International Transfers

You are considered a transfer applicant if you attempted college coursework after high school graduation, but have not completed the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree.

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.

  • If you already have a Bachelor's degree, please visit the Graduate Studies page.

Admission Eligibility & Application Process

Learn how to apply and what it takes to become an SF State student based on where you attended college/university and the following types of transfer student:

Lower Division Transfer - applicant with less than 60 semester (90 quarter) transferable units

Upper Division Transfer - applicant with 60 or more semester (90 or more quarter) transferable units

Lower Division Transfer applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Graduated from high school or earned the equivalent of US high school completion.
     
  • Completed the A-G college preparatory courses (from US high school) or a secondary/high school curriculum that totals 12 years of primary-secondary education (non-US high school)
     
  • Earned the specified eligibility index or GPA in college preparatory courses based on your high school location
     
  • Achieved an overall college GPA of at least 2.00 in all transferable courses (impacted majors may require a higher GPA)
     
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
     
  • Recommended courses with a grade of C- or better:
    • A course in Written Communication (GE Area A2); and
    • A course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (GE Area B4)
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement if you have less than 3 years of full-time academic study in an English speaking country

To be eligible for admission to SF State as an Upper Division Transfer, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Complete 60 or more transferable semester units

Upper Division Transfer students must have completed at least 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units.

2. Complete the General Education requirements

Complete at least 30 semester (45 quarter) units of CSU General Education (GE) courses.

Within the CSU GE, there are four basc skills course (Golden 4) that must be completed with a grade of C- or better to qualify for admission:

  • Oral Communication (Area A1): a course in public speaking
  • Written Communication (Area A2): a freshman English composition course
  • Critical Thinking (Area A3): a course in logic or critical thinking (Engineering majors are exempt from the critical thinking requirement)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (Area B4): a math course

Fall term applicants must complete units and Golden Four course requirements no later than the end of the Spring term before you enter SF State.

Spring term applicants must complete units and Golden Four course requirements no later than the end of the Fall term before you enter SF State.

General Education Resources:

  • Transfer applicants from California Community Colleges may consult the ASSIST website for a complete listing of approved General Education courses.
     
  • Transfer applicants from other US institutions may refer to the Articulation website.
     
  • Other transfer applicants may use the list of approved General Education courses in the SF State Bulletin as a guide to determine if a course is appropriate.

3. Meet the GPA Requirement

Earn an overall college GPA of at least 2.00 in all transferable courses (impacted majors may require a higher GPA).

4. Be in good standing at the last college or university attended

Be in good standing or eligible to re-enroll at your last college or university attended.

 Lower Division Transfer applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Graduated from high school or earned the equivalent of US high school completion.
     
  • Completed the A-G college preparatory courses (from US high school) or a secondary/high school curriculum that totals 12 years of primary-secondary education (from non-US high school)
     
  • Earned the specified eligibility index or GPA in college preparatory courses based on your high school location
     
  • Achieved an overall college GPA of at least 2.00 in all transferable courses (impacted majors may require a higher GPA)
     
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
     
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement if you have less than 3 years of full-time academic study in an English speaking country

To be eligible for admission to SF State as an Upper Division Transfer, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Complete 60 or more transferable semester units

Upper Division Transfer students must have completed at least 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units.

Transfer applicants from our international partner schools may consult the Articulation website to see how your coursework might transfer and for a listing of approved General Education courses.

2. Meet the GPA Requirement

Earn an overall college GPA of at least 2.00 in all transferable courses (impacted majors may require a higher GPA).

3. 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 before an admissions decision can be made.

English Proficiency by Coursework

Complete two consecutive terms of transferable freshman English composition. The first course must be equivalent to SF State’s ENG 114, followed by a higher-level course. A minimum grade of C or better must be awarded for each course.

 

Eligible English Proficiency Exams

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

 

Academic Instruction in English

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

Country
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: American Language Institute

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.

Some majors at SF State are impacted, where the number of fully eligible applicants exceed the number of spaces available in that major. These majors may have additional supplemental admission criteria and may hold applicants to a higher GPA standard. Applicants to an impacted program must specify an alternative major in the event they are not admitted to the major. Check the impaction page and the impacted major’s department websites for details.

Accounting

Accounting does not have supplemental criteria. 

Kinesiology

Must be at least sophomore standing to apply (must have at least 60 units by the time you are admitted to the major). 

Students should have completed as many of the following recommended courses as possible with a grade of C or better, in addition to the University Admissions requirements:

  • Human Biology with lab
  • Human Anatomy with lab
  • Human Physiology with lab
  • Elementary Statistics
  • General Chemistry with lab
  • Introduction to Kinesiology
  • General Physics with lab

Nursing

Students must complete all prerequisite courses below with a minimum grade of C by the time of application:

  • Human Anatomy with lab
  • Human Physiology with lab
  • Survey of Chemistry with lab
  • Microbiology with lab
  • Statistics

A Supplemental Application is also required for this impacted major program. Please visit: School of Nursing

Psychology

Psychology does not have supplemental criteria. 

Social Work

Admission to the Social Work major is limited to students at the upper division level (60 units or more but not exceeding 96 units). Applicants must complete the five required prerequisite courses with either a C- grade or higher prior to admission into the BASW Program:

  • Introductory-level course in Human Biology
  • Macroeconomics
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Introductory Sociology
  • English 214 (Second Year written composition)

A Supplemental Application is also required for this impacted major program. Please visit: Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW).

An Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) is different from a traditional Associate Degree. ADTs were designed to streamline the pathway from a California community college to a four-year college. There are two types of ADTs: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Some examples of how ADTs are displayed on transcripts:

  • AA-T English
  • Associate of Arts for Transfer-English
  • English-Associate Degree for Transfer
  • English-Transfer

Students who earn an ADT are guaranteed to receive admission to a CSU campus with junior status. Additionally, students who pursue a B.A. or a B.S. in a program deemed “similar” to their transfer degree will be able to complete the degree by taking no more than 60 units at the CSU. 

If you have been awarded or are pursuing an AA-T or AS-T degree from your California Community College and wish to transfer to SF State, be sure to indicate that you are transferring with an Associate Degree for Transfer awarded by a California Community College when you apply. We will verify completion of your ADT when we review your official transcripts. 

Visit the Articulation Office’s website for information about ADT guidelines and roadmaps to graduation. 

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 Cal State Apply 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.

NOTE: San Francisco State University requires ALL colleges/universities attended to be listed on your application for admission.

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. Log in with your SF State ID and password 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 college or university you attended.
  • If you are a lower division transfer, high school transcripts with proof of graduation are also needed.
  • 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.

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.

All 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!

 

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF files. This is a free program available from the Adobe website. Follow the download directions on the Adobe web site to get your copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Interim Accessibility Statement

  • The documents on this website/webpage might not be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. We are working to fix these accessibility barriers by December 2023. If you experience difficulty in accessing this content, please contact  ugadmit@sfsu.edu and we will provide you with accessible alternatives.