International students take a selfie at graduation

Colorado State University was built on the belief that anyone who wants a university education should feel empowered to get one. We want your big ideas and dreams to come to life, no matter your background.  

Transfer applicants already know a lot about attending college, but you probably have questions about applying to a university outside your home country. Our admissions process is set up to guide you through the application quickly and easily so you can start learning at Colorado State University.

Our hope is to learn more about who you are and how you’ll contribute here. Each year we search for applicants with diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives to challenge and support one another on campus.

If you have questions before or during the application process, the International Enrollment Center is ready to help!

Who's an international transfer student?

Apply as an international transfer student if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you've enrolled in university credits since completing secondary school (high school).

When to apply

The best dates to apply for admission are based on the semester you want to start at CSU. The application opens August 1 each year for the following year’s fall and summer semesters and March 1 for the following year’s spring semester.

Transfer students typically start during the fall semester.

Early action date (non-binding)
Submit your application and all support documents by February 1 to receive early admission consideration and full scholarship consideration, including access to the Colorado State University Scholarship Application.

Regular decision date
Submit your application and all support documents by June 1 to receive full admission consideration and limited scholarship consideration. After this date, applications for admission are considered on a rolling basis.

Spring semester is our second most-popular semester for transfer students to start. The application for spring semester opens in March, ten months prior to the start of the term.

Regular decision date
Submit a complete application file by November 1 for full admission consideration and automatic scholarship review. After this date, applications for admission are considered on a rolling basis.

Summer is not a recommended entry term because course expectations are more rigorous and campus services can be more limited. Contact the International Enrollment Center if your circumstances require a summer start.

Regular decision
If the international admissions team approves a summer start, submit your application and all support documents by March 1 for earliest access to summer course registration.

What we need

A complete application file consists of the CSU Application, which you will submit online, and the supporting materials listed below. You can submit these items in any order, and we will review your application once we receive all the required items.

Required materials

All transfer applicants use the online CSU Application to apply.

Transfer applicants must submit either a $50 application fee or application fee waiver if the fee presents a financial hardship.

You will be prompted to submit your application fee or waiver when submitting your CSU Application. 

  • A final, official transcript reflecting graduation is required of all applicants.
  • Only transcripts sent directly from the school or stamped and sealed are considered official. Faxed transcripts are not accepted.
  • If a record is not in English, a certified literal English translation must accompany the transcript.
  • Transcripts are not required for second bachelor’s candidates.

How to submit transcripts

We require one official transcript from every college or university you have attended, regardless of the age of the credits, amount of credit, type of credit, or academic status when the credit was earned.

  • Transcripts must be official. If only one original is available, an attested or certified copy may be submitted.
  • Transcripts submitted electronically will only be considered as official if uploaded using a secure transcript delivery service or emailed directly from a college / university official. Faxed transcripts are not accepted.
  • If a record is not in English, a certified literal English translation must accompany the official transcript.
  • An evaluation of transferable academic credits will be completed only after you’re admitted.

How to submit transcripts

Every CSU undergraduate degree requires at least one mathematics or statistics course (three credits) to graduate. The admission requirement in mathematics is designed to ensure that transfer applicants are on track to satisfy this graduation requirement.

Only international applicants who’ve completed college work in the U.S. are reviewed for completion of the admission requirement in mathematics, though all applicants are encouraged to have university-level math complete at the point of application.

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

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.)

How to submit documents

Optional materials


ACT and SAT results are not evaluated in the admission decision but can be helpful for composition and math placement purposes if you have not taken transferable college composition or mathematics courses.


Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and CLEP results can be considered for transfer credit after you’ve been admitted and once official score results have been sent to CSU; these results will not be considered in the admission decision.

How to submit scores

The academic explanation helps us better understand your academic background. You are strongly encouraged to write an academic explanation if you have a cumulative GPA below 2.5, D/F grades within the past year, and/or erratic trends or a pattern of withdrawals in your prior college work.

Strong English language skills are important to academic success at CSU. Within your application, you’ll be prompted to indicate whether you are seeking direct admission or conditional admission regarding your English proficiency.

  • 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 the Intensive English Program.

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

How to submit scores

Who we look for

Every incoming class looks different, though every class reflects our commitment to maintain high academic standards and provide people of all backgrounds access to higher education.

A 2.0 cumulative GPA for all college work attempted is the threshold for consideration. Applicants who have a cumulative GPA below 2.5 should be prepared to demonstrate academic success in the form of an upward GPA trend and no D/F grades in their most recent terms.

Students transferring more than 90 credits may not be able to complete their major in a timely manner, and credits that transfer may not meet specific degree requirements at CSU.

We know numbers aren’t the only way to understand someone’s readiness for Colorado State, though. That’s why we review applications holistically, meaning we take a range of academic and personal factors into consideration.

Factors we consider

We recommend you take college-level courses in a range of subjects. Be sure to include a mathematics course. Composition also is recommended but not required.

We look for meaningful engagement in school, extracurricular, and community activities to understand your strengths and interests.

 We consider not only your cumulative GPA but also your trends in grades over time and across subjects.

Additional factors
We will consider circumstances that have impacted your course selection and performance. Also, some competitive majors require specific course work and/or a higher grade point average to be admitted to that major.

What to expect

So what does the full application process look like? See the main steps and timeline for making it all happen.

  1. Complete your online application.
    Completing the application typically takes 30-45 minutes, not including the time you spend uploading supporting documents. If you have started but not finished your application, you can return to it.
  2. Activate your electronic identity.
    Within one to two days after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email with instructions to activate your electronic identity we call a NetID, which allows you to access your application status.
  3. Check your application status and email inbox to ensure your application is complete.
    Some applicants may be asked to submit more information, such as a new transcript, evidence of English proficiency, or an explanation of academic performance before receiving an admission decision.
  4. Wait for your admission decision.
    This is often the hardest part! Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Most students will receive a decision within four weeks after submitting a complete application with all required materials.
  5. Check your application status online or check your inbox for news and next steps.
    We will notify you of our decision through email first, followed by the printed, official admit packet, which usually arrives by mail two to three weeks after admission. 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:

Direct (clear) admission
Applicants who are admitted into CSU and into the program of their choice.

Direct or conditional admission: alternate major
Some applicants are admitted to CSU but placed in an alternate major or a related exploratory studies program instead of the competitive major they requested, either because they don’t qualify for direct admission or because capacity has been reached.

Conditional admission

Some applicants meet our academic requirements but have not satisfied the English proficiency requirement for direct admission. Conditional admission allows students to begin CSU’s Intensive English Program or submit English proficiency to clear admission.

Not admitted
Applicants who are not offered admission are encouraged to complete additional college-level work elsewhere before applying again or ask for reconsideration with compelling new academic information. Learn more about your options.


You’re ready. Start your application. (Or come back to finish it!) And reach out to your admissions counselor with any and all questions you have.