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Transfer students already know a lot about attending college. That’s why 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.

Even before you apply, you’re probably wondering whether your credits will transfer. Take a look at how we grant credit, our admissions guarantee for Colorado students, and more.

If you have questions before or during the application process, your transfer admissions counselor is ready to help!

Who's a domestic transfer student?

Apply as a domestic transfer student if you're 1) a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or undocumented AND 2) if you’ve attended a regionally accredited college after high school graduation. If your only college classes were taken during high school, you’ll apply as a freshman.

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 for the next year’s fall and summer semesters and in March for the next 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.

You’re encouraged to contact your admissions counselor to visit about starting in the summer.

Regular decision date
Submit your application and all support documents by March 1 for earliest access to summer course registration. After May 1, applications are considered on a rolling basis and fall entry is encouraged. Scholarships are not awarded for summer starts.

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 use an application fee waiver if the fee presents a financial hardship, or if you are a Colorado student. All Colorado students qualify for Free App EVERY day at CSU. You are considered a Colorado student if you have attended a Colorado high school or college/university or you currently live in Colorado.

You’ll be prompted to pay your application fee or request a waiver after you submit your application. Look for the payment tool on the confirmation page.

  • All transfer applicants with fewer than 30 college-level credits at the point of application are required to submit a final high school transcript with a date of graduation (or equivalent). High school performance (and equivalency results, if applicable) are considered in the admission decision and can be used to meet the admission requirement in mathematics.
  • Transfer applicants with more than 30 college-level credits complete at the point of application are welcome to submit a final high school transcript to meet the admission requirement in mathematics; aside from this use, high school performance is not considered in the admission decision.
  • A final high school transcript (or equivalent) will be required after admission for any students with fewer than 60 college-level credits who are seeking financial aid; proof of graduation is a federal financial aid requirement.
  • If you have been out of high school for more than a couple of years, you may need to work with your school district to secure your transcript. If you encounter difficulty obtaining your final high school transcript or equivalency results, contact your counselor to discuss alternatives.

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.

  • Include transcripts for college-level work completed while in high school, through study abroad and/or reported in transfer from other institutions.
  • If you’re currently enrolled someplace else, wait to send us your transcript when you’re in your last semester at that institution. No more than one academic term can be “in progress” when we make our decision. This does not include summer semester.
  • Applicants attending quarter-based institutions must submit fall quarter grades for fall consideration.
  • Failure to disclose all institutions attended, regardless of whether credits were earned or will be transferable, is grounds for rejection or dismissal.

How to submit transcripts

Undergraduate students are required to complete at least three credits of mathematics or statistics as part of a CSU degree. The admission requirement in mathematics is designed to ensure that transfer applicants are on track to satisfy this graduation requirement.

After you have submitted your application and all materials, we’ll review them to see if you’ve met the requirement.

There are several ways to satisfy the mathematics requirement.

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.


AP, 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.

GPA below 2.5, D/F grades in the past year, or a pattern of withdrawals

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.

The academic explanation can provide important context. Please include:

  • The circumstances around D/F, NP, or U grades on your transcript
  • The skills have you gained or tools have you used to be successful
  • What makes CSU and your intended major feel like a good fit

Gap year(s)

Not every student goes through high school and college without a break. If this is you, we want to know more. Please include:

  • What you have done during your time away from school
  • How your experiences shaped you
  • The skills you gained or tools you used that will help you be successful at CSU, especially any training, work experience, or volunteering that led you to your intended major

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.

2.9-3.7 GPA
29-65 credits

This data reflects the middle 50% of transfer students admitted in Fall 2022. This means half the students we admitted have credentials in this range; 25% of the students we admitted have credentials above this range; and 25% have credentials below this range.

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, work, military service, or family commitments 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. Notifications generally fall into one of these categories:

Fully admitted
Applicants who are admitted into CSU and into the program of their choice.

Fully admitted: 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.

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.