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What is a competitive major?

A few of our programs have more competitive admission requirements, such as a higher GPA, higher test scores, or additional coursework. Biomedical Sciences and Mechanical Engineering also have limits on the number of students who can be admitted.

If you apply to a competitive major, we’ll review your application for general University admission first. Then, we’ll assess whether you meet the additional requirements outlined below.

Students with credentials just outside these ranges may be offered direct entry to a competitive major when space becomes available. We’ll initiate this process and include a range of factors in our decision; typically, we assess space availability on or after February 1.

ACT & SAT details:
  • Superscores (highest subscores combined) are considered in calculation of the composite/combined score.
  • SAT combined scores include evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW) and math (M) subscores only.
  • The writing section of either test is not considered in admission or scholarship decisions.

Freshmen/First-Year Students

Domestic students should compare their scores to the chart below. International students must be in the top 5-10 percent of the applicant pool if GPA scores on a 4.0 scale are not available, and submit ACT or SAT exams for direct admission into the Biomedical Sciences program.

Scores for the redesigned SAT are shown.

biomedical-competitive-chart-2018

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.

Waitlist

Biomedical Sciences typically reaches its enrollment limit on or before our December 1 Early Action date, so early application is strongly encouraged. After the enrollment limit is reached, admitted students who meet the competitive entrance requirements can request to be placed on a waitlist to be considered for Biomedical Sciences if additional space becomes available. Details about the waitlist process will be emailed to eligible students within the first week after the decision has been rendered.

Freshmen/First-Year Students

Domestic students should compare their scores to the chart below. International students must be in the top 5-10 percent of the applicant pool if GPA scores on a 4.0 scale are not available and submit ACT or SAT exams for direct admission into the program.

Scores for the redesigned SAT are shown.

business-competitive-chart-2018

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.

Freshmen/First-Year Students

Domestic students should compare their scores to the chart below. International students must be in the top 5-10 percent of the applicant pool if GPA scores on a 4.0 scale are not available and submit ACT or SAT exams for direct admission into the program.

Scores for the redesigned SAT are shown.

computer-science-competitive-chart-2018

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).

The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering takes a holistic approach when considering applications, which means we look at who you are as a person and what you would bring to our program. While we encourage our applicants to meet the minimum criteria, students who fall outside these criteria may still be considered. Similarly, presentation of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the college due to our holistic review process.

Freshmen/First-Year Students

To be considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering, students should aim for the following minimum requirements:

  • 3.3 weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • 24 ACT Math or 570 SAT* Math subscore
  • One semester of trigonometry or pre-calculus
  • One year of chemistry or physics

Mechanical Engineering (ME) and the Biomedical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering dual-degree program (BME) have enrollment caps in place. This means not all qualified students can be admitted directly to ME/BME. You are encouraged to submit your completed application early. Once capacity has been reached, a waitlist may be implemented.

*SAT scores refer to results from the redesigned SAT.

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.

Freshmen/First-Year Students

Domestic students should compare their scores to the chart below. International students must be in the top 5-10 percent of the applicant pool if GPA scores on a 4.0 scale are not available and submit ACT or SAT exams for direct admission into the program.

Scores for the redesigned SAT are shown.

journalism-competitive-chart-2018

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 admissible to the University but do not meet the competitive admission requirements for your preferred major, you will be considered for admission to the alternate major you selected, if applicable, or to a related undeclared major track, such as Undeclared Business Interest. If you are admitted to the undeclared designation, you’ll 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.

As an undeclared student, you are welcome to change your program of study or select one of the undeclared-exploring major tracks if you see a broader area you would like to investigate.

You are also encouraged to review the coursework and grades you’ll need for admission into your program once you’re a student at CSU.

What if your academic information changes?

If your academic profile improves with new grades or new test scores, submit your updated academic information as soon as possible and let your admissions counselor know. (Second bachelor’s candidates: if applicable, you can submit official transcript(s) not required to complete your application.)

If you meet the competitive requirements before you enroll and if space allows, you will be reconsidered for direct entry to your preferred major.

Contact us with questions

Getting admitted to a competitive program can be hard. We’re here to help you through the process.

Contact the Office of Admissions with questions about admission requirements for competitive majors and your eligibility based on credentials in your application. Contact the undeclared student advising center with questions about what your experience will be like in an undeclared advising track and the prerequisites you’ll need to meet to qualify for a competitive major.

Academic departments and colleges will refer you back to the Office of Admissions or an advisor in the advising center for more information.