Apply as an international freshman/first year student if:
  • You are not a U.S. citizen (including dual citizen) or U.S. permanent resident AND
  • You have completed or are completing high school or secondary school AND
  • You have never attended college/university OR any college credits you have earned were earned prior to high school/secondary school completion.

Why Apply?


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 CSU 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 application files completed by December 1 are considered part of the Early Action pool to receive full admission consideration and automatic scholarship review by December 31.

Application files 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 through May 1. Securing a student visa can take at least six weeks, so the earlier you apply, the better. 

Spring Semester (starts in January)

While spring semester is not the traditional starting date for freshmen/first year students, it is possible to begin in the spring. 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 consideration is offered on a space-available basis. Securing a visa can take at least six weeks, so early application is encouraged.

Summer Session (starts in May)

Summer Session is not a recommended entry term; course expectations are more rigorous and campus services can be more limited. Contact the international team if your circumstances require a summer start.

What we need


There are several items that we consider necessary to make an informed decision about your potential for academic success at Colorado State. Know that each item is taken seriously, but the admission decision is made based on the sum of all of them.

Your application file will be reviewed for a decision 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 USD application fee.

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

  • Unofficial transcripts can be sent while high school or secondary school work is in progress. Faxed transcripts are not accepted.
  • All decisions are provisional until a final, official transcript verifying graduation is received. Only transcripts sent directly from the school or stamped and sealed are considered official.
  • If a record is not in English, a certified literal English translation must accompany the transcript.

personal statement is required from all freshman/first year applicants. It’s 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.

Short written responses to the Academic Explanation and Academic Gap prompts are optional and allow you to provide more context for us to understand your academic background.

  • We require one counselor OR teacher recommendation. Additional recommendations are optional.
  • If you’re not currently in school, we’ll accept recommendations 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.

Your immigration information is not considered in the admission decision, but the official admission packet and I-20 or DS-2019 are express mailed to admitted students only after immigration information has been received, verified and approved.

If you need a student visa to attend CSU, you must submit the following items:

  • Immigration Information Form
  • Copy of the identification page of the passport (must be valid for at least six months beyond the first day of classes)
  • Financial support document(s) demonstrating the ability to meet or exceed your estimated expenses. (Because none of our institutional scholarships cover the full cost of attendance, you must be able to show outside funding.)

Immigration information is not considered in the admission decision, but the official admission packet and I-20 or DS-2019 are express mailed to admitted students only after immigration information has been received, verified and approved.

Immigration information can be submitted as part of the application for admission or using these instructions for submitting documents.

Students are not required to submit their enrollment deposit before the I-20 or DS-2019 is issued.

  • Within your application, you’ll be prompted to indicate whether you are seeking direct or “clear” admission (English proficiency required) or conditional admission (no English proficiency required).
  • If you wish to be considered for direct or clear admission, we’ll ask how you intend to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you plan to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores, we prefer results sent directly from the testing service.
  • Alternatives to these tests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants who do not present (sufficient) evidence of English proficiency can be considered for conditional admission and, if admitted, will be referred to our INTO CSU Academic English program.

Applicants from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom whose first language is English are exempt from this requirement.

Learn More

Freshman applicants to Business, Engineering, Computer Science and Biomedical Sciences must submit official SAT or ACT scores to be considered for direct admission to one of these more competitive majors. Without ACT or SAT, admissible applicants will be considered for an alternative major or an undeclared advising track.

Submitting your documents, transcripts and fees is easy and we’re always here to help. Start by reviewing submission instructions and contact us if you have any questions.

Who we look for


Every incoming class looks different, but we always work to maintain high academic standards while providing access to higher education as part of our land-grant mission.

Freshman class profile

This data reflects the middle 50 percent of international freshmen admitted in Fall 2016. There is a lot of opportunity above and below the scores listed below. While this should give you an idea of where the center of a class lies, it does not reflect any type of requirement for admission.


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.

Performance can be as important as rigor. We’ll consider how your achievement compares with our direct admit country guidelines.

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 in order to be admitted.

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 two days after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email with instructions 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.

Already started?

Learn how to check your application status here.

Application Status Info

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 categories:

Most admitted students qualify for their first choice major and direct (clear) admission. Then it’s time to move on to the next steps for admitted students.

Some students meet our academic requirements for admission but have not satisfied the English proficiency requirement for direct admission. Conditionally admitted students begin their enrollment at INTO CSU and are encouraged to consult the next steps for admitted students.

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

Some applicants are asked to 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 the Office of Admissions and other the Office of International programs outlining the confirmation and enrollment processes. To stay on track to enroll, admitted students are expected to check email regularly and make sure to complete the next steps for admitted students.

Getting started


The next step is to begin preparing your academic documents and to start an application. We recommend you submit your application before your required documents for quickest completion of your records.

Apply with the CSU Application

The CSU Application is a great choice if you are not applying to multiple Common App schools.

Apply with the CSU App

Apply with the Common App

The Common Application is a great choice if you are applying to more than one Common Application Member Institution.

Apply with the Common App