Applying as an International Freshman or First-Year Student
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.
WHEN TO APPLY
DEADLINES, DATES AND TIMELINES
Fall Semester (begins 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.
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 you’re encouraged to apply early.
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.
After November 1, spring admission consideration is offered on a space-available basis. Securing a student visa can take at least six weeks, so early application is encouraged.
Summer Session (begins 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
THE KEY PARTS OF A COMPLETE APPLICATION
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:
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?)
- Unofficial transcripts can be sent while high school or secondary school work is in progress.
- 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.
- Faxed transcripts are not accepted.
- Transcripts for university-level course work taken BEFORE secondary school completion (e.g. concurrent enrollment) may not be required at the point of application.
A 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.
- 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.
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.
If you need a student visa, you must submit the following items in order to secure an I-20 or DS-2019:
- Immigration Information Form
- Copy of the identification page of your 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 these immigration details have been received, verified and approved.
Immigration information can be submitted as part of the application for admission or using these instructions for submitting documents.
You are not required to submit your enrollment deposit in order to receive an I-20 or DS-2019.
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
THE TYPE OF STUDENT THAT MAKES A RAM
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.
MIDDLE 50% GPA
MIDDLE 50% IELTS SCORE
MIDDLE 50% TOEFL SCORE
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.
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
THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
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.
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. If a student visa is not required, the official admit packet is mailed within 2-3 weeks. If a student visa is required, the official admit packet is express mailed only after all immigration information has been received, reviewed and verified.
Notifications generally fall into one of these categories:
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.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW TO BECOME A RAM
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.