Freshman (First Year Students)

Freshman Admisisons


You’re ready for new adventures and seeking challenges to prepare you to change the world.

CSU provides you with the challenges that become the catalysts for change; and adversity transforms into achievement.

We are proud to support the dedicated scholars of today on their journey to becoming the change-makers and leaders of tomorrow.



Required Documentation

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  • An official high school transcript, or GED, or HiSET test results, or Home-schooled Portfolio.
  • The submission of ACT or SAT scores is OPTIONAL for applicants.
  • Letters of Recommendation completed by a teacher, school counselor, mentor, coach, and/or employer and may be OPTIONAL for some applicants*.
  • Personal Statement or Essay is OPTIONAL for applicants.
  • The $25 non-refundable application fee or Fee Waiver Request Form.

*Some students may be required to interview with our Academic Support Staff.

Note: Applicants who apply via the school website can complete and upload the personal essay at that time. Applicants who submit an application via common app must answer the application essay question.

Essay prompt: Discuss your reasons for wishing to pursue a college degree.

** Letters of recommendation can be completed by a teacher, school counselor, mentor, coach, or employer and sent to

Admitted applicants are required to provide a final Official High School transcript with graduation date prior to beginning classes.

First -Year Students  A - Z
Admission Deadlines
 Admitted Students
Campus Life
Financial Aid
How to Apply
Placement Tests
RISE Scholar
Test-Optional Admissions Processes
Tuition & Fees


Criteria for Freshman Admission

ACT/SAT Scores Are Not Required

Individuals will be considered for admission if they meet one of the following sets of criteria, unweighted GPA will be considered:

Applicants who have graduated, or will graduate, from a secondary school prior to enrollment at CSU will be assessed for admissions utilizing the following criteria:

  • Applicants who have a GPA of at least 2.50 on a 4.00 scale, are eligible for admittance to CSU.
  • Applicants who have a GPA between 2.00 and 2.49 on a 4.00 scale will be conditionally admitted and must interview with the Director of SuccessU to be considered for full admissions decision.

Note: For those applicants, regardless of GPA, who are applying to programs that require a portfolio review, audition, or other limited admissions requirements (which may include an SAT or ACT), they must still meet those requirements for admissions consideration.

Applicant Requirements

High School Applicants must have completed.

All applicants must have successfully completed the following high school courses (one unit equals one year).

  • English. Four units (three of which must be courses emphasizing written and oral communication and literature).
  • Mathematics. Three to four units of college preparatory mathematics, including one year of geometry and one year of advanced algebra and/or trigonometry. For students intending to major in mathematics, science, business, or engineering, four years of college preparatory mathematics are very strongly recommended. Further, all students, regardless of intended major, are strongly encouraged to take a mathematics course or a course with a mathematics prerequisite during the year before they enroll in a mathematics course at CSU.
  • Science. Two to three units (two of which must be courses in the physical or biological sciences). One unit must be a laboratory science.
  • Social Studies. Two to three units (one of which must be U.S. history or a combination of U.S. history and government).
  • Foreign Language, Art, Music, or Vocational Education. One to two units (one of which must be course work in foreign language, art, or music).
  • Additional Course Work. Up to three units of the required fifteen may be distributed throughout any of the five categories of course work listed above. Vocational education may satisfy up to three of the units.

Students who complete the required fifteen units in college preparatory courses--including two years of a foreign language, advanced mathematics, composition, literature, and at least one unit in chemistry or physics--will be more likely to:

(a) qualify for advanced placement or proficiency credit, and

(b) complete their programs of study within the amount of time anticipated for a given baccalaureate degree from CSU.

Applicants who have attempted transferable college-level credit at the time of application, and are entering the University in the academic year following their graduation from secondary school or its equivalent, are evaluated using freshman admission requirements.

GED certificate applicants must have completed:

  • Applicants who are not high school graduates must have attained high school equivalency through General Educational Development (GED) or HiSET tests.

    • In addition to a GED or HiSET passing score,
    • Applicants will be required to submit qualitative information such as a personal statement(s), and/or an admissions interview which look for characteristics that can include special talents, significant activities and accomplishments, leadership potential, personal commitment, and goal orientation.

Homeschool applicants must have completed:

  • Official high school transcript (which includes transcripts submitted by a parent/teacher)*

*What should be included in my transcript?

    • A brief summary of course content may be requested. Include details of your completed and current coursework, including grades for each course, beginning with the 9th grade. The transcript MUST include the signature of the individual who prepared it.
    • The transcript MUST be signed by hand, and sent to CSU via postal mail with the return address of the preparing person or entity.

Students who are interested in sending standardized test scores can request ACT or SAT official scores to be sent to Chicago State University – code 0992

Agency Website Phone Number
ACT ACT (319) 337-1313
SAT College Board (609) 771-7600
Note: ACT Prep Guidebook  

To guarantee your application is considered for early decision and merit scholarship opportunities.

Late applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis for admissions and financial assistance.