Eligibility Requirements

First-Time Freshmen

College Preparatory Courses Required (“A-G” Requirements)

Years RequiredSubject
4 years English
3 years Mathematics
(algebra, geometry, algebra 2; sometimes referred to as intermediate algebra)
2 years Social science
(including one year of US history or one semester of US history and one semester of US government)
2 years Science with a laboratory
(one life science and one physical science)
2 years Foreign language
(the same language)
1 year       Visual and performing arts
(one single yearlong course or two semester-long courses within the same discipline)
1 year  College preparatory elective

Complete above courses with a C or better. We do not accept summer work after graduation to meet admission requirements. A course must be identified by your high school as meeting a University of California A-G subject requirement to be considered college preparatory. We do not accept “P” as an eligible grade listed on your application and will ask for further clarification if used.

For more information about admission criteria, validation, or appropriate courses refer to the CSU Admissions Handbook (pdf) or the UC A-G list for your high school.

Understanding Impaction Criteria and Admission Areas

CSU, Chico is impacted for freshmen applicants.

Applicants from the local admission area must have a minimum CSU eligibility index of a 2900 using the SAT Reasoning Test or a 694 using the ACT composite score.

Local admission area: Students who graduate from high school from one of the following counties or school districts: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba and four school districts in Trinity: Mountain Valley, Southern Trinity, Trinity Alps and Trinity High School, are considered our local admission area.

We will have an increased eligibility index (from the traditional CSU minimum eligibility index of a 2900) for students outside of our local admission area. Applicants will be "rank ordered" by eligibility index. Admission offers will be made in descending order until the freshmen class is full. We will not know the final index cut off until we are able to review the characteristics of the entire applicant pool.

Outside of our local admission area: Students who graduate high school from a county or school district in California that are not identified above are considered outside of our local admission area.

Impacted Majors

Selecting an impacted major will not affect an applicant's chances of being admitted to Chico State.  Students interested in an impacted major are encouraged to visit the following webpages to learn more about major requirements.

Music - Recording Arts


Calculating Your High School Grade Point Average (GPA)

For admission purposes in an impacted cycle, to calculate your GPA, use grades received in college preparatory courses during 10th and 11th grades. Courses completed in the summer after 9th and/or 11th grade can also be used in the calculation.

Up to eight additional grade points can be awarded for approved honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or college-level courses. Honors courses taken in 10th grade need to be AP, IB, or designated as junior or senior level in order to be awarded up to two points. All courses need to be approved and listed on the UC “A-G” list. More information about honors courses can be found in the CSU Admissions Handbook.

Note: Due to impaction, we do not use grades earned, in progress or planned in the 12th grade for the initial application review. If you are repeating a course in 12th grade that you previously earned a grade during 10th or 11th grade, the original grade needs to be reported on your application. More instructions can be found within the online CSUMentor application.

Required Tests for Admissions

Regardless of GPA, all students must take an SAT Reasoning or ACT exam by no later than December of their senior year and submit any test scores to Chico.

We use the SAT Reasoning, Critical Reading and Math scores for admission decisions.

We use the ACT Composite score for admission decisions. 

Calculating Your Eligibility Index

Your index is a combination of your test scores and the above GPA. In order to calculate, use the following equations for either SAT or ACT scores. 

  • Using SAT Reasoning Test scores (math and EBRW/critical reading only):
    (Your GPA  x  800) + (Your SAT Reasoning Test total) = Your Index
    Example  (3.2 GPA  x  800) + (550+560=1110 SAT) = 3670 Index
  • Using ACT composite score:
    (Your GPA  x 200) + (10 x ACT Composite) = Your Index
    Example  (3.2 GPA x 200) + (10 x 24) =  880 Index

Local admission area applicants must have a minimum CSU eligibility index of a 2900 using SAT Reasoning Test or 694 using ACT scores.

Outside of our local admission area applicants will have an elevated index due to impaction. We will not know the index cut off until we have reviewed the characteristics of the entire applicant pool.    

Required Placement Testing (EPT/ELM)

Students planning to attend CSU, Chico (or any CSU) are required to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or the Entry Level Math (ELM) test(s) unless they are exempt. This is not an admissions test and will not be used to determine eligibility; however this test is required for enrollment purposes.

New freshmen who are deemed not ready for college-level English and/or math after taking the EPT/ELM will need to start the remediation process no later than the summer before their first term. If it is determined that you need remediation in either area, you must take extra steps to address this requirement through the Early Start Program. Students will be notified throughout the process of application, admission, and registration about this requirement.

To view test exemptions, the schedule for exams or access more information about these programs, please view the EPT/ELM/Early Start link on the admissions home page.