CAMPUSREEL

Cal State LA: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

California State University-Los Angeles

Visit CampusReel

This is the go-to guide for getting into California State University-Los Angeles. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to Cal State LA, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown Cal State LA statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out California State University-Los Angeles on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to Cal State LA, the read our transfer guide. Here’s what we’re about to cover:

What GPA do you need to get into California State University-Los Angeles?

California State University-Los Angeles’s average GPA is 3.24. California State University-Los Angeles does require GPA. This average GPA means California State University-Los Angeles is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of Cal State LA application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.24 to 3.4 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.4 GPA.

*BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. California State University-Los Angeles may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on Cal State LA’s campus. These Cal State LA admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

What is California State University-Los Angeles’s acceptance rate?

Last year California State University-Los Angeles’s acceptance rate was 68.13. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

2016 2017 2018
Acceptance Rate 64.0 % 46.0 % 68.13 %

As you can see, California State University-Los Angeles is a little easier to get into than last year.

Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into Cal State LA - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

Does California State University-Los Angeles Require Test Scores?

California State University-Los Angeles requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how California State University-Los Angeles’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

California State University-Los Angeles SAT Requirements

California State University-Los Angeles’s average SAT score is 880 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether California State University-Los Angeles is getting more or less competitive.

25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
Math 390 500 445
Reading 390 480 435
2019 Total 780 980 880
2018 Total - - -
2017 Total - - -

California State University-Los Angeles’s average SAT score is 880. To be a competitive applicant for California State University-Los Angeles your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 780, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider California State University-Los Angeles a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 980.

California State University-Los Angeles ACT Requirements

California State University-Los Angeles’s average ACT score is 42. To be a competitive applicant for California State University-Los Angeles your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 45, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider California State University-Los Angeles a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 40.

25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
Math 16 - 16
Reading 14 20 17
Writing 15 20 17
2019 Total 45 40 42
2018 Total - - -
2017 Total - - -

How hard is it to get into California State University-Los Angeles?

California State University-Los Angeles Requirements

Now you know where you need to be for getting into California State University-Los Angeles from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

Recommendations Status
School Rank Neither required nor recommended
GPA Required
School Record Required

How to get into Cal State LA

Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into Cal State LA. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at Cal State LA, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

Main Academic Excellence that is in line with Cal State LA admission standards.

  1. Score at least a 880 on the SAT or 42 on the ACT.
  2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.24.

Join Extracurriculars that Align with Cal State LA’s Values.

  1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If California State University-Los Angeles values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
  2. Volunteer in your hometown. Los Angeles has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. California State University-Los Angeles wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Los Angeles area in general.
  3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. Cal State LA needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

Prepare Your Application

  1. Write a stellar essay that shows California State University-Los Angeles something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
  2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your Cal State LA app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
  3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that Cal State LA’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

Related College & Universities:

Transfering to California State University-San Bernardino
Transfering to California State University-Chico
Transfering to California State University-Sacramento
Transfering to San Francisco State University
Transfering to San Jose State University