dance major does not qualify you for entrance into CSUF, only for being a dance major once admitted to the University. For more information about the dance program and audition requirements, visit http://www.fullerton.edu/arts/dance/students/auditions.php
To download a copy of the Dance Audition Application Form, please click on the link below.

Additional Admissions Information

Once enrolled, students may be required to meet admissions requirements to change majors. Change of major may not be permitted into specific programs after an applicant submits application. CSU Fullerton does not use alternative major for admission consideration.

Admission decisions may be withdrawn for students who misreported academic information or who have not met the terms of the admission offer.

Students, new or returning students, are admitted for a specific term.  If a student is unable to begin their studies that term, they  will need to reapply for a future term by submitting a new admission application.

For additional information regarding Undergraduate Students see the Catalog.

Special Consideration

A small portion of the freshman class may be admitted based on an eligibility index and additional characteristics including special talents, first generation college status, socioeconomic factors, and indications of overcoming educational obstacles.

Second Bachelor's Degrees

CSU Fullerton does not accept second bachelor's degree applicants with the exception to Nursing.

Personal Statement

Personal Statement

GOAL: For admissions committee members to understand who you are as a person

  • Should be a succinct, one‐page (e.g., 4500 characters) narrative that displays clear language and writing skills — Remember: Admissions committee members read up to 50 essays a day
  • Should address the following:
    • Your motivation for professional school
    • Your story – what makes you unique
    • Your qualifications and experiences
  • Be honest! If you lie or exaggerate about an experience, you may find yourself in an awkward position when asked in an interview to describe
  • Take time to do the following:
    • Prepare and gather information to include (e.g., your resume, journal, etc)
    • Draft
    • Review and proofread
    • Get feedback from the Health Professions Advising Office, Career Center, and/or Writing Center
    • Finalize

Writing provided by Dr. Sora Tanjasiri, Department of Health Science

Please visit The Ohio State University's Career Connections' page to view a PowerPoint presentation titled, "Writing Winning Personal Statements" located on the right-hand side. The Career Connections Center at The Ohio State University has agreed to share this highly beneficial presentation with our students.

Another great source to utilize are the University of Minnesota workshops. These workshops are a great way to get started on your personal statement and can give you helpful advice on starting it.

On Campus Resources

If you would like assistance with writing your personal statement, the following on-campus resources are available:

  • CSUF Writing Center: Available to current CSUF students only
    • To schedule an appointment online, visit fullerton.mywconline.com. All appointments take place in the Writing Center, which is located on the first floor of Pollak Library North. For further information, please visit the Writing Center’s website or call the Writing Center at (657) 278-3650.
    • Hours of Operation:
    • Please refer to their website for hours of operation.
  • Career Center: Current Students, Members of Alumni Association, and Current Alumni (within 1 year of graduation)
    • Langsdorf Hall 208
    • Office Hours: Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm
    • Email: careercenter@fullerton.edu
    • Phone: 657-278-3121
    • Please visit the Career Center’s website for additional information www.fullerton.edu/career.

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