Anna Jones Photography / CSU Day 2 /

The Office of Admissions is adjusting policies due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about our policy changes for students and families.

You’ve taken countless steps to get here.

You’ve taken tests, you’ve stayed up studying, you’ve turned in projects and you’ve joined clubs. You’ve worked jobs on the weekend, you’ve volunteered and you’ve built strong community relationships.

Your college application is a record of all of the hard work you’ve already accomplished and a testament to what you still plan to do. Our hope is to learn more about who you are and how you’ll improve Colorado State while helping you through the process.


Apply as a freshman/first-year student if you’ve never attended college or all your college credits were earned prior to high school graduation.

Why Apply?


Whether you’ve always known you would attend Colorado State or whether you’re applying to several universities, it all starts with a simple application.

Each year we search for students with diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives to challenge and support each other on our campus. And that doesn’t mean just glancing at a test score and clicking a button.

We look at each application. Our biggest goal is to ensure your academic success, and we do that by viewing your application as a window into your life. The results of our review process and of the quality of our education speak for themselves, and we hope we can count you among the thousands that will do their best to be part of our community this year.



Fall Semester (starts in August)

Freshman/First-Year students typically enter during the fall semester. The application for fall semester opens August 1, one year prior to the start of the term.

EARLY ACTION (non-binding)
All applications completed by December 1 receive full admission consideration and automatic scholarship review by December 31.

Applications completed by February 1 receive full admission consideration and automatic scholarship review by February 28.

After February 1, fall admission and scholarship consideration is offered on a space-available basis. Contact your admissions counselor for details.

Spring Semester (starts in January)

While less common, entering as a freshman in the spring semester is possible. The application for spring semester opens in March, ten months prior to the start of the term.

Submit a complete application file by November 1 for full admission consideration and automatic scholarship review.

After November 1, spring admission is offered on a space-available basis.

Summer Session (starts in May)

Starting in the Summer Session is essential for a small portion of our first-year students. For more information, contact your admissions counselor.

What we need


Your application and supporting documents tell the story of your accomplishments, challenges, goals and passions. We review what you’ve submitted fully and thoughtfully as part of understanding your potential for academic success and anticipating what you’ll contribute to our community.

Your application file will be reviewed only once we receive all of these items.

A complete application file includes:

Freshman/first year students can apply using the Common App OR the CSU Application.

Use the Common App if you are applying to more than one Common Application Member Institution.

Otherwise, we recommend the CSU Application.

CSU Application Common Application

Applying to CSU requires a $50 application fee as part of completing your application file (before an admission decision).

You cannot pay your fee in installments. If you are unable to pay when you’re ready to submit your application, either wait to submit your application once the funds are available OR request a fee waiver with the appropriate documentation.

Fee waivers are available and can be requested within the application (Common App) or after the application is submitted (CSU Application). (Do I qualify for a fee waiver?)

As part of Colorado Free Application Day, Colorado residents can apply for free by submitting their application on Oct. 15, 2019.

  • Submit only your most recent high school transcript. We’ll ask for additional transcripts if necessary.
  • An official college transcript reflecting courses completed during high school is not required for the admission decision unless you’ve used full-time college enrollment as your high school curriculum (such as early college or homeschool enrollment).
  • All decisions are provisional until we receive your final, official transcript verifying graduation.
  • Military and veteran applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit a Joint Services Transcript (JST).

ACT code: 0504

SAT code: 4075

  • If you’re submitting official scores, allow 2-3 weeks for scores to arrive at CSU from the testing agencies.
  • We’ll accept test scores on your high school transcript provided all subscores and the test date are included.
  • We’ll use your highest subscores from multiple sittings for the same test type (your “superscore”) for admission and scholarship decisions.
  • We do not consider the written sections of the ACT or SAT.
  • Test scores are not required if you are age 23+ or if you have been out of high school for five or more years.

