CSU Long Beach Admissions Statistics

Learn About CSULB and the GPA and SAT / ACT Scores You'll Need

The Walter Pyramid is a collegiate athletic facility located at Long Beach State University in Long Beach.
Summum/Wikimedia Commons

With over 63,000 applicants each year, California State University-Long Beach (CSULB, Long Beach State University, "The Beach") has selective admissions. The acceptance rate is just 28 percent. Most admitted students had GPAs and standardized test scores that were at least a little bit above average.

Why CSU Long Beach?

  • Location: Long Beach, California
  • Campus Highlights: CSU Long Beach's 322-acre campus sits just a few miles from sand beaches and the Pacific Ocean. Athletic facilities include the iconic Walter Pyramid.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 23:1
  • Athletics: The Long Beach State 49ers compete in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference.
  • Highlights: Students at "The Beach" can choose from over 150 academic programs, and the university scores high points for both its value and contributions to social mobility.

Long Beach State Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For students who entered CSULB in the 2017-18 academic year, the acceptance rate was just 28 percent. SAT scores and ACT scores for admitted students are presented below as score percentiles.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 510 610
Math 510 620
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

If you compare SAT scores for the 23 Cal State campuses, you'll see that only Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Diego State are more selective than Long Beach State. The majority of admitted students have above average SAT scores.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 19 26
Math 19 27
Composite 20 26

The SAT is a much more popular exam than the ACT for CSULB, but applicants are welcome to submit scores from either exam. An average ACT score is a 21, so as with the SAT, Long Beach State students tend to have scores that are above average.

Long Beach State GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph

Long Beach State University GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission
Long Beach State University GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission. Graph Courtesy of Cappex 

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score information for the California State University at Long Beach was self-reported by applicants to the school You can see a real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into CSULB with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of CSULB's Admissions Standards

CSULB is one of the more selective schools in the California State University system. In the scattergram above, the green and blue dots represent accepted students. The majority of students who got into the California State University Long Beach had GPAs of 3.0 or higher, SAT scores (ERW+M) of 950 or higher, and ACT scores of 18 or higher. Chances of acceptance are best for students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and a combined SAT score of 1100 or higher. In the middle of the graph, note that there is some red (rejected students) hidden behind the blue and green (see graph below). Some students with grades and test scores on target for CSULB still get rejected.

Unlike the University of California System, the California State University admission process is not holistic. Except for EOP students, applicants do not need to submit letters of recommendation or an application essay, and extracurricular involvement is not part of the standard application.

Rejection and Waitlist Data for Long Beach State

California State University Long Beach rejection and waitlist data
California State University Long Beach rejection and waitlist data.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

When we strip away the blue and green acceptance data points from the graph, we can see that many students with grades and SAT/ACT scores that were on target for CSULB were rejected or waitlisted. The reason why an applicant with adequate scores and grades would be rejected tends to come down to a couple factors such as insufficient college preparatory classes or an incomplete application.

To be admitted to Long Beach State, you must have completed and achieved a "C" grade or higher for the comprehensive list of college preparatory subjects. Your Eligibility Index, which combines GPA and SAT or ACT scores, must meet the cutoff for the current year. These change from year to year and depend on your residency. For fall 2018, the minimum was 3,200 for graduates of California high schools and other California residents, but 3,570 for those from out of state.

Additionally, a STEM Eligibility Index is calculated for admission to science, technology, engineering, and math majors. It gives more weight to high school grades in those areas. SAT Writing score is not used and you can use the highest score if you take the tests more than once. You can learn more about CSULB's Freshman Eligibility Index on the school's website.

More CSULB Information

In general, Long Beach State University does well when it comes to affordability and value. When calculating costs, however, keep in mind that the great majority of students do not graduate in four years. Total costs obviously go up if it takes five or six years to earn your bachelor's degree.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 37,622 (31,566 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 43 percent male / 57 percent female
  • 87 percent full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $6,730 (in-state); $18,610 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,948 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $12,484
  • Other Expenses: $2,904
  • Total Cost: $24,066 (in-state); $35,946 (out-of-state)

CSULB Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 80 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 74 percent
    • Loans: 35 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $8,454
    • Loans: $5,454

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Art, Business Administration, English, Criminal Justice Studies, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Psychology, Sociology, Speech and Rhetorical Studies, Trade, and Industrial Teacher Education
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation, Retention and Transfer Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 88 percent
  • Transfer Out Rate: 2 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 16 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 69 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track & FIeld, Track & Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Cross Country, GOlf, Indoor Track & Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track & FIeld, Volleyball, Water Polo

If You Like Long Beach State, Check Out These Other Schools

Applicants to CSULB tend to look at other public universities in Southern California. Strong students will often apply to UCSD and UCLA. Several CSU campuses are also popular including CSU Fullerton, San Diego State, and CSU Northridge.

If you have strong grades and test scores, you may also want to take a look at private institutions including the University of San Diego and the University of Southern California. Both schools are significantly more expensive than CSULB, but if you qualify for financial aid, those price differences may disappear. Keep in mind that USC is significantly more selective than Long Beach.

Data Source: Graphs courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics