The California State Universities

The California State University system (CSU) is the largest system of four-year public higher education in the United States. Its 23 campuses extend from Arcata in the north (Humbolt State University) to San Diego in the south (San Diego State University). For every first-time freshman student admitted, two community college transfer students are admitted. Since the CSU began in 1961, it has awarded almost two million degrees.

The CSU historically has played a critical role in preparing students to enter the job market. The system prepares 60 percent of the teachers in the state and more graduates in business, engineering, agriculture, communications, health, education, and public administration than all other California universities and colleges combined. Altogether, about half of all of the Bachelor's degrees awarded in California are from a CSU campus.

Upper-division transfer applicants must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in 60 transferable units. Within those 60 transferable units, transfer applicants must complete at least 30 transferable semester units of General Education (GE) courses with a grade of "C" or better to include the following CSU GE requirements in Oral Communication (A-1), Written Communication (A-2), Critical Thinking (A-3), and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B-4). When choosing General Education courses, most CSU transfer applicants follow either the CSU General Education Certification course pattern or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Some majors may be impacted at some campuses. In such cases, campuses use supplementary criteria to screen applications such as GPA, required lower-division major coursework, or test scores. For information on Saddleback College lower-division major coursework, please visit

For the California State University under the new law SB1440, the CSU shall grant a student priority admission to his or her local CSU campus and to a program or major that is similar to his or her community college major or area of emphasis, as determined by the CSU campus to which the student is admitted. All this can be done by completing a specific Associate in Arts/Associate in Science – Transfer degree at Saddleback College. Please contact the Transfer Center or Counseling Department for further information.