Cal State University San Marcos: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Cal State San Marcos
Cal State San Marcos.

Eamuscatuli / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

California State University San Marcos is a public university with an acceptance rate of 58%. Established in 1989, Cal State San Marcos is one of the younger schools in the California State University system. The university offers undergraduates the choice of 60 programs in a broad range of subjects in the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional fields. In athletics, the CSUSM Cougars compete in the NCAA Division II, within in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Considering applying to California State University San Marcos? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, Cal State San Marcos had an acceptance rate of 58%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 58 students were admitted, making CSUSM's admissions process competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 17,649
Percent Admitted 58%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 24%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Cal State San Marcos requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 94% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 480 580
Math 480 560
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Cal State San Marcos' admitted students fall within the bottom 29% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to CSUSM scored between 480 and 580, while 25% scored below 480 and 25% scored above 580. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 480 and 560, while 25% scored below 480 and 25% scored above 560. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1140 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Cal State San Marcos.

Requirements

Cal State San Marcos does not require the SAT writing section. Note that CSUSM will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. SAT Subject test scores are not required, but if the score meets a benchmark, it may be used to fulfill certain core course requirements.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Cal State San Marcos requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 28% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 16 22
Math 17 22
Composite 17 22

This admissions data tells us that most of Cal State San Marcos' admitted students fall within the bottom 33% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to CSUSM received a composite ACT score between 17 and 22, while 25% scored above 22 and 25% scored below 17.

Requirements

CSUSM does not require the ACT writing section. Unlike many universities, Cal State San Marcos superscores ACT results; your highest subscores from multiple ACT sittings will be considered.

GPA

In 2018, the average high school GPA for incoming Cal State San Marcos freshmen was 3.38. This data suggests that most successful applicants to CSUSM have primarily B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Cal State San Marcos Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Cal State San Marcos Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to California State University San Marcos. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Cal State San Marcos, which accepts just over half of applicants, has a selective admissions process. Unlike the University of California System, the California State University admission process is not holistic. Except for EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) students, applicants do not need to submit letters of recommendation or an application essay, and extracurricular involvement is not part of the standard application. Instead, admissions are based primarily on an eligibility index that combines GPA and test scores. Minimum high school course requirements (A-G college preparatory requirements) include four years of English; three years of math; two years of history and social science; two years of laboratory science; two years of a foreign language other than English; one year of visual or performing arts; and one year of a college preparatory elective. The reasons why an applicant with adequate scores and grades would be rejected tends to come down to factors such as insufficient college preparatory classes, high school classes that weren't challenging, or an incomplete application.

Be aware that California State University San Marcos is designated as impacted because it receives more applications than can be accommodated. Impacted CSUSM majors include: Biology, Business Administration, Kinesiology, and Nursing/Pre-Nursing (Basic Nursing Program). Each of the impacted programs have additional requirements for eligibility.

In the graph above, the green and blue dots represent accepted students. As you can see, most students admitted students had grades in the "B" range or higher, SAT scores (ERW + M) of 950 or higher, and ACT scores of 18 or higher. However, note that there are some red data points (rejected students) throughout the graph. A few students with grades and test scores on target for CSUSM were not admitted.

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