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The California State University

12th Grade
  • Complete all final “a-g” course requirements, including college prep English and advanced math. Trigonometry or Analytic Geometry/Calculus are also recommended.
  • Take a senior-year math course. This course will strengthen your skills so you’ll be better prepared for college coursework.
  • Visit to learn about the CSU’s Academic Preparation Policy. The CSU has implemented measures to ensure first-time freshmen are placed in appropriate General Education English and math courses at the CSU campus they attend.
  • If you are planning to transfer from a California Community College, visit


  • Early September: Register for the October SAT or ACT, if you haven’t already taken the exam.
  • Early November: Register for the December SAT or ACT if you are retaking the exam or missed the October test deadline. Begin to apply for scholarships.
  • October 1-November 30: Apply to the CSU early—the application period opens October 1, and the deadline is November 30!
  • October-March: Apply for financial aid October 1 through March 2!
  • Late Spring: If you are taking AP classes, register for the AP exams. You can earn college credit if you score a 3 or more on the exams.

a-g Courses

a-g Courses

The California State University requires the following college preparatory pattern of classes for admission:

  1. History and Social Science
    2 years (1 year of U.S. History and 1 year of Social Science)
  2. English
    4 years required
  3. Math
    3 years (4 years recommended)
  4. Laboratory Science
    2 years with a lab class
  5. Language other than English
    2 years of the same language
  6. Visual and Performing Arts
    1 year
  7. College Preparatory Electives
    1 year of any college preparatory subject

For more information on
"a-g" requirements, visit Cal State Apply.

Brush up on your English and math skills at the CSU Success website.

Helpful tips

Helpful tips

Developing strong study skills and time management will help you get through school and succeed in life!

  • Pay attention in class
  • Take good notes
  • Eat well and get rest
  • Read all assignments
  • Form a study group to test your knowledge with your friends

Check out these other helpful tips:

Successful study techniques

Find resources for homework

Tips for writing effectively

Improve your critical thinking

Prepare and Apply

Prepare and Apply

Use California Colleges to set up your Academic Planner. If you are an undocumented student, learn more about the admissions process.

Visit Cal State Apply to compare colleges and apply to the CSU.

Get started today


ACT (American College Testing)
AP (Advanced Placement)
CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress)
CSU (California State University)
EAP (Early Assessment Program)
PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test)
SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)