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What is a competitive major?

Competitive majors have additional admission requirements, such as a higher GPA or additional coursework. Biomedical Sciences also has an enrollment cap that limits the number of students who can be admitted. If you apply to a competitive major, we’ll review your application for university admission first, then we will assess whether you meet the additional requirements.

First-Year Freshman Students

First-year freshman students will be evaluated for their academic preparedness using factors that may include previous academic performance, courses and rigor relevant to the major, activities or experiences relevant to the major, and any other supporting documents submitted as part of the application.

Space in the Biomedical Sciences major is limited, and not all qualified applicants are eligible for direct entry to the major. Applicants may be admitted to their alternate choice major and then reviewed for direct entry to Biomedical Sciences on a space-available basis over the course of the admission cycle.

Transfer Students

Domestic and international transfer students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher (4.0 scale),
  • grades of B or better in
    • one semester of Biology/Lab (equivalent to LIFE 102, Attributes of Living Systems/Lab) and
    • one semester of Chemistry/Lab (equivalent to CHEM 111/112, General Chemistry 1/Lab).

Second- and Post-Bachelor Students

Second and post-bachelor candidates are not eligible for admission to Biomedical Sciences.

First-Year Freshman Students

First-year freshman students will be evaluated for their academic preparedness using factors that may include previous academic performance, courses and rigor relevant to the major, activities or experiences relevant to the major, and any other supporting documents submitted as part of the application.

Transfer Students

Domestic and international transfer students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) from all prior university coursework AND
  • completion of at least 15 graded, college-level academic credits after high school graduation or the equivalent AND
  • a grade of C- or better in one semester of Calculus (equivalent to MATH 141, Calculus in Management Sciences or higher level calculus courses) AND
  • a grade of B- or better in one semester of Microeconomics (equivalent to ECON 202, Principles of Microeconomics or AREC 202, Agricultural and Resource Economics).

Course requirements can be satisfied with credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

Second- and Post-Bachelor Students

Domestic and international students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) AND
  • a grade of C- or better in one semester of Calculus (equivalent to MATH 141, Calculus in Management Sciences or higher level calculus courses) AND
  • a grade of B- or better in one semester of Microeconomics (equivalent to ECON 202, Principles of Microeconomics or AREC 202, Agricultural and Resource Economics).

Course requirements can be satisfied with credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

Please note that the College of Business offers only one degree: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with multiple concentration options. Applicants with a first undergraduate degree in Business Administration (any concentration) are not eligible for a second degree in Business Administration, even if the concentration is different. Second-bachelor and post-bachelor applicants with a first degree in Business should contact the College of Business to discuss their options.

First-Year Freshman Students

First-year freshman students will be evaluated for their academic preparedness using factors that may include previous academic performance, courses and rigor relevant to the major, activities or experiences relevant to the major, and any other supporting documents submitted as part of the application.

Transfer Students

Domestic and international transfer students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (4.0 scale) from all prior university coursework AND
  • grades of C or better in
    • one semester of Calculus in Physical Sciences MATH 160* or Computer Science 2: Data Structures CS 165 AND
    • one semester of Computer Science 1: Programming CS 163 or 164*

*Calculus courses not equivalent to Math 160 and programming courses in Java, JavaScript, C, C#, or C++ not equivalent to CS 163 or CS 164 will satisfy the competitive entrance requirements but may not meet graduation requirements within the major.

Course requirements can be satisfied with credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

Second- and Post-Bachelor Students

Domestic and international students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher (4.0 scale) AND
  • grades of C or better in
    • one semester of Calculus in Physical Sciences MATH 160* or Computer Science 2: Data Structures CS 165 AND
    • one semester of Computer Science 1: Programming CS 163 or 164*

*Calculus courses not equivalent to Math 160 and programming courses in Java, JavaScript, C, C#, or C++ not equivalent to CS 163 or CS 164 will satisfy the competitive entrance requirements but may not meet graduation requirements within the major.

