California State University-San Marcos Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, and More

Cal State San Marcos
Cal State San Marcos. Rennett Stowe / Flickr

California State University-San Marcos is neither highly selective nor open to everyone; the school admits a little over half of those who apply. In additional to filling out an application, prospective students must send in scores from either the SAT or ACT, high school transcripts, and an application fee.

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Admissions Data (2016)

Cal State San Marcos Description

Cal State San Marcos is a public university and one of the 23 universities in the California State University system. Established in 1989, Cal State San Marcos is one of the younger schools in the system. The university offers undergraduates the choice of 44 programs in a spectrum of subjects in the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences and professional fields. Business Administration is the most popular major among undergraduates while education is the largest master's program. In athletics, the CSUSM Cougars compete in the NCAA Division II, within in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Enrollment (2016)

  • Total Enrollment: 13,144 (12,567 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 39% Male / 61% Female
  • 83% Full-time

Costs (2016 - 17)

  • Tuition and Fees: $7,383 (in-state); $18,543 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,764 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $13,240
  • Other Expenses: $2,254
  • Total Cost: $24,641 (in-state); $35,801 (out-of-state)

Cal State San Marcos Financial Aid (2015 - 16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 77%
  • Cal State San Marcos Scholarships (
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 70%
    • Loans: 37%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $8,617
    • Loans: $5,496

Academic Programs

Transfer, Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 81%
  • Transfer Out Rate: 4%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 14%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 52%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Track and Field, Basketball, Soccer, Golf, Baseball, Cross Country
  • Women's Sports: Soccer, Volleyball, Softball, Cross Country, Track and Field, Basketball, Golf

Data Source

National Center for Educational Statistics

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