International Freshmen

You are considered a freshman applicant if you will have a high school diploma or GED and have not enrolled at any college or university beyond the summer immediately following your high school graduation.  

The information on this page is for:

  • Undergraduate applicants who plan to study at San Francisco State in F-1 student visa status

  • Undergraduate applicants who are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or in another immigration status, and have transcripts from an international institution.


Admission Eligibility & Application Process

Learn how to apply and what it takes to become an SF State student based on where you attended high school.

To be eligible for admission to SF State as a freshman, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Complete the required A-G college preparatory courses with a grade of C- or better

Due to the impact of COVID-19, SF State will accept grades of "Credit" or "Pass" for A-G college preparatory courses taken in Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall 2020 terms and during Winter, Spring or Summer 2021 terms.

A-G College Preparatory Subjects:

Area Subject Years
A History & Social Science (including one year of U.S. history and one semester of civics or American government and one year of social science) 2
B English 4
C Math (algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra or higher) 3
D Laboratory Science (one physical and one biological) 2
E Language other than English (same language; possible waiver) 2
F Visual & Performing Arts 1
G College preparatory elective (chosen from the school’s A-G course list) 1

For more information about meeting the A-G college preparatory requirements, visit the CSU High School Course Requirements or the University of California’s Course List to search the approved courses.


2. Meet the GPA requirements based on residency or high school

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is calculated using all A-G college preparatory courses completed after 9th grade.

The CSU no longer uses ACT/SAT examinations in determining admission eligibility. First-time freshmen must meet the following GPA requirements:

Residency or High School GPA Requirement
California resident or graduate of a California high school 2.50 or greater
Non-California resident 3.00 or greater

Applicants below these GPA minimums and applicants to competitive ("impacted") majors may be evaluated for admission based on supplemental factors.


3. Graduate from high school (diploma or GED)

​Your final high school transcript should show all of your grades and your date of graduation.


4. Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

​If you attended a US high school for at least 3 years, you meet the English Proficiency Requirement.

If you have attended a US high school for less than 3 years, you should be prepared to submit proof of English proficiency. See the English Language Proficiency section below for more information.

To be eligible for admission to SF State as a freshman, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Be academically prepared for college/university

Complete a secondary/high school curriculum that totals 12 years of primary-secondary education, be qualified to enter a university in your home country and have a good scholastic record from an accredited/recognized school.


2. Meet the GPA requirement

Have a a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) in the 4.0 grading scale or B- average in academic courses completed after 9th grade.


3. Graduate from high school 

​You should have, or will have, the equivalent of US high school completion.

See specific secondary school credentials by country.


4. Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

See the English Language Proficiency section below for more information.

All SF State undergraduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate English Language Proficiency by exam or previous academic instruction in English before an admissions decision can be made.

Eligible English Proficiency Exams

Test Minimum Score Send your Official Scores
TOEFL iBT Total Score 61; Institutional Code: 4684
TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Total Score 61
IELTS Overall Score 6.0
IELTS Indicator Overall Score 6.0
PTE Academic Score 45
SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing 550; School Code: 3594
ACT English Score 22; School Code: 0404
IB English A – Language and Literature HL 4
IB English A – Literature HL 4
AP English Language and Composition 3
AP English Literature and Composition 3


Academic Instruction in English

Demonstrate 3 years of full-time academic study in the following countries where the language of instruction was English:

Antigua Ghana Northern Marianas Tanzania
Australia Grand Cayman Islands Palau Trinidad & Tobago
Bahamas Grenada Papua New Guinea Uganda
Barbados Ireland Scotland United States
Belize Jamaica Sierra Leone Virgin Islands
Bermuda Kenya South Africa Wales
Botswana Lesotho St. Kitts Zambia
Canada Liberia St. Lucia Zimbabwe
England Malawi St. Vincent & Grenadines  
Gambia New Zealand Swaziland  


SF State's American Language Institute

Applicants who do not have the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score may enroll in SF State’s intensive English language program, the American Language Institute (ALI). ALI prepares non-native speakers of English for academic study in the University and issues certificates of eligibility for student visas:

For students planning to study in F-1 student visa status, you and/or your sponsor(s) must prove that you have the financial ability to pay for school costs plus living expenses for one academic year. 