Your personal statement is your opportunity to help us understand what makes you unique. Refer to these writing prompts and instructions whether you’re applying through the Common App or the CSU Application.

You’ll also have the option to provide short written responses to the Academic Explanation and Academic Gap to provide more context for us to understand your academic background.

  • We require only one counselor OR teacher recommendation. Additional recommendations are optional.
  • If you’re not currently in school, you can submit a recommendation from others outside of your family (e.g., supervisor, commanding officer) who can speak to your strengths.
  • Using the CSU application? You’ll be prompted to list the name and email address of your recommender(s). We’ll email them an invitation and link to a secure site to submit your recommendation(s).
  • Using the Common App? To maximize your flexibility, the counselor/teacher prompts are not flagged as required, and you can choose to list the counselor and/or teacher(s) who will recommend you. Common App will email them an invitation and instructions to submit either the Counselor Recommendation or the Teacher Evaluation through Common App.

Submitting your documents, transcripts and fees is easy, and we’re always here to help. We have outlined straightforward instructions for submitting your documents and invite you to contact us with questions.

Who we look for


Every incoming class looks different, though every class reflects our commitment to maintaining high academic standards and providing access to higher education as part of our land-grant mission.

Freshman class profile

This data reflects the middle 50% of freshmen admitted for Fall 2019. This means 75% of the students we admitted presented credentials at or above the ranges displayed here, and the other 25% were admitted with credentials slightly below these ranges. While this should give you an idea of where the center of a class lies, it does not reflect minimum requirements to be admitted.

3.4-4.0 GPA
23-30 ACT
1110-1300 SAT

Our review process

Our review process allows us to learn about your academic successes and the experiences that have impacted and prepared you for life at Colorado State. These are the four areas we concentrate on when considering your application.

We verify that you’ll complete our 18 recommended units and consider the range and relative difficulty of the courses you’ve taken each year.

Your meaningful engagement in school, extra-curricular and community activities can help us understand your strengths and interests.

We’ll evaluate your GPA and trends in grades over time and in each subject and assess your test scores.

We seek to understand circumstances that have impacted your course selection, performance, and involvement.

Some competitive majors require specific course work, a higher grade point average, and/or a higher test score for direct admission to the major.

What to expect


You’re in control

Completing the online application typically takes 30-45 minutes, not including the time you spend crafting your personal statement.

Within 1-2 days after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email with instructions to create your eID to check your application status online. Check your status regularly for nearly real-time information, including the decision on your application.

We’ll use email to keep you updated, too. Check your email at least once a week throughout the admission process. PRO TIP: Use an email address other than a school address.

Already started?

Learn how to check your application status here.

Applicant Status Page

How decisions work

Complete application files are reviewed on a rolling basis, and most decisions are made within 2-3 weeks.

Check your email and online status regularly; decisions are announced electronically before anything is mailed. The official admit packet usually arrives by mail 2-3 weeks after admission.

Notifications generally fall into one of these four categories:

Most admitted students qualify for their first choice major. Then it’s time to move on to the next steps for admitted students.

Some students are admitted to their alternate major or to an undeclared advising track because they don’t qualify for direct admission to a competitive major. These students move on to the next steps for admitted students.

Some applicants must submit more information, such as a new transcript or test scores, evidence of English proficiency, or an explanation of circumstances.

Students not offered admission are encouraged to apply as a transfer student in the future; reconsideration may be an option with compelling new academic information. Contact an admissions counselor for guidance.

After a decision has been made

Admitted students receive additional communications from Admissions and other CSU offices outlining the confirmation and enrollment processes. To stay on track to enroll, admitted students are expected to check email regularly and to complete the steps for admitted students.

Getting started


You’re ready to prepare your documents and start your application.

Apply with the Common App

Common App is best if you’re applying to more than one Common Application Member Institution.

Apply with the Common App

Apply with the CSU Application

Use the CSU Application if you are not applying to multiple Common App schools.

Apply with the CSU App