Course requirements can be satisfied with credit through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

First-Year Freshman Students

First-year freshman students will be evaluated for their academic preparedness using factors that may include previous academic performance, courses and rigor relevant to the major, activities or experiences relevant to the major, and any other supporting documents submitted as part of the application.

Transfer Students

ABET-EAC Direct Admission

You may be directly admitted to select College of Engineering programs if:

  • your most recent school was an ABET-EAC accredited engineering program, you were majoring in an ABET-accredited program
  • you left in good standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (4.0 scale)
  • you are recommended for general university admission

This option is not available to applicants to Mechanical Engineering or the Mechanical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering dual degree program.

Admission Requirements

If you do not meet the ABET-EAC standards outlined above, you must satisfy all of the following entrance requirements for the College of Engineering:

Minimum cumulative GPA for all college work attempted:

  • Mechanical Engineering and the Mechanical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering dual degree program require a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • All other Engineering majors require a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA

Minimum college-level coursework:

  • One semester of Calculus (equivalent to Math 160, Calculus for Physical Scientists 1, or higher) with a grade of B or better and either:
    • One semester of Chemistry (equivalent to CHEM111/112, General Chemistry 1/Lab, or higher) with a grade of B or better or
    • One semester of Physics (equivalent to PH 141, Physics for Scientists and Engineers 1, or higher) with a grade of B or better
  • Subsequent course work (i.e., course work taken in more recent terms) above the levels of the courses outlined above must be completed with a grade of C or better. For example, applicants must have a B in Calculus 1; if they proceed to Calculus 2 in a later term they must have a minimum C grade in Calculus 2.

Mechanical Engineering (ME) and the Biomedical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering dual-degree program (BME) have enrollment caps in place. Space is limited in order to maintain a high-quality undergraduate experience with smaller class sizes, access to laboratories, and effective student-to-faculty ratios. This means not all qualified students can be admitted directly to ME/BME. You are encouraged to submit your completed application by December 1 for summer or fall consideration or October 1 for spring consideration. Once capacity has been reached, a waitlist may be implemented.

Second- and Post-Bachelor Students

Second-bachelor and post-bachelor candidates must have a minimum 2.75 GPA in their first undergraduate degree. The Mechanical Engineering program and the Mechanical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering dual-degree program require a minimum 3.0 GPA.

First-Year Freshman Students

First-year freshman students will be evaluated for their academic preparedness using factors that may include previous academic performance, courses and rigor relevant to the major, activities or experiences relevant to the major, and any other supporting documents submitted as part of the application.

Transfer, Second- and Post-Bachelor Students

Transfer students must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (4.0 scale) from all prior university coursework AND
  • at least 12 college-level, academic graded credits

Second Bachelor’s candidates must have:

  • a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (4.0 scale) in their first degree

All transfer and second bachelor’s applicants:

Completion of one semester of Mass Media (equivalent to JTC100, Media in Society), one semester of Newswriting (equivalent to JTC210, Newswriting), and College Composition (equivalent to CO 150) is encouraged but not required. Students cannot take additional courses in the major until these JTC courses (or equivalents) are complete.

What if you do not meet these requirements?

If you are not admitted into the competitive major of your choice, you will be considered for admission to the alternate major you selected or to an undeclared program. If you are admitted to an undeclared program, you will be advised by a professional academic success coordinator on our Undeclared Student Advising team. Your success coordinator will:

  • guide you to courses that meet core curriculum requirements;
  • outline the CSU prerequisites you will need to complete after you enroll at CSU in order to earn entrance to the competitive major, and;
  • help you explore your interests and passions to discover other pathways to reach your goals.

Undeclared students are welcome to change their program of study or select an undeclared-exploring major track. Students can also reapply for admission to a competitive major as a current student at CSU with additional coursework and grades.

What if your academic information changes?

To be reconsidered for your competitive major, submit your updated academic information as soon as possible and let your admissions counselor know.

We’re always here to help

Please contact us with any questions about admission requirements for competitive majors.