You will be asked to submit the following documents:

Some other documents we may need for your application:

  • If it has been more than 1 year since you graduated from high school, submit the Gap in Attendance Form
  • If you are a US permanent resident, please submit a copy of your green card. If you have an immigration status other than F-1, you may be asked to submit additional documents to verify your status.
  • If you completed any of the following exams: Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma - Higher Level, you may be eligible to receive additional college credit. Official exam scores will be required to award transfer credit. Visit the Standardized External Examinations page for more information.
  • If you are an official partner-agent with San Francisco State University, submit the Student Consent for Release of Information form.

1. Explore and Choose a Major

With more than 100 undergraduate majors to choose from, you can discover your unique path in life at SF State. Whatever you choose to study, you will learn from faculty experts who are dedicated to helping you develop your potential.

2. Apply Online

Apply online at during the filing period (see Dates & Deadlines).

A $70 (non-refundable) application fee is due at the time of submission and can be paid by credit card or PayPal. 

Use this International Student Application Checklist to gather the information you will need to complete your online application.

SF State uses your self-reported information from the application to make an admission decision, so it is extremely important that you answer all questions on the application completely and accurately.

3. Submit any requested documents

Once we review your application we will notify you by email with instructions and deadlines should we need any additional documents.

4. Check your application status

San Francisco State communicates with students via e-mail. Make sure to read all e-mail messages and pay careful attention to deadlines.

Check your application status to ensure all supporting materials have been received.

Already Applied?

So what should you do once you've applied to San Francisco State? First and foremost, you should concentrate on your studies: get those good grades and stay on top of important deadlines. 

Check out the information below while we review your application.

You can check your application status online. After you submit your online application, you will receive an email from the University with your San Francisco State University Identification Number.

Check your application status on the SF State Gateway. Use your SF State Login and password to access the Gateway and navigate to the Student Center to see the most up-to-date information.

The To Do List will show the required documents needed for your admission application. Click “more” and then the individual To Do Items to see additional details about each item.

You can also check the status of your application by clicking on the link to “Check Admission Status” in the “New Students” box of your Student Center.

After you submit your admission application, your Student Center will have a To Do List of required documents. Requested documents must be received by the specified deadline.

  • Transcripts are required for each high school you attended.
  • If you are currently in the final year of high school, we need to see grades through your first semester (or second trimester) of year 12.
  • If you already completed high school, we need to see your complete high school transcript and proof of high school graduation.
  • If your school does not issue transcripts in English, we will need a word-for-word certified English translation.
  • We do not accept credential evaluations from third-party companies.
  • If you are admitted, you will be required to submit official, final transcripts at a later date.
  • Any documents submitted to SF State become the property of the University and will not be returned

Official transcripts must be sent in a sealed transcript envelope to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Recruitment
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

See our guide on submitting transcripts for more information.

Housing applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Applying for housing on campus is a separate process from the University admission process. Because obtaining housing on campus is not guaranteed, it’s important to apply early.

Basis for Appeals

Applicants may appeal denial decisions if they believe the evaluation of application information was incorrect and that they are eligible for admission.

Appeal Procedure

Contact the Admissions Office to discuss your appeal.

International Applicants: (415) 338-2382

After contacting the Admissions Office to discuss your appeal, you may be advised to submit an appeal in writing. If advised to submit an appeal in writing, send the written appeal to the Admissions Committee either via the Admissions Appeal Form or via letter to Undergraduate Admissions Committee, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132.

Appeals must be made within 15 days of the denial decision. There is a limit of one appeal per academic term. Estimated time to issue appeal responses is 7-14 days after all appeal documents are received.


Admitted Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to San Francisco State University! Review the Admitted Students page to start your SF State journey!


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